As we recognize that we are living in the last days, there are some things that, as the Body of Christ, we need to do. We cannot sit around passively in church, thinking that Jesus will come back for His bride that has been complacent and stagnant.
There are certain things we must do to prepare for the harvest.
"Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they fainted and were scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest" (Matt. 9:35-38).
When we read this, Jesus is saying there are few workers or few people to reap the harvest or reach souls. We usually equate that with people or churches that are evangelizing and getting people saved. That is true; we need that. However, we don't just need people or churches to go out and evangelize; there is something more that Jesus is saying here.
We must honor God with our lives. God wants to restore His honor in all the earth. Honoring the Lord will change the atmosphere around the world. If every church in the world went outside their four walls and reached 100 people and brought them to church and they got saved, would that be enough?
When people come to your church, do they find a place where Jesus is a priority and where an atmosphere of honor toward the Lord has been created? If they find this, they too will turn their hearts to the Lord and honor Him. This is the harvest that God wants.
Most people are satisfied with their salvation, and that's it. I will go to church every Sunday and I'm good, because I know I'm going to heaven. I will throw in a few dollars in the offering, maybe come out and help during a special event or holiday to soothe my conscience and maybe clap my hands if I like the song they sing. That's it, which is all I have to do because I know I'm going to heaven.
The Bible has a different interpretation as to how we must prepare ourselves as the bride of Christ; it is not simply about reaching heaven. We must prepare ourselves for heaven as the bride of Christ.
"'Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. It was granted her to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.' Fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints" (Rev. 19:7-8).
As believers, our righteous acts are walking in unity as a body, giving our tithes and offerings, serving, worshiping and praising God, knowing and living the word of God, honor and reverence to the Lord, and putting God first. We don't have to be a perfect church, but it is important for us to honor God and put our faith in Him. As we respond, He will continue to change us and bring in the harvest.
We must understand the times we are living in and the urgency of the hour. God must come first and be a priority in our lives.
"As they went along the way, a man said to Him, 'Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.' Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.' He said to another man, 'Follow Me.' But he said, 'Lord, let me first go and bury my father.' Jesus said to him, 'Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But you go and preach the kingdom of God.' Yet another said, 'Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go bid farewell to those at my house.' Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back at things is fit for the kingdom of God'" (Luke 9:57-62).
This was a priority statement. When Jesus said "no place to lay His head," this was a test. If you follow me, you may have nowhere to lay your head. Jesus emphasized that they can't look back, they can't return to their past, and they couldn't return to their religious family to get them to approve.
God knows our heart, but He is not going to compete with that distraction in our life. We have to ask ourselves if we are ready to make Him the priority by honoring Him.
It's not simply about the final destination. You want heaven to be a priority when you die, but you won't make God a priority as you live. When you get caught in an apathetic way or stuck in your religion or tradition, you need to respond and do something different so that you don't stay in that spot. Your life, marriage, home, relationships or with God may be moving toward a dead end, so you must respond.
As we prepare for God's harvest, we must create an atmosphere of honor to the Lord at church and in our lives. When we get this, we will not only reap the harvest but we will do the right thing in God's eyes not only by getting people saved but also by teaching the people to honor the Lord and make Him a priority.
This sets us up for the revival to come, when our hearts will be turned towards God and our lives will be surrendered to Him. We will be a people that God will look at and pour His presence out to us.
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