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White Unto Harvest

Sending Forth Laborers
by Joe R. Price

Feature Editor's Note:  This month's article is a fine effort by brother Joe R. Price.  I commend the article to you, as well as the reports from foreign fields which follows.

Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."  (Matt. 9:37-38)

The need for laborers in the work of harvesting souls is undeniable.  For that matter, so is the fact that every Christian, according to his or her abilities and opportunities, is to be a laborer reaping souls in God's harvest (Acts 8:4).

The truth is that many Christians need to repent of a lack of work in this area.  We need to rededicate our hearts and refocus our attention on trying to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ.  We sing, "to the work, to the work," but too often our lives say, "let somebody else work!"

Allow me to offer some brief encouragements that may help us go into the fields.

  1. We must believe that good can be accomplished.  If the sower had not believed that a crop would grow, he would not have gone "forth to sow his seed" (Lk. 8:5).  (If Jesus had not been convinced that good would result from coming to earth and dying on the cross we would have no means of being saved.  This boils down to a matter of faith on our part.)  We must trust that the Lord will bless the sending forth of His word.  "So shall my word...not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isa. 55:11).

  2. We must be willing to give our resources to the work.  I am not talking money.  I am talking about things like our time, our energy, our prayers. We have to be willing to make time to visits prospects, to arrange Bible classes with them, and to study the Bible in order to equip ourselves to teach them.  The demands upon your time will be greater when you commit yourself to spreading the gospel.  This is a matter of expending your energy toward your goal.  But remember the energy of the apostle Paul as he worked night and day to meet his physical needs while also being diligent to fully teach the word of God (1 Thes. 2:9; Acts 20:19-21,26-27).  One will have to sacrifice some comfort in order to do the work of spreading the gospel.

  3. We must be willing to let God give the increase of souls (1 Cor. 3:6). It can be discouraging when one is repeatedly told "no, I am not interested" when trying to teach the gospel.  It may feel as if you are the one being rejected, but do not take it personally.  In fact, it is God and Christ whom people reject (1 Sam. 8:7; Jno. 6:60, 66).  We must understand that our work is to plant the seed.  Do not become discouraged when someone is not interested, when progress seems too slow, or when it may appear that nothing is being accomplished.  Satan loves to discourage those who do the Lord's work!  As the apostle has exhorted, "And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9).  Remember, it is the Lord's harvest (Matt. 9:38).

Jesus saw the straying multitudes and was moved to compassion for them (Matt. 9:35-38).  Their need compelled Him to work.  Likewise, He calls upon us to be conscious of the condition of the people around us (they are lost in sin); to have compassion for them (be distressed to the point of action); and to be committed laborers in His harvest (praying and working).

The work is before us.  The call to labor is clear.  With Isaiah, will we say (as we often sing), "Here am I, send me" (Isa. 6:8)?

To conserve space on our server, field reports are maintained on site only for the current calendar year.  Thank you for your consideration in this.

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