Father, You are Lord of the harvest.
Send out laborers into Your harvest.
And I ask that You send me to help, too.
Focus of the Month: “A Plentiful Harvest”
Harvest. The word invokes all kinds of pictures in our minds: Mature fields. Barns overflowing. Storehouses full. Grain bins stocked. Fruits and vegetables abound in plenty.
Harvest produces nutritional sustenance for families, towns, countries – the world. When the fields are ripe and the fruits gathered, excitement abounds as the assurance of survival is secured.
In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus 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.”
In this passage, Jesus isn’t talking about the fields of grain and fruit. The plentiful harvest Jesus refers to is the people ready to be gathered into the Kingdom of God. Jesus had spent the previous days and weeks teaching the people, proclaiming the gospel, and healing every disease. The people of the towns and villages had heard the good news and had been healed. Seeds of truth had been planted in their hearts, and miracles had watered those seeds, producing the growth of their faith in God. The hearts of the men and women and children were ready to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior – to enter the Kingdom of God.
Jesus instructed His disciples to pray that the Lord send out laborers – workers – into the fields of harvest.
We see this same account in Luke 10:1-3. However, in Luke’s story, Jesus appoints His followers to go out two by two into every town to prepare the way for Jesus. Again we hear Jesus instructing them not only to pray that the Lord send out workers into the fields, ripe for harvest, but also for them to “Go.”
What does that mean for us? First, like the disciples, we are to pray that God send out the laborers into the fields of the world to tell the good news. Next, we are to help prepare the way for Jesus. Finally, we – ourselves – are to go out into the world – into those fields – to share the light, love, and hope of Jesus Christ.
Not one of us can reach everyone in the world with the news of Jesus. Yet, we are to go to the ones in “our world.” God wants our help – not just in prayer, but in action. We are His hands and feet in the earth. We may plant the seeds of truth in some lives. We may water the seeds another planted. We may pray for others going out into the world with the message of Jesus, believing for the signs and wonders that follow the truth of His word.
Regardless of our position and role, God needs our help. We are each commissioned to pray, to prepare the way for Jesus, and to go into the world – into the fields. For how long do we need to do this? Until the fields are ripe and white and ready for the sickle to be thrust in to reap the bountiful harvest for the Kingdom of God.
Today, pray for the workers in the fields of the world – working to increase the Kingdom of God. Help prepare the way for Jesus, and share the truth of His life, His light, His love wherever you go. Grow the fields in the world, that they increase in preparation of the Great Harvest!
Holding Fast to Hope,