Text: Luke 10:1-12
Everyone but Sam had signed up for a new company pension plan that called for a small employee contribution. The company was paying the rest. Unfortunately, 100% employee participation was needed; otherwise the plan was off. Sam’s boss and his fellow workers pleaded w/him to sign the new pension plan but he wouldn’t do it. Finally, the company MD called Sam into his office and said, “Sam, here’ s a copy of the new pension plan and here’s a pen. I want you to sign the papers. I’m sorry, but if you don’t sign, you’re fired. As of right now.”
Sam quickly grabbed the pen and signed the papers. The boss looked at him and said, “Would you mind telling me why you didn’t sign up earlier?” Sam replied, “Well, sir, nobody explained it to me quite so clearly before.
There is no doubt motivation is an important tool in life; it’s an important tool in helping us get things done.
Now when we say ‘missions’, the big question is ‘What exactly is missions?’
Most of the time we think it means being a missionary to Africa or India. We think it means living in some hut in a foreign country where we’re very uncomfortable and we have to wear unfamiliar clothing.
Of course that can be missions. But missions can also mean sharing life and your faith with our next door neighbour. J.John ‘Let’s go on a mission trip, walk next door it’s cheaper.’
But regardless of where it is, our mission is to share the gospel message of Jesus.
Jesus gave us our mission in Matthew 28: 19-20 when He said: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
It’s a three-part mission Go, Baptise and teach.
Let’s look briefly at the three motivations for Mission given in Luke 10:2
1. The Harvest v.2
A simple principle of harvest is that when they turn over the soil and plant the seed, they know their work is not done.
Instead they patiently wait for the big day. They patiently wait and continue to work the fields so they’d be ready for the harvest.
You know what the “harvest” is? It’s when you go out and gather up your crops. It’s when your crops have matured and are ready to be brought in.
In city terms the harvest would be when you cash in on all your hard work for that year! Very simply put, the harvest is the reason why the farmer goes out and works in the field. The harvest is the future reward they look forward to.
And we need to be reminded of this because when we are not active in the mission, when we don’t know what our purpose is, it’s easy to lose sight of what we’re about, why we exist as a church.
The crop we are looking forward to is people and the harvest salvation. We desire to invest our time and efforts in sharing w/people the power of God and His forgiveness and His grace, and the life He offers for those who follow Him.
You see, when people are touched by Christ, when people are fertilised with the good news of Jesus, they’ll be changed. Just like when a seed receives the proper care and nourishment, it will begin to produce. And that’s what a farmer is looking for.
That’s what we should want too. Our mission is to see people become fruitful. Our mission is to see people become what God intended for them to be.
Most of us don’t see the joy of being a part of the harvest. For one, it’s because we don’t go on a harvest any more.
2. A Need For Workers v.2
Jesus told the 70 plus workers who were going out into the surrounding communities that there was a huge harvest for God waiting, but the workers were few.
Note: It was the fact that there was a huge harvest waiting but it wouldn’t be brought in until God’s people got involved in the harvest.
You may wonder why this is interesting. It’s because if God wanted to, He could do all the work Himself. It’s notes though He’s dependent on us. Yet He chose to work through people; to work through US to bring in the harvest.
Well what happens if a harvest isn’t brought in? What happens if a corn crop stays out too long in the field? It begins to wither away and rot or it becomes susceptible to animals eating it.
Romans 10:14-15, How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard. And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
Yet the harvest is still out there. People are still out there searching and looking for something to fill the void in their lives.
If our community is going to be transformed; if our neighbours are going to be impacted by Christ, then we’re going to have to begin looking at them with the eyes of Christ Jesus and realise they’re not going to be reached unless we reach them.
3. God Will Provide Us Witht The Ability to Convince People v.2
After reading v.2 you might think, “I don’t see where it says that!” It doesn’t say that directly. But what it does say is to ask God to send out His workers for the harvest.
It’s not a suggestion. It’s a command. And when we’re commanded to do something, God’s not going to have us do something that’s not going to work!
This doesn’t mean that everyone’s going to respond to us. Not everyone responded to Jesus! But let me tell you something encouraging. There will be some who will respond. They’re just simply waiting for someone to show them the love of Christ and then to point them to Jesus who promises to give new life; to give hope; to give joy.
Most of us don’t do a lot of this because we’re afraid. We feel inadequate. We don’t want to look stupid or be rejected… If you feel that way, that’s normal.
This was an issue even in the days of Jesus. Which is why he said in Matthew 10:19-20, …do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
If we are obedient to Jesus’ command to share Him w/others, God will provide us w/what to say. Jesus is simply looking for you to be obedient to His leadership. But before we can walk in obedience we must first learn to sit and listen
It’s going to take faithfulness to the mission to reach people for Jesus.
We have a mission and it’s to see people come to Jesus. That’s our #1 objective. Because the fact of the matter is people can’t grow in a relationship with Jesus unless they first of all know Him.
And God promises us that as we’re obedient to His call to be His workers that we will see a harvest
We have a great mission at bethel Elim. Let’s embrace it and move forward with it. God has given us some great motivations to stay true to our mission: there’s a harvest, there’s a need for workers, and God will provide us with the ability to win people.