This devotional is the third in a series I have entitled, “What Believers Ought to be Doing Today.” Many will thank you for heeding its message, both in this world, and in the world to come.
“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” Luke 10:1-2, NKJV
Recently, I was given the opportunity to witness for Jesus on two different occasions. In the grocery store, an elderly woman pushing a shopping cart glanced at me as she was passing by. I gave her a smile and continued on my way. Then I heard a voice from behind me say, “Excuse me!” I turned around and said, “Yes?” The lady replied, “I just wanted to thank you. Yours was the first smile I have seen all day.” That was my divine opportunity to say, “Even in these difficult times, the Lord Jesus has been good to me.” Those words were all that was necessary.
A few days later, a customer service representative whose help I needed appeared to be somewhat stressed. I smiled and asked, “How are you?” The reply was, “Just here, living the dream.” I knew that this response is sometimes used as a cliche, but I detected it as a mildly sarcastic expression of discontent. Once again, this was my opportunity to say, “In these difficult times, though it may be hard to see, the Lord Jesus really loves and cares for you.” Poker-face may be the most accurate description of the person’s initial response. But after going above and beyond the call of duty to help me with the issue I had presented, I heard these humbling words: “When you first greeted me, I somehow knew that behind that mask, there was more than just another customer.”
These days, in witnessing for the Lord Jesus I would like to suggest this simple approach: (1) Acknowledge that we are living in difficult times, and (2) Audibly say the name of Jesus, proclaiming Him as the One who gives hope and comfort.
Jesus initially called twelve disciples who would also preach the gospel and, by His authority, heal the sick. But knowing that these twelve were not nearly enough, He appointed an additional seventy to go out into the “field” and reap souls for the Kingdom of God. Those additional seventy laborers were still not enough people to fill the need. That is why He said to them, “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few.”
Incredibly, many who call themselves Christians today have come to believe that it is “not my calling” to witness for Jesus Christ at every opportunity. Perhaps they have convinced themselves that God is now only commissioning those who feel called to engage in religious talk via electronic media. But for almost 2,000 years, before there was radio, television, or the internet, the Kingdom of God was flourishing due to one and only one form of communication: Word of mouth by those who knew and loved Jesus, and wanted others to know and love Him too. But now, to the devil’s delight, just as initiating conversations and making new friends in person is fast becoming a lost art, so is verbally witnessing for Jesus.
There are myriad answers to the question, “What is a Christian?” But one thing is for sure: Every person who truly knows Jesus longs for others to know Him too. And this longing is demonstrated by one’s willingness to courageously say His name.
“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.’” Mark 8:34-38, NKJV
The sense in which Jesus speaks of an “adulterous” generation refers to that generation’s unfaithfulness in its sacred relationship with God and its propensity toward idolatry. If ever there was a “an adulterous and sinful generation,” we are living in it today!
Despite our human fears, Jesus is very clear: We are not to be ashamed of Him and His words, even if it means giving up the world’s approval to keep our souls. Therefore,
Believers today ought to be witnessing for the Lord Jesus at every opportunity.
When Jesus stated the problem of there not being enough laborers out in the field to bring in the great harvest of human souls, He then instructed the seventy to “pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into that harvest” (Matthew 9:38). Therefore, would you please take a moment to pray this prayer?
“Dear Lord of the harvest, I acknowledge that in these most difficult times, the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. By your Holy Spirit, I ask You to endue me with power from on high and, LORD, send me! At every opportunity, help me to share the gospel and bring healing to some lost and hurting soul. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”