There was a noticeable chill in the air as I prepared to go about my day. As I was thinking about my day, and the things that I needed to do, I remembered that there were some pecans on the ground under the trees. I thought for a moment and then told myself that I would pick up the pecans later. By then it would be a little warmer, the dew would be gone and I would have more time. In other words, it would be more convenient for me to wait until later to pick up the pecans. I had things to do this morning and picking up pecans was not at the top of my list.
As I opened the shade over the patio door all I saw was birds, birds and more birds! Hundreds of birds, all pecking on the pecans that were on the ground – the pecans that were ready to be gathered up. I knew that if I waited to pick them up later it would be too late for most of them. They would be gone or they would have holes in them and covered with ants.
I put on my sweater, picked up a plastic bag and went outside to gather the pecans. At first, while I gathered the pecans I was thinking about all the other things that I should have been doing – the things that I had planned for the day. After awhile I began to think of a verse that had been going over and over in my mind for several weeks.
Proverbs 10:5 NKJV
“He who gathers in summer is a wise son;
He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”
As I meditated on the verse while picking up pecans many thoughts came to mind. It would truly be a shame for the pecans to be wasted because I had other things to do. There is truly a time for harvest. Harvest time is not always convenient, but it must be done when the crop is ready.
It will take a sacrifice of your time to gather the harvest in the storehouse. Just as I had to give up my time, my schedule, and my plans, so must the body of Christ if they want to be part of the end time harvest. Conditions will not always be pleasant, convenient, enjoyable or easy for us. It was cold, the ground was damp, and there was a steady breeze blowing as I picked up the pecans. But, I knew that I had to keep on until the job was finished. There were too many pecans that need to be picked up to quit and go back inside where it was warm and comfortable.
John 4:27-38 NKJV
“And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, ‘What do You seek?’ or, ‘Why are You talking with her?’ The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, ‘Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? Then they want out of the city and came to Him. In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’ Therefore the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true. ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
Our food is not simply knowing the will of God, but doing His will. To often we stop short of doing God’s will. God offers (provides) each one of us opportunities to do the will of God, but it up to us to make the most of every opportunity given to us. We too (the body of Christ), must not quit until the job is finished. There are too many souls that need to be reached for Christ. We must not revert back into the four walls of the church and only think about ourselves. Gathering in God’s harvest is not always pleasant, convenient, enjoyable or easy for us. We must continue laboring in the harvest field until God’s storehouse is full or until He calls us home.
Proverbs 10:5 NKJV
“He who gathers in summer is a wise son;
He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”
I never want to cause God shame by not harvesting during His harvest season. May the body of Christ wake up and see that now is the time of harvest. As the church prays to the Lord of the Harvest for laborers, may she realize that she is the laborer that He has sent into the harvest field.
Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
A few of the birds did not fly away when I went outside to pick up the pecans. A couple of crows flew way up in the tree tops and watched me from there. As I picked up pecans, they would call out to each other in a loud shrill noise. They reminded me of our enemy. Many times as we are busy gathering God’s harvest, they enemy is standing close by crying out, trying to intimate us or scare us so that we will stop or give up.
As I was picking up pecans I ran upon a few that had already fell victim to the birds. Some had little holes in them and were full of ants, others were nothing but an empty shell. The birds do not care about the pecan shells all they want is what’s inside. And they will peck and peck at the outside until they get a break (a hole or crack) in the pecan.
1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Satan desire to take God’s greatest creation, man, and leave him like an empty shell. His goal is to completely destroy man. Satan doesn’t care about your body or what happens to it, he only cares about controlling your soul (mind, will, emotions) because ultimately he wants your spirit in the lake of fire with him. Satan does not want man to have an intimate relationship with God or serve God.
All over the world there are people like the pecans. They are in the field ready for harvest but the majority of the body of Christ is asleep or praying for God to send someone else into the field to do the work. Like the pecans that fell victim to the birds, many have fell victim to Satan. He had pecked at them so much that they have holes, breaks and cracks in them where the enemy (like the ants) can eat away at their souls and eventually cost them their spirit.
Matthew 9:35-38 NKJV
“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
As the body of Christ we must look at those around us through the eyes of Jesus. We must see the multitudes and be moved with compassion for them. Many people around us are weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. The harvest truly is plentiful and the laborers in God’s harvest are few. Many in the body of Christ give God’s harvest only the time that they have left over. They religiously give the first fruits of their money (tithe and offering) which does help in the harvest, but fail to see the importance of giving the first fruits of their time. Selfishness and man made schedules, plans, agendas keep them from taking a personal interest in those in bondage and oppression. We are to take a personal interest in ministering to the needs of the unprotected and the needy. Not just with our money, but also with our time.
James 1:27 NKJV
“ Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
When the harvest lays in the field long enough it is wasted. It is not the will of God that any perish, but some will. God desires that all come to repentance, but some won’t. God desire for us to reach the lost, but some won’t. It is not enough to know the will of God, but you must do it. We know a lot but we do not do what we are commanded to do.
Matthew 22:9 NKJV
“Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding”
Luke 14:16-24 NKJV
“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them, I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to the servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”
Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
As the church (and individually) we have a lot of input (knowledge) but not enough output (productivity). There are many excuses that we can give for not doing what God has called us to do but that’s all they are, excuses. And according to the above passage, they all make God angry. There are no excuses for not reaching the lost with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. In the body of Christ there are those who are held captive to their own leisure and those who have lost interest in their work (working in the harvest field). God has a name for people that are slothful (lazy) workers – wicked and lazy servants.
Matthew 25:14-30 NKJV
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But the lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”
God requires His servants (His workers) to be faithful to what He has called them to. The last servant mentioned in the above passage did not fear his master. He was lazy. In fact, he was so lazy that he did not even bother to deposit the money with the bankers. He did not use what God had given him and in the end he lost it. He was an unprofitable servant because he failed to be faithful to the task given to him by his master. We will either use what God has given us or God will take it away and give it to someone else who will use it. We will either be faithful to the harvest or we will loose out – we will not share in the rewards or the blessings of God. The rewards and the blessings that we receive (individually and as a body) will be based on our faithfulness.
The servant wanted to take the easy way out. His mind was not on increasing what was given to him for his master but only on keeping what had been given to him. In the body of Christ we to often want to take the easy way out. Our mind is not always on increasing the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 4:10 NKJV
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Every believer is gifted to serve. We are all managers of what God has entrusted to unto us and we will be held accountable for using our gift. We must use our gift in the best interest of God, for advancing His kingdom (for reaching the lost).Those that do not put into practice what they know become “unskilled people.” Not because they do not know it, but because they do not act upon what they know. We (the body of Christ) all know that we have been instructed to “Go”, but we do not all act upon it.
Hebrews 5:12-14 NKJV
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
All across the world the body of Christ must wake up, rise up and be doers of the Word, not hearers only. May they truly realize that faith without works is dead. We must apply what we know to our life. May they act upon what they know and reach out to the people (adults and children) around them.
James 1:22-25 NKJV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
God’s heart beats for souls. As we take on the mind of Christ ours should also. It’s time for the church come out from behind it’s four walls of warmth and comfort into the cold and damp world to pick up the hurt, broken, and lost and take them into the storehouse of God. Now is harvest time. May we work while there is still time.
Proverbs 6:6-11 NKJV
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,
Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to sleep – So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler,
And your need like an armed man.”