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Spiritual Farming 101 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
November 27, 2022 5:00 am

Spiritual Farming 101 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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November 27, 2022 5:00 am

Farmers live for the harvest season--a time when their crops are taken in and profits are made. But crops don’t grow on their own. Seeds must be sown and plants must be garnered by a whole group of active farm workers. God is the head Farmer and we are His farmhands, all working together to produce a bumper-crop of people who believe that Jesus is the Savior--Are you in?

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All of us are called to preach Christ, whether you can speak well or not, but it's a lot like planting corn. You sow a seed.

It involves more than just one person. There's other farm hands that get involved, and you will see a harvest. It just takes one seed, one conversation, one person with a changed life, and it goes a long way.

And welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. You know, farming isn't easy. It requires long hours, lots of hard work, plenty of patience, and even a little luck. Not everyone is called to be a farmer. Evangelism is a lot like farming. It can also require hard work, patience, a little luck, and many hours of preparation.

But the difference between it and farming is that we're all called to the mission of evangelism. However, don't let all of that intimidate you, because as we'll learn today here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition, we have lots of help. And we'll get our study started here in just a moment. But first, let's find out more about this month's Connect with Skip resource offer. Your gift to this teaching program has helped us grow, and we want to do more in 2023.

This month, with your gift of $50 or more, you'll receive a download or DVD of a new critical issues video hosted by Skip. Where's Dad? The problems are clear. Team crime, drug abuse, youth suicide, abortion, and a host of others. The question is, where's dad? Where's the man of the household when their boys are making life decisions about their treatment of women, their worldview, and their morals?

Why are legions of energetic teens channeling their time towards self-destructive and socially destructive behavior? And where's dad to guide them, to correct them, to be in relationship with them? We realize that single parent families are not exclusively a male issue. Fathers who do not take responsibility for their children are the critical problem. Where's Dad? looks at the problem of missing fathers in the home, tells stories of people who have been impacted by this plague, and looks at the possibilities of reconciliation at any age or stage of life.

Get your DVD or download of the full length video. Where's Dad? hosted by Skip Heidzig and featuring Josh McDowell. Receive your copy of Where's Dad? When you help us expand Skip's teaching with your donation of $50 or more, call 1-800-922-1888 or go to connectwithskip.com to get your copy of Where's Dad?

We continue today in John chapter four. So turn there in your Bibles and let's join Skip Heidzig as he begins by sharing a little family history. My dad grew up on a farm. He was part of, I should say his parents, my grandparents were part of the American Homestead Act, which was, there was a time in American history when the government allowed people to buy property for 25 cents an acre and settle the land. It moved people west.

It took those huge empty spaces and converted them to livable areas. Well my grandparents were a part of that and they settled in Laramie, Wyoming and then in Colorado after that and so my dad grew up on farms in those areas and his kids used to tell us what it was like living on a farm and I think there were probably, of all the stories I heard, there were three takeaway truths I learned about working on a farm. Hard work, long days, happy people. That's the impression that I got, that it was hard work and you worked all day long but it was a great way of living. It was ideal and I know my dad had a way of spinning a story. It may not have been all of that but I'd love to hear the story and I love the fact that we had a heritage on my dad's side of being farmers. Hard work, long days, happy people.

Love the heritage. I heard of a family called the Smith family. They were also proud of their family heritage because their ancestors came over on the Mayflower, some of them. In their family tree were senators and pastors and Wall Street wizards and so the Smith family wanted to compile a family history to pass on as a legacy to their children and grandchildren, etc., of the family tree and history. So they hired an author to write about the family.

There was only one problem they knew about, they were sensitive about. One of their uncles had been electrocuted, executed in the electric chair. They didn't know how the author was going to write about that. The author said, don't worry about it, I'm good at spin.

I'll come up with something very creative. And so when the book was finally done, the family immediately wanted to see what he wrote about Uncle George. This is what he wrote. George Smith occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. That's creative.

He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties and his death came as a real shock. Isn't that great? That's Uncle George. I think that a lot of Christians feel the same way whenever a preacher wants to tell them about evangelism, that it's a lot of spin that he's putting on it. He wants to make it sound really great and really fun but it really isn't all that great and all that fun. I'm hoping that in part what we're about to read will change the way you think about evangelism and the way you get involved in it. Sharing your faith is a lot like working on a farm.

Sharing your faith, doing evangelism, there'll be hard work, long days, and happy people, guaranteed. I chose this title this morning, Spiritual Farming 101, because of the very language that Jesus employs when telling his disciples about the work that he's calling them to do. He uses agricultural language. He calls it the harvest. Got to be in a farm to appreciate that. He speaks about sowing and reaping and laboring and rejoicing.

So it's the same thing. Hard work, hard work, long days, happy people. There was once a farmer who wanted to be an evangelist. He was in his midlife and he was going through his midlife crisis and he thought he wanted to leave the farm and preach the gospel. And he was sitting under a tree one day looking up at the sky in between chores and he noticed what seemed to him like letters being formed by the clouds. And maybe he was reading into it, but he thought he saw two letters, P-C. And he thought, huh, P-C, what could that mean? Oh, he said, I get it.

It's a sign from God. He wants me to preach Christ. He went off on that and sold his farm and started an evangelistic ministry. The only problem was the guy couldn't preach his way out of a bucket. He was just a poor speaker. And at one evening at a failed evangelistic event, one of his dear neighbors, who was also a farmer, went up to the man and whispered in his ear, maybe God was simply trying to tell you, plant corn, plant corn.

All of us are called to preach Christ, whether you can speak well or not. But it's a lot like planting corn. You sow a seed.

It involves more than just one person. There's other farmhands that get involved and you will see a harvest. It just takes one seed, one conversation, one person with a changed life and it goes a long way. And all of those elements we find in our story. We find a seed is planted, the farmhands are busy, and the seed is planted.

The farmhands are busy and a harvest is gathered. We're going to begin in verse 28 and go down to verse 42. Just as a reminder of where we've been, Jesus has been having a conversation with a woman at the well of Samaria.

It occupies most of the chapter. Our verses today will conclude the episode in Samaria. What Jesus does is talk to this woman, plants a seed of truth in her heart. It begins to grow, germinate, and by the end of this episode where we're at today, it's flowering.

It's bringing forth fruit. She takes what she has heard and she goes into the town very excited and tells everybody else about it. In the meantime, Jesus tells his disciples some important truths about spiritual work and then at the end of the story, a whole bunch of people in Samaria come to know the Lord. So we begin with the seed that is planted in verse 28. It says, the woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city and said to the men, come see a man who told me all things I ever did.

Could this be the Christ? The conversation that our Lord had with this woman was very profound. It made a great impact upon her. You'll recall that Jesus confronted her with her sin, her failure morally. She admitted to that. She didn't say, I didn't, I didn't do that.

I didn't have five different husbands. She came clean and she said, you must be a prophet. And then to the people of Samaria, she said, I just spoke to a man who told me everything I ever did. They knew what she had done. She admitted what she had done. Also in the story and in the conversation, she admits her own need for refreshment.

Sir, give me this water that I won't thirst again or have to come here to draw. And then finally, third, she is willing to take what she hears and tell it to other people in the village. You take those three elements and that makes us lean on the verdict that this woman was a converted woman, or at least in the process of such. But here's my point. It was just one conversation that Jesus had with this woman.

Here is the effect of just one conversation. He told her, and it says here that she left her she left her water pot. Well, that's kind of funny because why did she come to the well to get water in the pot? She came with the pot. She left her pot and went away without water. Now why?

Well, two reasons come to mind. Number one, she knew she'd be coming back. She went out to get more people and bring them back.

Number two, she just found something way better than water, living water. Something changed her life and she wanted to tell others about it. Just one conversation.

Think of all those conversations you've had over the years where you've maybe shared your testimony or a word about the Lord and then you walked away from it and you thought nothing will ever happen in that person's life. It's over. They don't care. Not so fast. You don't know that.

You might find out now or in heaven. Great effect that took place. I'll never forget years ago I worked on a farm.

It was really my only experience on a farm. It was in Israel. I was working in the cotton fields and one of the workers with me was a guy by the name of Tony Keene.

Tony was from England. He was a Oxford, I believe, graduate of botany. He was a scientific guy, very sharp, very bright, an unbeliever, an evolutionist, and he loved mocking religious people. So guess who was his target every single day?

Yep. We had very interesting and stimulating conversations. I'd tell him about the Lord. He'd mock it.

He'd ask me questions about my faith and science and I'd shoot back and I'd give him some things to think about. Finally, I gave him a book to read. I left the country, came back home.

I get a phone call several months later. Hello? Skip, this is Tony Keene. Hi, Tony. How are you? He goes, I happen to be in town, but I want you to know I'm a born-again Christian.

I go, no. And he told me, hey, you planted the seed. I thought about what you said. I went back to my professors. I investigated. I gave my life to Christ. Just this week on Facebook, I haven't heard from this guy, Dan Faresi, since I was in high school. I grew up with him. Even when we were much younger, he was my neighbor down the street.

I worked at his uncle's delicatessen. He wrote me and he said, I'm a Christian. He goes, I think it was something that you said to me in high school that planted the seed. His words, planted the seed. And I forgot about it, but now I've come to Christ. But that planted the seed.

Well, truth be told, in high school, I was a heathen, didn't want anything to do with Christians either. But there must have been somebody in high school that told him something. And later on, somebody watered it and somebody else watered it. And eventually, he came to Christ. Here's the point. One single conversation has an effect, a power.

Secondly, the effect of one person is part of the seed planting. Look at the end of verse 28. It says, she went her way into the city and said to the men, come see a man who told me all the things I ever did. Question, could this be the Christ? Now watch this. Then they went out of the city and came to him, to Jesus. Watch this. They went out of the city and came to him, to Jesus.

Why? Well, there must have been enough of a change already in this one woman's life to make them go, I got to check this guy out. She had a past and they knew her past and they had never seen the expression on her face like they saw after she came back from this conversation. Here is a changed life and they can see it.

And so they want to check it out for themselves. Now her witness was pretty simple but effective. It kind of went like this. I met a guy named Jesus. It changed my life.

That's it. I met a guy named Jesus. He changed my life. It's sort of like our testimony. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind, but now I see.

And they could tell something was different. Hudson Taylor, great missionary, once wrote about how Christians like to identify with biblical characters. Some of us like to identify with Paul or Daniel or Joseph or if you're a gal, maybe Ruth or a number of others. He said, of all the people I want to emulate, it's the woman at the well of Samaria. Here's his words, I would rather be a successor of the Samaritan woman who, while the disciples went away for food, she forgot her water pot in zeal for souls. Now there was a missionary, Hudson Taylor, one person who was very effective.

Just think of that. Jonah, he was one guy, but boy did his life affect a whole city, the city of Nineveh. And he was even not a cooperative guy, right? He didn't want to go to Nineveh.

He said, I'm not going to do that. And it wasn't until he was whale vomit that he got the picture and said, okay, uncle, I'll go do it. But just one person. Paul was one person. When you put him in a jail cell or you put him on the Areopagus in Athens or the Agora of Corinth and that one person through a changed life make a big difference.

That's a seed being planted. A single individual transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ is noticeable and attractive, noticeable and attractive. Last week I spent a few hours with actor Stephen Baldwin. Remember a couple of years ago or a year ago, I interviewed him on a Wednesday night. He's a believer and we were catching up on some things and he was telling me about his, he's grown a lot in the Lord, by the way.

He was telling me that he was in Paris and he was in his hotel room and he was down at the gym lifting weights, stay in shape on the road. And while he was there, there was a woman in the gym who noticed him and came over to him and said to him, I don't know what it is about you, but there's something different about your life. Well, he thought she was trying to pick up on him. So he held up his ring finger and said, I just want you to know, ma'am, I'm married. She said, no, it has nothing to do with that.

I'm not trying to pick you up. I just noticed by the way you come in and just looking at you that there's something different about you. So he went forward and he said, I think what you're sensing is the Holy Spirit of God.

I've given my life to Christ. And he's told her about that. And he led her to the Lord in the gym. A single transformed life is noticeable and attractive.

Oh, he told me another cool story. He was been a part of a film shoot over in England this last year. It's a television reality show called Celebrity Big Brother. They take different people that are known in England, put them all in a house and they film every day and they make episodes out of it.

There's cameras everywhere. Well, you go into this home, spend a month with these people and you are allowed one luxury item. They call it could be a picture of your family, could be a teddy bear, I don't know, one luxury item. So he says, great, I'm going to bring my Bible. Producer says, you can't bring your Bible.

We don't do that. And Baldwin said, then I won't be in your show. Oh, they went back and forth. And finally they said, look, would you come if we allow you to read your Bible one hour a day, just one hour you can have your Bible. He said, done, that's a deal.

All I need is one hour. So he brought his Bible and he was reading it. People were curious. It's all in film and put on television in the UK. Imagine this reality show. As the show progresses, it shows Baldwin holding a Bible study with all of the people gathered around him in the house.

And this gets on national British television. Okay, so he's very bold and there's this one prize fighter celebrity who's part of this household and he's mocking and he's asking questions. But by the end of the show, Baldwin leads him to Christ on national television. One individual transformed by Jesus is noticeable and attractive.

So I don't know if you're thinking of somebody that you may have shared with and you walk away from them, you go, there's no hope for that person. That person will never come to Christ. Don't be surprised if they end up as an evangelist. This woman was now an evangelist in the city of Sychar.

It proves that God can take the worst and do this with them. John Booth was that guy for me. He was the guy in high school, football jock, didn't like church, didn't like Christians.

I saw him at the high school reunion. John, what are you doing now? He goes, I'm preaching the gospel. That's the woman at Samaria.

Here's the second big thing to notice is not only a seed is planted, that's the first part of spiritual farming, but also the farmhands are busy. Now who's been busy so far preaching the gospel here? Jesus. And now who else?

The woman. The disciples, interestingly enough, haven't even been a part of the conversation. All they care about so far is food.

Understandable. They had a long journey. They're going to go get food. Verse eight, for the disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Now when they get back, look at verse 27. At this point, his disciples came and they marveled that he talked with a woman.

We already covered that whole notion. And yet no one said, what do you seek or why are you talking with her? So they're all about food and social hangups. You know, it's like we just got to town, see you later, we're going to go find In-N-Out, come right back after the burger or falafel or whatever it might be. That's all they're thinking about. And so Jesus uses this as an opportunity to talk to them about his Father's work.

His Father's work. And he says to them, verse 31, it says, in the meantime, his disciples urged him saying, Rabbi, eat. That's all they can think about. And he said to them, I have food to eat of which you do not know. Therefore, the disciples said to one another, has anyone brought him something to eat? That's their level.

That's where they're at. Jesus said to them, my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Chilling the soil, planting the seed, watering the ground, fertilizing, helping it grow. There are all kinds of ways we can be involved with evangelism. And yes, it certainly does sound an awful lot like farming, doesn't it? Well, if we want to see a harvest of souls coming into God's kingdom, we all need to pitch in and do the work.

And we'll talk a bit more about that next time. But for now, here's a great way to take your knowledge of scripture to a whole new level. If you're ready to study God's word beyond going to church and personal Bible study, you're ready for Calvary College. Take your learning and your life's purpose to the next level with an education in biblical studies.

Registration for the 2023 spring term starts October 3rd. Classes happen on site at Calvary Church Albuquerque and online. Classes like spiritual foundations, personal evangelism, theology 2, and church history 2. Plus, book specific courses like Daniel, Romans, Acts, 1st Corinthians, and Revelation. Calvary College partners with Veritas International University and Calvary Chapel University so you can earn an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree, or simply increase your knowledge of God and his word. Your application for the 2023 spring term is available now and classes start January 9th. Apply today at calvarychurchcollege.com. That's calvarychurchcollege.com.

And if you'd like a copy of today's study, it's available for just $4 plus shipping when you call 1-800-922-1888. Or when you visit connectwithskip.com. We'll learn a few more tips to help us be successful spiritual farmers next time. So I hope you can set aside some time to join us here on Connect with Skip Weekend Edition a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, a connection, a connection. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-27 07:41:15 / 2022-11-27 07:50:27 / 9

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