Sermon PastorBryon October 6, 2019
Today we are starting a series called, It’s Harvest Time. Over these four weeks I would like you to seriously consider how you can increase your reach for the lost and hurting, how you can be used by God to further His kingdom. Not only that but what is our church doing to be a beacon of light in our community? Of course we are having our Community Feast and I believe God is going to use it to touch lives however, we can’t be an organization who sometimes reaches out to our community, it has to be part of who we are, consistently and continuously. God instructs us to meet physical needs first as a means to meeting spiritual needs. That’s why we go into nursing homes and prisons, we clothe and feed people. What are you doing? What is Community Church doing to meet the needs of people in our community ongoing? Within our community our churches provide a free health clinic which meets a huge need, there are several food pantries, but not much else in the way of everyday structured outreach or resources available ongoing that the community knows is available to them.
Sam Childers is a recovering addict and former outlaw biker from Pennsylvania. On his release from prison, he finds that his wife has given up her job as a stripper, because she has since accepted Christ as her saviour. Initially infuriated by his wife’s decision, he returns to his routine of partying and using drugs with his fellow biker friend. One night while on a bender, he almost kills a homeless man. He is shaken by the experience, and the day after allows his wife to persuade him to go to church with her, where he eventually turns his life over to Jesus.
Sam soon finds a stable job as a construction worker and later starts his own construction company. Later, on he goes on a mission trip to Uganda to help build homes for refugees, he asks one of the soldiers watching over them to take him on a trip to the north, to Sudan. The soldier warns him that it is a war zone, but upon Sam’s insistence they go. They arrive at a medical tent in Sudan. As the soldier moves off to talk to some people, Sam is roped in by a female doctor to help lift a lipless Sudanese woman onto the examination table. That night as they lay on their beds at the relief station, they hear noises outside, and when they look out, Sam and the soldier see large numbers of Sudanese children swarming around to sleep outside the building.
The soldier explains that their parents send them to sleep over here because it is safer than staying in their own village. Sam wakes up the children and gets as many as he can fit to sleep in their room for the night. The next day Sam and the soldier follow the children back to their village only to find that the LRA has burnt it down and killed their parents. One of the children runs after his dog and is killed by a hidden landmine. Sam cradles the dead child and cries, the experience traumatizes and changes Sam. After returning home, Sam has a “vision from God” and decides to build an orphanage for the children of South Sudan. Sam went on to dedicate his life to serving the Lord at whatever the cost.
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?”
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?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
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?”
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish 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! 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.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 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.”
Three Things We Can Learn From These Scripture
- THE HARVEST IS “NOW (John 4:27)
John chapter 4 tells the story of a Samaritan woman having an encounter with Jesus. He had been traveling with some of his disciples and sat down by a well to rest just outside of a city while his disciples ventured into the city to get supplies. When they returned they found him having a conversation with this Samaritan woman and their a bit surprised.
The encounter with this Samaritan woman changed her life and she went away as a believer. However it left his disciples somewhat perplexed but provided Jesus a teaching opportunity. They didn’t know it was time for church. They thought it was me time and time to take care of themselves and their own needs.
1 Peter 3:15 says, In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
- OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE THE HARVEST (Mat 9:35)
Many Christians have become blind to the suffering around them or just plain apathetic. Meaning unconcerned or not interested, hard hearted.
Verse 35 says, Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
Jesus wants us to see the harvest because it’s now, it’s all around us. Look at the suffering of others and acknowledge it.
When Jesus looked at the people in Matthew 9:36 it said 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
That should be our response to the suffering and the lost and the hurting of people around us of people in Buchanan, people in Daleville, people in Roanoke, People in Virginia, people throughout the world!
The 8th chapter of Jeremiah describes the state of his people as being lost and hurting. It compares them to those who have a disease with the cure right in front of them but they refuse to take it. The prophet Jeremiah is broken over the suffering of his people. We should be broken over the condition of this world. Not standing in judgment as self righteous Christians but motivated by the lost and suffering to come along side of them and bare their burdens.
- THE LABORERS MUST BE SENT (Mat 9: 37-38)
This was Christ’s response so many years ago concerning the harvest, pray for people to work the fields. We are to continue praying that same prayer because the harvest is so great but remember too that we are the answer to the prayers of others for laborers.
Remember Isaiahs response when God asked the question, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us? He said, “Here am I, send me”.
The world is in desperate need for us to stand in the gap for them, to leave the comfort of our own homes and seek them out. Romans 10:14 reminds us, “How, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone sharing the Gospel with them?
The harvest is at hand, open your eyes and see it because we are the laborers needed to work the fields.