Summary: A harvest sermon that uses harvest imagary in relation to the Christian life. (some ideas taken from other Sermon Central sermons.)
A Harvest is the result of many things - it is the result of hard work - it is the result of good weather and careful care by the Farmer or gardener. But underlying all of these things is hope. Without hope there would never be a harvest.
In the Christian world too there is of course a harvest as well - that harvest is the realisation by a person or a whole group of persons that God has provided a way for them to be befriended by him and live with him for ever through our Lord Jesus Christ.
People who do not have this hope have a very short term view of things and are subject to degenerating - that is where the term eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die comes from.
For you and me to have a harvest in our lives we need to have this wonderful thing called hope.
With it we can endure anything.
In January 1968 Georgi Vins a Russian Christian imprisoned for sharing his faith as his Father had before him he says:-
In January 1968, the state of my health worsened abrubtly. sometimes I thought the end had already come. But I wanted to be in the ranks of the warriors for the faith of Christ until my last breath.
I begged the Lord to strengthen me.
How to die one must know this
Not as a crushed pitiful worm,
Not as a slave, not daring to dare.
But as a fighter against unbelief
So that as I go along the narrow road
I will give myself to Christ with my whole soul.
And will never fratanize in the slightest
With injustice, perfidy and evil.
Georgi Vins in the most terrible of circumstances kept before him the hope that is Christ and that sustained him until his release.
In the scriptures we are told that a nation without a vision will perish.
It is equally true that an individual or a church without a vision will in fact perish. but as Paul says rather directly in his letter to the people of Corinth - (1-6-13.) Food for the stomach and the stomach for food - but God will destroy them both. Neither will last -
We can have hope for all kinds of things - sometimes following a sports team can be an interesting thing - I notice when I watch cricket - I hope that the Black cap will win - then you note a dangerous thing - when their chances of victory go down your hope goes down with them when they go well you go up with them. No we need a greater hope than just that to sustain us through life.
In Isaiah chapter 55 verse 6 - 11 we read an incredible account of how God works and how we can be part of our plan.
The first part of this great reading starts - read verses 6 - 9.
If this passsage speaks to me of anything it speaks to me of getting God’s vision for the right kind of harvest in our lives.
What farmer in his right mind would plant Scotch thistles in his paddock during summer because he wanted his paddock to have a beautiful purple hue to it.
Yet that is how many of us vision our lives - we want a short term result or pleasure with little thought of what we need to do in the long term for our lives and our nation.
If you plant thistles you grow thistles.
If you plant Gods plan in your life you will grow God’s plan.
There was a wayward boy who wandered from home and spent his days and nights in riotous living in the city. Eventually he came to an end of himself, and wrote to his Mother asking for forgiveness, and expressing a desire to return. He told her that one day he would pass near the old home, ant, that, if he saw a white sheet on the clothesline, he would take that as a sign that he would be welcome. Mother like the one who yearned for his homecoming gathered up every sheet in the house and hung them on the ropes! that was her way of saying to her boy, what God says to us in Isaiah chapter 55 and verse 7.
God has done just the same for us in holding out the hope that is in Jesus - he has bought us home and we are not citizens of this world but citizens of heaven as Paul says in Phillipians 3 verse 18ff.
Here is something for each of us to do. Ask yourself whose vision for your life you are operating out of - God’s our own - the worlds or a mixture of all of these. Are we daily living with a vision of what God wants for our lives. What are we planning to harvest in our lives?