by: Ellene Meece
In the rural area where we live, harvest time is special. Right now, hay equipment is busily humming in the fields from dawn to dusk cutting and baling and hay stacks are visibly growing in the barns. At Farmers' Markets, farmers are bringing out their produce and displaying their prize crop. Fruit from surrounding areas is showing up by the basketsful, ready for canning and being preserved for later use. Herbs are being dried for tasty additions to winter casseroles.
By definition, harvest time is the process of gathering the ripened crop, to gain or win by effort the product of any labor. In the spiritual realm, the process of gathering harvest applies to gathering real people and presenting them the good news of the gospel . . . letting them know they are loved and already purchased from sin, death and evil consequences, and they only need to receive this awesome gift through Jesus Christ to be set free from the traps of the low life.
We all love a successful harvest! Here are three things to remember for a successful spiritual harvest:
Harvest time will have ended and Jesus' role will have been fulfilled. However, those who have accepted Jesus' free gift will be presented to His "full salvation" eternity to enjoy the fruit of harvest time forevermore!
- Recognize the right season for harvest; see where the fields are white and ripe for gathering. There is a perfect season for each specific person. Our goal is to be sensitive to those we've built relationship with or those who happen to be presented to us in our everyday living . . . who are desperate and dissatisfied with their current condition and ripe for God's unconditional love to flow out to them.
Many times "mass harvesting" on a street corner often repels those who pass by and misses its target of those who need to hear, while divine appointments produce a quality atmosphere to bring truth and life. This is not to say that "mass gatherings" where a person can choose to attend is not effective. Often a hungry soul has slipped into the crowd to hear and receive the good news that is being spoken.
Ripe souls are everywhere! Jesus said, "Do you not say, it is still four months until harvest time comes. Look! I tell you, raise your eyes and observe the fields and see how they are already white for harvesting" (John 4:35).
- We are all harvesters. This beautiful opportunity to let everyone know that the High Life is available without discrimination is not just for professional ministers or theologians, but this special job opening is for all of us. As people who have been set free to live the abundant life, we are qualified to "harvest" or present the good news to our co-workers, those in position over us, our employees or whoever crosses our path that we recognize are "in season" for reaping.
As Luke 10:2 points out, " . . . The harvest indeed is abundant [there is much ripe grain], but the farmhands are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."
- Our opportunity will end. Just like night comes and winter comes for natural harvest, our time on earth comes to an end. Hebrews 9: 27-28 clearly states this fact, "And just as it is appointed for all men once to die, and after that the judgment, even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are eagerly, constantly and patiently waiting for and expecting Him."
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, Grandma's Treasures Online. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network.
It's harvest time. Your message is so good, so pure and so well written. I received and know this message is written exactly as we all need to hear. Blessings and thank you!
by: Donna Schra