Links Daily Devotional

Into the Fields

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he 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 field.” (Matthew 9:35-38, NIV)

As we start the fall, the peak of the golf season comes to an end. If you play in the North, it may come to an end altogether. You have my sympathy!

Either way, if you are like me you have worked hard all summer to get your golf game to its prime, and it’s a bit sad to lay that all aside now. Golf does take work if you want to be the best golfer you can be. Whether working on your driver, irons or short game, there is always room for improvement.

The same is true for those of us who dare to call ourselves disciples (or followers) of Jesus. We may be right where God has us for today, but he is always taking us to the next level–whether you consider that “higher” or “deeper.”

With that in mind, I recently challenged some of our Fellowship leaders to look at today’s passage and replace the word “disciples” with their own name. Now read the passage as if Jesus is speaking to you. What a change that makes!

Many of us don’t feel we are equipped or worthy to be called as workers, urged by Jesus to go into the harvest field. Can I just tell you that is how the disciples there with Jesus felt too? They were plenty comfortable before all this talk of the harvest.

But don’t let that discourage you. See, the harvest field is probably a lot nearer than you’re thinking. We have harvest fields in our own backyard–the golf course, our place of business, among our neighbors and friends. In all of these places, we will find people who are ripe to hear and respond to the salvation Jesus offers. They do not need to go on being “harassed and helpless.” There is Good News for them.

What we need to consider is how we can bring this Good News of Jesus to those we meet who are struggling and pained, those who need an infusion of hope. Jesus has the same compassion for the crowds at our golf courses today as he did for the people of Judea those 2000 years ago.

In the new movie Gravity, the main character Ryan Stone has reached her last hope to survive and we hear her say, “I never learned to pray.” I wonder how many people whose paths we cross would say they the same!

What a joy to minister to those who have such needs! In realizing this, we can ask God boldly to send us out into the harvest, to make us good and faithful servants who offer all that he is to all who need him.

Dereck Wong
October 14, 2013
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