Harvest

<<crop, yield>>

The Israelites were instructed to present the first fruits of the harvest as an offering to God (Deut 26:1-4). In a similar manner, we should give back to the Lord a portion of what we have been blessed with as tithes and offerings.

The harvest is the expected increase, of what was sown. In the natural setting, the soil must be prepared and sowing done, which requires our action. Then comes a period of growth, over which we have little or no control, yet necessitates our patience (Mk 4:27-29). Finally the harvest will come if we don’t give up. This natural sequence is applied in the spiritual realm as a Biblical principle (1 Cor 15:46; Gal 6:9; Jas 5:7).

A farmer believes in the productivity of the seed, committing the seed into the ground and even

though it dies, it will multiply in new life. All the preparation work culminates in the harvest so to 'sleep’ during the harvesting period is wasteful of the earlier effort and neglecting of personal responsibility (Prov 10:5). God said, as long as the earth endures there will be seedtime and harvest (Gen 8:22). Just as rain causes an abundant harvest to come forth, so the Word of God will achieve its desire purpose (Isa 55:10,11; Heb 6:7). Jesus used the harvest analogy to explain what His death would achieve, “bringing many sons to glory” (Jn 12:24; Rom 8:29; Heb 2:10)

In the parable of the sower, some seed to fell on hard, unprepared ground and the seed was wasted (Mt 13:1-23).  Other seed germinated but didn’t produce a crop as it withered up because of trouble and persecution.  Yet more seed was overgrown by worries and the deceitfulness of money preventing it from being fruitful.  The seed falling on prepared soil produced a crop, up to 100 times as much as was sown.  Are there obstacles or reasons why the Word of God is not producing a bountiful harvest in my life?  What steps am I taking to rectify this?

Don’t be as concerned about the harvest you reaped today as you are about the seed
you are planting now; if you are not reaping the results you had hoped for, maybe you did not prepare for it (Prov 20:4). The harvest is only an increase on the seed sown. The more seed sown will result in a bigger crop to be harvested (Lk 6:38; 2 Cor 9:6). We will

   What harvest can I expect from                        the seed I am sowing?

reap what we have sown, either to the spiritual nature or the carnal (Gal 6:7,8). What we have planted into the lives of others someone else might reap, while we may gather what others have sown.  We should not glory in our efforts, for it is God’s power that enables things to grow and produce (Jn 4:37,38; 1 Cor 3:5-8).

Jesus referring to the unsaved said, “Open your eyes and look at the fields.  The harvest is plentiful and ripe, ready to be gathered in, but the labourers are few, ask God to send out more workers”, (but note, when praying for labourers we may be the answer to our own prayers). The labourer also knows that, like weeds, evil springs up of itself whereas good seed needs to be carefully looked after or else it will come to nothing. So it is, often, with new believers because of the inherit disposition to sin that humanity has. The reapers have the joy of seeing the harvest of new believers gathered – an eternal crop.  The sower and the reaper both rejoice because each has a part to play. Angels also rejoice at the harvest (1 Sam 30:24; Mt 13:37-39; Lk 10:2, 15:10; Jn 4:35, 36; Rev 7:9,10, 14:15,16).

See also: first fruits, fruit, growth, preparation, seed, soul-winning, sow and reap.


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