They Will Thank Us For Sharing The Gospel

February 16, 2016

Friends,
The weather has been wonderfully cooperative for witnessing this month down at the bus and train stops. Many people thank me (and thank my mom too when she goes –like when she went last week and passed out the 300 or so beautiful Valentine treat bags she had made). Frequently we hear statements like, “Thank you so much for doing this!” or “Your message is so true and much needed!” or “It is inspiring that you are out here encouraging people.” Yes, truly the fields are “ripe for harvest” as Jesus has told us (John 4:35), and when workers go forth, it inevitably motivates others to do so as well.

This was the food Jesus ate –harvesting “the crop for eternal life”. (John 4:36) Did He not say, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work” (v. 34)? Then it should be our food also –to do our part in gathering souls into Christ’s Kingdom. Jesus has told us that He is “the Bread of Life” (6:35), that He is the food we must nourish ourselves with if we want to possess eternal life. (v. 53-58) Thus we must eat (do / obey / abide in) all that He is –the God who is the Word, the Spirit, the Truth, the Love, the Compassion, the Power, the Gospel.

Yet Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Mt. 9:37 // Luke 10:2a) In other words, there is an abundance of people ready to hear the Good News, to hear how to turn from sin, to hear that there is freedom available, and to believe in the Leader who gives us His own divine power and Spirit by which to walk a new, victorious life. But the workers are few.

And yes, Jesus calls them “workers” / “laborers” / “servants” –which means they work, they labor, they serve, they act, they do, they carry out deeds. Can anyone put their “hand to the plow” (Luke 9:62) in “service in the kingdom of God” (same verse) and not understand that plowing is work? Indeed it is work done in the inspiration and power of God (Eph. 2:10 & 3:20 // Phil. 2:13), but nevertheless, it is work! It is effort. To step out to plow is clearly our own choice to obey and make the effort, for although God does give us His command, guidance, and mighty power, He does not force us or move us like robots. We do have the choice to rebel. And many do.

“Go!” Jesus tells His workers. “I am sending you out like sheep / lambs among wolves.” (Mt. 10:16a // Luke 10:3) “Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Mt. 10:16b) Is this a contradiction? No. It is Christ’s counsel to us that we need to be ready to use either attitude / position, depending upon the circumstance, the people we encounter, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Jesus in Mt. 9:38 and Luke 10:2b) Are we asking, praying, petitioning the Lord who is Sovereign –the Lord who is able to intervene, to motivate, to train, to woo, to speak, to empower– that He send out more workers? God has decreed that He works through the prayers of His people, as well as through the rest of their obedient efforts. Are we praying? Are we training ourselves to participate in the Great Commission? Are we going out? Are we diligently striving, on a constant basis, to obey Christ in all that He has commanded us to do? Or are we sitting back and saying as some do, “Oh, when God wants me to go out, He will tell me.” No! God has already told everyone to get involved. Let’s ALL do our part. Then, most certainly, here on earth, and later in eternity, there will undoubtably be many who will tell us, “Thank you!”

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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