“But when he [Jesus] saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)
Most citizens may not know this, but not all police officers have the same work ethic. For some, police work is a vocation that deserves their best work. For others, it’s just a job. They do their duty but don’t put a lot of heart into it. For still others, it’s just a paycheck. They know that they’ll be paid if they hustle or loaf; they don’t mind loafing and letting others pull the load. If you’re a cop, you know who the hustlers and the slugs are on your shift. You have a good idea who will show up at the next break-in or robbery call, and who won’t. You know whom you can count on for backup, and whom you can’t. You know what bosses care about the job, and what bosses don’t.
When an academy class hits the street, it’s exciting. A new crew of rookies is eager to learn and is fun to teach. They help relieve the short staffing and heavy workload that many police departments have. Most departments don’t just need more officers, though. They need more officers willing to hustle, to inconvenience themselves, to risk injury or death, to take on the predators, to help decent people, to go the second mile to do a good job. Police departments don’t just need more officers—they need laborers.
When Jesus saw the multitudes, He saw young and old, men and women, girls and boys. He saw rich, poor, and middle-class people. He saw people of different cultures and races. He saw people who were morally upright and people who weren’t. He saw white-collar people and blue-collar people. He saw refined people and crude people. He looked on them, and as our scripture says, He had compassion on all of them. Why did they need compassion? It was because they all had one thing in common: they were lost, “…as sheep having no shepherd.” They needed a Saviour. They needed Jesus.
The most wonderful thing in the world is to have Jesus as your Saviour. When you receive Him, He is Someone real to you, Someone who saved you and whom you love and want to please. You have joyful fellowship with Him when you read His word, pray, and attend church. Yet there is another very import-ant area of fellowship that He wants you to have: the fellowship of laboring with Him in the harvest.
Just as the Lord saw the multitudes and was moved with compassion on them, so there are multitudes today without Christ. They’re different colors and ethnicities, from all walks of life. Yet most of them are without Christ. We know that because Jesus said, “…wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14). Since many people are on the wide gate on the way to hell, it follows that anyone you meet is more likely not to have Jesus as his personal Saviour. That’s why there is such a desperate need for laborers to tell them about Jesus.
It’s easier for a cop to loaf than to hustle. It’s also easier for a Christian not to go out and tell people about Jesus than it is to do so. However, an officer who won’t do his job when he knows that people need his help is doing wrong. In a much worse way, a Christian who won’t try to witness for Christ when he knows that people are headed for hell is also doing wrong. The Lord wants laborers. Lost people need laborers. Pray for laborers, and ask the Lord to deal with your heart what to do in this labor, as well.
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Brian Miller 1/6/2016
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822