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Summary: Brief message preached at beginning of week of Prayer for North American Missions after testimony from a NAMB missionary.

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Introduction:

Like we’ve been discussing the last few weeks, it is so easy for us to get bogged down in what is going on around us, we can, like the old adage says, “Miss the forest through the trees.”

What that means is we live in a world full of lost people and don’t seem to see that we live in a world full of lost people.

That passage we will consider this morning reminds us that we live in a world that is in desperate need of salvation.

Read Matt. 9:35-38 and pray.

In this passage we will see the compassion of Christ, that stirred His heart to preach the good news, demands that we do the same.

You will notice that Jesus used the word "harvest" to refer to those people among whom the gospel was sown.

He made several interesting observations about them in this text.

Put info from outline here…

3 Principles of the harvest I want to discuss this morning, first of all notice:

1. The Savior’s Compassion

Read vs. 35-36.

Notice that the first thing it said about Jesus was that He was proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom.

This is a reminder to us what is on the heart of God and why Christ came, found in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

No matter what was taking place, Christ never abandoned His mission…the mission that took Him to the cross.

He came to seek and save the lost, and that is why He died…because we are and we were lost without Him.

And when Jesus looked at the people in vs. 36 he had compassion for them.

He saw their problems…he saw the liars and the thieves, the adulterers and the blasphemers, it was all clear to Him.

And what did He do? He had compassion.

Do we do that?

Let’s be honest, if we know the dirt on someone, do we show compassion?

If we are really honest that isn’t what we do.

We might say to ourselves, “How could they?” or get on the phone and ask someone that question.

Maybe we’ll turn our nose up to them and think we are better than they are…when in fact we aren’t.

We’re all sinners, and remember why did Jesus come?

To seek and save the lost, the sinners.

That is why He had compassion on the people He saw them dying in their sins, and that is what we should do.

Instead of judging, we should do our part to save them from judgment by proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom…like Jesus did.

The first principle harvest, have compassion.

The 2nd thing we see in our passage is…

2. The Situation Analyzed

Read vs. 37

Jesus looked out, analyzed the situation and gave His report…the fields are white unto harvest and workers are needed.

Obviously He was using an agricultural point of reference that more than likely rang in the ears of many of His listeners in what was a largely agricultural society.

The image they may have had may have been the same one we get when we consider a crop of wheat that begins to fade into a “white” color when it is time to begin the harvest…a sign that said, “Time to get to work”.

For us, as a church…it is harvest time.

We don’t have to look very hard to see that the fields are white unto harvest and workers are needed.

Consider this: There are an estimated 251 million unbelievers in the United States and Canada…that is out of an estimated 339 million people in the 2 countries.

Let me give you percentage on that…around 74%.

So basically, 3 out of ever 4 people you come across, they are lost.

3 out of every 4 people are looking at facing an eternity separated from God…they are hell bound.

Folks, the fields are white unto harvest and the workers are needed.

We are beginning our Annie Armstrong Easter offering to help support the work of 2500 full time chaplains and 5500 full time missionaries in the United States and Canada.

Meaning each missionary or chaplain is responsible for 31375 and their eternities.

And you think you have a hard job?

The workers are few, and the task is much too big for them to handle alone.

And that takes us to our third principle of the harvest this morning…

3. The Solution Given

Read vs. 38.

Pray for workers to be sent into the harvest, who are willing to go in and get their hands dirty in building God’s kingdom.

Hearts are ready, minds are open…all they are waiting on is someone willing to work.

Read Romans 10:12-15

Workers are needed folks, and there are times we can’t simply write a check and hope to clear our conscience.

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