Summary: Jesus said the harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, we must get busy working in the harvest fields for the Lord. God also promises us the reward of increased joy when we begin reaching out in love to the lost.
THE JOY OF THE HARVEST
OPENING QUOTE: “This year marks Ken Foster’s 40th harvest as a farmer, and it’s turning out to be the worst. "This year is miserable," the 63-year-old said yesterday from his family farm near Arborg, Man. a small rural community about 110 kilometres north of Winnipeg. With the help of his two sons, Mr. Foster is racing against time and the weather to take off 1,902 hectares of wheat, oats and canola before the snow begins to fall on the Prairies. So far, they have harvested only 283 hectares.” (Globe and Mail, Friday, Sept. 12).
“Jesus traveled through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever he went, he healed people of every sort of disease and illness. He felt great compassion for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.” (Matt. 9:37-38).
• Jesus was moved with compassion for the crowds of people that were lost and hurting.
• The harvest Jesus is talking about is not a harvest of wheat, but of lost souls.
• What happens when there is more work to be done than workers? The harvest goes bad.
• God wants us to be those workers who will go and reach out to the lost with His love!
“You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy; they rejoice before You According to the joy of harvest.” (Isaiah 9:3).
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus said the harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, we must get busy working in the harvest fields for the Lord. God also promises us the reward of increased joy when we begin reaching out in love to the lost.
ILLUSTRATION: One Sunday as they drove home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, there’s something about the preacher’s message this morning that I don’t understand." The mother said, "Oh? What is it?" The little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. He said God is so big that He could hold the world in His hand. Is that true?" The mother replied, "Yes, that’s true, honey." "But Mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside of us when we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Is that true, too?" Again, the mother assured the little girl that what the pastor had said was true. With a puzzled look on her face the little girl then asked, "If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?"
ILLUSTRATION: Discuss the personal joy in my life of coming to know Christ personally.
BIBLE STORY: John 4:4-38
“4 But He needed to go through Samaria.
• Why did Jesus have to go there? He knew there was someone there with a need!
• We need to have the same heart to “find a need and fill it” – in our community!
5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ’Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." 11 The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?
• Notice that Jesus stirred up a desire within her for the good news He was bringing…
13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
• When we come to know Jesus as Saviour, He satisfies the deep longings of our souls!