ONEprayer Devotion – Day 3
IT’S TIME FOR HARVEST
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 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. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour.”
In this Scripture, the disciples had just returned from buying food in town at Jesus’ request. While he waited for them by the well outside town, Jesus had a powerful spiritual conversation with a Samaritan woman. Her brief dialogue with Jesus left this lady rushing back to town convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. It was the kind of interaction that made Jesus spiritually alive. He had seen God work through his obedience and he wasn’t hungry any more. You’ve probably had a similar experience. You’ve stepped out on a limb and God has moved in power. There’s nothing like it. It beats a good meal any day.
Then Jesus goes on to quote a saying: “It’s still four months until harvest.” Bible scholars have no idea where this saying comes from. There’s no sign of it in any other literature, but then that’s understandable if it was a local saying. No historian is going to record a village proverb quoted by simple Galileans. It probably originated with homegrown farmers describing the break they had between the planting and nurturing season and the harvesting season. Once the crops were growing well, they knew they had four months before the hectic work of harvesting. So the saying probably meant something like, “Lighten up. We have plenty of time. We don’t need to rush things.”
Maybe that’s how the disciples saw the ministry of Jesus. They were in Samaritan territory where they didn’t even have a calling to mission, so there was time to catch their breath. There was no urgency. They had sowed some spiritual seed and seen God at work, but whatever they believed Jesus was going to do to fully establish his kingdom seemed to still be a long way off. “It’s still four months until harvest.”
Jesus’ response was, “Just open your eyes and look at the spiritual opportunities. This is not the time for having a rest.” From Jesus’ brief conversation with an outcast woman at the well, a bunch of Samaritans were already heading out to the well from town ready to put their faith in Jesus. This was not the lull between planting and harvesting. God’s kingdom was already on the move. The harvest was being reaped.
There certainly are sowing seasons when we just have to be faithful as we love and serve our not-yet-Christian friends with very little obvious fruit. That’s fine. But we don’t want to confuse the seasons. It would be sad if we were patiently sowing seed when we should be reaping a great harvest. We need to “open our eyes,” take them off ourselves, and look at the fields. What is God saying? What is God doing? How much spiritual hunger is there? If it’s harvest time, let’s get out there and share the gospel asking God to do miracles and calling people to follow Jesus. It’s time to bring in the harvest. Let’s get on board with what God is already doing.
But don’t get carried away with the results we will see. As Jesus points out to his disciples: “Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour” (4:38). As we see God drawing many to faith, we praise him for those that have served and shared and prayed before us. As harvesters, we’re standing on their shoulders.
READY FOR HARVEST STORY:
GIN GIN BAPTIST
Gin Gin is a very small Baptist Church of around 20 people about 370km on the highway north of Brisbane. For over 20 years it has continued to serve the community through the faithfulness of the local Christ followers and outside visiting speakers. All along, the church members have been committed and faithful in praying for revival.
Greg Carle and his wife Gwenda accepted God’s call to Gin Gin in the second half of 2022 and God is at work in exciting ways. New people are coming to church regularly and last Sunday they ran out of communion cups for the first time. But the best thing of all is that they have found out that the baptistry leaks.
After years and years without any baptisms, a young guy indicated that he wanted to be baptised. The week before the baptismal service, Greg told the congregation that if anyone else wanted to be baptised, they should bring along a change of clothes to the service. That Sunday three people were baptised. It was a day of great rejoicing.
There is a growing expectation of the power of God to change lives and grow his church. The embers of God’s fire are burning in Gin Gin. And we will have to get our baptistry fixed!
PRAYER POINTS FROM OUR MOVEMENT
Please pray for a harvest of teenagers in our area. There are many teenagers here without Christ, with some walking past our church morning & afternoon on the way to and from Cleveland High School.
Cleveland Baptist Church
That we would have a passion for prayer and the lost and be bold in sharing the gospel.
Coolum Beach Baptist Church
The God will continue to lead us, individually and as a church, into our region, to work with Him in growing His kingdom.
Longreach Baptist Church
That God will raise up more leaders with a commitment to the local church here at FCBC.
Fraser Coast Baptist Church
Through this campsite and the interactions with all staff onsite, that people’s lives will be changed because of the LOVE they feel from God, that they will be REFRESHED and experience a REAWAKENING of their love for Jesus Christ.
God, we want to see Revival in our time, in our generation. You’ve done it before, would you do it again? Jesus, would you fill our church with those searching for you, draw people close to yourself, send us out with boldness and courage to shine your light in our world!
Gateway Baptist Church
For a Church property in our suburb.
Forest Lake Baptist Church