October 19, 2016

The Reward of Harvest Labor

2 Timothy 2:1-7

The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

—  2 Timothy 2:6

At times, the work of harvesting can seem overwhelming. Acres of fields lie ready for harvest, all at the same time. Much work must be done as quickly as possible. Farmers face challenges from weather, mechanical breakdowns, and physical fatigue. Who has the energy to get through it all?

Similarly, the task of Christian discipleship can seem wearying. So many sins and temptations distract us. So many causes need support. So many people have never heard of Jesus. How can we hope to have the strength for it all?

A farmer does not push through the wearying weeks of harvest just to drive machinery or to multiply the hours worked. No, the focus is on the promising crop being gathered.

Similarly, we find hope in our work as followers of Christ. We do not merely seek to complete moral tasks or make spiritual accomplishments. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we find strength in “the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:1).

Jesus has finished his work. He accomplished that on the cross. And he will give strength to all who lean on him in all that makes us spiritually weary today. Yes, the work of Christian living requires great commitment. But his grace will sustain us till the harvest is complete.

Sometimes we grow weary, Lord. The work before us seems overwhelming. Send fellow laborers to encourage us in our work. Energize us with your grace until your harvest is complete. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!