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June 24, 2001
Ill: Was reading about a man who had bought a lottery ticket. He had bought it early and so he was just waiting for the day the numbers were called. During this time, he broke up with his girlfriend. This caused a lot of turmoil and distress in his life. He begins to move out…putting things in the car loading it up and moving out. Months go by and he has forgotten about the lottery ticket. One day he’s cleaning the car and in the glove box, under a bunch of stuff, he finds the lottery ticket. Out of curiosity, he calls in the numbers, only to find out that they were the winning numbers, but that the ticket had expired. It was too late…the ticket was no good.
1. The Missed Opportunity
A. Jesus’ Meat to Eat
a. I want to look at a man that didn’t miss His opportunity…but at the same time, knew that time was running out
b. He seized the moment and tried to immediately teach from the incident
31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."
32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."
c. Jesus had just got done talking to the woman at the well…He is looking out at the fields which are green
i. His disciples are trying to get Him to eat, but He doesn’t have time…He looks out at he coming crowd
ii. And then makes this profound statement
35 "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 already white for harvest!
36 "And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
B. Where They Picking Cotton?
a. I began to ponder on this and He makes the comment, “There are still four months.”
b. It wasn’t harvest time…yet He is looking out at the harvest… “It is white, already to harvest.”
c. In those days, the people wore white turbans – all their cloths was white
i. And so here, Jesus is looking at the crowd of people…calling them the harvest…they are ripe, they are in need
ii. It is already to harvest – don’t look around at the fields…don’t look around at life and think that you have four months
C. Time Running Out
a. What He is saying, don’t sit around thinking you have time…time is running out
b. And if you and I are going to touch the world for Jesus, then we have to have the same attitude that Jesus had
c. Every man and woman must mean to us a white field to us
i. Every person must be a sheaf of wheat ready for harvest
Charles Spurgeon talks of a man who is from Switzerland. This land is nothing but rock. Grass is very scarce and so every opportunity to gather some is taken. And so one day this man is walking and notices some grass growing on a ledge on a cliff. And so from the valley he had caught sight of it, so he thought that by climbing above it, he would get a better view of it. But the rock was too steep even for such a good climber as he. So he looks around trying to figure a way to get to the grass. He is looking for a pathway, anything to climb down to the grass. He knows that this little grass will feed his goats and help in the winter with feeding the cows. Every armful of grass is very valuable. And so he tries in vain to find a way down. He finally goes and calls his
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