www.herald-journal.com
Lazy days of summer
September 3, 2012
by Pastor Al Jones, New Life Assembly of God Church, Cokato

I remember hearing the phrase, “lazy days of summer” when I was a youngster, and not really understanding what it meant. To me, the whole summer had time for play. Even though some days were filled with work, baling hay, rouging beans, etc., I always had time for baseball, swimming, and riding my bike to Lantto’s Store (Ernie’s, in those days) for a grape Crush and a Lakeland pie.

There is a time during crop farming that seems to lend itself to this saying. It’s a time when the crops are too tall to hoe the weeds, the third crop of alfalfa is in the barn, and all the prep work for harvest is done. It becomes a waiting game for harvest time – the anticipation of filling the bins, corn cribs, and silos with the coming crops.

Sometimes, just maybe, we take the same attitude toward our walk as spiritual farmers. We find ourselves waiting for the harvest of souls to come into our churches – ready to meet people’s needs as soon as they come through the door. While it’s a good thing to have opportunities ready for those making decisions for Christ, by waiting, we’ve taken the obligation out of the Great Commission that Jesus, Himself wants us to fulfill.

In all four Gospels and the book of Acts, Jesus has conversation with His disciples that leaves us with the impression that he is asking us to do something for Him. Let’s take an example from Matthew’s account: Jesus said, “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.” (Matthew 28:19-20; cp Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:46-49, John 20:21-22, Acts 1:8).

It should be noted that the very first word, “go,” is a command to do something. We live in a day that this word from Christ should burn within us. It’s not meant just for missionaries and those in full-time ministry – it’s God’s call to all of us.

Jesus said 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!” Jesus saw something that we need to have eyes to see today.

If there were any “lazy days,” they are long past. It’s time to bring the harvest in. Farmers everywhere will soon be in the fields to bring in their crops – but if they simply wait at their bins, corn cribs, and silos for the crops to come to them, the crops will be wasted in the field.

If we take the same approach with those that do not know Jesus, we will find our “harvest” wasted in the field of the world.

Let’s bring in the harvest together!