Have you ever wanted to pray but not been sure what to pray for? In Matthew 9:37 Jesus gives us an example of a specific prayer to pray, for a specific result. In the “field of souls” that is the world of those lost in sin, Jesus sees how great is the need. Many are needed to spread the word and tell the lost of the saving Message of the Gospel. Imagine a 10,000 acre farm with only 5 or 6 people available to gather the crop. You would want to find equipment to assist the workers AND also find more workers! Otherwise, much of the crop would never be harvested and subsequently lost. The crop we are seeking, however, is not cotton, corn, or wheat, but the SOULS of people who desperately need Jesus. How can we not join in the harvest? So...pray this prayer, fervently, frequently, and faithfully. Ask God (the Lord of the Harvest) to send forth workers to the field of souls. We all have family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances who dearly need the Truth. And when the Gospel asks, “What about you, servant of God? Will you be one of His workers?”, you can answer, “Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:8). A lost world waits for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let all of us rise to the occasion and serve the Master in the field of souls.
Long ago I was walking home across town at night. Working my way through dark and dim streets and neighborhoods, I relied on the streetlights to guide the way. I decided to take a shortcut across a series of fields and empty lots. Since there was a foot path I figured it would be safe enough. After all, I was in town; what could happen, right? Fortunately, it was a bright moon-lit night. In the midst of the empty lots I spotted movement on the path ahead of me, so I stopped to determine what it was. It turned out to be a good thing that I did so, as I had just enough moonlight to perceive an entire family of skunks on the trail directly where I was to pass by. After a very short deliberation with myself, I determined it wise to turn around and find a different route.
Without sufficient light to see where I was going, I would have likely stumbled into the midst of the skunk family and paid a terribly pungent price for my blunder.
How much more so do we all need our path in life illuminated by the Truth of God’s Word! Without it we blindly stumble from error to mistake to sin upon sin. See and use the Bible for what it is; a spiritual GPS to guide, inform, protect, and teach us the right way to go. God will never steer us wrong and His truth is without fault. Trust it, follow it, live it, apply it and don’t stumble into the deadly spiritual “skunks” of sin. (Psalms 119:105)
Have you ever had one of those “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad “days? Of course, we have had plenty of them. When I am struggling, hurting, broken and battered by life it helps me to read of Paul’s struggles that he recounts in 2 Corinthians 12. He was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and suffered many other hurts and stresses. In the book of Acts, you see that it was often a “riot” to hang around with Paul...literally.
On top of all of this Paul was afflicted with a “thorn in the flesh”. We don’t specifically know what this “thorn” was, and really, it doesn’t matter. It was some limitation that caused struggle, frustration, and a seeming impediment to more fully pursuing his mission to spread the Gospel. So he begged God multiple times to take it away. And God’s answer was………“No.”
God explained in 2 Cor. 12:9 that His grace was enough. Enough for what Paul truly needed. So, if God’s grace was sufficient for Paul (in good and hard times both), then it is sufficient for you and me as well. It may not feel like it, but it is true.
The presence of God is better (by FAR!) than the absence of pain. Actually, pain and struggle can remind me of my limits and my total need for God. Whatever your “thorn in the flesh” is, entrust it to God and constantly remember that His grace is enough. Then you, like Paul, can say, “So when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Jon K. Smith
I wonder if there was a look of puzzlement on the face of the angel as he spoke these words, as recorded in Luke 24:5,6. Several people approach Jesus’ tomb on the third day after his brutal crucifixion, bringing spices with which to honor the dead. Surprised to find the tomb open, they enter to find the body gone! Suddenly two dazzling figures stand before them and ask the terrified women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” They are wondering what the women were doing looking for the One who is ALIVE in a place for the deceased. Jesus was/is alive! You will find the Author of Life not in a dead place, but where life is to be found. Don’t look in a tomb for Jesus. Seek the Living One where He may be found. The world is still doing this today. Too often people are, in effect, seeking the living among the dead. They seek life, but look for it in the dead things of the world. You won’t find eternal life in the sinful, physical, temporal things of this life. Real life, true life...eternal life is only found through/from Jesus. So look for LIFE where life can be found.