CALL TO THE HARVEST
1. INTRODUCTION - THE CRY OF THE CROWD
a) Examples of the cry of a crowd - each has its own sound!
· Riot in India
· Traffic moving in India
· Rugby match in McLean Park
· 1998 Princes Trust Party
· Sound of many individual voices all crying the same thing.
b) Spiritual Cry - cry of people spiritually broken, crushed
- cry of people troubled, oppressed by demonic powers
· People don’t always hear the cry e.g. Anti abortion video “Silent Scream” but God does.
· Exodus 1:13-14 - Made lives bitter with hard bondage
· Exodus 2:23 - Sighed and cried - a cry came up to God by reason of the bondage
· Exodus 3:7-11 - Seen the affliction, heard their cry, know their sorrows.
I am come down to deliver them out of the land of Egyptians.
· God sees, hears, and knows what is going on in hearts of the people.
· Nothing is hid from his eyes - looks on the heart (1 Sam.16:7)
c) People are always part of God’s solution
v8 “I am come down to deliver them”.
v10 “I will send you that you may bring forth my people.
· God limits the extent of his involvement - requires people to participate.
· In every generation God sends people.
· In Exodus God sent Moses - today he wants to send you!
· v11 What excuse will you give for not going?
Rom.10:13 Whosoever call upon the name of the Lord will be saved!
· How shall they call upon him who have not believed?
· How believe in Him of whom they have not heard?
· How shall they hear without a preacher (herald, one who proclaims).
· How shall they preach except they be sent?
2. MOVED BY THE NEED
a) Ministry of Jesus was in all the cities and villages - every person hear!
· Gospel of the Kingdom - authority and rule of God over his creation
- power of God manifest in healing and deliverance
- call to a changed lifestyle - repentance.
b) Vision of the Harvest
· “Multitudes” (3793 Strongs) = vehicle, something that carries you along.
· Such a large crowd packed together that it carried people along.
· Huge crowd of people drawn by possibility of seeing or experiencing a miracle, supernatural power of God.
· People desperate for a touch a God - seekers (cf Eph.2:2)
· “Fainted” (1590 Strongs) harassed, distressed, dejected to point of giving up hope.
· “Scattered abroad” = wasted, put to flight before their enemies.
The spiritual condition of the people was desperate.
· “Like sheep without a Shepherd”
· Sheep are defenceless, vulnerable, unable to help themselves
· The spiritual condition of people without Christ is likened to sheep.
· Sheep are vulnerable to many conditions e.g:
i) worms and parasites
ii) fly blown - cf Satan = Beelzebub - Lord of the flies
iii) Grass staggers
iv) Cast - disoriented - unable to stand up
v) Wander and get lost
vi) Fear - scare easily - run together without knowing where they are going.
vii) Predators - wild animals that attack and devour because love to kill.
· Moved with compassion (4697 Strongs)
· To have a deep yearning within.
· Deep inward affection together with mercy that stretches out to help.
· Eg Mk.1:41 - Leper - Jesus moved with compassion - put forth his hand and touched him - identified with the deepest pain the leper felt - isolation and loneliness.
· Compassion results in practical assistance, action to get involved.
3. RESPONDING TO THE CALL
a) Pointed out the potential
v37 “Harvest is plentious”
· Harvest (2326 Strongs) = The reaping
= season when crop is ready to be gathered in
= person receiving Christ as Saviour and follows Him.
= End of the age - great multitudes of people saved.
· Jesus constantly kept his purpose in mind - harvest of souls
· Jesus constantly drew attention of his followers to the harvest (Jn.4:35)
· Jesus call to follow him is a call to become fishers of men.
b) Named the Need
· “Labourers are few” (2040 Strongs) people who work, toil, put in the effort needed to get results.
· Harvest is the time of labour, work, full employment e.g. Hastings.
· People go through circumstances that prepare their heart to cry to God. God needs people - to share his love, speak his word, reach out.
· The Holy Spirit prepares, draws, organises connection but people must speak and act on God’s behalf.
c) Call to the Harvest
1) Pray - without prayer we cannot get results.
· Prayer gives God legal right to move upon people’s lives.
· Prayer calls forth the will of God 2 Pet.3:9/1 Tim.2:4.
· Persistent prayer must under-gird efforts to reach people.
· Prayer ignites passion and concern in our heart for the lost.
· Prayer sets up opportunities for divine encounters.
· Pray for “Labourers to be sent” i.e. God to move upon hearts so that people respond to his call.
· Is. 6:8 After an encounter with God that changed his life Isaiah heard the heart of God: “Whom shall I send who will go for us” Response “Here am I - send me!"
· Go = take initiative to go to where people are and build relationship so the Gospel can be shared.
· Pray, give and go are Jesus’ directives to his followers.
· Authority is given to act on Jesus behalf and in His name over sickness and demons.
· Wherever you go - you are sent by Christ and commissioned to make him known.
· Whom shall I send - who will go for us. Here am I Lord - send me!
POINTS FOR DISCUSSION
Note : Do not attempt to answer all the questions
1. Read Exodus 3:7 - 11
Note : Egypt is a symbol in the Bible for the world ruled by Satan. People in Egypt are people in spiritual bondage to sin and Satan.
· Identify what God saw, heard and knew about people in Egypt.
· Why does He call them “my people”? How does He view them?
· What 2-fold purpose did God reveal in verse 8 concerning His people?
· What part did God call Moses to play in His purposes?
· What was Moses initial response to God’s call?
· Why do you think he was so reluctant to cooperate?
· How willing are you to cooperate with God in reaching out to unsaved friends and neighbours? Are you reluctant like Moses? Why? What could you do to overcome this?
2. Read Matthew 9:35-38
· What connection is there between the Word of God and Power of God (vs 35)?
· Why do you think such massive crowds gathered?
· What was the condition of these people spiritually?
· Do you know any people who are “Seekers”? Who are they? What could you do to help them take their next step?
· In what ways are people spiritually like sheep?
· What do you think Jesus hand in mind when He said that the “Harvest is plentious”?
· What need did Jesus identify must be met for the harvest to be gathered?
· In what ways do you think “the labourers are few” still applies today? Why is this so?
· How does Jesus statement relate to our church vision?
· What key instructions did Jesus give concerning this need? Why? What outcome is Jesus looking for?
· In what ways could you become involved as a “labourer for the Harvest?” What kind of training or preparation do you need?