Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus cleans away the rubbish in my life with fire and I have the opportunity to harvest the field only by coming under His authority. He is the Lord of the harvest.

Part 12 - Matthew 9:36-37 - WHERE THERE'S SMOKE THERE'S A HARVEST!

In the Whitsundays in Australia on the mainland sugar cane is the main crop. Around harvest time you will see a whole field set on fire, flames reaching into the sky at night. It is quite spectacular. The fire is not an accident but INTENTIONAL BURNING BEFORE HARVESTING. Fire sweeps throughout the crop and burns the dead useless parts. Burning increases the yield of sugar recovered per ton of sugarcane and improves overall quality of the sugar produced. Jesus removes the rubbish in my life too. Part of the work of the harvest is to deal with my sin. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13 (NASB) "Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work."

In Matthew 9:37 Jesus says "... to His disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ASK HIM to send more workers into His fields."

I hadn't noticed before but this is A COMMAND TO PRAY NOT TO GO. This is a command to ask the One who is in charge to send in more workers, not try to do it all ourselves! Jesus calls me to pray for others to be discipled in the work of the Lord. But I have previously thought that this was a command for me to go. It is actually a call to pray that the workers that are needed will be CHOSEN BY GOD.

Jesus prayed all night before He chose the first workers or disciples (Luke 6:12-13).

If I'm concerned for the harvest then I pray for God to send in the right workers. They'll be the one's who are all fired up by God. The harvest is God's not mine. He has chosen His Church to get it harvested. We don't pray for people to just sit around, but people who will do the work of harvesting the crop in time.

Jesus cleans away the rubbish in my life with fire and I have the opportunity to harvest the field only by coming under His authority. He is the Lord of the harvest. What I like about Jesus is that He was "preaching the Good News about the Kingdom". He is saying there is a kingdom, there is a king, and He exercises authority in my life. And that really is good news because someone needs to be in authority over me, otherwise I would live a life out of control. I am so grateful to be under the authority of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

He has commissioned me to reach out and bring people to His healing touch and the sound of His voice. 1 Corinthians 1:21 (NLT) says "Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never know Him through human wisdom, He has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe."

Today Jesus has many ways to broadcast the message including TV and internet all around the world, and He is bringing in the harvest through many people.

In Matthew 9:36 it says "When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."

I love what Pastor Brian Houston says about Jesus' compassion and the compassion we can offer in His Name. He says that it is NOT JUST SYMPATHY FOR THE NEEDS OF OTHERS. Sympathy doesn't do anything. It just associates with our hurt and often compounds it. Compassion does something about the hurts. He heals them, He preaches Good news to them, He brings perspective to those who are confused and lost. Listen to the compassion in verses such as in Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT) where Jesus says, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls." In John 10:10 (NIV) Jesus says "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." 1 John 5:12 (NIV) says, "He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

God bless you Church as you know Jesus and make Him known, and as we receive the life He offers and as we pray for others to join us in the work of the harvest. BUT BE PREPARED. THE WORK HAS ONLY STARTED when the wood, hay and stubble is burned away.

Pastor Ross

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