“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…. behold, I am sending you.” (Luke 10:2–3, ESV)
Are you ready for a harvest? I know that I am. Often the Bible uses the metaphors of farming — planting, watering, growing, pruning, harvesting — to give us a tangible understanding of how things work in the spiritual realm. The metaphors of agricultural life were very relevant to the world of the Bible. That world relied on the diligent work of farmers for the provision of food and nourishment. Harvest was something that was always in view.
Yet, harvest doesn’t come without labor. Fruit isn’t reaped and enjoyed unless is it is properly planted, watered, and cared for. The delicate operation of gathering doesn’t yield a result apart from the energy and sweat of the laborer beforehand, and the good will of the Father above. So the equation goes: the farmers’ labor plus the Father’s sovereign blessing leads to a fruitful harvest. However, I am not talking about how to reap a bushel of apples come October. I am talking about reaping a harvest of lives redeemed from the pit of death to the kingdom of life.
Since you and I are not Father, and can in no way control the winds of the Holy Spirit’s operation and blessing, we need to think about our place in this Harvest Equation. Namely, we must labor for the “food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). We must do the work of a farmer (2 Timothy 2:6). We must plant, we must water, and we must rely on God to give the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6). All of this to say, we must go to work for the sake of the kingdom.
Let me put before you a challenge for this next month. Easter Sunday is the highest attended Sunday of any in the calendar year. One study has determined that one in five Americans are undecided about attending an Easter service, but are waiting for an invitation. The potential for the advancement of the gospel this month in our community is high, and so we must labor for the sake of the harvest.
Here’s a few ways that I want to invite you to labor for the sake of the gospel. Actually, they aren’t my suggestions, they come right from the leadership of Jesus. In Luke 10:2-3 he declares, “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…. behold, I am sending you.” Here’s how Jesus speaks of working for a harvest:
- Pray for a harvest - One means by which we labor is prayer. We are persistent and direct in asking God to save sinners (“pray earnestly!”). We pray for specific people to come to faith in Christ. We will have a prayer guide for you this Sunday to help you pray over the next month.
- Labor for a harvest - This is the where we must be intentional. We must invest in the lives of others, we must invite them into our community, to our worship gatherings, we must invite them to Christ! Again, on Sunday we will have some tools for you to be able to use to help invite others in this month, but we must go to work!
Friends, may we be compelled by the love of Christ to be laborers for the sake of the kingdom of God. May we go to work today for the sake of our lost neighbors, family, and friends. May God’s kindness and goodness wash over our community as people hear the gospel, respond in faith and believe in the one who conquered death on our behalf. Brothers and sisters, let’s labor for the Harvest!
Let me encourage you to invite others to join us this Sunday as we launch a new series: “Fear Not. Alive Forevermore.” Over this month we will be looking at Revelation 1:12-18 and seeing how Jesus is the Warrior-King who by his life, death, and resurrection has conquered all our fears. Sunday, I will be calling us to see Jesus, the Holy One whom we should fear. Our songs are available on Spotify to help you be ready to sing. Here’s what we are singing to the Lord together:
- Great Are You Lord
- Grace So Glorious
- Be Thou My Vision
- Restore My Soul
As we gather, let’s pray, seek, long and eagerly seek to see the Lord at work this weekend!
For the Social Folks…
One last thing, if you use social media at all (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) it would go a really long way to help us connect and encourage people if you leverage your social network for the sake of the gospel. Here’s a few ways to do that:
- Like And Share posts from our Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram. It just helps people know we are here.
- Check-In on Facebook when you attend a worship service. Communicating where you are on Sunday mornings is a means of raising curiosity and awareness of Woodside to your network of friends and family.
- Invite Others to follow our pages and to our posted events.
All we want to do is make our message (the good news of Jesus) and our love available to as many people as possible in our area, so “labor for the harvest” through social media too. If you’d like to use some graphics for our current series for cover images on Facebook, or profile pictures please feel free to download and share those images.
I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday, and laboring with you for the sake of the gospel this month. Let’s pray and work towards a great harvest!