The Harvest is Not Ours: an encouraging reminder about our role in evangelism

During the week of June 6, 2016 I had the incredible opportunity to participate in Crossover 2016 with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the North American Mission Board.

(thanks to both for making it happen!)

 

We spent the week in the beautiful city of St. Louis, MO partnering with local churches and sharing the gospel.

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It was challenging, it was amazing, it was exhausting, it was energizing, it was formative even for a pastor entering his FIFTHTEENTH YEAR of full-time ministry. All together we shared the Gospel with over 8,000 people! And over 550 people came to know Jesus as their Savior!!!

 

One passage of Scripture that literally leapt off the page during my devotional time that week was
Mark 4:26-29:

 

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

 

HE KNOWS NOT HOW…

 

Those words both haunt me as a pastor and bring me great hope as an evangelist!

 

We have NO control how the Gospel grows in someone’s heart. Our job is simply to scatter the seed,
to plant the story of Jesus, to share the good news! Then…

 

The Holy Spirit takes over and grows the seed of the Gospel and makes the heart ready to receive Jesus. Listen to Christ’s words in John chapter 16:

 

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me… When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” – John 16:7-8, 13-15

 

The Spirit is only one that can break the bondage of sin and remove our blindness and help us see the truth of Gospel.

 

In other words the Spirit is the only one who can point the lost to Jesus. NOT US!

 

So… what do we do?

 

We share, we serve, we love, we dialogue, we take every chance we get to plant the Gospel and to water it, and encourage it in people’s hearts and then we remember Paul’s words to the Corinthian church:

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, BUT ONLY GOD who GIVES THE GROWTH.”

 

And when God grants that growth, let’s be ready to help our friends and family, our neighbors, our
co-workers, our fellow coaches and even just a stranger we meet PRAY to receive Jesus into their heart. That when they ask:

“…what must I do to be saved?” – Philippians 16:30

 

We can say to them:

“confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:8-9

 

So remember church that God has placed us in our homes, and workplaces, and classrooms, and on our sports teams to intersect the lives of non-Christians in order that we might spread the seed of Jesus’ story.

Let’s be faithful to spread it everywhere we go and as soon the Holy Spirit grows it up in someone’s heart, let’s be ready to reap the harvest that God has brought!

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Categories: Blog, Missional Living

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