Thursday, November 17, 2016
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Our son-in-law was visiting his grandfather in Florida, with a nice Florida view outside his bedroom window-grapefruit trees. It wasn't all a happy view though. Many of the grapefruit were actually rotting on the ground. His grandfather wasn't up to harvesting them anymore. So those grapefruit got all ready to be picked and no one came, and they dropped to the ground and died.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "You Are Their Best Chance."
That's what happens when there's no one there to harvest a crop when it's ready. It will die ready. Tragically, that same thing can happen to something much, much more valuable-a human soul. But it doesn't have to happen.
In Luke 10:2, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few." Okay, I grew up in an apartment in Chicago. I don't know a lot about harvesting. I mean, we just harvested cockroaches in our apartment. But I've asked a lot of farmers what's the first thing they think of when I say the word "harvest." Their answer is almost always the same, "ready."
So Jesus was saying, "The ready is plentiful." In other words, He's got a lot of lost people ready to hear about Him. They don't know that it's Jesus they're ready for, but they will when they hear about Him...if they hear about Him. Because Jesus' problem isn't with the people who don't know Him; it's with the people who do-His spiritual harvesters. He has so many of His people He's counting on to harvest the hearts that He's gotten ready for Him, but they're just sitting in the farmhouse with the rest of God's family. Meanwhile, the harvest of hearts is waiting in the field ready...until that person dies ready.
That's a heartbreaking spiritual tragedy-lives lost because the Christian they know isn't telling them about Jesus. Here's what He says to do about this deadly apathy. "Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field." Those words "send out" sound so gentle in English. But the original Greek word is "ekballo" which means to "forcibly expel." It's used to throwing demons out of people, undesirables out of the temple. Many uses of the word include at least a hint of getting pretty aggressive, even violent. Jesus said His people need to be forcibly thrown out into the harvest of ready hearts. Maybe that's what He's trying to do with you.
That's why you're restless. That's why you're unfulfilled as a believer. He's rescued you to be using your everyday influence for something eternal-rescuing others from a Christless eternity. In Jesus, you've got so much that lost people around you are looking for. You've got peace in times of trouble, when Jesus is the only explanation for your peace. You've got a love you know you'll never lose. You've got the power to change the dark parts of you that you could have never changed yourself. You have a purpose to live for beyond just making it through the day and an eternity you are sure of. You have all of that because you have Jesus. They have none of that because they don't have Jesus.
The Savior who died for them has been working in their life to get them ready to hear about Him. And He's moving and shaking things in your life and in your soul to get you to tell about Him. He died for them, and they don't know it. And you are in possibly the best position of anyone to tell them. Before you talk to someone without Jesus, pray that 3-Open Prayer: "Lord, open a door to talk with them," "Lord, open their heart," and "Lord, open my mouth." Open a door, open their heart, and open my mouth.
You have no idea how important you are to the people you know. And they have no idea how important you are, but Jesus does. You are their best chance at Him; their best chance at heaven. It's harvest time, but it won't be for long. The ready time never is. Don't wait 'till their heart turns hard or until it beats for the very last time. Please don't let the people you know die ready.