THE HARVEST IS RIPE BUT THE LABORS ARE FEW
(MATTHEW 9:36 38)
In lesson one, we concluded with this question; “WHAT IS YOUR MISSION?” Let us understand this teaching in the light of the mission that God has given to all believers, he says, “Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [a]into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you [b]all the days ([c]perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. [d]Amen (so let it be). (Matthew 28:19-20 AMP)” This passage of Scripture is known as the great commission. It is your command from Jesus to go into the world and help bring about salvation to God’s people. THE HARVEST IS RIPE BUT THE LABORS ARE FEW. Understanding your mission in this life is a critical component to fulfilling your purpose that God has given you.
Pause now and click on this video and allow your mind to be bathe in the thoughts of what God is sharing with you. Then continue to read study and meditate on the third precept of the Compassion God has for all his children.
III. What, then, is implied in really obeying this precept?
1. A sense of personal responsibility in respect to the salvation of the world. No man ever begins to obey this command who does not feel a personal responsibility in this thing which brings it home to his soul as his own work. He must really feel, “This is my work for life. For this I am to live and spend my strength.” It matters not on this point whether you are young enough to go abroad into the foreign field, or whether you are qualified for the Gospel ministry; you must feel such a sense of responsibility that you will cheerfully and most heartily do all you can. You can do the hewing of the wood or the drawing of the water, even if you cannot fill the more responsible trusts. An honest and consecrated heart is willing to do any sort of toil — bear any sort of burden. Unless you are willing to do anything you can successfully and wisely do, you will not comply with the conditions of a prayerful state of mind.
Another element is a sense of the value of souls. You must see impressively that souls are precious — that their guilt while in unpardoned sin is fearful and their danger most appalling. Without such a sense of the value of the interests at stake, you will not pray with fervent, strong desire; and without a just apprehension of their guilt, danger, and remedy, you will not pray in faith for God‘s interposing grace.
I stand before you boldly and preach this truth to those of you who have ears to hear, Indeed, you must have so much of the love of God — a love like God‘s love for sinners — in, your soul, that you are ready for any sacrifice or any labor. You need to feel as God feels.
He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him might not perish. You need so to love the world that your love will draw you to make similar sacrifices and put forth similar labors. love for souls, the same in kind as God had in giving up His Son to die, and as Christ had in coming cheerfully down to make Himself the offering, each servant of God must have, or his prayers for this object will have little heart and no power with God. This love for souls is always implied in acceptable prayer, that God would send forth laborers into His harvest. I have often thought that the reason why so many pray only in form and not in heart for the salvation of souls, is that they lack this love, like God‘s love, for the souls of the perishing.
Acceptable prayer for this object implies confidence in the ability, wisdom, and willingness of God to push forward this work. No man can pray for what he supposes may be opposed to God‘s will, or beyond His ability or too complicated for His wisdom. If you ask God to send forth laborers, the very prayer assumes that you confide in His ability to do the work well, and in His willingness, in answer to prayer, to press it forward.
The very idea of prayer implies that you understand this to be a part of the divine plan — that Christians should pray for God‘s interposing power and wisdom to carry forward this great work. You do not pray till you see that God gives you the privilege, enjoins the duty, and encourages it by assuring you that it is an essential means, an indispensable condition of His interposing His power to give success. You remember it is said, “I will yet for this be inquired of by the House of Israel to do it for them.”
Again, no one complies with the spirit of this condition who does not pray with his might — fervently and with great perseverance and urgency for the blessing. He must feel the pressure of a great cause, and must feel, moreover, that it cannot prosper without God‘s interposing power. Pressed by these considerations, He will pour out His soul with intensely, fervent supplications.
Unless the Church is filled with the spirit of prayer, God will not send forth the laborers into His harvest. Plainly the command to pray for such laborers implies that God expects prayer, and will wait until it be made, The prayer comes into His plan as one of the appointed agencies, and can by no means be dispensed with. Doubtless it was in answer to prayer that God sent out such a multitude of strong men after the ascension. How obviously did prayer and the special hand of God bring in a Saul of Tarsus and send him forth to call in whole tribes and nations of the Gentile world! And along with him were a host. “The Lord gave the word; great was the company that published it.”
Honest, sincere prayer implies that we lay ourselves and all we have upon His altar. We must feel that this is our business, and that our disposable strength and resources are to be appropriated to its prosecution. It is only, then, when we are given up to the work, that we can honestly ask God to raise up laborers and press the work forward. When a man’s lips say, “Lord, send forth laborers; “but his life in an undertone proclaims, “I don’t care whether a man goes or not; I’ll not help on the work,” you will, of course, know that he is only playing the hypocrite before God.
By this I do not imply that every honest servant of Christ must feel himself called to the ministry, and must enter it; by no means; for God does not call every pious man into this field, but has many other fields and labors which are essential parts of the great whole. The thing I have to say is that we must be ready for any part whatever which God‘s providence assigns us.
When we can go, and are in a situation to obtain the needful education, then the true spirit of the prayer in our text implies that we pray that God would send us. If we are in A condition to go, then, plainly, this prayer implies that we have the heart to beg the privilege for ourselves that God would put us into His missionary work. Then we shall say with the ancient prophet, “Lord, here am I, send me.” Do you not suppose Christ expected His disciples to go, and to desire to go? Did He not assume that they would pray for the privilege of being put into this precious trust? Now let us pause right here and we will continue this discussion in Part three. May God bless you and keep you in is ever loving present now and forever, in Jesus name, Amen!
I remain your brother in Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher.