I hope you are having a relaxing summer. Summer is a gift of God to a people who live in a cold country. Our summers are short and so there is always a certain urgency. We have to take advantage of the warm (hot!) weather.
The same is true for the Christian life. All people need to take advantage of the gospel offer in this season before the last Day. Paul reminds the Corinthians that “now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6.2).
It is also a season for calling people to believe in the gospel. This is not just your own personal belief in Christ, but the importance of bearing witness to this news of salvation. The season for this is brief too. And that is all the more reason why we need to have a sense of urgency, even as we are basking in the sunlight of the Son.
Jesus knew this tendency to forget how brief the window is. He said to the disciples:
Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. (John 4:35)
The harvest was urgently upon them. And they needed to admit the facts. They couldn’t let themselves think that they still had lots of time before the urgency kicks in.
In 1866, Charles Spurgeon preached on this passage and he noted how unexpectant Christians had become. He said:
You know that this is the general feeling at present in the Christian church, not to expect any great things now, but to be waiting and watching for something or other which may one of these days, in the order of providence, “turn up.”
We can be quite unexpectant. That is why we are fearful in evangelism, or we are apathetic in it. We just don’t expect that we can do it, or it will do any good. We almost completely take God out of the equation. All we end up seeing is the indifference or hostility of people toward the gospel.
But could it be that the indifferent person is simply being ripened by God, so that their apathy will be arrested by the drama of God’s wrath that rests upon them? Maybe they’ll be shaken by the profound condescension and love of God in Christ Jesus? If you speak the gospel to them, they might be ready to burst in relief at finding a refuge to flee from the wrath to come.
You don’t know this for sure. But you can be expectant of God.
As missionary to India, William Carey said, “Expect great things; attempt great things--- for God”. What are you expecting from God and attempting for God?
Summer is a wonderful time. Let’s also remember that it is the precursor to the harvest. Will you pray with expectancy for ways to enter into God’s harvest?
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10.2).
Pray this way and God will make you an answer to your own prayer.
5 Ways You Can Expectantly Enter the Harvest this month:
Pray for Young's Farm VBS and the salvation of young people there.
Plan a morning or a lunch hour or an evening to reach out to one of the sectors or groups in our August Outreach.
Prayerfully reflect on God’s undeserved favour to you, and start praying in concentric circles for the salvation of those closest to you, and progressively further out.
Pray for the Word Heard Together, in our Sunday gatherings and as people apply it in Community Groups and One-to-One discipling.
Pray that new people would come and hear the the Word preached, as CGC folks invite them to church and share the gospel with them.
More in Pastoral Blog
November 8, 2018Reflections on The Gospel Coalition Canada National Conference, Part 1
October 25, 2018Every-Member Ministry: More of What It Isn’t
October 18, 2018Every-Member Ministry: What It Isn’t