I Love The Fall

I love the fall. Although the weather turns cooler and the days start to become shorter, the leaves turn into vibrant kaleidoscopes of color. Browns. Yellows. Reds. Orange. God’s creativity once again in full bloom.

The fall is also harvest time. Apples to be picked. Crops to be brought in and stored away. It is a time to reap what has been sown.

In the New Testament, Jesus talks about a harvest—a spiritual crop. He tells his disciples in Luke 10, as he was about to send them out to do kingdom work, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are "few." In other words, we have way more people ready to come into a loving, saving, transforming relationship with Jesus than we have people ready to help them. And in John 4, Jesus, pointing his disciples to the Samaritans, a people group they wanted nothing to do with, says, "The fields are ripe for harvest."

According to these two passages there are three things we need to do to finish what God has begun.

1) Open our eyes. Jesus says in John 4:35, “Do not say, “Four months more and then the harvest.’ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest.” Pay attention. Do you know how hungry people are for God? So many feel empty and know that all the things they have tried have failed to take away that empty feeling. So look around. Open your eyes.

2) Pray. Pray that God would send people who are willing to join with Him in this kingdom work. Pray that this great opportunity is not squandered.

3) Go. You be the answer to your own prayer. Our mission as a church is to help individuals become Christ-centered and Christ-sent together. Our mission is not about us. It is externally focused. It points us to the harvest.

One of our marks of a Christ-Centered, Christ-sent disciple is “I am intentionally investing and inviting others to Christ.” Investing in someone, like any investment, can take a long time. There is not always an immediate payoff. But think of one person, who is lost, and begin investing in them. Pray for them. Get to know them. Invest time into your relationship with them. And then when the Holy Spirit leads, invite. Invite them into a spiritual discussion. Invite them to an appropriate program here at church. Invite them to take the next step toward Jesus. During this fall season, let’s be about reaping the harvest that has already been sown.

This month in First Word, you will find Vanessa Beckett’s story about how MOPS and MOPSnext have given her opportunities to “Invest and Invite”. Also, the fourth weekend of October is our Outreach Weekend. Take a look at all that is going on. Get to know a missionary. See the harvest God is reaping across the world.

Enjoy this fall season,
Pastor Joel