Mooresville church of Christ

Teaching The Gospel in Mooresville, NC and Around the World...

News & Articles

Getting Ready For the Harvest

Getting Ready For The Harvest

     I recently read that there are a larger number of people than usual that are preparing gardens this year.   The author of the column in which this is stated surmises that folks are doing so this year because of the coronavirus and the requirements to participate in social distancing as well as the fact that many are restricted from going in to work.   This gives them “something to do” with their free time.  This is also the time of year to plant gardens and such.   All of this is in anticipation of the harvest in the fall and enjoying the “fruits of their labor”.  

    The idea of the “harvest” is not foreign to the Bible.  Harvest is mentioned 48 times in 43 verses in the O.T.   The first occurrence of “harvest” in the Bible is when God is promising to never again destroy the whole earth with flood.   In Genesis 8:22 God made this solemn promise:  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.   Of course, this “harvest” is in regard to the harvest of the field and the produce of the land.   This is what Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve was doing with his time – planting and harvesting – sowing and reaping as Genesis 4:2 points out. 

     As we move into the N.T. portion of the Bible, we find the first time “harvest” is used, was when Christ spoke of it.    In Matthew 9:36, we find that Jesus was moved with compassion toward the multitudes “because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”     Then in verse 37, Jesus turns to His disciples and said: “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;” and then gives them the instruction we find in verse 38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.    We were told in verse 35 of the same book and chapter that as Jesus was going through the area, He was preaching the gospel of the kingdom (the church) for which He would give His life on the cross, and the application is one that extends to us – even today.   

      In Galatians 6:7, after the church had been established, the Spirit had the apostle Paul write about a “harvest”, but has him use the word “reap”.  In this passage we also read that the “sowing” and “reaping” is not dealing with crops, but how we live our lives in response to God’s Word.    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  This is readily apparent in verse 8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.   Then, as we read Galatians 6:9, we see a principle that is true in all applications of “planting and harvesting” or “sowing and reaping”. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

       These verses may help us to understand that our labor must continue until the time of harvest.   In the realm of gardening or horticulture, one has to continue to cultivate the plant until the fruit or the desired result is produced.   Another important aspect of this is that whatever seed you put in the ground, you can expect the result to be the same fruit or vegetable when harvest time arrives.    As applied to our lives, I cannot see how Galatians 6:8 could possibly be more plain.    One cannot live a life of sin and debauchery, or even one of failure to serve God, and expect to “reap” something different than that which is different than what was sown.   Sin sown does not reap Salvation!

       As Jesus spoke those Words in Matthew 9:37-38 (above), He was speaking to those who followed Him during His earthly ministry.   These were folks who would have the chance to be part of the kingdom and become “laborers” in the church and be able to plant and water.   The Spirit had Paul speak of this great opportunity each Christian has in 1Corinthians 3:6.   The laborers were Paul and Apollos.  They were preparing the “hearts” of the people; implanting the seed and then watering (nurturing) that seed.   When the seed produced, it was God that provided the increase.    I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  The latter part of Acts 2:47 tells how this increase takes place.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.  This means God saves all who were baptized into Christ in obedience to His Word. 

      Jesus often spoke to the people of His day in parables.   In the explanation of the parable of the soils in Luke 8:11-15 we are told what that seed is and where it needs to be planted to produce the harvest God desires.   Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience

      All the laborers need to be diligent is sowing the seed of the kingdom, the Word of God, and watering as needed.  At the same time, we need to prepare for the harvest; for the time when we as individuals will reap what we have sown.    What have you “sown” in your life?    That is also what you will “reap”!    For what kind of harvest are you getting ready?  Think about it!

                                           Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

Upcoming Events

Share This Page