Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is John 4:35 which reads: “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”
Our soul winning quote today is from Will McRaney. He said, “We cannot harvest where no seed has been planted.”
Our soul winning devotional today is part 10 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is…” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler’s fine book, “Evangelism Is…: How to Share Jesus With Passion and Confidence”.
Evangelism is spiritual farming.
The church was born into an agricultural society. Most of the people lived in the country and farmed. Even village dwellers had a garden and raised a few animals. If you were not a fisherman or a carpenter, you likely would have been a farmer. The idea of plowing, planting, and harvesting would have been easily understood. Therefore, when the apostle Paul was trying to help the Corinthian Christians understand the nature of evangelism, he used the analogy of the harvest. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 says: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
In Paul’s harvest analogy the gospel is the seed. Paul and Apollos were harvest workers along with God. The hearts of the Corinthians were the field of soil. The “increase” or harvest is the result of the gospel’s producing new life in the heart of a lost person.
We need to understand several key truths about the principles of the spiritual harvest.
1. The harvest is a process, not an event. Effective evangelism respects the processional nature of evangelism.
2. More than one element is involved in the harvest. In order to ensure a harvest, someone must plant seed. The seed must be watered. God has to make it come to life, grow, and bear fruit.
3. Different people can play different roles in the harvest. Some can plant; others can water.
4. Every aspect is equally important. If no one plants the seed, there can never be a harvest. If no one waters the seed, it will never grow and produce fruit.
Effective evangelism never violates the principles of the harvest. The best way to recapture success in evangelism is to return to these principles. The harvest principles are taught throughout the Scriptures. Psalm 126:5 is true, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”