It’s Harvest Time

Posted: January 18, 2015 in John
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John 4:27-42, “It’s Harvest Time”

When it’s time for harvest, it’s time for work.  Believe it or not, fruits and vegetables don’t magically appear at Brookshire’s or Walmart.  Farmers spend their lives on a seasonal rotation, sowing seed, tending, watering, caring, and ultimately waiting upon the Lord, all until the time that it’s time to harvest the crop.  At that time, it’s all-hands-on-deck, and everyone works until the work gets done.  Without a complete harvest, farmers go out of business or (far worse) starve.

It was harvest time for the disciples, and it’s harvest time for us.  We’ve been given a window of opportunity not only to come to faith in Christ for ourselves, but to help others come to faith.  We don’t know how long the opportunity is going to last, so we need to work while we’ve got the chance.

Our text picks up in the middle of a conversation, and it’s important to remember the context.  Jesus had previously been engaging in a ministry of baptism (via His disciples) in the region of Judea, and news about Him was beginning to spread.  He had not yet begun His Galilean ministry in earnest, and He headed north to do so.  Instead of taking a longer route around Samaria, Jesus took the shorter road straight through (apparently at the direction of God – this was something He “had” to do), and stopped in a village to rest and get some refreshment.  The disciples left Jesus to go purchase some food, and Jesus rested at a historical well originally built by the Hebrew patriarch Jacob.

That’s when He encounters a woman of the town.  She had come to the well alone (which was unusual), and Jesus initiated a conversation with her (which was even more unusual) by asking for a drink.  In the end, it was Jesus offering the woman something far better than well-water: living water that would bring everlasting life.  He quenched her skepticism by gently exposing her past and her current sin, and she immediately recognizes the hand of God on His life.  She asked Jesus about the difference of worship between the Samaritans and the Jews, and Jesus responded about a new time & new age that was dawning just at that time in which the true worshippers of God would worship Him in spirit and truth.  This kind of teaching sparked in her mind the possibility of Jesus being the long-awaited Messiah, and Jesus responded in no uncertain terms that was exactly who He is.

We can easily imagine the woman’s excitement at this.  Try to put yourself in her shoes for a moment – you’d be bubbling…bursting at the seams!  You just learned that the Man you’ve been speaking with for the past few minutes is exactly the Man that you’ve been told about since you were a little child.  This is the Man that you read about in the Scriptures.  This is the One you’ve been waiting to worship…and you’re speaking with Him.  That’s huge!  What would you do?  These days, you’d tweet it, post a selfie with Jesus on Instagram, and plaster it all over Facebook. J  The woman did the only thing she could do, and ran into town to tell everyone she met.  This news was too good to keep to herself – everyone could have the same experience she had, if only they came out to Jesus.  So she went to go tell them.

That’s the essence of evangelism, and that’s what Jesus goes on to teach the disciples.  Everyone had the opportunity to meet Jesus, and the time was right for them to do so.  There wasn’t a minute to waste; it was harvest-time.

John 4:27–42
27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”

  1. So Jesus has just told the woman His identity.  In answer to her hope of the coming Messiah, Jesus said “I am” – just as God gave His name to Moses.  We don’t know if any more was said at that point…remember the Scriptures give us an accurate record of the things that were said, but they are not transcripts of every word that was said.  It’s just as likely nothing at all could be said.  The woman had been quite talkative before, but this is the kind of news that would leave anyone speechless!  In any case, the disciples walked up just at that moment, and the whole conversation came to a close. 
  2. The disciples were quite surprised to see Jesus speaking with her, and for obvious reasons.  Culturally, rabbis rarely spoke to any woman in public – not even their own family members.  To see Jesus speaking with a woman (particularly this Samaritan woman) was quite shocking, though they knew better than to question Jesus about it.  They still had much to learn about Him, but they were beginning to learn already that Jesus didn’t always follow the cultural norms.  Jesus didn’t always act according to their expectations.  His plans were bigger than their own, and He knew what He was doing even if it didn’t make any sense to them.  At the very least, they knew that Jesus was greater than them, and they weren’t about to question His actions.
    1. For all the flack that we sometimes give the disciples as we read about their lives in retrospect, this is something that they did that is far better than many of us.  How often do we start complaining to God when things aren’t going according to our expectations?  How many times do we have the gall to even question if God knows what He’s doing?  Of course He knows – He’s God!  His plans are far better than our own.  His ways may surprise us from time to time, but they’re HIS plans, and God knows what’s best.
    2. The specific thing that was shocking was how Jesus broke the cultural norms.  Samaritans were despised, yet the Jewish Messiah was speaking with a Samaritan.  Women were to be silent, yet Rabbi Jesus was talking with a woman.  Jesus does break those kinds of cultural barriers, and He does so without apology.  There is not a man or woman alive on this planet who does not need the salvation of Jesus Christ, no matter where they came from or what they look like.  The worst of the Islamic terrorists still need the gospel.  The most hate-filled racist still needs the gospel.  Think of the individual person in your life that makes you the most uncomfortable – the one that makes you squirm just thinking about him/her…that person needs the gospel of Jesus Christ, too.  Jesus puts up no boundary to the gospel; neither should we.

28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

  1. The disciples arrive, and the woman leaves.  They basically just cross paths.  Their arrival was apparently just what was needed to shock this woman back into action after her speechlessness, and she went back to town from the well.  Apparently, she left in a hurry because she left everything behind.  Earlier, it was Jesus who didn’t have a leather pouch with which to draw water; now it’s the woman who didn’t have the pot she used to collect the water that was drawn.  She had come to the well for her daily routine, and she left with faith in the Lord Jesus.
  2. As she goes into the city, she starts telling everyone she met about Jesus.  It’s not that she gathered a crowd & started preaching, but seems to say it to anyone who would hear.  (BTW, “men” doesn’t necessarily mean she told only males – it’s a generic term speaking of people, though it can be specifically male depending on the context.  Here, the context is general.)  In the process, she becomes the first evangelist among the Samaritans.
  3. We tend to make evangelism so complicated & scary, but notice how simple it is.  The Samaritan woman (1) told the people about Jesus, and (2) invited the people to see Jesus.  First, she told them about Jesus.  She told them what Jesus had done in her own life, and how He had supernaturally known everything about her past.  Secondly, she invited them to see Jesus.  To truly know what she was talking about, they had to experience Jesus for themselves, and she told them how to do so.  That’s the essence of evangelism!  Go tell people about Jesus, and invite them to know Him.  It’s just like when Andrew brought his brother Simon Peter to Christ.  Andrew was so excited to have met the Messiah that he ran to his brother, told him about Jesus, and brought Simon Peter to see for himself. (1:40-42)  That’s no different than what the Samaritan woman did.  Evangelism is just telling people about Jesus, and telling them how they can know Jesus.  It doesn’t have to be complicated – it doesn’t have to be a system – it just needs to be biblically true and personally sincere.

30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

  1. The result?  They came!  Surely not everyone in the city came out at her invitation, but some did.  And consider this: those “some” would never had known about Jesus if the woman hadn’t gone to them.  The whole revival that was sparked in this Samaritan town took place because this one woman took the initiative to go into the city by herself and start telling people about Jesus.  The well was on the outskirts.  There, Jesus had water & the disciples had brought them food.  The group could have easily continued travelling north once they received enough rest.  The only reason they stayed two days (vs. 40) was because the townspeople urged Jesus to do so.  And the only reason the townspeople were there was because of this one woman.
  2. God can do amazing things through a single individual…but we need to be willing to be used.  We need to make ourselves available to God.  Many times that means taking a simple step of faith and telling someone else about Jesus.  Too often, we try to make evangelism to be a passive thing.  We’re more than willing to tell someone about Jesus if they come up and ask us about Him.  As long as someone approaches us, we’re happy to talk and share the gospel.  Unfortunately, that’s not usually the way it works.  Evangelism is active; not passive.  We engage in evangelism when we take the initiative and go.  We need to be willing to go!  For some, that means travelling halfway around the world – for others, it means walking next door to our neighbor.  It may mean going to a part of town we don’t normally go in order to hand someone a jacket & offer to pray with them.  It might be handing someone a gospel tract, hoping to spark a conversation.  Maybe it’s inviting a friend to coffee with the intent of sharing Jesus.  Whatever it looks like, it’s intentional.  It’s us taking the initiative to share Jesus with someone else.  We’re not to wait for Billy Graham to come walking down our street; we’re the individuals God desires to use right here.  God WILL use us…all we need to do is be willing to be used.

31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”

  1. John will come back to the woman and the townspeople in a minute, but for now the scene changes to focus on Jesus and the disciples.  Remember that they had originally gone into the city to get Jesus something to eat, and now they had brought it back.  No doubt they were all famished after a long day of walking the roads of Judea and Samaria.  Yet it seems that Jesus wasn’t eating the food that they had obtained.  They “urged Him” to eat, and it seems that Jesus’ mind was somewhere else at the time.

32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”

  1. Jesus’ reply was pretty strange, seeing that it came from someone who didn’t even have a leather pouch to dip in the well and get a drink for Himself.  (As an aside, why wouldn’t the disciples have left a pouch with Jesus?  You would think that if He was at a well, they might have left Him a way to get a drink.  Yet that was exactly the opportunity Jesus used to start a conversation with the woman.  Perhaps what was a forgotten detail by the disciples was the sovereign plan of God at work!)  If Jesus didn’t have a water cup, how did He have food?  What food did Jesus have that the disciples knew nothing of?
  2. It’s a logical question for the disciples, but it goes to illustrate that their focus was on material things.  Apparently whatever shock they had from seeing Jesus with the woman was quickly forgotten.  Whatever questions they may have had about the His conversation with her were ignored.  There had been a spiritual work going on right in front of them, and the disciples were missing out on it because they were focused on lunch.
    1. Have you ever been so lost in the details of something that you missed out on an opportunity from the Lord?  God might be doing something you haven’t previously planned…keep your eyes on Him so that you don’t miss out on what He’s doing.

34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

  1. Jesus takes them out of the details and back to the bigger picture.  He clears up their misunderstanding of the material things and says that He’s speaking of spiritual things.  Jesus found His satisfaction & sustenance doing the “work” of God.  It’s not that Jesus didn’t need any physical sustenance – after all, it was possible for Jesus to get weak from hunger, just like anyone else.  But Jesus’ own physical needs and comforts were not His top priorities.  He found far more satisfaction doing the will of God than by eating lunch.
  2. Do we?  Don’t misunderstand – there’s nothing wrong with taking care of physical details.  There’s nothing wrong with providing for ourselves or for our families…those are good things to do.  But what has the higher priority in our lives: serving God, or seeking comfort?  Keep in mind that the specific will of God was different for Jesus than it is for us.  He alone was sent to die for the sin of the world; God has given us different roles and ministries.  He has called us to be parents, friends, disciples/disciplers, and more.  Think of the responsibilities that God has entrusted to you: are those things your top priorities, or do you more often find yourself seeking your own comfort?  If there is one thing that the typical American Christian has in abundance, it’s leisure.  Rest is a necessary thing, but too much of it can be lethal.  Comforts are nice, but they can easily become traps & snares.  At least one thing is the same between God’s calling for Jesus & God’s calling for us: He has called all of us to serve.  How are you doing it?  How are you taking part?
    1. Keep in mind, it’s not limited to a church building.  To be sure, we (like any church) need people willing to serve, and there’s no limit to the areas that need willing hearts.  But a church building is not the only place that we are called to be Christians.  How are you serving as a Christian parent?  A Christian boss/employee?  A Christian steward of your resources?  We spend far too much time trying to be comfortable & finding the easiest way of simply existing in life.  It’s far better for us to be busy serving God, doing His work!

35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

  1. It was an agricultural economy, and Jesus often used farming analogies as He does here.  What Jesus quotes isn’t Scripture, but seemingly a local proverb.  The whole idea is that people know when to expect the harvest.  When seed is planted into the ground, it’s done so with the expectation that eventually it’ll sprout and bear fruit that needs to be gathered.  When the harvest comes, there’s no time to sit around – it’s time to get to work.  You have to get the work done while you have the chance, or the crop will surely perish in the field.
  2. The spiritual principle: it was harvest-time!  There was no time for waiting around or attending to other things.  They could have their lunch or dinner later, but they had a harvest opportunity right in front of them.  We can easily imagine the sight of the Samaritan townspeople on their way to see Jesus in their typical white/beige tunics & other garments.  Jesus tells the disciples to look up, because the harvest was right in front of their eyes.  Like wheat grains in the fields that whiten when ripe, so were the Samaritans ripe for the gospel.
  3. We don’t have to go to 1st century Samaria to find a harvest.  Look around you: it’s harvest-time!  Right here, right where we live, the harvest opportunities are abundant.  There is work to be done, and the time in which we have to do it is growing short.  Think about it: our culture is as lost as it has ever been. 
    1. Atheism is one of the fastest growing “faiths” among our young people
    2. A whole generation finds little to no value in the church, and even among “committed” Christians, church attendance is rapidly falling.
    3. Our culture is Biblically illiterate.
    4. Morally, our culture is in a tailspin.  Violence is exalted – abortion rates are sky-high – fornication is the norm, in all its forms.  (Fornication = any sexual activity outside of husband & wife.  Homosexuality, adultery, sex out wedlock, pornography – all of it is at an epidemic proportion.)
    5. If there was ever a culture that was in desperate need of the gospel, it’s 21st century America!
  4. Question: “If America is so lost, how can we say that the harvest is ripe?  Isn’t it harder now to share the gospel than it ever was?”  There’s no doubt that it’s more difficult to share the gospel in our culture today than it was 40-50 years ago.  But difficulty isn’t the issue.  Harvest-time isn’t determined by the ease of the job; but by the urgency of the moment.  It’s not easy to harvest cotton, wheat, or too many other crops.  There’s a lot of labor involved with it, no matter what the growing season was like.  But no matter what labor is involved, the crops have to come off before it becomes too late; there’s an urgency in the season.  Beloved, the times are urgent!  We look around the world and see multitudes of indications that we are living in the last-days.  We are awaiting the soon return of our Lord Jesus, and we don’t have a moment to waste.  But even beyond that, we can think more simply.  It’s been said that 150,000 people die every day.  That’s almost 2 people per second.  2 people…2 more people…2 more people…  How many of those people know Jesus?  Even if we weren’t living in the last-days according to the plan of God, each 24-hour period is the literal last day for 150,000 men, women, and children.  Times are urgent.
  5. For the disciples of Jesus, they had urgent work to do, and they didn’t even know it.  In their case, people were ready to come to Christ (and they were literally coming to Christ, walking to Him at that very moment), and that very week might be the only time in their lives that they would ever hear the name of Jesus, much less hear Him for themselves.  If the harvest work wasn’t done now, then when?  Eating could wait.  Comfort wasn’t important.  People needed to be saved, and this was the time.  This was the opportunity.
    1. We have far more opportunities than we possibly are aware of.  Are we willing to do the work?  Are we willing to be used by God for His glory & for the eternal salvation of others?  When Jesus later saw the multitudes in Galilee, He was moved with compassion for them, recognizing that they were scattered like sheep having no shepherd.  Matthew 9:37–38, "(37) Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (38) Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”" .  It’s harvest time & workers are needed!  Will we pray?  More importantly, will we be willing to be the answer to that prayer?  God will send workers, and He’s not looking to the world; He’s looking to the Church.  He’s looking to us.
  6. The harvest may be difficult, but there is joy.  Vs. 36…

36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’

  1. There are “wages” for the harvest worker.  What are they?  First of all, they are NOT salvation.  Salvation is the gift of God as an act of His grace.  Salvation is not earned; it’s received.  That said, salvation isn’t the only thing to which we look forward in heaven.  There is also heavenly treasure that we will receive at the Bema Seat (judgment seat) of Christ.  Upon the foundation that we have in Christ, we build upon our salvation with the very works we do for the Lord Jesus.  The things we do after we become Christian are things that will be judged by Jesus.  Anything we do that is unworthy will be burned away like wood & straw (never to be remembered again), but the things we do that have eternal value will be revealed as good, silver, and precious stones (1 Cor 3:12-13).  Those things will serve as reward to us in heaven.  Apparently, taking part in the spiritual harvest is one of the things that builds into this reward.  There aren’t too many places in the Scripture where God promises wages (in terms of blessing), but this is one of them.  Why wouldn’t we stock up?  Accrue as much as possible!  There’s no way to take any material wealth with us to heaven, and it’s ironic that we spend so much time and effort trying to accrue it on earth.  But we can send spiritual wealth ahead, and it’ll last for all eternity.  Make a spiritual investment & share the gospel!
  2. Note that the one “who reaps” isn’t the only one to rejoice.  It’s also the one “who sows.”  We think of the joy someone has when they see a person come to faith in Christ, but that’s not the only time to rejoice.  We can rejoice when the seed of the gospel has been sown.  There are many people who get discouraged just sowing seeds.  You might faithfully share the gospel with person after person, but rarely (if ever) see a conversion.  Don’t be discouraged.  You’re still sowing the seed, and you’re still building up spiritual treasure.  Who knows how many people have later come to faith with whom you shared Jesus at one point?  It’s quite possible that when we get to heaven, we’ll finally see our “spiritual lineage,” and rejoice in the many people of whom we played a part in their own coming to faith.  We may not know the results of our efforts today, but we can rejoice that God is going to use every single seed that we take part in sowing.
  3. That’s the key: remember that God causes the growth.  Paul made this point to the Corinthians (shortly before teaching about the Bema Seat), in trying to deflect attention and division that was creeping in among the church.  1 Corinthians 3:6–8, "(6) I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. (8) Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor." .  There are many workers, but there’s only One who causes growth.  If God gives you a ministry of sowing one day, and reaping another day, rejoice.  If God gives you only a ministry of sowing, rejoice.  God is the One who brings growth & increase; those are the things left in His capable hands.  When we get discouraged in evangelism, it’s because we’re trying to take that role to ourselves, and we can’t.  Don’t put pressure on yourself for the things that belong solely to God.  It’s our job to faithfully testify of Jesus; it’s God’s job to convert the individual.
    1. God is sovereign over all things, including salvation.  How it all works together is a mystery, but we know at least this much: God calls us to harvest, so we go harvest.  God tells us to share the gospel, so we share it.  God calls upon people to choose to repent & believe upon Jesus, and that is what they do.  And still, God is over the whole process.  We have full responsibility to act according to God’s command, but God never stops being sovereign & omnipotent in all things.  The point: be faithful to what God has given you, and don’t burden yourself with what He hasn’t.  Share the gospel & point people to Jesus.  Let Jesus bear the burden of saving them…He’s the only One who can.

38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

  1. Whose labor had gone before the disciples?  Most likely, Jesus is referring to the OT prophets & saints, and perhaps even John the Baptist.  The disciples weren’t ministering in a vacuum; God had used other people to help prepare the way.  The Samaritans had obviously heard of the Messiah prior to Jesus’ arrival, which is why the woman specifically asked about the Messiah (1:25).  Jesus’ conversation with her was simply the next step.  Now the disciples had the opportunity to enter into those labors.
  2. It’s no different among the world today.  The word of God has gone forth, and is working.  God is working even in areas never touched by missionaries, and when Christians do arrive, they are still entering into labors already begun by God.  We’re all laboring in fields sown by others, and that’s OK because it’s all God’s field!  The moment we start thinking that it’s all about us and our particular congregation, we’re in trouble.  The work we do is for Jesus’ kingdom.  It’s HIS gospel – HIS kingdom – HIS salvation.  Praise God that Jesus allows us to work in the labors of others, and allows others to benefit from our labors.  All the glory belongs to God, anyway.
  3. All of this has been said between Jesus and the disciples as the local townspeople were on their way.  Now they arrive, and John goes back to what happened with them.  Vs. 39…

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”

  1. Many “believed” – they came to faith.  Remember the chronology of all of this.  Jesus had performed one miracle in Cana (which was mostly unknown), had cleansed the temple in Jerusalem, and had engaged in a brief ministry of baptism – but the bulk of Jesus’ travels and works were yet to come.  His ministry was just barely getting started.  Here He is in Samaria, and already people are coming to faith.  And they are Samaritans.  These Samaritans believed in the Jewish Messiah before most of the Jews even recognized Jesus on the scene.  (Which goes to show how Jesus is the Savior of Jew AND Gentile, something affirmed in vs. 42).
  2. Why did they believe?  Initially, it was because a sinful scandalous woman testified of Jesus.  Her testimony caught their attention, and they had to find out more for themselves.  This woman had probably been marginalized by her community, having been married five times & now living out of wedlock with another man.  And yet she was the one telling people about Jesus, inviting people to meet the Messiah.  Who would have thought that God could use someone like her?  But He did…wonderfully so.  Who would think that God could use someone like you?  But He will…no doubt about it! 
    1. Share your testimony – tell someone about Jesus!  You might not think you have much to share, but you’re wrong.  Everyone’s testimony is unique because we all came from different backgrounds and encountered Jesus in different ways.  You may not think you’ve got a testimony worth sharing, but’s guaranteed no one has a testimony quite like yours, and God can use it in powerful ways.  How might God use your testimony to bring someone to faith?  You’ll never know if you never share it.
    2. Note: in sharing her testimony, the woman didn’t spend her time detailing all of her sins of the past.  She didn’t try to embellish anything or draw attention to herself.  Her past sins were just the vehicle for pointing people to Jesus.  It didn’t matter if they knew all the details of her past; it only mattered that they come hear Jesus.  Testimonies aren’t about us; they are about the salvation & grace of Christ.  Be sure to keep the main thing the main thing…and the main thing is Jesus.

40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.

  1. The woman’s excitement about Jesus was contagious!  They came out of the city to Jesus, and once they heard Him for themselves, they wanted to hear more.  They couldn’t get enough, and they “urged” Jesus to stay with them.  The disciples had urged Jesus to eat; the Samaritans urged Jesus to remain & feed them…which Jesus gladly did.  Most Jews avoided Samaria, and if forced to pass through, traveled as quickly as possible.  Jesus remained “two days” more.  Jesus promised never to cast out any who came to Him in faith (Jn 6:37), and that included even the Samaritans.
    1. That includes us, too.  Do you want to know Jesus?  He will abide with you when you believe upon Him.  There is none that is “too lost” to be saved by the grace of Jesus.
  2. The Samaritans had initially believed upon Jesus when they heard the woman’s testimony & invitation, but more believed when they heard Jesus for themselves.  They heard “His own word” – His own testimony about Himself, and they came to faith.  The word of God saves, and we see it in action here.
    1. Again, evangelism is just taking people to Jesus.  He’s the One who will do the saving.  We just need to take people to Him & get out of the way!

42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

  1. They say the same thing to the woman, affirming that now she isn’t the only Samaritan who believes, but they do as well.  They had personally experienced Jesus, and that was enough to cause them to have faith.
  2. What was it they came to believe?  That Jesus is “the Christ, the Savior of the world.”  This wasn’t just the Savior of the Jews; this is the Savior given by God for all the world.  Far more than a Jewish king or Roman Caesar, or any other ruler who might claim that title for Himself is the actual true Savior – the One who would truly save us from our sin and give us everlasting life.
  3. That’s the experience the Samaritans had, and that’s the experience we need.  We need that personal experience.  Testimonies of others are good, but no one is saved through someone else’s testimony.  All a testimony can do is tell someone of Jesus; it’s the Lord Jesus & personal faith in Him that saves.  No one is saved second-hand.  You’ve either personally believed upon Jesus, or you haven’t believed upon Him at all.  Christians have an active faith in the living God.  We have experienced this for ourselves.  Have YOU?  Psalm 34:8, "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" .

It was harvest time, and the harvest was plentiful!  First the Samaritan woman had faith born within her, and no sooner had she come to faith was she already participating in the work herself.  She had become a laborer in the harvest, having barely met the Lord Jesus.  On the other hand, the disciples who lived day-in & day-out with Jesus didn’t see the harvest work that was right in front of their eyes.  They almost missed out on the wonderful work of God because they got lost in the details of the moment.

Beloved, God is still doing a wonderful work around the world, and right here at home.  It’s harvest time.  How are you participating?  It’s too easy to fall into the traps of our routines, getting caught up in details of our plans rather than seeking the plan of God.  It’s too common to seek our own comforts, rather than prioritizing the service God has for us.  Be challenged to spend time in prayer this week, not only asking how God might use you in future opportunities, but asking God to open your eyes to the opportunities He has already given you.  What can you be doing in your families – in your workplace – in your daily routines, etc., to point people to Christ?  With whom can you share your testimony so that someone else might meet Jesus?  The harvest time is right now.  We haven’t a moment to lose!

If you don’t have that sense of urgency, perhaps you need to spend some time asking for it.  Ask God to help you see people the way He does.  Every single person you meet is a person that God knit together in their mothers’ wombs.  He knows them all intimately & individually, and loves them immensely.  And yet without Jesus, every one of them will spend an eternity in hell because of their sin.  Jesus died to save them from that…they just need to be told.  WE can tell them, if we only take the initiative to do so.  We need a holy fire, and that will be given to us when we ask our Holy God.  Ask.  Ask for boldness & purpose & the desire to be used as God would see fit.  Ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit for the power to be the witness Jesus has always wanted you to be.


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