“‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’”
Acts 2:17-21 NKJV
We are in the season of gardening, as many are planting seeds in the hopes of a great harvest in late summer. typically there are three segments to the season of reaping: first fruits, the main harvest, and gleaning. We tend to focus on the main harvest when we consider farming. In the bible, the gleaning was to be saved for the poor, for the unfortunate. It was God’s way of providing for those outside of the Farmer’s household.
For centuries God sought the children of Israel, as He sent prophets and others to tell them of His love in order to whoo them to Himself. Time and time again they rejected Him and turned to follow other god’s. Finally, God sent His only begotten Son, to proclaim His love, wrapped in flesh and bone. They rejected Him too, and they killed Him.
Unbeknownst to them, His death on the cross accomplished His ultimate mission, to seek and save what was lost, finally making a way to reconcile His people to Himself and forgive their sins.
In His first coming, Jesus expanded His kingdom, as He extended salvation to those outside of the household of rhe Farmer, to the poor, to the stranger, to the gentiles.
“if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,
that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.”
Ephesians 3:2-3, 6-7 NKJV
I sit here as one of those poor people, finding sustenance at the corners, gathering the gleanings of God’s grace. In these last days, we are in the ministry of reaching yet further, as we seek to reach those seemingly beyond the draw of God.
We all have met people that we thought could never be saved, those so far away from God, those who are broken, addicted, rejected, and severely damaged. With eyes of flesh, we write them off as lost causes. God does not.
I have found myself increasingly troubled by our tendency to quickly size people up, fall back on comfortable stereotypes, put a line through them, and move on. We miss the human being inside, the lost soul yearning for God’s love, sadly bound for hell.
We see the markings, the clothing, the hair, the general appearance and we come to conclusions that have eternal consequences. We mark them off and never bother to tell them about Jesus.
In our haste to judge we leave nothing in the corners, nothing to care for those on the outside of our own households of faith. The mission field today is in the corners, amongst the poor and the unwashed, people like we were before Jesus saved us.
We are nearing the zero hour as the last days are upon us and we must be about Father’s business of sharing the Gospel. It is not a time for feeling uncomfortable, for not being willing to approach strangers and talk about Jesus.
The disciples had emerged from the upperroom, filled with the Holy Spirit, and driven to begin the work that Jesus had called them to do. The world they were going into was hostile, but the brought the message of Jesus to the people. God prepared them and equipped them.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.”
Acts 2:4, 14 NKJV
After weeks of hiding and uncertainty, they came out with boldness. We need that boldness today, as the world that we are living in is filled with the same level of uncertainty as then, but the world that we live in is far more damaged, and much closer to the coming of the Lord.
The days of reaching the “low hanging fruit” are over. Those that remain are actively hostile to God, and can react angrily to the name of Jesus. Even in their rejection, we must press on and share the message willingly, as it is more crucial to do so than it has ever been.
God has provided all that we need to complete the mission that He has charged us with, as the Holy Spirit is within us. We have His word, we have prayer, we have the body of Christ to support us. We need only have the will.
“Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.””
Luke 24:46-49 NKJV
We today have received that promise. It is time go forth like there is no tomorrow, knowing that, for some, this is truly the case.
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