Lucia's Blog: THE HARVEST THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, February 29, 2016

THE HARVEST THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS

 "And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.  When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'"
(Matthew 9:35-38)


How do you describe a "search and rescue" mission?  A child disappears from the home.  Mother calls the police and family members. The community goes into high gear to find and save the child. The insanity of sin makes "search and rescue" much more challenging because supposed rational, mature adults don't realize the danger they are in. The Son of God knew exactly what He was doing when He began the daunting task of "search and rescue" of those lost in sin.  Let's try to see through the eyes of Jesus just what He saw.

As I read the words of Matt. 9:35-38 and John 10:7-11, I cannot help but be moved by Jesus' compassion for the multitudes since they were distressed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.  They were perhaps also harassed by fears and anxieties.  Jesus is the good Shepherd of the flock (John 10:1-18) who came down to earth to gather the fold and give them rest from the heavy burdens of sin, laying down His life for them.  Indeed, the good Shepherd genuinely cares and is moved to compassion for the souls of men (Matt.11:28-29).   Even though He was saddened by the foolishness, the sins of men, He never loathed them or spoke contentiously about them.  And though He was the King of kings and Lord of lords, He loved the sinners with all His heart. 

Our Lord and Savior looked upon the multitudes in a manner worthy of our imitation.  Since He was a man of great feeling (emotion, love, affection, tenderness, compassion, sympathy, empathy), He was "moved with compassion."  His heart yearned.  His compassion for the people, among whom He walked, was awakened.  He couldn't be indifferent to the mass of men who were shepherdless sheep, whose souls were fainting and ready to die.  Rather than moaning, He enthusiastically began to take action, being stirred up in His heart to help those He pitied.  Jesus was never discouraged in laboring for the sake of people.  He never said it was useless to preach to the wicked and sinful multitudes.  He chose to persevere until His work was done.

The problem is not the fields but the laborers.  Jesus, Our Lord, is trying to say something:
  1. Jesus saw the pitiful state of the harvest through merciful eyes.   
  2. Jesus saw the potential of the harvest.  
  3. Jesus saw the problem of the harvest.
  4. Jesus commands His disciples to pray for laborers to be sent into His vineyard.  
We will discuss this further in my study.

Because of Jesus' great compassion for the souls of the crowd, He turned to His disciples saying, 
"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few."  
Here, Jesus compares the world of that time to a harvest because many were ready and thirsty for knowledge and eager to become His disciples.  Sadly, the only thing that was lacking was teachers. Therefore, they were instructed to "pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."  


I.   JESUS SAW THE  PITIFUL STATE OF THE HARVEST:   

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."


When our Lord Jesus looked at the multitudes, He realized they were lost and saw them as who they were.  He was able to look beyond the facade of self-sufficiency, self-righteousness, and self-confidence.  He saw the pain, the helplessness, the hopelessness, the anguish and lonesomeness caused by the burden of their sins.  Likewise, Jesus was aware of the unreasonable and unrealistic expectations their religious leaders (teachers) forced upon them.  They were people that were literally "scattered" and slated to be cast down or thrown out; people who were walking the path of life aimlessly with no direction whatsoever.  Jesus knew that these religious leaders were leading them into error and that they were shamefully neglecting their duties.  He was aware that they were performing their duties without heart, zeal or sincerity.  That is why He looked at the crowds with compassion.  

Today, we live under the same conditions.   Though many would out of a good heart preach the pure Gospel of Christ earnestly, many don't.  Sadly, many preach some measure of Truth but often do not preach or teach it boldly as they should.  Neither is there enough concern for the souls of men among them.  How many of those who know the Truth lack the zeal, love, and faith concerning Jesus and the power of His glorious Gospel to save souls?  

Jesus declared,
"My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’?  There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.  Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.  For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.  Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me all that I ever did.' So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days.  And many more believed because of his word.  They said to the woman, 'It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.'"  (John 4:34-42)

Oh, how we need to see the multitudes through the eyes of Jesus!  The way He saw them.  Sadly, many of us, Christians, sit on our beds of comfort ignoring those souls who are on their way to hell. Oh, Christian open your eyes to the world around you!  There must be more to this world than the things that surround us.  Arise and open your eyes!  Let us seriously take Jesus' words to heart.  Jesus never intended for us to be this way.  Jesus says that His food is to do the will of the One who sent Him.  Can we say that too?  Are we partaking of the same food He ate?  Are we living on what He lived?  What is the food Jesus was talking about?  
  • Soul-winning.
  • Seeking and saving that which is lost.
  • Saving the world that is full of darkness from the bondage of sin.
  • Finding the lost sheep.  
Christian, this is the work the Father wants us to do for Him; a work that we are neglecting to do!!

Indeed, the fields are white for the harvest.  We cannot afford to be idle, sit back and say it is the world's fault since they are too sinful and are not willing to obey and come to Jesus.  No! It is our obligation to teach them through the Gospel how to be saved from sin and condemnation.  If we don't, we are going to be accountable on the Day of Judgment.  

Knowing the immediate need and how serious it is to preach the Gospel of salvation to every man that they may not perish eternally, it is hard for me to observe how some who profess to be followers of Christ see the souls of those who are made in the image of God.  Why do I say this?  Simply, because they fail to lift up their eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest!!  Spiritual harvests to be reaped.  

There are so many good souls out there that are desperately searching and seeking the Truth. Souls that are waiting to be sown with the seeds of God's Word and righteousness.  Souls that are thirsty for the living water like the Samaritan woman who shared her faith with great joy to bring others to Christ.  Oh, complaint Christian, there is no time for us to waste in the salvation of men!  They are not going to live forever.  They will be buried perhaps without the hope of salvation.  You must reap at once, or they will be destroyed.  They are crying out, "We are perishing, will you let us perish?"  "Will you teach us the Gospel of salvation now?"  "Will you delay?"

I see many who confess to be followers of Christ but refuse to see the harvest as precious, as weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd; as perishing even though they are ripe for harvest; as a crop to be reaped and ready to be saved by the blood of Jesus.  They refuse to see the harvest through the eyes of Jesus.  I grieve because many souls die without knowing Jesus "and the power of his resurrection" that they may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death.


II.    JESUS SAW THE POTENTIAL OF THE HARVEST:  

"The harvest is plentiful."

When Jesus looked at the harvest (the world), He acknowledged that it was plentiful and pitiful.  Why?  Because He saw a multitude of lost souls all around Him.  He also recognized the main problem:  few laborers were working in His Father's fields!  

Jesus our Lord, who "ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.  He has given us the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."  (Eph. 4:11-13).  

Jesus saw souls that needed to be saved through His glorious Gospel of grace.  He saw a harvest that was ripe for the picking!  He saw the potential of the crop:  He saw souls that could be delivered from the bondage of sin; changed and regenerated beyond their lost condition; He focused not on the problem but the potential of the harvest.

Every day we see lost souls, sinners, all around us.  Lost in filthiness and lawlessness like lost sheep. Jesus saw them as lost sheep who needed a Shepherd to direct them; as sick souls who needed a Great Physician.  Therefore, we need to see the harvest through the eyes of Jesus.  Jesus wants laborers who will go down into the wheat.  One cannot reap wheat without standing close to the stalks.  He wants men who can move people's hearts, bringing them to Him.  Laborers who will walk among the stalks of wheat.  Workers who will cut the wheat down, casting it to the ground.  God wants workers who don't come with soft and delicate words, flattering doctrines, self-help, and earnest endeavors.  He curses such laborers.  God's servants must call a sin a sin as one would call a spade a spade.  The gospel is intended to wound the hearers, hurt their conscience, cut through the heart of men so that the soul might be separated from sin and self as the wheat is divided from the soil.  The sickle is made sharp so that it can cut. The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword.

In Matt. 9:35-38,  Jesus' disciples failed to see the people of Samaria as fields that were white for harvest.  By nature, harvesting is a slow process.  The Samaritans were pouring forth to come and see Jesus.  Jesus saw them as a harvest of souls who were thirsty and hungry.  Likewise, He saw them as souls planted with the seeds of Truth that were sown by the Samaritan woman. They were ready to develop and ripen and bear fruit by the power of the Gospel.  

So often, rapid harvests happen when one is sowing spiritual seeds.  Joy, satisfaction, and profit are the result of a good crop.  Those who sow and reap the fruit of the harvest receive everlasting wages according to their labor.  They will rejoice together as well (I Cor. 3:5-15).  Those who reap are blessed by those who have sown before them.  In John 4:35-42, Jesus’ disciples were about to benefit from those who had labored before them:  the prophets, John the Baptizer and all others who proclaimed God's message.

You see, the Jews of Jesus' day despised the Samaritans.  The Samaritans were the product of intermarriage between the Jews with the Babylonians, who were living in Israel during the time of captivity.  When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman (a sinful woman), He saw her not as she was but as a soul that needed to be saved; as a soul that was hungry for the food, He was offering her. Jesus' disciples were about to notice a rapid harvest of seeds of Truth which they had not sown themselves.  They would reap where they had not sown before and, of course, this was seen when the church was first established.  So often, we get discouraged by the lack of active and visible results. Jesus sowed with little results but later the apostles, as reapers, on the day of Pentecost gathered many souls in just one day; more than Jesus did throughout His ministry (Acts 2:41).  

Yet, those who obeyed were His and the work His disciples did in reaping the harvest was His as well.  An evidence of this if found in John 4:39 of those who believed in Jesus because of the woman's testimony.   Although Jesus came to His own people, the Jews, they did not receive Him (John 1:11), but the Samaritans did!  When Philip and the apostles preached the message of salvation in Acts 8:5, they were ready!  Jesus reached the heart of the Samaritan woman because she was hungry for the food He had to offer her.  And as a result of this woman's receptive heart, multitudes of people hungered for the same Truth.  Isn't this an incredible joy!  May our Lord help us to see the harvest through His loving eyes.


III.   JESUS SAW THE PROBLEM OF THE HARVEST:  

"But the laborers are few."

Few laborers were working in His Father's vineyard!  We have the same problem today!  Reaping the soul harvest is hard work indeed, and few are willing to do it.  Jesus in Matt. 4:18-22 called His disciples to follow Him and promised to make them "fishers of men."  Of course, this would require the fisherman to go and gather the fish.  Farmers know well that the harvest does not collect itself. They need laborers to gather in the harvest; doing the arduous and dirty work of collecting it.  The same is true in bringing souls to Jesus.  We cannot sit in our beds of comfort and wait for the harvest to reap itself. We must reach out to those who are lost.  We cannot sit and wait!  It is hard and dirty work, but it must be done if we want the harvest to be reaped.   

The harvest indeed is great, but because so few laborers are willing to work, the work will not get done that God wants to be done.  Oh, unconcerned Christian, this ought to shake us to our core! Have you no tears for the lost souls of men?  Are you not concerned that we are going to give an account of what we have been doing with our lives?  Surely, we are going to stand before the greatest Judge of all as wicked and slothful servants who are not worthy of Him.  Even more fearful, He will take away our crown of life and cast us into the lake of fire.  Take heed and think on this!!

So, if indeed we are true followers of Christ, we must desire to preach and teach His Gospel of grace to the lost.  If we don't, then we don't love the glorious Gospel of Christ since we are not passing it along.  Right?  Since we have the Good News to proclaim, we must desire to share it.  We must make mention of Him and His words of salvation to the lost.  How can we who possess the seeds of the Truth, the Gospel of salvation, be at ease while souls are dying without hope and going to hell? My heart is heavy and burdened!  My fervent prayer is for the Lord to send into the fields, sincere laborers who may yield a great harvest of souls for His glory.

As I look around me, I see scores of people, both men and women, going to hell without their Savior, our Lord Jesus.  It grieves me!!   And until we see our neighbors as souls that are scattered, distressed and weary because of sin with eyes of compassion like Jesus did, we are not going to lead them to the good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  It is vital for those who love our Lord and Savior to understand the significance of seeing everyone as a being made in the image of God; those who have an eternal soul that one day will have to give an account to their Creator for their deeds.  That is why it is crucial to commit oneself to plant the seeds of Truth when we speak to our neighbors regarding their relationship to Jesus our Lord.  Jesus did not look upon men as things to be despised but rather as precious souls even as wheat is valuable to the farmer.   

The fields are just ripe and ready for the crescent sickle.  Precious souls are decaying and perishing. It grieves the Great Farmer that it should be so.  God, our Father, loves the souls of men so much that He gave His only begotten Son to bleed and die that they might not perish, but have everlasting life. Therefore, lift up your eyes and see!  There is a mighty work to be done.  Preach the Good News of Jesus and His precious blood and teach men that whoever believes in Christ shall be saved.  I suspect many will hear you gladly!  Let not the grain perish.  The fields of standing grain are begging to be reaped.  Sadly, there are not enough reapers even though many lost souls may be approachable. What country in this world is not approachable to hear the Gospel preached by Christians with enough gumption, faith, and courage?  Countries in Asia, in Africa, in South America, in North America, all over the world are eager to listen to the Gospel with an open heart today more than ever. It moves me deeply!!!  The entire world lies open before the reapers of our Almighty God, but where are they?

Jesus wants workers who will labor intensely and not live a comfortable life of idleness or laziness.  An idle or lazy person has no right to the kingdom of our Lord, in His vineyard.  Why?  Because he is Satan's instrument in damning the souls of men. Laziness is a form of rebellion and selfish, self-centeredness.  The one who labors must proclaim the Good News of salvation.  But he must read and study to keep his mind sound.  He is to tell the Truth in a profitable manner.  Above all the laborer must put his whole soul into what he teaches that he may be able to stir up men unto good works.  We need such workers!  Laborers who will awaken the one who is asleep because of sin; laborers who will not promote creeds, doctrines of men, philosophies, and human reasoning but rather prick people's consciences with the Word of God, (Heb. 4:12).  

We need laborers who will make the lost aware of their dangerous condition before their Creator. We need workers, not idlers!  The kingdom of Christ is in desperate need of workers who are on fire. Therefore, we must pray for such workers to be sent to work the fields.  The harvest is indeed in need of good laborers who are willing to reap.  Laborers who will do Christ's work and not be ashamed.  Laborers willing to sweat at their job since nothing can be done in the harvest fields without hard work and the sweat of the soul. 

So, God sends laborers into the fields to gather more laborers, Christians who will edify others in the faith.  Alas, so many laborers (preachers) are scatterers, rending churches and souls to pieces.  Alas, many are lost because they are not taught the Truth, the message of the saving Gospel of grace. Many laborers seem to be more concerned about politics, the presidential elections, sports, our economics, complaining and being ungrateful for everything, slandering the authorities, refusing to give due honor to them, disobeying the Lord as well as displeasing Him, complaining about the mistreatment of their rights being violated and so on.   Why not preach Jesus and the power of His Gospel of grace to save souls? Go to the lost sheep and show genuine compassion!  Work together with zeal and enthusiasm in the kingdom of God.  When we focus on the salvation of souls, we will face ridicule and persecution. Accept it and embrace it!  After all, we are here to please God and not men (Gal. 1:10).  Oh, how we need laborers who will use sharp cutting sickles upon ungodly hearts!

Likewise, we have many laborers who seem to be more focused on being patriotic than being faithful to the kingdom of heaven. They appear to forget that patriotism does not equate to spirituality and the furthering of the glorious Gospel of Christ.  Many confuse our nation with the kingdom of heaven. American patriotism does not equate to godliness.  As Christians, we are not seeking after an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly one; one that has already been established and we must be willing to be in subjection to Christ.  Our love for Christ and His kingdom and the souls of men must move us to set our minds on things above (Col. 3:2) rather than being concerned about our earthly and temporal leaders.

Such laborers seem to forget God's Law that teaches that the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ surpasses all other civil authorities. God, the Father, has given Him all authority in heaven and earth (John 17:2; Matt. 28:18).  Therefore, Jesus is our Supreme Ruler.  He is greater than any authority here on earth (Eph. 1:21).  He is "far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come."  All authorities have been created by and for Jesus and He sustains them all! (Col. 1:16-17).  Therefore, Jesus is above every emperor, king, queen, president, and prime minister.  We Christians must submit to the authority of the earthly rulers in this present age especially since Christ is the ultimate authority (Romans 13:1-7).

We must understand that there is no authority given except from God and that those authorities that exist are appointed by Him whether we like it or not.  God has a role in establishing them.  God uses all nations as instruments to accomplish His will whether they are good or bad.  All civil authorities are God's servants, and we see it throughout the Old Testament when He used pagan nations to humble His people, the Israelites.  Today, God demands that each Christian submit to whatever government he finds himself under.  We are commanded to obey civil authorities rather than resist them.  To resist them (God's ministers) is to oppose God!  We owe this to our earthly authorities even when they are wicked.  Our love for Christ must move us to bow before Caesar, the civil authority established over us by God.  Our good works must shine before men that they may glorify our Father in heaven.

In other words, God alone is due our worship, love, and obedience, yet Caesar is God's established ruler over all things of a civil nature for us Christians.  It is easier to submit and honor a civil leader who is righteous, but Jesus commands us to submit to them and honor them.  We can disagree respectfully without being slanderous!  We do not have to like or approve of their political agendas to honor their office, but we must honor them since God has appointed them in that charge.  Honoring them does not mean to engage in their evil behavior even if they try to force us to commit sin (Acts 5:29).  Most Christians don't have a problem with obeying when it comes to paying taxes and complying with the government regulations.  Where they have a problem is with showing respect. Their attitudes and speech often communicate bitterness and slander toward their civil authorities.

Our brethren back in the first century had to endure severe persecutions from unbelievers and civil authorities, yet Peter exhorts them to submit and give honor to them (I Peter 2:13-17).  Nero, the Emperor of those days, murdered Peter and a great number of Christians by setting them on fire as torches, feeding them to the lions for sport.  If anyone understood the price of submitting to and honoring wicked civil authorities, it was Peter.   To reject or despise authority is ungodly (II Peter 2:10; Jude 8).  Jesus is another good example who did not despise authority when He was being beaten brutally and unjustly crucified by the Romans (Acts 8:32).  So, Christians must not speak evil of others.  Period!  Let the words of Ephesians 4:29-31 sink into our heart.

I am perplexed to see the behavior of many Christians on Facebook.  They utter all kinds of indiscreet foolishness about politics.  Instead of praying to God to give the earthly rulers wisdom in their judgments so they can govern with all righteousness, in effect, they slander and dishonor God.  Yes, when they complain and slander they are mocking God, who is the one who appointed them.  Why not pray for them that we may live in peace that we may have many doors to proclaim the Gospel of Christ unto all men?  This is agreeable to the Gospel rule:  "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way."

Truly, there is a great need for God's divine help for those who rule that they govern piously and that they seek Him.  It is such a tragedy when our government is godless, proud of heart and does not seek after God to direct their paths.  How can we expect a man to be guided, helped and blessed if he does not acknowledge God by whom "kings reign,  and rulers decree what is just."?  (Prov, 8:15).  

So, instead of being so occupied with railing against the authorities, talking politics, and complaining, why not get busy in teaching the Gospel to the lost? Such things distract from the kingdom of Christ and His vineyard, sowing and watering the seed of God's Word, leaving the results to God (I Cor. 3:6-7). Why not try our best to save souls?  The need to save souls is what ought to govern us.  Their needs are paramount. Our bitter behavior toward civil authorities angers God and brings reproach on us.  Let us be careful!  Some will not see heaven because of such conduct. 

Our Lord Jesus desires to employ laborers for His vineyard rather than forcing them to work for Him (Rev. 22:17).  He wants faithful, humble and sincere workers rather than lukewarm, proud, indifferent and selfish ones (Rev. 3:15-17).  Many souls are called through the Gospel (II Thess, 2:13-14) to come and enter God's vineyard as laborers, but unfortunately, few are chosen.  What does that mean?  It means that many are not willing to sincerely labor for the Lord and enter His vineyard under His conditions.  And although many might reject the Gospel message as foolishness, that still does not change the fact that God is long-suffering and compassionate and is seeking sinners who are eager, hungry and thirsty for righteousness to come to Him.

The Master of the vineyard is commanding His laborers to work in the field all day (Matt. 20:14). Our service is what counts with God and nothing else!  So let us labor faithfully and stop being complainers, "without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world," (Phil. 2:14-18).  Let us always remember that no one will be saved without God's Gospel of Grace.  Therefore, we must proclaim it!  Lest we forget, we could have done more!  And let us also remember that the laborer's work is never done in harvest until he sees the wheat housed and ready to be stacked and be put into a barn.  His toil is never over.  He never stops caring for the souls until they are saved. 


IV.   JESUS COMMANDS HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY FOR LABORERS TO BE SENT OUT TO HIS HARVEST, VINEYARD:  

"Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  


Since the laborers are few, Jesus commanded His disciples to pray for laborers.  We are also commanded to pray for the Lord to send them.  Our Lord Jesus cares a lot about the souls of men.  He does not want any soul to perish, but that all should come to repentance that they might be saved (2 Peter 3:9).  That is why we must labor hard to bring in the harvest.  Eternal souls are at stake. Jesus' heart is in the souls of men with love and grace (mercy, compassion).  

"The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made."  (Psalm 145:8-9).

The workers are called to labor at various times as in the parable of the workers of the Vineyard in Matthew 20:1-16. Throughout the Bible, the LORD refers to His people as a Vineyard.  He tended, pruned and watched it with love and delight. 

"For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness,  but behold, an outcry!"  (Isaiah 5:7)

The Landlord in this parable is the LORD of all creation, the God, and Father of our Lord and Savior.  He loves His harvest zealously.  God above everything is seeking us out in the slave market of sin.  Jesus said, 
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."   (Luke 19:10).  

God cares greatly about His harvest and desires that all His servants (those who have been redeemed) go to work in His vineyard.  Therefore, workers are indeed needed to do this service:  

"And He said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."'  (Luke 10:2).

Once we hear and obey the calling of our Lord, God's servants are commissioned to work in His fields.  Our Lord needs men and women who are willing to bring in the harvest.  We must see the souls of men like Jesus did:  plentiful, precious, perplexed and perishing.  He will reward us with eternal life according to what we have done in His kingdom (Rev. 22:12).  Jesus has well established the needs of the harvest, and He has told us what to do:  Pray!  Why pray?  Because God will not supply us with laborers, who will work for Him in His vineyard if we neglect to pray for them.  So who is to blame?

There are too many precious souls who are perishing every day because we are not praying, "Thy kingdom come."  It is vital that we start praying for God to send forth laborers for His harvest.  Yes, we are to pray to God because it is the LORD'S business!  Only He can send the right laborers to work in His vineyard.  It is His harvest, and He has every right to send whom He wills to work in His field.  Therefore, we are to pray continually to Him (the Lord of the harvest) for a supply of earnest laborers.  Take heed that the harvest be not ours but His!  And if the harvest perishes, it is our heavenly Father's harvest that perishes.  This ought to put a heavy weight on our soul!! 

As we begin to see the souls of men as Jesus sees them,  then:
  • We will start praying for the harvest. 
  • We will pray for the salvation of the lost.
  • For the church to be trainers of reapers.
  • For men and women to go into the harvest.  
  • Likewise, we will pray for workers, laborers, servants, and givers.  

But we must do more than pray.  We must take full responsibility for the harvest.  Think of all the souls with whom you come in contact every day:  family members, friends, neighbors, work associates, the woman behind the cash register, the school teacher, the guy at the car wash and dealer, our gym, our crafts and sewing class, facebook and all internet media.  The list is endless!!  The harvest must be our priority.  There is a great urgency to bring in the harvest.  Remember that the Gospel can only be Good News if it arrives on time.  It demands urgent action!  Our job is to tell all those lost souls the Good News of the Lord of the harvest, the Gospel.  If we don't go, who will?  Let us not be a people of silence.  It is a sin.  Let us not make the Great Commission into a significant omission.  There is so much to do; the harvest is so vast; the needs are overwhelming!  What can you do?

Hence, we must keep praying as often as our prayer is in our heart; as often as we see the need, that the fields may not rot before our eyes.  Let us pray for boldness to share the Gospel and reach out to the souls of men that they may know the goodness of God.  Let us compel men through the gospel to come to repentance.  The world is dying!  Hell is boasting, and yet we have the Gospel that is "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes."!  
  • Can it be that we do not care to win souls for the Landlord of the Vineyard?  
  • Can it be that we don't care whether men are damned or saved?  

May the Lord awaken us from our slumber, from our stony heart and make us care for them, pray for them and work for them until He sends forth laborers into His harvest!  May we never have to regret that we could have done more for God's harvest.


CONCLUSION:

We must see the harvest as Jesus saw it so that we may win souls to Christ effectively.  Jesus saw the harvest as lost souls dying and facing judgment (condemnation) eternally.  Jesus saw the harvest as plentiful, precious, harassed, helpless, hopeless, perishing and as a priority.  

Every day we see people dying, without Jesus and the hope of salvation.  Until we see their souls as precious, we are not going to lead them to Christ.  Why not commit ourselves to speak with at least one soul each day regarding their salvation?  Why not start being more focused on personal evangelism day after day, week after week, year after year?  What do you see when you see souls (friends, relatives, co-workers, classmates, etc.), crowds of people?  We must learn to see souls like Jesus does: souls made in God's image with an eternal soul who will one day give an account to the Judge of all.  Therefore, let us have eyes to see!  There are many sincere souls out there seeking and searching for the Truth.  Our focus must be on sowing and watering the seed of God's Word (wherever we can), letting God give the increase (I Cor. 3:6-7).  Are we doing that?  Are we trying to speak with someone about their soul?  It will help us to see people's souls as God sees them.  We are here to please God and do His will.

There are many lost souls everywhere.  Are you able to see them?  Are you doing anything today to teach them the Good News of salvation?  Are you wasting your time on something else rather than proclaiming the Gospel to the lost?

So let us start plowing in hope that we may be able to share in the crop (I Cor. 9:10).  The farmer that plows and threshes in hope will one day have the joy of reaping and partaking of his hope.  It is hope that moves the farmer to work the soil while he can.  Let us also sow in faith trusting our Lord to give us "rains from heaven and fruitful seasons" to produce a good crop.  "Faith sees a beautiful garden blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn."  Our faith is vital for our harvesting.  Faith is needed to plant a seed in the soil so that the Lord may multiply it (II Cor. 9:10-11).  Sowing the seed demands hard work and diligence.  Farming is not for the lazy or idler because it is hard work.  It requires the sweat of one's brow (Gen. 3:19).  Daily work is required "for it is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops."  Sowing also requires vigilance.  Not only does the farmer plow the ground to sow the seed but he also guards the crop, the harvest.  Many things can destroy the crop.  The farmer must carefully guard what he has planted. Otherwise, the harvest may be lost.  We must also sow in patience.  Farming requires patience, lots of patience.  And so is the harvest of souls.  Finally, we must sow in joy.  The farmer plants, plows, labors, watches, and waits so that he may reap.  When the farmer finally reaps or harvests his crop, there is great joy indeed.  The Psalmist says, 
"Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!   He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:5-6).  
Let these precious words sink into your hearts!!

As spiritual farmers today, we must plow in hope, sow in faith, work with diligence, guard in vigilance, and wait in patience. If we do this, we will reap in joy.  The fields are white for harvest and laborers to work it but the laborers are few.  Praise be to God for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the harvest!  The giver of eternal life and living water.  

We must pray to the Lord for open doors to present His Gospel of grace to the lost.  There are too many people and souls lost because we are not aggressive enough to offer them the saving Gospel message.  Many souls are seeking the Lord. They need to be encouraged to seek the right way.  I was one of those souls!  They need to be taught why they need forgiveness and what it means to be saved.  They need to be taught about heaven, hell and eternity.  They need to be taught the will of God.  We must pray fervently that we find such seekers.  What a joy it is when we find someone who is sincerely seeking to know the will of God!  Jesus said, 
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."  (Matt. 7:7).  

The one who is a sincere seeker will want to believe and obey the Truth and is able to understand it.

It is a tragedy that so many souls are being deceived by lies and that many souls will be lost as a result of all this.  That is why we must pray for the good laborers to be sent to work in the harvest of the Lord.  Laborers who will share the simple Truth about Jesus (the Messiah as the  Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world) and His requirements for salvation.

Therefore, we must pray for laborers who will preach Jesus, sin, condemnation and eternity rather than something else (false teaching, interpretations of prophecies, human philosophies, emotional experiences, etc.).  God has already done His part by making redemption accessible and possible.  He is inviting all sinners into His grace.  God in His providence makes every opportunity possible for each soul to be saved.  God provides all we need to be saved by sending our laborers to work in His vineyard. 

May we be like the Samaritans who developed a genuine faith in Jesus.  May we also be like the Samaritan woman sharing our faith with the lost, bringing them to Christ, the Owner of the vineyard. May we show commitment to His cause rather than complaining and disobeying Him.  May we live for Christ and learn that our chief goal in life is not self-gratification but the total commitment of one's whole being to do His will.  May we hold fast to the Word of life so that in the day of Christ we may rejoice that we did not run in vain or labor in vain, (Phil. 2:14-16).  Finally, may we pray for the harvest that He send forth laborers into His harvest to yield a great and mighty harvest of souls for His glory.


Luci

Send the Light by Charles H. Gabriel

There's a call comes ringing o'er the restless wave, "Send the light! Send the light"
There are souls to rescue, there are souls to save,
Send the light! 
Send the light!

Chorus:

Send the light the blessed gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light the blessed gospel light;
Let it shine forevermore!

We have heard the Macedonian call today,"Send the light! Send the light!"
And a golden off'ring at the cross we lay,
Send the light!
Send the light!

Let us pray that grace may ev'rywhere abound, "Send the light! Send the light!" 
And a Christ-like spirit ev'rywhere be found,
Send the light!
Send the light!

Let us not grow weary in the work of love, "Send the light! Send the light!"
Let us gather jewels for a crown above,
Send the light!
Send the light!
[Chorus]