It’s not a “harvest” problem, it’s a “worker” problem

When Jesus commissioned the 72 to go proclaim the Kingdom, he made an interesting observation. The harvest is huge. “It’s bigger than you can imagine.”

His command isn’t to go “find” harvest. It’s to pray for more workers.

This isn’t such a hard thing for believers in other countries to understand. In many countries where their faith puts a spotlight on them and targets them, they still live in the power of the Spirit and they keep seeing harvest.

In our nation, it’s a worker problem. It’s getting people who say they believe in the Kingdom to actually get engaged in Kingdom activity. We spend a lot of time and energy arguing about what that “Kingdom activity” is, but we spend far less energy on just acting on behalf of the Kingdom.

It’s not a harvest problem in America. It’s a worker problem.

We need not pray for more converts. We DO need to pray for more believers who will understand the work of the Kingdom.

 

Choosing the Good Part

The stories of Luke 10 give me pictures of ministry priorities. In the sending of the 72, it is remembering the call of God. Jesus asks the 72 to go and do what they had watched him do. Teach what he had taught them. Know your call.
The parable of the good Samaritan is a nice bridge. One emphasis is to learn to stay focused on what is important. The Levite and the priest were distracted. I can let the “busyness” of ministry keep me from the priority of the gospel.
The second thing the parable teaches me bridges to the next story: Remember to choose the good part. The Samaritan chose the good part by living in compassion.
In the third story of Luke 10 we have the story of Mary and Martha. Martha is distracted by “doing good.” Mary realizes Jesus is the house and she didn’t want to let those moments pass her by. Jesus let Martha know Mary had chosen the “good part.”
That launches the next emphasis for Luke, which is the priority of prayer.
Everything springs out of relationship. The strength of relationship is prayer in the Kingdom of God. I must know him. I must hear from him. I must choose the good part.

The Calling of God and the Call of Distractions

Luke 10 tells three distinct stories, all of which combine for great reminders of ministry. Years ago I remember a minister talking about how he wanted to live in the spirit of Luke 10.
The first story is the sending out of the 72. It’s about the call. Ministers called of God can relate. There is the excitement of getting out and doing what God has called you to do.
I need that reminder. The call of Jesus to his disciples is to proclaim what you have learned and demonstrate it. They were to go out proclaiming the Kingdom (what Jesus had taught) and then demonstrate the power of the Kingdom (which Jesus had been doing all along). In other words, it was time for the baby eagles to get out of the nest and learn to flap their wings.
It had to have been a joyous time to have the 72 coming back and reporting!
“WOW! All you said and did, we said and did! Even demons were subject to us!”
It’s at this point Jesus reminds them to stay grounded. “”Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Keep perspective.
The second story incorporates the parable of the Good Samaritan. The first story is a reminder of the call of God. The second story is about staying focused. The priest and the Levite in the story should have helped the wounded man. What kept them from helping was the distractions of their day. They had their “duties.” If they stopped to help, they would be delayed from their duties.
They may have also been distracted by the prevailing thoughts of their day. Why stop to help? That may be a trap! Why stop to help? He probably got what he deserved!
Distractions can keep us from the call of God. We may think we’re living out the call, but we’ve forgotten the true call of God. The Samaritan remembered the true part. He exemplified the call of the Kingdom.
So much can call out to distract! It can be “good things.” It can just be menial things. We allow our time to get eaten up by mundane tasks. We miss those opportunities to live out the power of Kingdom.
Remember the “good part.” Remember to proclaim what you have learned. Remember to demonstrate the goodness of the Kingdom as well. And work to keep distractions to a minimum.