The Scattering Job

July 16, 2019
The Scattering Job Al Weir, MD July 16, 2019

“He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how’” (Mark 4:26-27, NIV 1984).

Jerry is a follower of Christ who was recently recovering in a rehab facility that also housed a nursing home. At dinner he was regularly seated next to two men who had difficulty with cognition. One was 103 years old and had a “fetish for sweets.” The other ate grilled cheese sandwiches for every meal. Speaking of his life as a Christian witness in that venue, Jerry told me, “How in the world could I hope that my witness would be of any value when these men were suffering from such dementia? It was impossible!”

What a beautiful picture of our task as Christian witnesses. No matter how sharp or how demented or how unschooled or educated, or rich or poor, or happy or sad is the person with whom we share Christ—with everyone, no matter what their human state, it is impossible for us to transform them into followers of Christ. As Jesus told His disciples when He told them how difficult it was for the rich to enter the kingdom of God, “With man it is impossible…” (Mark 10:27, ESV).

And yet, we are given the impossible task. We are asked to share Christ with all, and it is impossible for us to change them.

Thank God, Jesus finished His statement, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27, ESV).

We must not confuse our responsibilities or magnify our power. We are not called to save people; that’s impossible with man. We are called to witness.

We are called to share our personal knowledge of Christ as witnesses of the truth we have experienced. The rest is God’s business. Pope John Paul II stated, “The Church imposes nothing; she only proposes, she proposes like a lover to the beloved.”

We are called to obey by witnessing. Any power to change is God’s business. As Oswald Chambers taught, “We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience.”

Our responsibilities in the salvation process for others are:

  • Be authentic: Live openly what we believe.
  • Be prayerful: Pray regularly for the individuals we know who do not know Christ and pray that God might speak His word through us in each encounter.
  • Be intentional: Face every encounter as a possibility to speak the gospel.
  • Be alert: During our encounters, listen closely for God’s Spirit and speak only at His command and only with His words.
  • Be trusting: God can change anyone.
  • Be patient: Often God speaks through many encounters over a long period of time to draw His children into His family.
  • Believe: Some of us fail to share the gospel because we are not totally convinced that those we know will die forever if they do not follow Jesus. We have this dichotomy of thinking, where we know that we are saved by the blood of Christ, but we are not certain our neighbor requires the same blood. Only the Holy Spirit can change this in our lives.

Dear Father,
Let me share what I know of You and trust You to transform.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.