I Planted, Apollos Watered
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:6-11
In the global population, there are relatively few people who legitimately can be titled a founder of a business or a ministry; even fewer, a ministry which continues for a significantly long time, such as 57 years. Paul Anderson was its founder and the PAYH recently celebrated again Founder’s Day on the 15th of this month. Some begin a ministry and build it into a special work; many, many others water what is planted, and some variously take part in its harvest.
Founding requires a call, a vision, and the ability and commitment to see the vision through to fruition. Many others come alongside, buying into the God-inspired vision of the founder. It takes many other hands to water and nurture the objects of the founding vision. And then there are always those who are blessed to reap the fruits of the harvest, even years later. Most all are necessary to the success of the founder’s vision.
There is no little importance to being a waterer. If there are no waterers, the vision perishes. If there are no waterers, there is no harvest. God uses each one to fulfill His purpose: the saving of many souls. God requires more than a founder. There must be those to water, and there must be those to harvest. All must do the specific and necessary parts of what God has called them to. These can find complete and satisfying fulfillment in God’s calling for them. What they do is to God’s glory, and He is the rewarder of those who fulfill His calling.
There is a time for every season. Founding is normally one generation and one season; watering and harvesting encompass many generations and seasons. Often many of the waterers and harvesters are not even born when the founder begins his ministry. God has called them to participate in the vision according to His timing, sometimes a generation or generations removed. What a blessing to be involved in a multi-generational enterprise. It is taking part in something which God has blessed for a significant time, showing He is well pleased with the work of which you are a vital part. This is God’s evident imprimatur on what you are about as you water and harvest.
And what is more, the Apostle Paul tells us the founder, the waterers, and the harvesters are all one; all enmeshed in God’s work, equal colleagues in the planting, watering, and harvesting of what God Himself is doing. The results of this work for God cannot be destroyed, it cannot be burned up, and it will survive the Judgment coming upon the world. All else will fail to survive, but you and those you introduce into His Kingdom will pass through this furnace. The boys which you water, and particularly those who are harvested, will survive the Judgment and be invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb. They will dance in the courts of the Lord.
So do not grow weary in well doing. Take heart as you labor in the often tedious task, the often frustrating work of daily watering these young men, remembering that your work is not in vain. It will produce a harvest which the world will not reap. Remember, it will be worth it all when you see Jesus. Keep watering. Keep watering. Keep watering. God will bring the growth in which you or another will rejoice in the harvest.
“Not for weight of glory, not for crown and palm enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm, but for Love that claimeth lives for whom He died. He whom Jesus nameth must be on His side. By Thy love constraining, by Thy grace divine, we are on the Lord’s side; Savior, we are Thine.
(2nd verse of Frances Havergal’s hymn, Who Is on the Lord’s Side?, 1877)
|If you enjoyed this devotional, sign up below to receive it weekly:|
Sign up for our monthly newsletter and weekly devotional