Laboring in the Harvest

2019-07-07 – Year C – Proper 9 – The Rev. Christopher Klukas

Isaiah 66:10-16; Psalm 66:1-8; Galatians 6:6-18; Luke 10:1-20

  • “Canadian theologian John G. Stackhouse Jr., tells of sitting next to a passenger and talking about his faith. Finally the passenger interrupted him and said, ‘Who is this apostle Paul you’re referring to?’ This widespread ignorance, even among the educated, leads Stackhouse to conclude: Too much of our Christian witness today concentrates upon trying to convince people that Christianity is true. We need instead to consider two prior problems. First, most Americans and Canadians are ignorant of even the basics of authentic Christian faith. And second, most people think that they do understand Christianity and thus feel entitled to dismiss it out of hand.”
  • The Vision of Good Samaritan Anglican Church: “Loving our neighbors and helping them to find God, love God, and share God.”
  • Luke 10:2  “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Go in Need, Eat with People

  • We are to go in a posture of need (Luke 10:4).
    • This fosters reliance on God, but also on those we are seeking to serve.
    • When Jesus meets the woman at the well, he is in need of water and asks her for a drink. This opens the conversation. (John 4:7)
    • Being in a posture of need is a great way to keep from sounding preachy. I have nothing against preaching! But people can get defensive when someone tells them about Jesus from a position of superiority. Evangelism usually goes better from a posture of humility.
  • Luke 10:7-8 – Eat.
    • Jesus was always eating with people.
    • Some of the best conversations we have are held over food or a cup of coffee.
    • Sharing food builds relationships. Sharing the Gospel is not just about sharing information. God uses people to spread the message of his kingdom because he wants the Gospel to be wrapped in relationship. Incarnation.
    • Developing a friendship builds trust and gives you the ability to share about deeper things, like Jesus.

The Tools

  • Heal the Sick and cast out demons – Luke 9:1-2, 10:9
    • Prayer is one of our values at Good Samaritan. One powerful way that we pray is for healing.
      • Prayer ministers available at 10:30 service.
      • Prayer ministry at the Food Giveaway.
    • Do you feel comfortable praying for others out loud?
      • I wasn’t at first, but over time, through practice, it has become much more comfortable. Prayer is just talking to God. Practice at Food Giveaway.
      • When someone shares something that is going on in his or her life, offer to pray for them, right then.
      • People are often more open to receiving prayer than they are to a conversation about the Gospel. But the prayer can often open the door to the Gospel conversation.
      • Luke 10:9 – see the connection between healing and the Kingdom.
    • Christian Healing Ministries training.
  • Tell Your Story – Proclaim the Kingdom of God
    • Psalm 66:15 (Just beyond the part of the psalm that we read this morning) “Come here and listen, all you who fear God, * and I will tell you what he has done for me.”
    • You don’t need to know everything about the Bible and theology to share your faith. You don’t have to have all of the answers to the questions people might ask. All you need to do is be able to tell the story of what God has done in your own life.
      • Remembering the woman at the well again, this was her response when she went to tell the other people of her town about Jesus. (John 4:40)
    • People can argue about theology or the Bible until they are blue in the face! It is hard to argue with someone’s personal testimony of what God has done.
    • What has God done in your life recently? Where have you seen him at work?
      • Who might God be calling you to share this story with?

Don’t Fear Rejection

  • Gloria Furman – “We think we’re chasing happiness when we follow our fearful heart, but fear sabotages our joy every time. Ironically, fear keeps us from enjoying an act of worship that actually grows our zeal for Jesus. When we shrink back in fear and refrain from sharing our faith, our dampened zeal then makes us feel that we might be faithless phonies. Next, our feelings of faithlessness then make us feel ashamed and guilty. Finally, our feelings of guilt feed our fears and close our mouths and never even start talking about the Lord. Fear is a vicious cycle.”
  • One of the biggest fears that people have with regard to evangelism is the fear of rejection (or the fear of offense which is connected to the fear of rejection).
    • Luke 10:16 – “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me…”
    • If they reject the Gospel, it is not you that they are rejecting but Jesus.
  • Share the Gospel from a posture of care.
    • If people know you are a Christian, and know that you believe that only those who put their faith in Christ will be saved, what does that tell them in you choose not to tell them about Jesus?
    • You could say something like: “I don’t presume to know where you are with God. But I care about you and I want good things for you, and the best thing I know is a living relationship with Jesus. If that is something you would like to know about, I would be more than happy to tell you more.”
    • Wait for the right moment, but don’t wait too long or you may never do it!

The Joy of the Kingdom

  • When the disciples return after their missionary journey, they are filled with joy (though for not quite the right reason). Luke 10:17.
    • Nonetheless, there was joy. It was exciting to see people be healed, to see demons cast out, to see people respond to the message of the kingdom.
    • Luke 15:7 – more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons.
    • When we participate in the harvest, we get to join in on the heavenly joy that comes with it!

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Discussion

  1. fred shively

    Thank you Christopher for this excellent sermon. It speaks to me to share my faith to one of my young neighbors.

    Fred July 12

    1. Christopher Klukas

      Thank you Fred. I’m glad to hear that it spoke to you! Praise God!

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