July 29, 2008

The Harvest Is Plentiful

Matthew 9:35-38

“Ask the Lord of the harvest … to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:38


Sometimes we doubt the assessment of Jesus regarding how plentiful the harvest is. He seems to indicate that many people are just waiting to hear the gospel and will come into the kingdom as easily as crops are harvested by farmers. The actual results of the church's evangelistic efforts often look very different. In 1948 Rev. Bassam Madany began a radio ministry with The Back to God Hour in the Middle East. Preaching the gospel in the Muslim world did not bring in much of a harvest at first. Rev. Madany delivered radio broadcasts for two and a half years before he got his first letter from someone requesting information about Jesus. Some missionaries have spent their entire career preaching the gospel and have never seen a single person come to faith in Jesus. This can sound discouraging. But the good news is that the faithful work done by God's servants years ago is bringing in a harvest today. We may never reap what we have sown. But perhaps we may harvest what -others have planted. God is always faithful to his promise. A plentiful harvest will be gathered in. Some of it we will gather, taking in what those who have gone before us have planted. As for the seeds we plant, there are harvesters yet to come. Perhaps their hands will gather the plants that have grown from the seeds we have sown.

Dear Lord, whether it is our job to plant or to harvest, send us into the field of this world to be your witnesses. Empower us till the day you return and the harvest is complete. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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