October 26th 2010

“All Is Safely Gathered In”

“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 ready white for harvest!”
John 4:35 (NKJV)

In years past I used to get a great kick out of standing silently on the edge of a field of wheat which was ready for harvesting. Just to see that great expanse of golden waves sparkling in the sunshine filled me with a deep sense of praise as the gentle breeze caused it to ripple and move. It’s as if this field of grain was about to explode with all that fruitfulness as I meditated on the awesome potential it contained.

What a great feeling, but you know it is so easy to forget all the hard work and toil that had gone into it. No harvest comes easily. It is the product of weeks and months of hard labour, of money invested and after a season of waiting…and waiting…and waiting!

Harvest is a time of joy and thanksgiving; church congregations sing hymns of praise to God “All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above.” And, “Come you thankful people come” to name but two. There is also an element of awe that surrounds harvest time. The farmer sows his seed in the cold wet earth and just leaves it there knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependant on forces outside his control. He cannot produce the rain or the sunshine, he cannot cause the seed to germinate. So for a successful harvest he is totally dependant on God. God is Lord of the harvest!

Jesus mentioned this to his disciples as they went through the towns and villages teaching, preaching the kingdom and healing the sick. Matthew records this in his gospel in chapter 9 and verses 35-38. He tells us that when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. And he said to his friends, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (NIV).

He is saying that the time for waiting is over, he is telling them, and us, that now is the time to be involved in this important time of reaping. This is a vital ingredient in God’s spiritual harvest and it is our responsibility to ask our Father for labourers at this present time in order that “all will be safely gathered in”—a harvest of precious souls for God’s family and kingdom.

Great Lord of the harvest please, in your great compassion, put together a vast army of labourers for your precious harvest now that the fields are white and ripe for gathering in.

Study by Cliff Neill 

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