The LaborersBro. David Chancellor
7/21/2002 6:00 PM
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.
Jesus went around teaching and healing the sick in every town. This was a HUGE challenge. Jesus had compassion on the multitudes. Imagine one person going to every city in every county of Oklahoma and preaching. As we look around us we can see that the harvest truly is plenteous. There are more people now than ever. It's sad when people say, "No one wants it." This means that they can't see the harvest. Jesus saw souls that had needs. People are all around us that the gospel could help. The government is working to try to help humanity, but the need of people is the gospel. "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few." Is the harvest rotting in the field due to lack of laborers? The concern is laborers. Are you praying for laborers? These are needed to gather the harvest. Are you praying for laborers with others in mind? What about you? Do you recognize the work that is needed? Are we doing our part? Our cry should be, "Lord, I need others to help; I can't do it alone." Plan ahead to have workers. The harvest doesn't "just happen." Souls may not see their need, but it doesn't change the need. There is a need for laborers.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
These were going about their business when Jesus called them to follow him. Christ asks us to follow him. If you would be a follower, it will make you a fisher of men. Christ was moved by compassion to reach out and to meet people's needs. Live so as the gospel can be presented to others. A follower of Christ should have compassion on others. Christ never said, "Well, they got what they deserved." He realized they were that way because there was something they couldn't conquer on their own. We are called to be fishers of men, which may or may not mean that we will be preachers. Be ready for whatever God would call you to do. We shouldn't be so concerned about what god has called others to do. Seek for your part, so that others may be won. We want additional laborers. Be ready and willing to be sent. Be faithful in what God has called you to do. Be faithful first.
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for m feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
This shows how things are with humanity. If we are endeavoring to live for God, we desire that he would sup with us. In his account, Christ knew the woman was a sinner, but he also saw something that Simon needed to see. When Christ came to your soul to save you, you could not pay. None of us are good enough to pay, regardless of how bad we were. How we see what Christ has done for us determines what kind of laborer we are. Those of us raised in the gospel have been spared many things. Several generations after a reformation, it seems that the fire burns out, due to people feeling like they have been forgiven little. Regardless of what sin was committed, we need to realize that we have received a great forgiveness. Unless you realize this, you won't be a good laborer for God. Realize that without the mercies of God, your life would be just as destroyed as anyone else. Realize the greatness of the debt you were forgiven. Keep in mind what God has done for you. The one that loves much labors much. We need a true forgiveness from God. Repentance is owning to yourself what you are. People that are cooling off have lost sight of the pit they were pulled from. The Israelites were to recite with each offering that they made the account of the lowly place they were brought from and end with, "This is the blessing that God has blessed me with." Recount the debt and what God has done for you, that you might love much. It will make you a better laborer.
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of..." It's not the messenger that should get the glory. If man gives his words alone, it won't be glorious. The preacher needs to keep in mind that God has given the message. He is responsible for giving the message. We shouldn't labor because it is a duty, but rather we should labor out of love. Don't take advantage of your position. Do the work because you love Christ. Show him your love and appreciation for being saved from a life of sin. Sacrifice your personal rights and privileges to be laborers for Christ. While we have the right to be us, we put that aside that we might be laborers. If you would labor for Christ, relinquish some rights and privileges that you can labor for him. Be willing to reach out and help others, even if it puts you out a little. Most people fail to labor on this point. What is our attitude toward souls that we need to have compassion on? The kind of laborers we are praying for is more than just grass-mowers and church-cleaners. Be willing to be helpful to others. Have compassion on others. Spot what needs to be done and do it. Start praying for souls that need help.
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.
If we would be followers of Jesus we will find sustenance in working for God. Don't say, "some day;" be a laborer now. Seek to be used. Ask God to help your life make a difference. "He that reapeth receiveth wages..." We want to receive the wages that God lays up for us. Most people work to receive wages, not necessarily because they want the work. If souls would say you led them to Christ, you will have to do it down here. The ones that work with souls rejoice to see souls saved. God pays good wages. He has good things for us to enjoy. Laboring still produces the wages that it has in times past. There are benefits and blessings for those who serve God. We may be wrapped up in spiritual things, but we don't feel cheated. We feel blessed. Pray for laborers, but be willing to be used. Pray that the love of God will move on the hearts of mankind. There are many souls in need of what the gospel can provide.
The kind of service that God wants:
I've turned from the world and its follies, Forever forsaken all sin;
I've given myself unto Jesus To ever and only serve him.
I will not be languid or careless, Or formal or cold or untrue;
But, striving with earnest endeavor, The will of my Lord I will do.
Since Jesus gave all to redeem me, Since only through mercy I live,
It now is my joy and my purpose A wholehearted service to give.
O help me, dear Lord, to be ready The task that thou givest to do,
Not shrinking from labor or duty, Devoted and faithful and true.
I'll put my whole heart in his service, And do all he asketh of me;
I mean to live holy and blameless A Christian indeed will I be.
~ C. W. Naylor