I listened to a program on the radio today by Ron Hutchcraft (from “A Word with You”), and he talked about something interesting. He said when he would ask a farmer what came to mind when he’d say the word, “harvest,” they inevitably answered, “Ready.” So harvest time is really ready time. It means the fruits and vegetables are ready to be picked. What happens if you can’t keep up? They rot. They die. You have to work hard at harvest time or else you lose your crop.
That happens with our apple tree also. If we don’t get the ripe apples off the tree or even off the ground in time, bugs come and eat them, deer come and take bites out of them, or they just spoil, even right on the branches. What a waste! We could have saved that crop but our inactivity, in essence our neglect, cost those fruits their purpose.
The Bible says in Matthew 9:35-38: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
How sad Jesus must feel when there are people ready to be told about Him, but no one is willing to tell them. Ron Hutchcraft mentioned three things we must pray for: Open doors, Open hearts, and Open mouths. We should pray for God to show us the opportunities around us, and that the Holy Spirit will open their hearts to the truth, and that we will tell them the truth of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and salvation for their souls. 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”
I would also say we should be ready to offer words of encouragement to each other as well, edifying other believers, and also showing kindness and love to the world. But don’t forget that telling life saving truth is also a form of love. Just be mindful about how you come across. People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care. It’s God’s responsibility ultimately to save them, but we are the laborers to point them to Jesus. Let’s challenge ourselves to do hard things, to step out of our comfort zones and do some work for the Lord of the harvest, praying not only that He will send more laborers, but that we can be included in that party! It’s Ready Time!