Laboring in the Harvest Matt. 9:37-38 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We need to be laboring in the harvest. In order to labor in the harvest God’s way we need to be involved regularly in the following work:
Praying – Matt 9:38 – the Lord said, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest” – the first thing the Lord told us to do is to pray – I have noticed that the people God uses in the harvest are the people who pray – it’s from the people in our Wednesday night prayer meeting that the Lord gets his laborers – in a mission church we helped decades ago, the men gathered for prayer on Saturday mornings and once a month on Friday nights – God blessed the harvest abundantly – those who were praying are the ones who were harvesting.
Laboring – Matt 9:38 – the Lord said, “that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” – the next thing is that you need to be laboring – God doesn’t use idle people – you don’t get called if you aren’t doing anything [Matt 20:6 is an exception] – the people who are laboring for the Lord are the ones who get to do more in the harvest – in our church I have noticed that the people who have been here to help with anything that needs to be done are the ones the Lord sends into the harvest to work for him.
Training – 2 Tim 2:2 – Paul said, “the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the some commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” – you need to be faithful and you need to learn – I have noticed that the people who are eager to learn are the ones who get sent by the Lord because they are equipped – we have a man out of our church who is currently pastoring another church – we spent years training him – now he is teaching others.
Giving – 2 Cor 9:6-7 – Paul said that to reap bountifully you have to sow bountifully – and then he said, “God loveth a cheerful giver” – the people who give the most are the ones who are the most burdened for the lost in the harvest – they are the ones the Lord sends to work in the harvest – he knows their love and commitment to do a good job in the harvest by how they have given – they don’t enter the harvest for what they can get out of it but for what they can put into it – they are careful with other men’s souls – they take care of the vineyard.
Sowing – Jn 4:35-38 – “one soweth” – there won’t be any reaping if there has not first been sowing – sowing is to some degree easier than reaping because in sowing you are simply putting out the word of God any way that you can – you are simply being used by the Holy Spirit to deliver the words of God to those who need them – this work can be done by passing out tracts, scriptures or scripture portions [Ps 68:11], by witnessing [Acts 1:8] and by preaching [Mk 16:15] – those who get sent into the harvest are often those who have been sowing faithfully and bountifully.
Reaping – Jn 4:35-38 – “another reapeth” – reaping in the harvest can be a bit more difficult than sowing [although we can do neither without the Lord Jn 15:5] – in reaping you have to check regularly on the seed that has been sown to see if it is ready to harvest – you have to be wise and attentive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that you don’t harvest seed that is not ready to be harvested [a soul who is not ready to be saved] – you may need to water and cultivate, instead – reaping is constant work – just like mowing your grass if you stay out of the harvest too long you may find that it has gotten away from you – you have to keep at it all the time.
Discipling – Matt 28:19-20 – this is the necessary work of teaching new converts the Bible so that they can grow – I have noticed that as people get more involved in the harvest they usually become teachers – they disciple individuals and God often uses them to teach a class [they aren’t roped into this work by men, rather they are set in this duty by the Lord] – they teach the words of God to help those who come to Christ to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: If we are going to be laboring in the harvest the way God wants us to then these are the things we need to be about doing as the Lord leads us and as we surrender to his leadership in our lives – men who are involved in these things often end up being called and sent by the Lord into the full time ministry in some capacity.