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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alfalfa Harvest (photo by Doris High)
Alfalfa Harvest
(photo by Doris High)

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This week we are sharing a series on the Ultimate Harvest based on Matthew 9:35-38.  It's harvest time here in our area and all around us we see, hear, and at times even smell evidence of the harvest.

"The Ultimate Worker"

"Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field" (Matthew 9:38).

What is the ultimate type of work? Well that depends on what you are seeking:
  • For some it's based on the salary.  After all, more is better. 
  • For others it's based on prestige. (Salary and prestige aren't necessarily related.)
  • Some like exotic work like taking care of a lighthouse on a remote Pacific Island.
  • There are those who like challenging work, while others like it easy.
  • For some it's the extent to which they help their fellow man or make a meaningful contribution to society.
Hand Harvest
Today, I want to consider harvest workers. They perform a function for which we are all indebted. Yes that's all of us. If you ate something today it was because of a harvest worker. 
Harvest work is hard, it usually doesn't pay well, and is rarely seen as prestigious. In many parts of the world the harvest is still done by hand. Several years ago a large field near our area was planted in tomatoes. I watched the migrant field workers diligently labored under the scorching sun.

Cranberry Harvest

When we lived in New England we often went to the National Cranberry Festival in Carver, Massachusetts held each Columbus Day weekend. We could watch the cranberries being harvested, quite a different view than we have of harvest here in Lancaster County!

HarvestI want to highlight just the word "workers" in the daily text. This describes the ultimate work from an eternal perspective. Spiritual harvest workers serve in a wide variety of ways. In the church we tend to rate people by what they do. People strive for titles, positions and  educational degrees.  "Worship leader" sounds more prestigious than "nursery worker" to most people. But both are harvest workers and are vitally important in Kingdom work.

In our daily Scripture passage
Christ calls all "workers in His harvest field."  A song that I have had up all this week as a link is titled, "Field Of Souls". I originally heard this song by the "Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir".  It illustrates the different types of spiritual harvest work.

We work the field of souls, together you and I.
Some fields are blooming now, other fields are dry.
We are not the same, but differences aside.
We will work the field of souls, together you and I.

Verse 1:
One is off to foreign soil to work a distant land,
Another anchors close to home to hold a neighbor's hand.
Who has served the Father most and who has labored best?
That life devoted to our God, that devotion will be blessed.

Verse 2:
One shouts the gospel in the streets for everyone to hear,
He's bold to everyone he meets and the Word is loud and clear.
Another cries alone and prays in silence on her knees,
Before the throne day after day where human eyes don't see.

Today let us all take up our call to be workers in God's harvest field, which is the ultimate work; wherever that may take us and whatever challenges it might bring. Let us serve faithfully with a goal of one day hearing those words from the Lord of the harvest, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, as You call us to be busy about Your harvest work, You equip us to do Your will.  We look to You for favor and for direction as we obediently follow You.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

As I prepared today's message and recalled our visits to the Cranberry Festival when we lived in New England it brought back an interesting memory from about fifteen years ago at a Men's Breakfast. Ocean Spray had their headquarters near us and someone who worked there got a hold of undiluted cranberry juice concentrate used in the manufacturing process, which to my knowledge is not available anywhere for resale (at least retail). I had heard that it packed quite a punch and when I took a drink I saw why it had that reputation!  It was by far the strongest taste I have ever experienced.

Read here about the Cranberry harvest

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Use Me"
 Video  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

"Faithful Men"  Video   This is a Twila Paris song with an outstanding message.  This video was made to remember two young ladies who were murdered outside their church parking lot.  Thousands, perhaps many more of our brethren, are martyred each year as they faithfully work the harvest fields.

"Field Of Souls"  Video 

"God Is Good"  audio mp3  Bob Kilpatrick

"The Harvest"  I was unable to find a version of this powerful video to view online but if you can get a hold of it, it will surely touch your heart.

The Harvest, Multiple Language DVD EditionThe Harvest, Multiple Language DVD Edition
By Randolf Productions Inc
The season to gather in the crops has arrived, but in the midst of crisis, only a young boy's prayer can save The Harvest. Based on a true story, this powerful modern-day parable will inspire you to commit your energy and talents to reach the world for Christ---one person at a time. Approx. 17 minutes.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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