Hurrying The Harvest
Let God work His perfect work in people's lives; but be ready, when the harvest comes in, to reap the grain.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? I’m fine, thank you. Yes, this is your friend Dr. Cook and I’m so glad to be back with you, to share from the Word of God. I think one of the sweetest privileges God has given to yours truly, is the privilege of sharing, day by day, from God’s Word. It does a lot for me and I trust that is something special for you. Many of you’ve written your cards and letters indicate that on a given day, a certain broadcast seemed to be planned especially for you. Well, I’m glad. God answers prayer that way. You know these broadcasts are prepared on tape and then we send the tapes to the various stations that air them, and so that involves a certain amount, of what we call lead time, so that on a given morning, I do these things early in the morning, I get sort of an early-morning feel out of it, cause so many people listen early in the day and I want to feel like you do.
Well, we’ve been looking at Mark 4:26 to 29, where Lord Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a man casting seed into the ground, any he sleep and rises, night and day, and the seed springs and grows up, he doesn’t know how, for the earth bring forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn and the ear, but when the fruit is brought forth immediately, he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest has come”. The last time we got together, we reminded ourselves that you and I have to do the with the planting, “He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come with rejoicing bringing sheaves with him”. You don’t get the harvest unless you do the planting and there are different ways of planting the seed, you can share your personal testimony, you can give out gospel tracts and leaflets, you can preach, you can testify, you can live a life that demonstrates the truth of the Word of God in your daily life, and parents, you have to remember that part of your opportunity and your duty, is to instill in those young minds of your children, the Word of God. I shall always be grateful for a father and a sister who encouraged me to memorize Bible verses, as a little motherless boy, not quite 4,5,6,7, around in there. I remember beginning to learn Bible verses. By the time I was seven, I had proudly recited 50 verses from the gospel of John for my father, did so without making a mistake and he promptly rewarded me with what he had promised, was a gold watch. He had told me said, “Boy”, he said, “If you’ll learn 50 verses from the gospel John, I’ll give you this watch”. It was an old reliance watch, and never ran very well, as I recall, but it was gold least on the outside, and I was an inordinately proud of it. I remember all of that as being part of something for which today, I am profoundly grateful. I remember those verses in the gospel of John, they come back to me again and again, and so on through my boyhood and teenage years I was plowing the word of God into my heart and life. Later on I got acquainted with the navigator system of the topical memory system, and began learning verses by the scores and by the hundreds and that helped me, and then living in the word of God throughout a lifetime, has made me so grateful for the privilege of having God’s Word in my life. It all started back there in little boyhood days, mother, dad, grandma, grandpa, encouraged the small fry, will you, to learn the Word of God. They will never get away from it. “Train a child in the way he should go will not”, said Solomon, “not depart from it”. Well, that was kind of a detour, but somebody needs that, I guess. So, you have to plant the seed, make sure that you’re planting God’s Word in little hearts and minds of those children, for whom you’re responsible.
Small thought again; you will find that the kids enjoy learning good Bible verses more, if you learn them with them. Try that for yourself. You say, “I can’t remember”, yes you can. You know you’re phone number, don’t you, and I’ll bet you know your security number, and the account number on your check, and you know your license number. Now, how is it that you know all that and you can’t remember? You know it because you’ve repeated is enough, so that impressed itself on your memory. That’s all you have to do with the Scripture. That’s all you have to do with God’s Word, is go over it and by constant review impress it upon your mind, and if you’ll do that while your small fry are learning the verses along with you, you will encourage them in a great way.
Well, it says, “He sleeps and rises, night and day, and the seed springs grows up, he knoweth not how, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear”, leave the growth of the Word of God, leave the results of sowing the word to God. Someone told me the story, I think it was Homer Hammontree in the old days, great song leader, great, great saint of God, great brother, and great physically. I tell you he had a 54 waste, something like that, but oh, could he sing! Any of you old-timers remember Homer Hammontree? Well, he was telling in my hearing, a good many years ago, that he was, I think it was with R.A. Torrey if I’m not mistaken, and they were in some kind of a crusade, where nothing was going on but the rent. It was dead, and so our brother, Hammontree said, he was so upset and after one particularly dry meeting where no one seemed to respondent, everything seem to be so dead and dry, he spoke to the evangelist and said, “Isn’t this terrible? Nothing’s happened”, and that famous evangelist looked at him and said, “My dear young brother, it is our job to give out the Word. It is God’s task to bless the Word and make it fruitful”. It’s good to know, isn’t it? It takes all the worry out of your Christian ministry. If you’re filled with the Spirit of God, and doing your very best, and you’re in God’s will and giving out His inspired, infallible Word, the Bible, well my dear friend, you can leave the results to Him. “It grows up, he knoweth not how, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear”. Leave the results to God, but to be faithful and you’ll know that God will bring you through. “When thou passest through the waters, they shall not overflow thee”, the keyword is through, “Ye though I walk through the Valley, I shall not fear no evil”. Well now, trust God then in your application of His word. Some of you have unsaved husbands or wives, and you tried so hard, through so many years, well I trust everyday you’re living for Christ in that home. That’s the best testimony isn’t it? But beyond that you, every now and again, you’ve tried somehow to bring that loved one of yours under the sound of the gospel, and sometimes you’ve been successful. Maybe he or she went with you to the Graham meetings or to some other meeting, or maybe the television was turned on at the right time and a gospel message came through. So there’s been some exposure to the Word of God even though the individual is resisting. Listen, don’t give up. Just trust your Lord, trust your Lord, trust your Lord. He is the God of the harvest. You don’t bring the harvest, He does. Your job is to reap it when it’s ripe, but the growth of God’s Word that leads to the harvest is something that He Himself does.
Sam Skelton used to tell me the story of how he was saved. As of as a young man far from God, walking the streets of Edinburgh, one rainy night, there on a street corner was a solitary street preacher. They still believe in street preaching over in Great Britain, and the British Isles, and so there was a solitary street preacher on the corner, in the town of Edinburgh. He was preaching away and Sam Skelton said, “As he came near, he caught just one phrase, the preacher was preaching from Amos 4, ‘Prepare to meet thy God’, and he was repeating that phrase, ‘Prepare to meet thy God’”. That’s all that Sam heard as he walked by on the other side of the street in the rain, but when he got to his little room and took off his rain soaked outer garments, and tried somehow to compose himself for sleep, sleep wouldn’t come. All he could hear was the voice of that street preacher, “Prepare to meet thy God”. He said he got down that night beside his bed, got down on his knees, and asked Jesus to save him. He became a born-again Christian that very evening. So, you leave the results of the Word of God, the harvest growing, you leave that with Him and you don’t try to hurry it. The Lord Jesus said, “First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear”, don’t try to hurry God’s work. Takes a while for apples to get ripe. Did you ever eat a green apple when you were a boy or girl? Oh, the stomachache, how that hurts. You can’t hurry the harvest. Don’t try to do it. Let God work His perfect work in people’s lives, but be ready when the harvest comes in to reap the grain. Joel says and Joel 3:14, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. The day of the Lord is near in the Valley of decision. Put in the sickle for the harvest is ripe”. Our Lord Jesus said to the disciples as recorded in John 4, “See ye not there for three months and yet and then cometh harvest. Behold I say unto you lift up your eyes for the fields are white already onto the harvest”. Of course the fields that our Lord Jesus was talking about were people, because there weren’t any large fields around that place, they tell me, but the people were tumbling out of the town coming to see the Lord Jesus Christ. “Four months and then harvest”, no, “It’s ready right now”, said He. So, the point that we need to make as we come to the close of this broadcast is, be ready to lead people to Christ when you see that God has got them ready. Don’t hesitate, ask that question, do you want to receive Christ as your Savior? They say no, that’s their problem, but oftentimes they say yes, and God will use you to bring them to the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, beloved be faithful in the harvest, will you? We’ll talk about this the next time we get together.
Father God, bless these dear ones with whom I’ve been speaking from Thy Word. May the power of the Holy Spirit apply it to our lives, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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