WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 24, 2022
TOPIC: THE FIELDS ARE READY FOR HARVEST
BY T. O. BANSO
“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35 New King James Version).
In the Prophet Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah in Isaiah 61, he spoke about His assignment on the earth. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (verse 1 New King James Version). The prophecy continues in the subsequent verses. When Jesus began His ministry, this was the focus of His ministry.
In Luke 4, He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up, went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as His custom was, and stood up to read. He was handed the book of the Prophet Isaiah and He read verses 1-2 of the prophecy I referred to earlier (Luke 4:17-19). When He had finished, He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everybody in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then Jesus began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (verse 21 New King James Version). In other words, He had come to fulfil the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah that He read.
Jesus devoted His lifetime to preaching, teaching, and healing. He preached the message of the Kingdom of God and in the process healed those who were sick, opened the eyes of the blind, and raised the dead. Acts 10:38 says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (New King James Version).
In Luke 5:32, Jesus said He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. He said a similar thing in Matthew 9:13b and Mark 2:17b. Therefore, Jesus went everywhere to meet the sinners He came for, preaching to them and healing them.
But Jesus didn’t do this alone. He knew that He had a short time to stay on the earth and could not reach everybody. He, therefore, chose some disciples whom He spent time teaching and sent out while He was still alive. They would be the ones to continue His mission on earth after Him. Mark 6:7 says, “And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits” (New King James Version).
Also, Luke 10:1 says that Jesus appointed seventy others and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He was about to go. Jesus said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road” (Luke 10:2-4 New King James Version). Take note of the phrase: The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Matthew 9:37-38 records the same thing.
The words of Jesus to His disciples reflect the urgency and seriousness of the assignment. If you read His instructions to them further, you will see that He didn’t send them on sightseeing or excursion! (Luke 10:5-16). They were on a mission to save souls. Verses 17-20 say, “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven’” (New King James Version).
Soul winning or evangelism is the number one assignment that Jesus has given to the church. He mentored His disciples for this and committed this assignment to them before He left. He didn’t only send them out, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease (Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1). “So they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:12-13 New King James Version). The twelve disciples went out and preached repentance to the people.
Jesus also told His disciples in John 4:35, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.”
Jesus said this after saying that His food was to do the will of Him who sent Him and to finish His work. This was in response to the disciples who had urged Him to eat but He said He had food to eat that they didn’t know. Then they asked one another if anyone had brought Him anything to eat.
Jesus’ food was to do the will of the Father who sent Him. He came to the earth to save the world. He wanted to preach to as many people as possible, including the Samaritan woman He was talking with before His disciples came. Jesus called the attention of His disciples to the fact that the fields were already ripe for harvest. In other words, there were people ready to hear the Word of God and be saved; there was no room for any excuse or wasting of time. See how The Living Bible puts John 4:35: “Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields of human souls are ripening all around us, and are ready now for reaping.”
Look around you and you’ll see souls that are already ripe to be won into the Kingdom of God. What are you doing? Jesus has sent you to go and win souls. This is the believer’s most important assignment. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16 New King James Version).
He also said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (New King James Version).
Furthermore, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower His disciples to be His witnesses. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 News King James Version). The Holy Spirit has since come.
The fields are already ripe for harvest. God is counting on you to bring more people into His Kingdom. If you’re born again, someone preached to you verbally or through a tract, or invited you to the church or the meeting where you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Who has come into the Kingdom of God through you? Romans 10:14 says, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (New King James Version). Be a preacher to those who are yet to come to Jesus.
Lift up your eyes and look at the fields; the fields are already ripe for harvest. Join the reapers/harvesters. There are rewards for you both on earth and in heaven. John 4:36 says, “The one who reaps the harvest is being paid and gathers the crops for eternal life; so the one who plants and the one who reaps will be glad together” (Good News Translation).
Get to work; the fields are ready for harvest. Be a soul winner. Support soul-winning or evangelism programmes financially. If you’re already involved in winning souls, don’t be weary. You are called to be a witness for Jesus. He who wins souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30b).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I receive the power to be a witness for Jesus everywhere. I am a wise son; I shall win souls in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to win more souls into the Kingdom of God. I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict sinners as they listen to the Word of God and they will give their lives to Jesus. As the harvest is plentiful, I pray to the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947