Laborers for the HarvestBro. David Chancellor
2/21/2010 6:00 PM
Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
We want to accomplish what God has ordained for us right here. Jesus told them to look on the fields. "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together." We want to receive an eternal reward. When we are workers for God, we’ll enjoy it that much more when we get to heaven. Do you believe there’s a field around us that needs harvested? Some say no one wants it. Which do you believe? There’s no basis for the position that no one wants it. We wanted it; why wouldn’t someone else?
If you read in Acts it tells about where they would go. It was nice when the thousands were saved, but what about when the persecutions started? The disciples covered a lot of area in a short period of time. They had been content in Jerusalem, but God allowed the persecution to prod them into different areas.
If people turn you down, ask God to encourage you and help you to keep sharing it with others. Keep sharing the message. There’s a harvest yet to be done. God expects the gospel to be carried forth by his people.
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
This stirred Jesus with compassion. People need God. There are people all around us that have troubles and need God in those troubles. We found something in God and God would have us to be moved with compassion as well.
We should be asking God to bring more souls into the work. What are you looking for when you ask God to send more laborers into the harvest?
And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
This is what people often picture when they pray for more laborers. Think about verse 12: "…for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…" The work of the ministry is the closest to the harvest. Most of what his listed here is focused on the body. It’s taking care of the grain once it’s in the barn.
Laborers are all the people of God. If you limit it to pastors and teachers, you’ll have a small harvest. The laborers we’re praying for are those who will get saved when the gospel comes to them. You’re praying for the laborers and the harvest at the same time.
Most people do the most witnessing for God right after they get saved. After you’ve been saved a while, your circle changes. Make an effort to reach beyond the circle. Widen your horizons. Lift up your eyes a bit. Reach out to more people. Expand your reach. Take the gospel to more people. As you reach out to more people, realize that the harvest doesn’t have to happen in church. Be able to tell someone how to find Jesus. Pray for future saints when you pray for laborers.
Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me. I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
"I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart…"Have his righteousness within, but don’t hide it. Let it out for the world to see. Jesus needs to be visible on the outside of us. People should be able to see that you’re a child of God. We want God to shine through us to the world around us. Be ready to speak when the opportunity presents itself.
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Jesus had them wait, not because the harvest wasn’t ready, but because they weren’t ready. They needed to wait for the promise to arrive. It was a 10 day wait.
We need God’s Spirit to be able to lift him up as we should. The promise is here. If you need him, get him. The reason for waiting has already come. Ask for it. He’s more ready to give than you are to ask. Get God’s Spirit and lift him up as he ought to be lifted up. We need the Spirit to help us spread the message. Our love for Christ should motivate us to share the gospel. Carry it outside your comfort zone. Lift up your eyes and see the opportunities around you. God can bring new people into your life. There is a field around us that is white to harvest.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
To reap souls for Christ, they have to know him. It’s Christ in you that others need to know. It isn’t so much about eloquence or wisdom, but sharing Jesus.
Why invite people to church? Where two or three are met together in Christ’s name, he’s there. When we invite people we want them to come and see Jesus. We want them to come and feel the love of God. We want them to be convinced of sin and be saved. We want people to be drawn to Christ by having been in the service.
Remove the word "visitor" from your vocabulary. It’s a divisive word. We all need to be concerned about what we say and how it will be received. If we don’t convey the right spirit, if folks don’t see the love of God, we’ll miss the harvest. Keep in mind what we want people to see and feel while they’re here.
As you seek to convey Jesus, consider what the other person is hearing.
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found other standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
They all said, "No one hired us." If God saved you, he has called you. You are to be workers for God. Enter into the labor. He has a reward for you. He gave you a vocation when he saved you. Jesus has hired us. We are all called to lift up Christ and bring a lost world to him. God has a place for you – showing souls to Jesus Christ. Pray for more laborers. Do your part. Lift up Jesus to a lost world.