If you know me well, then you know that I often quote Matthew 9:37 ... The harvest is [indeed] plentiful, but the workers are few. And verse 38 is what my soul and spirit cry out for ... So pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Do we fully understand the implications of these important verses? I ask because I discern that it is vitally important [in these days] that we be diligent workers in the Lord's vineyard for an abundant harvest.
The Bible has a lot to say about harvests, and John 15 makes it very clear that Jesus is the true Vine and the Father is the Vinedresser. What does that mean for us as followers of Christ? First, we need to understand the principles of growing vines and the duties of the vinedresser. Here's what I've discovered about the responsibilities of this important role: the vinedresser takes hold of the vine and entwines it on a trellis to keep the air flowing underneath the vine so it can bear healthy fruit. This technique improves the flavor and color of the crop. He also removes individual leaves to increase the amount of sunlight on the grapes. The vinedresser must determine which leaves to remove and the right number of them. His goal is to produce a healthy and bountiful harvest.
But there's even more work to be done -- sometimes it's necessary to prune the branches of the vine in order that it bear more fruit. We know that Jesus says if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit. But He also cautions us that if we discontinue being fruitful, we will be pruned [lovingly disciplined] so that we may bear even more fruit for His Kingdom. What does that mean, exactly? There is no clear-cut Scripture that describes what bearing fruit looks like, but it is my opinion that we bear fruit for Jesus and the Kingdom of God when we look like Him; when we live a righteous life; when we put the needs of others before ourselves; when we point people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and our role as citizen ambassadors of Heaven on earth. There is evidence of fruitful lives when the love and strength of Jesus shines forth from us.
You see, we are made to have a harvest of righteousness! That includes both sowing and reaping! And the righteous seed is sown from a heart that puts God first. When we make God [and His purpose for our lives] the top priority, we will find that we are given everything we need in all things at all times -- both for the good works we will produce [for the Kingdom], and the seed we will produce to sow into another's works. Righteous seed that is sown, begets more seed to sow. When you are generous in sowing, you will reap a bountiful harvest!
And all this talk of sowing, reaping, and harvesting leads to the most urgent need of mankind on earth ... to be set free from the bondage of the kingdom of darkness so that they can step into their true identity in the Kingdom of God. And that Kingdom is present on the earth today. It has not been fully realized yet; that will happen when Jesus returns and rids the world of evil. But the Kingdom is here, NOW! And when Jesus began His ministry, He announced that He was bringing His Father's Kingdom with Him, and had restored and returned our God-given dominion over the earth. Furthermore, He is sharing His power and authority to defeat wickedness, sorrow, and the lies of Satan [in our lives] so that we might do the same for others.
It is my greatest honor to partner with Jesus in continuing the work He did to diminish the kingdom of darkness on the earth, and to grow the Kingdom of God. When we are able to help one person have a spiritual encounter with Jesus, and the false and dirty veil [that Satan has kept secure] is removed from their spiritual eyes, they see the truth of who they really are to Jesus and what He has planned for them to sow and reap. And I promise you all of Heaven rejoices! The power of Jesus [in me] supplies all that is needed to set up that encounter for the person, and there is a harvest of joy, peace, and renewal that is reaped in the life of a beloved child of God. It truly is a matter of "Once I was lost, but now I am found; was blind, but now I see"!
It is so clear that Satan has been sowing his discord, torment, lies, and afflictions into the world for over 2000 years. He has reaped a harvest of misery, suffering, false identity, and trauma -- in the lives of Believers and nonbelievers alike! The evil that is growing in the world seeks to overcome all who stand in its way. But God is seeking a spiritual harvest in the hearts of men! But our hearts must be cleansed and plowed for the Lord. Our hearts must be tended, weeded and pruned of inferior growth. They must be fertilized and watered with the Word. And from our sanctified hearts, we are able to sow the knowledge of the Lord into the lives of people who desperately need Him. With hearts that mimic His, Jesus is able to work through us to sow encouragement, hope, and the promise of Eternity; reaping a harvest that will ultimately change the world into Heaven on Earth. Until that triumphant day, I want to continue to sow righteousness in my life; producing fruit for the Kingdom and yielding a harvest of immeasurable souls for the glory of the Lord!
Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.