A Harvest of Souls & A Harvest of Blessings
What a weekend we have just had. As most of you know, two weekends ago Greg Laurie, along with guest speaker Lorenzo Romar and Nick Vujicic came to Seattle to share the gospel and messages of hope. Seattle Harvest 2010 also included bands such as The Katinas, Crystal Lewis, Jeremy Camp, Revive, Hawk Nelson, Kutless, Jars of Clay and Mercy Me spread out over the three day Crusade. While the purpose of this Harvest Crusade was to bring lost and hurting people to Christ, and it was a great success at that with over 3,000 people in attendance coming to Christ, the effects on those who went there to serve may have been just as profound. I have been sock for most of the last week, so this is my first opportunity to share on that weekend.
The message of the gospel is AWESOME! It is emotional – it is powerful, and as scripture says the word of God is power unto salvation. Even for born-again believers it is nice to have the reminder of the simplicity of the gospel once in a while. We need to be mindful of that. But we are also called to make the gospel known through our lives, and testimony as we serve God in our families, churches and communities. This portion of the weekend was so very important for us as believers; to be there to serve the body of Christ in the reaching of those new believers, and being there for them from now on.
Being there on the floor as the Key Arena praying with and for those people who had just committed their lives to Christ (and in such volume!), was an experience that will not be forgotten by those who served. Not only that, but it should be something that is strongly desired by those who didn’t.
After Sunday night’s event it was determined that well over 3,000 people had given their lives to Jesus at that event. What that means is that for me, and all the others that attended all three nights, is that we were able to witness as many people get saved in three days as Peter did in one on the Day of Pentecost! What an awesome thought. Then I began to think of why these things happened. What was it that on both of these occasions many people were brought to a saving faith in Jesus Christ?
First of all, the message of the gospel was preached clearly proudly and without reservation. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. We heard that said over and over at the Crusade. Secondly, there was an expectation that God’s Word was going to have an effect on the people to whom it was being preached. Thirdly, the people who had the faith stood up and made themselves heard! They worked hard in a concerted effort. The Christians responded to the need for service to reach the unbelievers.
Evangelism and making disciples requires active labor on all our parts. We have to know God’s Word first. We have to have not only a firm foundation in the understanding of the gospel, but we have to have enough faith in it to shout it from the tree tops knowing that it is real! We must have no doubts, no hesitations. As James says in chapter one of the book of James, “…you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” What James says here plays into the second factor of expectation. If we believe it, and live it, than we will expect big things from God! I’m not talking big things like finding a million dollars, or fancy cars, excellent paying jobs or fame, I’m talking about spiritual things. We should expect great spiritual things from God.
And lastly, we must be willing to take on the job! Evangelism does not get done by itself. When the call is made, we cannot stand still in our places of comfort and security in our salvation and be satisfied that getting saved ourselves is enough. If we love the Lord, we must take on the calling that He has given us all – to make disciples! That includes everyone.
Many will say, “but I’m not called to be an evangelist”. Well, wrong. You are. Everyone who answers the call to salvation is called to take the gospel to the people. EVERYONE. To say, “I’m not called to do that”, or worse yet, “I don’t ‘feel’ called to do that”, is to have a less than complete understanding of your Christianity.
Remember, there is a difference between a gift, and a calling. If you are gifted by God in one form or another, you know you are called to use that gift. However, you will be called to do things every day of your life that you are not “gifted in”, and/or do not “feel” like doing. Get over it – and get to work giving God the glory and honor He deserves for saving your sad sinful behind in spite of the fact that you deserved nothing of the sort. No one said being a Christian would be easy. No one said that being a follower of Jesus Christ was going to be a life warm siestas, full bellies, and all the bills getting paid on time. His burden is only light, if you accept the load. Never getting off the couch and into the action of evangelism and the making of disciples is not an option God gave us.
This putting of our faith to work is something sadly lacking in so many believers these days. To me it is most sad because the ones who don’t feel lead to serve, are the real people missing out.
Serving three days in a row at an event like the Harvest Crusade, getting there an hour and a half early and stay an hour or longer after requires some sacrifice… and I would do it again in a hear beat.
Why? Because we, the workers, the servants, are the ones that are truly blessed! We got to see lives change before our eyes. We got to see families restored. We got to see hearts understanding forgiveness for the first time. We got to see the Holy Spirit ministering to people in ways you just don’t see every day. I got to see my son’s faith become his own as he shared his heart with others and prayed with them as they came to the Lord. I was blessed to see my other children, a son and daughter sing and dance with the joy of the Lord really getting into their own heartfelt worship – alongside 16,000 others!
It was amazing. God gifted us workers with a blessing of such joy and privilege that only His grace can afford to provide. I wish all of you could have been there. Our lives were truly blessed, and to Gods goes all the glory.