[SW064] 10/21/12 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2012
“It’s Time For the Harvest”
I began with a word from You, Lord. The fields are white, but the workers are few. The workers are few.
So I went to John 4 — the Samaritan woman at the well. The fields are the world, for these did not know Christ and were lost.
But You said You wanted me to look at another field, one that might surprise you who are listening today or reading this blog entry.
It’s time for the harvest . . . look at the field with me!
Matthew 9:35-38 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “ The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
The harvest is plentiful. Where was He looking? About whom was He speaking?
The Jewish people. God’s own people. That’s who He came to first (Matthew 15:24).
The Gentiles would come later, though He ministered to them from time to time while He was here in the flesh.
At the time Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, He had twelve disciples. Was He simply referring to them as “few?” Or does He also mean it for today?
I look on the field, the same field. It’s the church.
Most are just as those who attended synagogue in Jesus’ day: distressed and dispirited sheep.
And some churches are dying.
There is much distress, much harassment, the people have lost hope.
Just as Jesus saw, so I see, among God’s own people.
The shepherds have not healed the sheep (Ezekiel 34:4, 6, 9-10).
The prophets have prophesied falsely (Jeremiah 23:21-22). God did not send them.
God’s people do not know where to turn.
They are in muck, miry clay, in the pit of destruction (Psalm 40:2).
Many churches are built on sand instead of the Rock, for they and their leaders have not acted on Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7).
There’s no solid place to stand. (Matthew 7:27).
Wind and rain and floods are coming and many will be swept away! Great will be the fall of churches built on sand!
There are plenty of people in the pews of some churches, but few workers.
Many of those Christians who are active, who have ventured outside the church walls, are not working God’s works.
What are God’s works? Jesus tells us:
Matthew 10:7 “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘ The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”
That is not happening in the church now. The sheep are distressed, they don’t know where to turn. Doesn’t it make you weep? Don’t you feel compassion, a moving of your inward parts for those who are distressed and dispirited? Do you see them? Are you one of them?
Enter Jesus! Enter Father! Enter Holy Spirit!
Behold, O Lord!
The siege ramps have reached the city to fully possess it, and the city is given into the hand of the Babylonians who fight against it! Why?
Because the people have been weakened by sword and pestilence and famine, just as You spoke to them, because they did not repent, they did not see their inner twistedness and rebellion and ask you to change them.
Babylon (today’s world system) has built a siege ramp and is about to breach the walls and fully possess the church. (See Jeremiah 32:24-25)
It looks hopeless! You have said to me, “Pray!” I beseech You, I plead with You for Your church! I weep for her.
I know nothing is impossible for You, but look at what’s happening!
And You say, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (See Jeremiah 32:27)
All over this country, there is a remnant, those who have given themselves to the Lord, His true disciples, those who listen closely to His voice and hear Him.
He has placed you like a chess piece, exactly where He needs you to be when the sons of God are revealed!
Jesus says to all those who are His true disciples, His remnant, those who have continued in His Word and know the truth and have been set free, “Pray!”
The harvest is plentiful, large, abundant. There are many distressed and dispirited ones. Do you see them with me?
You are blessed if you do, for He has given you His eyes to see. You are the remnant chosen by His grace, our eyes opened because of His great mercy.
Pray, says the Lord! Pray to the Lord of the harvest!
He is our Boaz, and we are His Ruth, O remnant!
He is our Kinsman-Redeemer!
He is King of the harvest. He is over it. He is above it.
He is the Authority. He is the Master. He is the Owner of the harvest.
He will have a church glorious, filled with His kabod, His glory, His magnificance, spotless, blameless, without wrinkle! (See Ephesians 5:25-27.)
He lifts the sheep without a shepherd! He lifts them out of the miry clay and sets their feet on the Rock! Pray!
In the Father’s great plan, He calls on His own children, those who see the harvest and have His compassion for the lost ones within His Son’s own church, to bring in that harvest.
Pray. Beseech Him, plead with Him, beg Him. Storm His throne, do not let Him rest until He makes His church glorious, until He makes her strong once again, full of His love and power and grace, His ministers flames of fire!
Pray and He will send YOU out, just as He sent the twelve.
Psalm 126:6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
A shout of joy to us who weep for the church!
A shout of joy for us who go to and fro with the seed of God’s word!
We will come again to Him, bringing the sheaves with us!
What instructions will He give you?
Again, Matthew 10:7-8 — Preach, saying the kingdom of God is at hand!
Heal, raise, cleanse, cast out. Freely you have received; freely give.
You will be, in the house of God, sheep in the midst of wolves.
Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
They will hand you over to their courts and scourge you.
They will say you are of the devil. But don’t fear them.
There’s just one requirement for the ones who feel His compassion, who see the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, who see the distressed and dispirited ones.
Matthew 10:37-39“ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 “ He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”
That’s where the rubber hits the road, dear ones. If you are His remnant, you easily identify yourself with these words of Jesus.
The love of God, His actual love, is poured out in your heart to overflowing (Romans 5:5). That love is central to who you are.
You love your family, but your love for God is your very being, far higher. Because His love has filled your heart, you are able to love your family as you ought — with His love, and in His order.
You are filled with His Spirit, having given all to Him, having gone to your own Calvary and said, “Not my will, but Thine be done!”
You have considered your old life as nothing, because You have found Christ and His eternal life is abundantly within you! You are ready for the harvest!
But if you cannot easily identify yourself with this verse:
Will you follow Him to the cross, and ask Him to crucify you so you die to all you are so He can live in and move through you?
Will you go to your own “white funeral?” (thanks to Oswald Chambers)
Will you give up all of your treasures to seek the One who is the only true Treasure? Will you sell all for Jesus, the Pearl of great price?
Then you will find His life, abundant life.
And He will set you to praying. And He will send you out into the field of the church. And you will return rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves, the bundles of wheat, the harvest from the pews!
He will be in you, in charge, and will be with you until the end of the age.
Are you willing?
He will give you His eyes so you can look! And you will see that in the church, it’s time for the harvest!