Summary: PROPOSITION: To motivate the hearer to seek to find God’s continuing will and plan for his/her life.
John 4:34-38 (NKJV)
Jesus said to them My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 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. 37. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38. I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
I. JESUS CALLS HIS DISCIPLES TO OBTAIN A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Behold, I say to you, LIFT UP YOUR EYES …
Application: The call of the Gospel is always up … God is continually calling us to see, to live, and to love on a higher plain. God wants us to view life from His perspective.
Isaiah 42:8-9 (NKJV)
I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
Isaiah 43:19a (NLT)
For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
Application: What “new thing” is God working in your life? If you are only looking for the same old thing - if your perspective is only on what is behind you, then you will never see the new things God wants to work in your life.
One of the legacies we have as New Testament Christians is the ability, yes, even the call, to live life from a different perspective:
Acts 2:17-18 (NKJV)
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.
Application: Prophecy is always a look at the here and now or the future.
II. JESUS CALLS HIS DISCIPLES TO GAIN A DIFFERENT FOCUS
Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and LOOK AT THE FIELDS, FOR THEY ARE ALREADY WHITE FOR HARVEST!
Illustration: Crazy eye pictures: The only way to see the image is change the focus of your eyes. You must blur the images around you in order to focus upon the image in the picture.
Acts 17:26-28 (NKJV)
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27. so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28. for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
Application: So many times we are looking for God to “show up” when, in fact, He’s been there all along. The problem is that we’re so focused on the things around us that we cannot see Him.
Jeremiah 29:13-14a (NKJV)
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord,
1 Chronicles 22:19a (NKJV)
Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God.
III. JESUS CALLS HIS DISCIPLES TO BECOME INVOLVED IN LIVING
And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life,
Application: Remember the title of this sermon: “Life Is What Takes Place While You’re Waiting For Something Else To Happen”
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.
During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups -porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.
When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.