PREPARING FOR THE HARVEST OF SOULS
And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
(1 Corinthians 12:7-11)
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way
(1 Corinthians 12:28-31)
It is possible that we miss out on many blessings from our Lord Jesus due to choices we make, or fail to make, as well as due to fear. We read the 1st passage above, as well as passages in other Gospels, and believe that if we plant a few seeds here and there we can leave the harvesting to someone else. When a farmer plants the seed, he does not leave it in the ground and never check the ground again, or look for signs of growth. He is out continually checking it, and then he will see for himself when it is ripe for harvest, and then he goes out for the harvest. He watches for the growth, pays attention, and is there when the time for harvest arrives.
When we plant the seed of the Gospel, and the seed of Love in someone’s life, we need to follow up with encouragement (watering and sun) and watch how the growth is taking place. It is the Holy Spirit Who causes the growth, but just as rain and sun cause the seeds in the ground to grow, we have the privilege of continuing to speak life and nourishment into others. It is not a matter of dropping the “Seeds of the Good News” and running, but also being available to help the recipients grow and understand. As we share in the growth of others, our Faith also grows, and we are strengthened in Jesus as well, watching the Spirit move in a life.
The Bible speaks of Gifts which the Spirit of Jesus gives to Christians, and He gives as He sees fit, so we each need to be willing and ready to receive whatever He desires to give us. Each of us needs to be ready to be a harvester, and to be blessed by being ready to lead someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
As we pray for the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers, we may be praying for ourselves to hear His Voice speaking to us and sending us out.
As we listen for, and listen to the Voice of the Spirit of Jesus, we will, at various times, be able to plant seeds, water the seeds for growth, and be available to harvest souls for the Kingdom of God.
As the Body of Christ works together, the Kingdom of God will grow, and we will share in Blessings.