Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)
TITLE: Summer Harvesting
By Edmond Ng
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preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; (2 Timothy 4:2a NAS)Late summer and autumn bring in the bountiful harvests, and vegetable gardeners understand this very well. As the summer days go on, the gardeners harvest their gardens, a task seasoned gardeners enjoy and look forward to, while newbies have the satisfaction of learning to put food by. This is according to an article ‘Waiting on the Summer Vegetable Harvest’ written by vegetable gardening expert Melody Rose for an international community of gardeners' informational website, Dave’s Garden. According to Rose, early summer however is a frustrating time because while the plants are blooming and producing baby vegetables, the gardeners have to check on a daily basis, sometimes two or three times a day, for the likely candidates of the first ripe vegetable to provide a benchmark for a producing garden. All the other seasons, gardeners are left to be occupied with seed catalogs and indoor transplants while they wait as they can do nothing during winter, or the preparing and planting of seeds during spring.
Soul harvesting or winning people for Christ is very much like vegetable harvesting. Before the yet unsaved can turn to Christ or souls can be won or harvested, a great deal of checking must first be done to find out whether the 'candidates' are 'ripe' and ready for reaping. Sometimes, this can be very frustrating and time-consuming, especially when it comes to paving the way for the pre-believers to turn to Christ while they are still in the infancy of faith, blooming and producing 'baby' steps toward believing the Lord. Looking for germinating faith is like looking for a needle in a haystack because it is seldom visible. There will be days when we feel totally helpless and incapable of doing anything to bring the unsaved and the people we care about to Christ except to wait and pray. It is during times such as these, we should keep ourselves occupied with 'seed catalogs' and work on 'indoor transplants' to spend time studying the word of God in learning the ‘art’ of soul-winning, and to help fellow believers grow in their walk with God. Only then can we be ready to plant the seeds of faith and share the gospel to pre-believers when the time arrives, in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), to meet and spend time with the people we hope to bring to the Lord, to pray for them and to prepare their hearts to know more of Christ. What a great joy it will be when the day of harvest arrives or when we look forward to the harvest, for while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22). Whether as seasoned witnesses for Christ or newbies learning to bring the unsaved to the Lord, we can be assured of the satisfaction we will receive in winning souls for the kingdom of God!
Still our hearts Lord to be patient when it comes to waiting for the harvest, and prepare us in the meantime through the study of Your word and through helping others grow in their walk with You. Teach us how to pave the way for pre-believers to come to know You and help us be observant to see who are the ones ready to receive You. Lead us Lord to preach the gospel to the pre-believers in Your timing that it may speak to their hearts and meet their needs. Help us Lord, to be ready in season and out of season to plant the seeds of faith and to share Your good news to the lost.
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