Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Harvest Is Plentiful

John 4:35

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

It is harvest time or soon to be for many crops. I live in a rural area and farmer’s markets dot the roads selling local corn and an assortment of vegetables. Local sweet corn is one of the things I love the most. I really enjoy this time of the year.

Farmers are beginning to harvest their crops in the next few weeks – even into September. Wheat – barely – beans – field corn – and more will be harvested. Living in a rural area – I drive past fields all the time that produce the crops that keep our markets full and help our farmers make a living. I also watch throughout the year as the farmers work the fields and prepare for the next crop. It is an almost endless job.

Farmers often begin to prepare for the next harvest even as they harvest the current crop. Farmers prepare the soil – fertilize the fields – cultivate the fields – plant the fields – tend to the fields – and only after much work and much prayer (and God’s grace with the weather) – the harvest time comes. Right now we have had so much August rain in our area that some crops that would normally be ready to harvest still have too much moister in them. Some crops may waste in the fields because of the excessive rain at this time of the year.

Let’s read today’s passage in partial context. John 4:27–38 – 27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. 31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Reaching people for Jesus is compared here to harvesting crops. The Great Commission is this – Matthew 28:16–20 – 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

With the condition the world is in right now – the world needs Jesus more than ever. I was just speaking with a member last night and we were talking about needing to be right with Jesus – never knowing in these days when our life will be taken from us through sickness or tragedy. The harvest is ripe! Yet – the workers are few. Matthew 9:37 – Then he said to his disciples, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

People need Jesus! We need His grace and mercy – His salvation – and we are called to be the workers that Jesus needs to present His message. Farmers work the soil – plant the seeds – cultivate the seed – and when harvest time comes – they harvest the crop. Many have contributed to the work of Jesus – some tell the stories of Jesus to children in Sunday School – others in youth group – others from the pulpit – others by being witnesses in the family – church – and community.

The harvest is ripe and the church needs to do everything possible to reach the lost before the time of harvest is past. It isn’t about us. It isn’t about our desires or what pleases us. It is about telling the story of Jesus so that the harvest might be great. Satan would like nothing more than for the church to be caught up in internal battles that keep us from working the fields of harvest! We must put aside our often petty and personal differences and work together to bring people to Jesus! The harvest is plentiful!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

August 23, 2017 - Posted by | Daily Devotion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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