As I write this, everyone is concerned about unemployment. Presidents have won and lost elections because of the numbers of people who are out of work and not able to find it. Quite frankly, I think that most people attach too much significance to politicians, whether the jobless rate is high or low, but that’s another issue.
But in today’s passage Jesus also talked about his kingdom’s unemployment statistics, and the numbers are grim indeed, even worse than the latest newspaper headlines. He compared the lost world to a field that’s ready for harvest. In fact, he said the “harvest is plentiful.” There are tons of people out there without hope, without real life, without Christ. In other words, there's plenty of work for us to do. So what's the problem? Is it that people aren’t interested in salvation? No, the main obstacle is that “the workers are few.”
Does this mean that every believer is called to be an evangelist? Well, yes and no. There is a specific gift of evangelism, and not every Christian has this gift. Billy Graham has it in spades, along with Louie Giglio and a host of others. But all believers are called to be his witnesses and to be ready to share the reason for the hope that’s in them. They should be able to explain to a lost person how to be saved, and to be ready to share this when God gives them opportunity. BTW, if you're looking for a way to share the Good News and you'd like to see one way I do it, see here.
But this is an interesting adjustment of priorities. People involved in the missions movement are always complaining that not enough money is spent on sharing the Good News with all the world, and they definitely have a point. The church in America spends about .01% of its resources on spreading the Good News to people who've never heard, and the rest is spent on itself. But when Jesus was instructing his disciples and bemoaning the spiritual state of the people around them, he asked them to pray for more workers. That’s the most important thing—for God to call more people, and for those people to be obedient. Money is important, since where you spend your money demonstrates where your heart is. But I feel the need to reiterate that Jesus told us to pray for more harvesters.
I do thoroughly believe that every believer is called to be involved in missions, as a sender or a goer. We're all called to invest our resources in spreading the advance of his Kingdom, and our Lord's command to pray for more harvesters applies to everyone. So what part does the Lord want you to play in this grand drama, this eternal contest for men’s souls? What does he want you to sacrifice? Well, a nice place to start would be on your knees.
Lord Jesus, I'm so concerned about my standard of living, my comfort level. Please show me what you want me to do, and give me the strength to do it.
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