As we focused on Matthew 9:35-38 in church this morning, one question consumed my thoughts:
Am I one of the few working in the harvest or one of the many who just don’t care enough to truly get involved?
This is one of those uncomfortable questions that most will gloss over. In fact, it is quite clear that not many dwell on this passage, even with it being a reasonably popular sermon text, particularly around mission-focused times of the year (like Easter and Christmas). The reality is, most of us are more often one of the many than one of the few.
Why is that? So many, even those of us who are “committed Christians”, fail to labor in the harvest. We hold back, and hesitate to get involved and share Christ with those around us, and in efforts around the globe to see the name of Jesus lifted high. We love our families, faithfully attend church, live a “good” life, and go to the grave with the answer to abundant life, without ever really living it or sharing it.
Be honest with yourself. Is Jesus your one and only passion? Are you actively working in His harvest to share the Gospel and obey Him completely? Where are you holding out on God?
The time for excuses is past. Jesus Christ Himself said: The harvest is so great, but the workers are few. There is a harvest all around us, people who need the Savior. We MUST care enough to reach out and love them enough to share with them how they can have forgiveness and freedom through Christ.
So, how can we do that, even this week?
Let’s do what Jesus did:
- He was out and about. Matthew 9:35 says that Jesus traveled around to all the cities and villages of the area. We must be mindful of Him wherever we go. In fact, maybe we need to write out a reminder and put it on our dashboards so when we go, we are looking for the Lord to act and we will be willing to let Him use us.
- He announced the Good News. We need to talk about Jesus all the time. We need to look for every opportunity to share His love verbally with other people. The more we do this, the more it will become a natural, instinctive part of our lives. If nothing else, one good place to start is with the question most of us will be asked on a weekly basis from peers….the proverbial “How was your weekend?” question. Why not share how God spoke to you at church? I could line up a whole army of excuses for that one, but the reality is that God placed us where we are for the chief purpose of being His ambassador and reaping a harvest. If we are doing nothing about that, we are one of the many and sinning against God!
- He had compassion. Matthew 9:36 tells us that Jesus felt great pity for the people around Him. He was moved with compassion and reached out and healed them. God wants us to spend our time loving people, helping them through their difficult situations and living life to point them to Christ. He want us to give what we have and provide for others, first with the Gospel, but also with their needs, whether physical or emotional. This can get messy, but God never intended His people to serve Him only wearing their “Sunday best”.
- He commanded us to pray. In Matthew 9:37, Jesus specifically tells us to pray to God, who is in charge of the harvest, to send out more workers in the fields. When was the last time we prayed for God to send more workers to gather the harvest for a specific person, our community, our nation and our world? My pastor this morning remarked maybe we don’t do this because we’re afraid God will send us.
I’ll admit, I have too often been one of the many. And, I have needed to ask forgiveness from my Lord for my indifference and my apathy. Maybe you are there, too. You love God and you want to serve Him, but…
Let’s start this week with fresh eyes for the harvest, and genuinely cry out for Christ to not only send out workers into the fields, but to send us.
- God will keep us mindful of His plan and purpose wherever we are this week, whether at home, at work, at school, at the grocery store, literally wherever.
- The Holy Spirit will burn so powerfully in our hearts that we will not be able to keep silent when He gives us opportunities to share the Good News.
- Jesus will help us see those around us the way He does, and that we will be broken with compassion and love for those He gave His live for, and that we would meet their needs.
- God would help us consistently pray for workers to enter the harvest.