Time For Harvest
By Donald Bryan
The story goes that Mark Twain loved to go fishing, but he hated to catch fish. The problem was he went fishing to relax, and catching fish ruined his relaxation, since he had to take the fish off the hook and do something with it. When he wanted to relax by doing nothing people thought he was lazy, but if he went fishing he could relax all he wanted. People would see him sitting by the river bank and they would say, “Look, he’s fishing don’t bother him.” So Mark Twain had the perfect solution: he would take a fishing pole, line, and a float, but he wouldn’t put a hook on the end it would cast the float in the water and lay back on the bank. That way he could relax all he wanted and he would be bothered neither by man nor fish.
Mark Twain is like a lot of Christians I know. They have their pole in the water, but there is no hook on the end. They are not fishing; they are relaxing. Do you think this is what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”? (Matthew 4:19). They want to be identified with a church that is serious about making a difference for the kingdom in the community where they live, but they never become a part of any of the ministries of the church. They don’t become a part of the outreach ministries personally. They have a bobber floating on the water, but they have no hook.
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” (Matthew 9:37-38). If it was true then, it is true now. So often we are just glad that we are safe that we forget that there are others in danger, who need us to become those who reach out. George E. Sweazy warned, “The law of any church is, and always will be, evangelize or fossilize.” The Bible puts it this way, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Jesus said that the fields were white, ready for harvest. Why were the fields white, when the harvest was not yet ready? It wasn’t harvest time because there was “yet four months”. Yet He is looking out at the harvest… “It is white, already to harvest.” In those days, the people wore white turbans – all their clothes were white. And so here, Jesus is looking at the crowd of people, calling them the harvest and they are in need.
It is all ready to harvest – don’t look around at the fields. Don’t look around at life and think that you have four months. Time is running out. If you and I are going to touch the world for Jesus, then we have to have the same attitude that Jesus had_ Every man and woman must mean a white field to us. Jesus is still looking for laborers for the harvest time.
From, “Louisiana Challenger”/September 2008/Page 2, by Donald Bryan