Friday, December 12, 2008

Wanted: Workers for the Harvest

We spend a lot of time - no, too much time - making sure that our homes have just the right decor, the right furniture, the newest and biggest tv's etc. We paint and wallpaper and repaint. We arrange and rearrange. We seem to think that is where our security lies and we tend to exist solely within those "four walls" we call our home. That is our comfort zone.

Truth is, God gave us a mission that extends beyond those walls. Let's look at the very familiar passage in Matthew 28:18-20. "Then Jesus came near and said to them, "all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

As Christians, we are supposed to do what we believe in. If we took this seriously and cared as much about the outside of those "four walls" as we did about the inside, people wouldn't have to wonder about whether God was real. They would SEE that He was real. They would see it from us.

In Matthew 9:35 it says "Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news...". You know what the first thing I noticed in this verse? That Jesus went to ALL the towns and villages. It didn't say that He went to the ones that would welcome him or the ones that would be the easiest to get to or even the nearest ones. It says all.

If you read on to verse 37, "then He said to His disciples, 'the harvest is abundant, but the workers are few'". The harvest is abundant. That means there are many people who need the saving Grace of our Lord Jesus. Abundant harvest means that we have a lot of work to do. Abundant harvest means that we won't run out of people to witness to.

But the next part is the kicker - "the workers are few". We KNOW this is true. How many people do you actually know that are working? It is not just the responsibility of a select group of people. Don't just leave it up to the preachers. It is up to ALL of us. We all need to have the compassion of Jesus and see the needs of people and see their weariness and see their hunger for SOMETHING! We, as Christians, have the answer to what will satisfy that immense hunger in their lives. But they will never know if we don't tell them. If we don't "go" they won't "know".

In Romans 15, Paul writes to the church in Rome asking for financial assistance so that he can continue on with his missionary work. He wasn't apologetic about it. It was just a necessary request in the natural scheme of things. He was willing to go and others had to be willing to make it possible. That's how it is today. We not only need to have a heart for missions, we need to have a mindset for missions and be willing to open our wallets and put our money where our mouth is! It takes money to reach others. We need to welcome the opportunity to give and do it cheerfully. It should be our privilege, our passion and our pleasure.

I have been on both sides of missions. I have given so others can go and I have been the recipient of gifts so that I could go. They are both rewarding. I challenge you to pick a country or nation and begin praying specifically for them. Pray for the people there to have exposure to the gospel of Jesus Christ and that it will create such a hunger in them for the Word. Pray that it will bring salvation to many. Let's go out into that abundant harvest and work! Let's put some feet to our faith. Let's work till Jesus comes.

In the Grip of His Grace,


Bee said...

Well, this certainly gave me pause to think. My daughter's best friend is a sophmore in college now, is being led to North Africa as a missionary. I support her in this and will do what I can to help her when she graduates. What I never thought to do, though, was to start praying for the North African people now! And supporting those missionaries who are already there.

Thank you.

Seeking Him, Megan said...

This post really hit my heart. First of all, I worry way too much about what other people think of my home. I run myself crazy trying to keep things spotless (and with 3 kids under 6, I emphasize the TRYING). But I should be running myself crazy trying to make sure everyone I know has recieved the saving power of the Blood of Jesus. Man, my priorities can get so out of order sometimes.

Armchair Housewife said...

Very thoughful post. I would say, though, that I am actually in a different stage in my journey with the Lord. For too long I have not cared nearly enough about the state of my home. Forget pain color, I haven't even worked at keeping my home in a good enough state of repair that I would wnt to have anyone in it.

And the lord has realy convicted me that He wants me to use my gifts of hospitality for His glory and as a worker in His kingdom and as such I have been spending much more time at home, trying to cultivate a clean, warm, inviting place for people to gather. Just the other night I had two single ladies who are missionaries in my home for a Christmas dinner, and one of them told me yesterday what a blessing it was, and how warm and relaxing my home was for them, and I was so thankful that God has been faithful in honoring my efforts to obey Him by giving me opportunities to bless others. And my neighbors, a gay couple living downstairs who don't know the lord, have so loved our Christmas decorations and the warm feeling my home is beginning to have, and have been stopping by much more often to hang out, more chancs to share the gospel with them.

i totally agree with you that we need to not get caught up in 'things', and the Lord has certainly admonished me to make sure I'm trying to be like Jesus, and not like Martha Stewart. But I would remind us all that scripture is quite clear, I believe, that for most married women their first 'ministry' is to be workers at home, to be loving to our husbands, caring for our children should we be blessed with them, and teaching younger women to do the same so that the word of God will not be maligned. (1 Tim 5, Titus 2)

And in the end, this is why it is crucial for us to be Holy Spirit led people. for some of us, the Lord will admonish us to be less stuck in a comfort zone of home, less focused on material things, and more outwardly focused. For some, though, He may be calling them to be in their homes more, and to make home a priority so that they may then be free to be a witness for HIm in whatever way He calls.

thanks for the thought-provoking piece!