Ripe for Harvest

Last night, I had a short talk with someone who talked about how, since he first gave his life over to Christ, all he’s wanted to do is share with other people and let others know how amazing He is. And that got me thinking, isn’t that what all of our lives should be about? I know that’s what I want my life to be about but I also know I don’t do everything I should to serve and share Him with those around me.

This morning, in my devotion, I came across Matthew 9:37-38 – He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” I’ll admit the reference to a field and harvesting here at first confused me a bit. But as I began to understand these verses, I was pleasantly surprised by what I was reading.

Jesus is referring to people as being ripe for harvest, meaning that many people are ready to turn their lives over to Christ, if only someone would show them what that looks like. So He tells us that we need to pray that God will call workers to reap the harvest, meaning that we’ll pray that more Christians will share their faith with nonbelievers. Something I think is important to remember though, if you’re praying this prayer for God to call more people to share their faith – don’t be surprised if He calls you. We should always be prepared, as Christians, to witness to others and help lead them to Christ.

I know, in my life, if it weren’t for two people in particular who, I believe, God had called to guide me to Jesus, I would have walked away from the church and never looked back. But God, knowing that and because He is faithful even when I’m not, called two people, my dad and my Celebrate Recovery sponsor, to serve Him and show me the Way.

My dad introduced me to his faith, he taught me what it was about, and showed me the unconditional love that goes along with it. I was angry at my dad and rensentful for his 23 years of absence, but God still called him to show me the way to the cross. All my early questions about why I should believe, what I should believe in, and who exactly Jesus was, my dad answered. He gently guided me to God’s Word and pointed me in the right direction. It is because of my dad’s guidance that I was led to get saved and baptized. He didn’t give up on me when I, literally, laughed at him when he told that Christ died and rose again for me and that He took the punishment for my sins. He kept trying.

Then there’s my Celebrate Recovery sponsor, next to my dad, she has done the greatest thing for me that any one person could do for another – she loved me through the pain of my recovery and showed me that I’m never too broken for Him to put me back together. She loved me through the shame and guilt of my past. She guided me to His Word when I thought I couldn’t keep going. She prayed for me and with me to make it through the toughest parts of my recovery. She didn’t give up on me or my recovery, even when she probably had every right to. But because of the love of Christ within her, she endured the journey with me even though it wasn’t easy – for that, I will be forever grateful.

My dad showed me how to turn my life over to Christ and my sponsor helped me learn how to, daily, turn my will over to Him.

My point is that if we want nonbelievers to believe and turn their lives over to Jesus Christ, then we need to be willing to share our faith with them and love them through the hard times. We need to be willing to step out of our comfort zones and bring Christ to places where His name has been rejected or misunderstood.

John 4:35 – You know the saying, ‘four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around, the fields are already ripe.

What Jesus is saying here is to stop making excuses. I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t go out of my way in some circumstances to serve others and share my faith because a part of me thinks that, that person(s) just isn’t ready to accept Christ. But that, my friends, is just laziness. Jesus tells us that people are ready to be harvested; all we need to do is open our eyes and look.

So let’s open our eyes. If our faith is as important to us as we say it is…then don’t be afraid to show it. What we are really talking about here, is the eternal life of the ones we love. Are we willing to leave that up to chance? Who knows, maybe you’re the one person God is calling to bring someone to know who He is and if you don’t answer the call, no one else will. Don’t be lukewarm in your faith.

Revelation 3:16 – But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

When we understand what He gave for us, we are willing to give all for Him. He came not to be served, but to serve. And that’s what He calls us to do. He wants us to serve one another with joyful hearts. What makes me joyful about serving, even when it’s something I’d rather not do, is remembering that in serving others I am actually serving Him.

I want to give Him my all because He gave me His. The transformations have already been great, but the best part is that He’s not finished with me yet. And if you think He can’t do the same thing in your life, you’re greatly mistaken. You are never too broken, there are never too many pieces, for Him to be able to put you back together and turn you into the masterpiece He created you to be. Finishing my Celebrate Recovery step study has placed a stronger desire on my heart to live my life for Him and to share His love , grace, and mercy with a world of broken people. Finishing my step study has taught me that if I want to keep all that He has given me, I need to give it away and not just when it is convenient for me. I’ve learned that God will use my biggest mistake/failure/heartbreak (whatever it is that has brought me the most pain in my life) as my platform to serve Him. And now, being set free of the guilt and shame I once felt, I am free to joyfully and lovingly do just that. It is my desire to dedicate my life to broken and hurting people. Why? Because He dedicated His life to me.

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