Pruning Brings New Growth

While speaking at our Navigator Men's Fellowship Breakfast, I was introduced to a young man named Nicholas.

I ran into him the following month outside our breakfast meeting. When I saw him, I said, "Hi Nicholas, how are you?" He smiled from ear to ear and said, "You remembered my name." There was an immediate bonding that took place through the simple act of remembering his name.

That contact led to obtaining his services to trim trees on our property. During the day, a number of cars passed by and his and his apprentices' work was noticed and appreciated.

The Lord led me to have a sign made with all the pertinent information needed for people to contact him. Buying their lunches and keeping them hydrated with cool water helped cement my contact with them. The Lord had provided funds that enabled me to pay liberally for their services.

Under the skillful eye of Nicholas and his apprentice Anthony, over 40 oak trees were trimmed in a very professional manner. In the course of relating to them as they worked, both men indicated an interest in growing spiritually. They are both tied into Hosanna Baptist Church and attend our Navigator meetings. I meet with them weekly in the Lessons on Assurance studies. Both men have a hunger for God. Anthony is seeing God turn his life around as he yields his life daily.

One of the last days of work, Nicholas said, "Brother my heart is heavy." His heart was heavy because he wanted to get married and had plans to move in with his fiance.

Because of the relationship God had established between us, I took a bold step to share that what he was planning was not pleasing to God and was the source of his heavy heart. I shared with him that I had watched his work closely and knew he wanted to do a good job and not take shortcuts.

I offered him an alternative plan that included going for a civil service at the City Hall. This made it legal before God and man. It would protect them from starting their marriage off on the wrong foot. I said, "You can then have a nice church wedding and invite family and all your friends." He said, "Yes brother and you will be the first."

As you know God has a way of dealing with people. During our last time together, Nicholas shared that God had spoken to him about the wedding plans. He decided that he wanted to be single and totally committed to God for now. What a privilege to be allowed by God to have this kind of input at a critical point in a person life.

Some keys to Discipleship

  1. Remember names.
  2. Involve them in meeting a personal need. (Trees trimmed)
  3. Apply Mark 10:45 (Sign, Lunch, Water)
  4. The laborer is worthy of his hire. (Paid them liberally)
  5. Addressed a spiritual need in Nicholas's life. (Wedding plans)
  6. Provided continuing contact. (Bible study and involvement in Hosanna Baptist Church)
  7. Anthony is already fired up and he and his contacts are leading a small group of Christians and non-Christians in Bible discussions.