It’s time for harvest! The farmers are battling rainy and wet conditions to bring in the harvest as the combines are in the fields bringing in the grain. They’ve worked hard since early Spring in anticipation for harvest. They’ve disked, planted, removed rocks, irrigated, cultivated, sprayed insecticide, dealt with various varmints and I’m sure many of them have prayed.
With that said, there are farmers who will have no harvest. As you drive South along I-29 from Missouri Valley all the way to the Missouri border, you’ll notice miles of fields that have been flooded out. Of course, this is out of the hands of the farmer. We all know the farmer doesn’t control the weather. However, the farmer who doesn’t plant the seed and work the soil will not reap a harvest. This is entirely the responsibility of the farmer.
Similarly, Jesus taught his disciples a spiritual lesson based on the simple application of sowing and reaping the harvest.
JN 4:35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
Even though we have a tendency to focus on reaping the harvest, there is no reaping without sowing. For that matter, sowing is useless unless someone has watered and cultivated, sometimes for a long period of time. Whatever our responsibility is as assigned by God, we must cooperate with others who are also at work in God’s fields. It takes all of us to reap the harvest!
1 CO 3:5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
The farmers are nearing the end of harvest and celebrating harvest for this is their livelihood. The rest of us who don’t farm also celebrate a successful harvest for we are dependent on the harvest for food. But what about celebrating the harvest in spiritual terms? Don’t we celebrate the work of the evangelist? Aren’t we all called to be witnesses (Acts 1:8) and disciple makers (Matthew 28:18-20)? Aren’t we all gifted for the common good to help others grow into mature Christians (Ephesians 4:11-12, 1 Cor 12:7)?
With that said, there are Christians and churches who will have no harvest. As you listen to the news and read social media, there are strong forces working against the Christian church. We all know the Christian doesn’t control the political and social climate. However, the Christian who doesn’t plant the seed and work the soil will not reap a harvest. This is entirely the responsibility of the Christian and the local church.
Did you also know that Heartland Church is having a Harvest Celebration? Why you ask? We want to celebrate what God has done in and through His people. That’s right. We are celebrating hundreds of salvations and baptisms over the 15 years since the inception of our local church. God has given us increase (Acts 2:47) as we’ve worked His fields. Some have taught, some have served, some have driven vans, some have led in worship, some have preached, some have witnessed, some have worked with their hands, some have given generously and some have led in administration and leadership. Yes, as we’ve read above, some have planted, and some have watered but God gave the increase. In addition to that, just as a farmer is thankful for his fields, equipment and tools, we also celebrate the tools God has blessed us with such as land and buildings and vans and equipment. Join us in celebrating harvest!
A Work in Progress,
P.S. Join us on Sunday, October 20th at 10:30am for our Harvest Celebration! And come hungry. Hungry for celebration of what God is doing and has done and hungry for good food. Click here or on the logo below to let us know you’re coming!