I talked about what I learned from Chapter 2 here but now I'm thinking through what Chapter 3 is teaching me. Before I tell you about it, let me first let you know that I'm not a Bible scholar and I don't know if I'm reading this in the right context, but I can't deny that I've heard God's voice clearly through this book.
So, in Chapter 3 Paul continues to address the church in Corinth and calls them infants in Christ, partly because they are quarreling about who they follow. Here's Paul's response to their actions:
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
I keep finding myself relating what I read to the field of missions. I don't know if I'm sensing a call or if I've just been thinking about it for some other reason lately. Either way, I think this is valuable for anyone considering missions or any kind of ministry.
We are called to be God's fellow workers, but to never forget that He alone is the one who can make things grow. Our job is to simply plant a seed or water it. In practical terms I see this is as evangelism and discipleship - telling people about Jesus and mentoring them in their relationship with Him.
But we should never think we are the ones who saves them or even makes them grow. We can only play a small part in the process - it is God's part that changes lives and makes dead things come to life!
So, who do I follow? I follow Jesus alone, but I am thankful for the people in my life who water the seed that was planted long ago!