SYNOPSIS: There is a very real harvest of human souls that will spend somewhere in eternity—either heaven or hell. To the Lord of the harvest, the in-gathering of these unsaved souls is his primary “business,” if you will. Moreover, the Lord of the harvest has recruited you and me into his field to do the harvesting of these souls on his behalf. All that to say, since lost people matter that much to God, they must matter that deeply to us as well! As Elton Trueblood observed, winning souls “is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.”
Project 52 – Weekly Scripture Memory // Matthew 9:37-3
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest”
This verse represents a clear view into the compassionate heart of a seeking God, and more than anything, it reveals the compelling core of his very being.
Moreover, Jesus’s words remind us that there is a very real harvest of human souls that will spend somewhere in eternity—either heaven or hell. And being Lord of the harvest, it tells us that the gathering in of these unsaved souls is God’s primary business, if you will.
Finally, it tells us that we are those he has brought into his field to do the harvesting of these souls. In other words, you are God’s harvester!
All that to say, lost people must matter to us because they matter to God!
John 3:16, the most compelling of all the verses in the Bible, is compelling for a reason. It reminds us, in no uncertain terms, that the salvation of the lost, both near and far, both next door and across the ocean, is the driving conviction of God’s being:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Now if lost people matter that deeply to God—enough to send his only Son to die for us-they ought to matter deeply to us as well. And that is a critical issue since, as Christian author Jacquelyn Heasley puts is,
How we believe God perceives people determines how we will respond to them.
The fact of the matter is, every time you lock eyes with another human being, you are seeing a soul that is so loved by God that he sent his Son to die for their redemption. Whether it is soldiers in Communist China, burka-clad Muslims women in Tehran, immigrants fleeing harsh conditions in Latin America and overwhelming our borders, or the next-door neighbor who won’t cut his grass, they matter deeply to a seeking God. And they need to matter deeply to us as well.
So reaching them with the Good News of salvation and the free gift of eternal life is the mission of God that has been assigned to you and me. In that sense, you and I are missionaries—albeit to our next-door neighbor, or to our classmate in the next desk over, or to our coworker in the cubicle next to us.
May I implore you to not only memorize this verse this week, but to see it from a whole new perspective from now on. Let it remind you of the ripe harvest all around you. Let it give you a clear and constant view into the very heart of the seeking Father. And let it shake you to the core that God is depending on you to be the gatherer in his great harvest of souls.
May this be the compelling call that transforms you into a Christ follower who has become intensely missionary. Henry Martyn, the nineteenth century Anglican missionary to India who died, incidentally, at the age of thirty-one bringing the Gospel to Iran, said:
The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”
God help you, and God help me, to become intensely missionary!
Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus. ~Elton Trueblood