Summary: Plant so that you can have a harvest.
“He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Prov. 10:5).
o Spring is planting season.
• Everybody is talking about rainfall, when it will stop or when it will start.
• Ground is being broken up and crops are being put in.
o The fall is harvest season and right now a lot of farmers are fretting about the fact that the harvesters aren’t able to get into the fields because many of them have standing water in them from the excess of rain we’ve gotten this year.
• Around here, there’s only a narrow window of opportunity during which the crops can be harvested.
• However, that’s not true everywhere.
• Many parts of the world enjoy a continuous harvest season.
o One can visit southern Florida, portions of the Rio Grande Valley, Southern California, or other tropical areas and discover a continuous process of sowing and reaping.
• An orange tree is a case in point.
o An orange tree may have blossoms that will produce oranges while at the same time it contains small oranges, half-grown oranges, and fully ripe oranges.
• The orange tree better represents the spiritual realities that we, as Christians enjoy.
o We have a continuous harvest season in the spiritual realm.
• There is never a time when one can say that due to bad weather or to the season of the year it is impossible to labor in the spiritual harvest fields.
• There is always, every day of your life, the opportunity to work in the harvest field.
When Jesus saw the multitudes scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd, he was moved with compassion toward them and said to his disciples (in Matt. 9:37?–?38), “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest”
• One of the church’s greatest needs is to recognize that we are located right in the center of a spiritual harvest field.
o All around us people are threatened with eternal death and separation from the God unless somebody reaches them before it is too late.
• The world around us is our harvest field and, while it is true that not everybody is ready and willing to be reached with the gospel, it is also true there is an abundance of people around you that are!
Our text gives both a commendation and a warning regarding the harvest.
• It declares that he who labors in the time of harvest is indeed a wise son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son that causeth shame.
• The question this evening is a personal one, are you a wise son or daughter of Christ or are you causing shame in the heart of your heavenly Father?
I’ve talked in the past about the harvest and we’ve discussed the fact that there are certain laws that govern the harvest.
• Tonight we are going to revisit some of them.
I. The harvest must be reaped when it is ripe.
A. Seed time and harvest.
o It is a law of nature that before there can be a harvest there must be a time of sowing and cultivation.
• Farmers will plow up the soil.
• Then they will plant the seed.
• After that, proper care will be given to the cultivation of the crops in order to reap an abundant harvest in the fall.
o The church, through each of its members, should be in a continuous process of sowing the seed.
• The fact is still true that the harvest is in our hands.
• It exists in the form of seeds that have not yet been sown.
• It is our continual responsibility, as sowers of the seed, to be busy, everyday, sowing the seeds of the gospel.
• Careful and continuous efforts need to be put forth to cultivate the confidence and the friendship that enables you to reach someone for the kingdom of God.
• If we are faithful in sowing, in due time we will be successful in harvesting.
o The passage of time from spring to fall is long and slow, but the process is necessary in order to produce a harvest.
• Likewise, winning a soul can be a lengthy, time consuming process, but if we grow not weary in well doing eventually our labor will pay off.
o One important thing to remember is that harvesting is not a thing that can be rushed.
• You can’t harvest corn while it is still green and you can’t pick cotton before the bolls open up.
• You wouldn’t dream of picking peaches before they were ripe and ready.