Summary: If we will listen to the call of the Lord and the cry of the lost, we will be motivated to surrender to God’s call to be a witness for Him.
Once, when attending youth camp as a sponsor, our youth were involved in an interesting game. They had to pass through an obstacle course, but they had to do so blindfolded. The only help they received was from a team mate at the end of the course, who would yell instructions to them. Of course, when you had several teams involved at the same time, you can imagine the chaos that ensued. The key to successfully navigating the obstacle course was to recognize and appropriately respond to the voice of the one trying to guide you.
Likewise, if we are going to walk the path God wants us to, we must be careful to hear what God tells us. Jesus makes it clear in our passage that our Father wants us to be committed to the task of evangelizing the world. There are two voices which, if we would hear them, will motivate us to be involved in sharing Jesus with others.
1. We need to hear the call of the Lord - v. 35a
Jesus anticipates the fact that we are often procrastinators - especially when it comes to sharing our faith. We know God calls us to share Jesus with others, but we are simply waiting for the most “opportune time.” The fact is, however, that God calls us to always be ready to share the Good News.
“You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” - 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)
Indeed, Peter would have us understand being ready daily to share the Good News is part of what it means to acknowledge the lordship of Christ over me. In other words, if I truly do love Jesus and want to honor Him as my Lord, then I will seek to always be ready to share my faith with others who are ready to hear.
Too often, however, we are like the two caterpillars who were crawling across the grass when a butterfly flew over them. They looked up, and one of them nudged the other, as caterpillars often do, and said, "You could not get me up on one of those things for a million dollars!"
You know, it is often that way with Christians: When we get a glimpse of ourpossibilities and potentialities, we become scared out of our wits.
We envision ourselves teaching the Gospel to others and we cannot stand it. We say, “Oh no! Not me! I am no teacher! I can never be a soul winner! I am afraid that just does not meet my talents. Let some¬one else do it" But listen to the promises of God concerning our heeding the call to share our faith:
“God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NLT)
“[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory].” - Philemon 6 (Amplified)
You will never truly discover the greatness of Christ’s riches toward you until you determine to answer the call to be involved in the work of sharing Jesus with others.
2. We need to hear the cry of the Lost - v. 35b
As Jesus spoke these words, he did so after having visited with the Samaritan woman at the well at Sychar. Being persuaded that He was the Messiah, she had gone into the village to bring folks out to meet Jesus. Some have suggested that Jesus spoke these words as people from the village were coming down the hill to where Jesus and His disciples were. When Jesus tells us about the fields being ripe unto harvest, He is speaking about the hungry hearts of those who are ready to respond to the Good News. Oh, that we might see those around us as Jesus saw them!
“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”- Matthew 9:36 (NIV)
A man had fallen off a fishing pier into deep water and was about to go under. Another fisherman nearby, hearing his cry for help, said, “How can I help you?” the drowning man said, “For God’s sake, give me something to hold on to!”
This world is filled with people looking for something to hold on to.” We who have found our salvation in Jesus Christ need to hear their cry and respond to it by sharing with them about the One who can hold on to them and never let them go!
A few years ago, I read about a Canadian company, specializing in tracking devices, has developed a lost-child monitoring system. The system included special security bracelets worn by children while in a park where they often wander away from parents. Receiving towers placed in the park receive the transmissions from the bracelets. A central comput¬er would then finds individuals wearing a specific bracelet and pinpoint their location on a grid map.