Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: If we would use our spiritual vision, gifts and perception we would see that it is already reaping time. It is harvest time. The spiritually hungry America needs to be reaped into the Kingdom of God. The time is ripe for reaping now. It is time to begin.

Opening illustration: A business executive, after hearing an inspiring sermon, said to the preacher, “Your sermon was excellent. However, if you were one of my employees, I would have to fire you.” Then he explained, “You’ve sold me completely, but you didn’t close the deal.” The preacher was convincing, but he didn’t call for a commitment.

Writer Jill Briscoe had a similar experience in the Bible study she was leading. A shy young mother had been coming to the study for weeks. Jill would pray every time she drove this woman home: Lord, don’t let me rush her into making a decision. Help me to give her time to understand.

One day, in exasperation, the woman asked, “Jill, when are you going to help me find Christ? I’ve been praying that you would have the courage to speak to me!” With Jill’s help, the woman tearfully confessed her sin and asked Christ to be her Savior. A week later, her husband received Christ and they began serving the Lord together.

Jesus taught that harvest time can be anytime (John 4:35). He demonstrated this as He helped a Samaritan woman trust Him as her Savior. Pray for eyes to recognize someone who is already ripe for harvest.

Introduction: It is a matter of fact that farmers must wait for a period of time between sowing and reaping. But Jesus wanted His disciples to realize that this is not true in the realm of the spiritual. They didn't have to wait! If they would use their spiritual vision, gifts and perception they would see that it was already reaping time. It was harvest time. These spiritually hungry Samaritans needed to be reaped into the Kingdom of God. The time is ripe for reaping. Today it might seem folks around us are not interested and might reject the proclamation of God’s Word upon their life … our business is not to get discouraged with what people say or think but do the will of the Father just as Jesus did.

How to get ready for the harvest?

1. Move in the prophetic realm and use the ‘Power Gifts’ (vs. 27-29)

Jesus had used the gift of knowledge of the Holy Spirit in order to let the woman know about her previous life and the men that she had been involved with … even the man she lived with presently was not her husband. There was a void in her life that needed to be fulfilled and no one could do it till Jesus came into her life and changed her completely. Many of us have been running away from life and trying to fill that void in our lives by different means … unfortunately nothing works other than Jesus. Jesus had been very consistent in using the gifts of the Holy Spirit powerfully.

If we are seeking after the harvest which God wants to give us, are we using the power gifts to the fullest. Jesus did not contend whether to use the gift or not upon this woman because she was not a believer, neither did he contemplate and perceive as to what would she think or what the people would think as it was demeaning for a Jewish man to talk to any Samaritan and that also a woman. He did not seek for societal approval for operating His gifts. He operated it by discerning the need of the hour and the conviction of God the Father upon His very life.

Right now you may think you could never have that kind of boldness. But let me ask you something: What would you do if Jesus appeared to you today? How would you act if He latched His arm in yours and told you that from now on, He would be physically present with you in every situation? If you became sick, He would lay His hand on you and you’d be healed. If you ran short of money, He’d pray and multiply your resources. If you encountered a problem you didn’t know how to handle, He’d tell you exactly what to do.

Under those circumstances, you’d be very bold and confident, wouldn’t you? Every time you ran into trouble, you’d just glance over at Jesus standing next to you and suddenly, you’d have great courage. You see, the Holy Spirit is the muscle of God. Every time you see God’s power in manifestation, you can be sure the Holy Spirit is on the scene. Don’t get the idea from those examples, however, that the Holy Spirit is simply a mindless source of raw power. Far from it! When He moves in on a situation, He does it with wisdom and understanding so vast that it staggers the human mind.

So decide right now to start opening that door. Develop an awareness of the reality of the Holy Spirit within you. Stop spending all your time meditating on the problems you’re facing and start spending it meditating on the power of the One inside you who can solve the problems. In other words, start becoming more God-inside minded! Do you know what will happen if you do that? All heaven will break loose in your life. Think about it … why were you baptized in the Holy Spirit? Don’t waste it!

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