Plentiful harvest few laborers

Published 2:25 pm Friday, December 17, 2010

Most of us have just celebrated and observed a nice Thanksgiving and now preparing for a good Christmas.

When I was a young man coming up in Plant City, Fla., this was a good time of the year picking oranges, strawberries, hunting and fishing on Saturdays and in church on Sundays.

I remember a sermon my pastor preached about the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. I did not understand what he meant, but now that I have gone through some things myself and came into the knowledge of the Lord, I now understand.

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Anyone who is working for the Lord can testify to the fact that the work for the Lord is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Matthew Chapter 9, Verse 37 tells us that Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

God called all of his disciples because he wanted them to be laborer for his great work.

Matthew was one of the 12 disciples and one of the four gospel writers. Mark, Luke and John are the other three.

The purpose of Matthew is to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and the Eternal King.

The book of Matthew begins by giving Jesus’ genealogy. He then tells of Jesus’ birth and early years, including the family’s escape to Egypt from the murderer, King Herod, and their return to Nazareth.

Matthew was once a despised tax collector, but his life was changed by this Man from Galilee. In order for us to be laborers in this great harvest, we must have a change in our lives as Matthew did. God can use any of us to do his work. It does not matter about our past. When God forgives us, he equips us to do his work.

Matthew’s personal name means “Gift of Yahweh.” His office was located on the main highway that ran from Damascus down the Jordan Valley to Capernaum, then westward to Egypt or southward to Jerusalem.

He spoke Aramaic as well as Greek. He was hated by his fellow Jews. Sometimes when we are working for the Lord, we will also be hated.

In those 28 chapters of Matthew, we find some powerful and very informative information. Jesus used this same Jewish tax collector, who used the pen to do terrible things to his own people, to use the same pen to do good for the service of the Lord God Almighty.

In rendering service to the Lord, we will meet some very challenging moments. Some will not be so pleasant, but the reward we will receive will far outweigh every obstacle we encounter.

In praying and doing the Lord’s will, we will gain strength to continue on in his work because Jesus is our everything. We are to go out in the name of Jesus as sheep among wolves. Yes, we must be aware that we do have an adversary who does not want to see the work of the Lord go forth. But as we commit ourselves to do the work of the Lord, we can have peace in a world that does not know Christ. We can be assured that according to His word, Jesus will never leave us, nor forsake us.

The harvest is still plentiful and the workers are few. There is plenty of work to do for the Lord. Jesus looked at the crowd following him and referred to them as a field ripe for harvest. Many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone would minister to them.

Jesus commands us to pray that people will respond to the need for workers. So often when we pray for something, God answers our prayers by using us. We must be prepared for God to use us to show another person the way to Him.

Jesus called the 12 disciples. He did not draft them, force them or ask them to volunteer. He chose them to serve Him in a special way.

Jesus Christ calls us today. He does not twist our arm and make us do something we do not want to do. We can choose to join him or remain behind.

When Jesus calls you to follow him, how do you respond?

Your answer should be “Yes, Lord yes, I will trust you and obey.”

The Rev. Adren Bivins Sr., a clergy, is the founder of Laymen Brotherhood Second Chance Outreach Center Inc., a non-profit Bainbridge organization. He can be reached by calling (229) 465-3752 or 416-0476.