Summary: God has commanded us to work in His field, the world, to produce a great harvest of people brought into His kingdom. He said the harvest is plenteous. But what does it take for us to have a bounteous harvest?
What It Takes to Have a Bountiful Harvest
God has commanded us to work in His field, the world, to produce a great harvest of people brought into His kingdom. He said the harvest is plenteous. But what does it take for us to have a bounteous harvest?
I. We must envision the harvest
A. John 4:35 “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
B. When we look at a plot of land, what do we see? Dirt? Rocks? Weeds? Work? Obstacles? A farmer looks at that same plot of land and envisions something quite different. He envisions a field filled with grain or some other crop ripe and ready for harvest. He sees the potential of the field.
C. Jesus Christ was standing looking out across a sea of humanity and says “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” Did the disciples get the point? Did they see the harvest that Christ was referring to or were they seeing only people with no thought as to their spiritual condition and the state of their souls?
D. Christ saw the need
• Matthew 9:36 “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
E. Christ saw the harvest
• Matthew 9:37 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous
• Christ saw the magnitude of the harvest - plenteous
• Christ saw the potential of the harvest – pray for laborers
• I.E. Ezekiel saw only dry bones but God saw a mighty Army.
F. We need to see the need. But we also need to see that God can and will meet that need. We must not only see men and women as lost but we must have a heart for the lost, and a deep and burning desire to see the lost come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
II. We must prepare the soil for the seed
A. Just like a farmer must clear the field and till the soil before he can have an abundant harvest of wheat, we must prepare the soil to receive the seed of the Word of God.
B. If you simply scatter seed, some seeds are going to grow and some are not. However, if you put the time and effort into preparing the soil, you will get greater results. Soil must be prepared before it can be planted.
C. Amos 4:12 "Prepare to Meet Thy God"
D. Mark 1:2 “As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”
E. Relationships need to be established because it is by far the most effective way to bring people to Christ. Statistics tell us that the vast majority (75-90%) Christians were lead to Christ by a friend or family member. – Mike Stein, “Reaching Out”
F. "The New Testament records tell of forty people, each suffering from some disease, who had been healed by Jesus. Of this number, thirty-four were either brought to Jesus by friends or Jesus was taken to them. In only six cases out of forty did sufferers find their way to Christ without assistance." -Dr. J. Wilbur
G. 1 Corinthians 9:10 “...For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope...”
III. We must sow the seed
A. Isaiah 28:24-25 “Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? When he has leveled its surface, does he not sow the black cumin and scatter the cumin, plant the wheat in rows, the barley in the appointed place, and the spelt in its place?
B. You cannot reap a harvest if you don’t sow seeds.
C. Ecclesiastes 11:4 “He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap.”
D. It is a shame that only ten percent of Christians actually witness. Bill Bright says the only failure in witnessing is the failure to witness. – James Poitras, The Christian & Witnessing
E. Psalm 126:5-6 “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
F. We must also Weed and Water.
G. 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”
IV. We must wait for the yield to begin to grow
A. When you plant seeds in the ground, those plants are not ready to harvest the next day. You’ve got to give it time. It takes a long time to get from the planting to the harvesting.