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