Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)
Living In The Midst Of Bounty
There have been few countries as blessed as the United States. From sea to shining sea the bounty of America’s crops have fed millions an abundance of produce in both this country and the world abroad. It is not hard to see the incredible blessings of the rich land the American dream was built upon. Grocery stores are filled every day with shelves teeming with goods. Fuel is always available, malls and department stores bulge with thousands of selections and few people do not enjoy the technological advancements of cell phones, computers, internet and a vast array of amazing toys for men to dabble with. Unlike many nations in the world, the United States is a world of unending opportunities.
A greater harvest awaits the work of men that has nothing to do with the physical blessings of the land. Imagine for a moment a land filled to the brim with fields upon fields of grain and few people working the fields to reap the bounty. Millions of people are starving. Millions more are dying. The irony is the answer to the famine is found in the fields gleaming with ripe grain and yet few workers are found working in the heat of the day. In some parts of the globe, diligent workers are busy working in the fields finding those who hunger for the lifesaving grain and saving their lives. A sad reality is the workers of the one who planted all the grain are so often found idly sitting by without harvesting the crops. People are dying daily who needed the grain to live but no one took the time or effort to help.
Jesus was not speaking of a physical harvest when He looked upon the multitudes that followed Him. His compassion led Him to proclaim the stark reality of the world. Millions of people die with no hope and so often, the reason is the lack of workers in the field of souls. Multitudes spend their lives like sheep without a shepherd. The fact remains the harvest of lost souls is abundant but the ones willing to labor in the field of teaching others the gospel is few. Little has changed over the two thousand years Jesus spoke those words. Few are working diligently to bring others to Christ. For many, evangelism is waiting for the lost to walk in the church building and then after attending for a few weeks will suddenly – on their own – decide to obey the gospel. On rare occasions this will happen but only rare. It is like fisherman having a weekly convention hoping the fish will jump into their boat so they can proclaim they are doing the work of the Lord. The laborers are few and remain so.
There are lost souls all around our lives. How often do we make an effort to glean the harvest of those who are our friends, co-workers, families and sometimes strangers? There is a plentiful harvest but few laborers. Jesus emphasized an important part of the work of evangelism. There are many things to pray for but one thing most needful is to spend time praying about the work of teaching others the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fields are teeming. Workers are needed. It is work. Let there be no doubt. The rewards are eternal. Now that is a great story.
The gospel is not a secret to be hoarded but a story to be heralded. Too many Christians are stuffing themselves with gospel blessings; while millions have never had a taste. (Vance Havner; 1901-1986)