The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home About Us Archives Free email subscription Listen to these messages
Text only for printing
See here for more info.
<Previous Message Next Message
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wheat Harvest in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor" (1 Corinthians 3:8). "When the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest" (1 Corinthians 9:10).
We often associate harvest with autumn or at least late summer. But living in a rural region we observe that a harvest is taking place all through the summer and fall, especially if you include hay harvest which can begin in the Spring and continues till Fall. Certain crops have a very predictable harvest time and it's presently wheat in our area. There's a very short window for wheat harvest and when the crop is ready you don't delay. Harvest time is a very busy but joyful time for farmers. They are literally reaping the fruit of their labors.
Harvest is a word used all through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. In the Old Testament it is generally used in a literal sense. In the New Testament it is used mostly in a figurative sense such as when Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Today the harvest remains plentiful and in many ways the workers are still few. We need to be among those who hear His call and go out to the harvest fields. It's a real blessing to have a role in the spiritual harvest! Whether it's an impact upon an individual or a group it's just great to see people respond to God's love. I know there are so many who I am working with in the harvest; some whom I am aware of, but many, many others whom I am not.
One of the vital truths I have learned in ministry is the principle of the cooperative harvest. Jesus commissioned His church to spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. His great command was not spoken to them as individuals but to the entire group. Although we certainly express this obedience individually we must remember that the fulfillment of the Great Commission requires a cooperative effort.
Consider the statement in the daily text. "The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose." Planting, watering, reaping; all are part of the process with the goal being a bountiful harvest, agriculturally and spiritually. That is our "one purpose." Any life impacted for Christ and eternity is done so by the cooperative harvest. The plowman and the thresher both have equal hope of sharing in the harvest.
One may have the joyful privilege of leading an individual in a prayer of repentance and faith in Christ, but many others have had a part both seen and unseen. A dedicated Sunday School teacher, a praying aunt, a careful translator, a generous contributor to the literature ministry, a Christian songwriter, even that one who might have been mocked and rejected several months earlier when he tried to witness. And after the prayer of commitment is made consider those who have a part in the discipling and spiritual formation as we grow together spiritually in preparation for the final harvest.
What's your part in the harvest today? Let us each be found faithful!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You that we're part of Your overall plan to harvest souls into the kingdom of heaven. Open our eyes as we look at the field of souls ripe for harvest. Show us ways in which we can enlarge our circle of influence. What a joy it is to see believers grow in their faith as we diligently plant seeds of salvation and water them with truths from Your Holy Word and by our Christian testimony. Amen.
Finally, I want to share a promise that I considered using as my text today which I have committed to memory and has often blessed me as I drive through the country whether in planting time or harvest: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).
Harvest Scenes In Our Area
A view of wheat being harvested from the cab of a combine.
Several years ago I rode with my friend Darrel in the combine during wheat harvest. Darrel, along with his dad, Galen, farm here in Lancaster County. Click here for a larger photo with Scripture verse.
Darrel had company later in the day as his girlfriend Kelly (now wife) joined him for the ride. How's that for a date!
This photo was taken several years ago across the street from our house as the truck is being loaded. (This year the same field has been planted in corn.) Farmers try to rotate their crops.
After the harvest the wheat stalks are raked into rows ready to be baled as straw.
This photo was taken behind my house and shows the contrast between the wheat stubble and the green corn with my neighbor's barn in the distance.
(Note: We didn't eat the topping)
On a related note: This is a video we made several years ago of our dog Roxie jumping in the wheat field. At that time she was just learning the meaning of the word, "Jump". Roxie is getting older and I don't think she'd do this anymore. We still can't let our pup Mollie run freely lest she runs off, thinking it's a fun game of "Come and Get Me"!
This video is a powerful demonstration of the power of the cooperative harvest.
The Harvest By Randolf Productions Inc
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I Am" Video A well produced video from a large church. This song sure blesses us!
"Field Of Souls" Video I enjoy listening to the Brooklyn Tabernacle version of this song as I travel through agricultural areas during planting or harvest
"Bringing In The Sheaves" Video Bringing In The Sheaves written in 1874 by Knowles Shaw, who was inspired by Psalm 126:6, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." This is an old song I recall from childhood that I don't hear sung in churches today. I don't think it's probably in too many hymnals these days let alone projected on PowerPoint! A great joy is traveling with our Amish friends Jesse and Anna Ruth and hearing their children sing out on this song over and over! This hymn calls to mind an older farming method, still used by the Plain folks in our area where the wheat was cut and stacked into sheaves to dry before bringing them in to remove the grain.
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.
Sign up here for the free daily email encouragement.
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
Text only version for printing: To make a text only version for printing (without photos or any of the supplemental materials)
1) Open the basic text editor that comes with all computers (known as wordpad, textpad, etc.) You can also use a program like Word and select paste text only.
2) Select and copy the text from the portion of the message you want to print.
3) Paste into the text pad. (The photos won't show up but you will have a brief text description of the photo which you can delete or just ignore.)
4) Format if you desire (change font, increase or decrease size, etc.)
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."
Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com
© Copyright 2011 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552 USA