There is nothing more satisfying in life than doing the will of God. Now if you have ever led somebody personally to Christ, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You say bingo.
If you know what it's like to pray with someone to receive Christ, if you know what it's like to see them change in the way they think and come around, there's nothing more satisfying. Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Contrary to popular belief, people aren't born with green thumbs, or at least very few people are. Typically, a green thumb is earned through experience, trial and error, and even failure.
I have a friend who often says green thumbs are the result of a lot of dead plants. Well, sometimes the same is true of evangelism. We're not going to be successful every time. In fact, there may be times when we botch things up pretty badly. However, in order to get a green thumb, spiritually speaking, we first need to get out there and start planting, start doing the work of evangelism.
That's just part of the job of being a Christian. We'll get some tips on how we can do that job well today here in Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. But first, let's see what's going on in the Connect with Skip Resource Center this month. As we come to the end of the year at Connect with Skip, we have new plans for expansion that we want you to know about. In 2023, we hope to take these through the Bible teachings to more of the large population cities in our country. When God deals with a nation, He often focuses on the cities, and we know our nation needs the Word of God.
We'll tell you how you can join this project. But first, this from Skip. I want my legacy to be I made much of Jesus, that Jesus became greater in people's hearts and lives because of my life and ministry, that they walked away understanding the Bible, that what seemed to be complicated was actually very simple, that I helped make it simple for them and understandable. When you help us expand into more metropolitan areas in 2023 with a year-end gift of $1,000 or more, we'll send you the Skip Heitzig Legacy Library so far containing 11 books, 17 booklets, and the Bible from 30,000 feet. Pastor Skip's incomparable teaching series of 64 full messages through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation on a flash drive that also includes Learning from the Land, Skip's video tour of Israel. G. Campbell Morgan was called in his biography a man of the Word or the man of the Word. That's what I want to be, a man of the Word. The Skip Heitzig Legacy Library so far is a real treasure, and it's yours when you make a year-end gift of $1,000 or more, and you will be helping us expand the reach of these teachings.
Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Turn to John chapter 4, where we're examining verses 28 through 42, and let's join Skip Heitzig for today's study. I was with my wife the first time she led someone to Christ. We were in India of all places.
She was sharing on the street with this Indian fella, a couple of them. She spent about 20 minutes doing so, and then she said, now would you like to pray to receive Christ? And he shook his head.
He did this. Now to us, it sort of looks like a no. It looks like this, but in India, this means this. It means yes. So she would say, now are you ready to receive Christ? And I went, and so she went, oh man. So she kept talking to him and telling him why he needed to receive Christ, and about his sin, and about God's grace, and are you ready now? And he went like this, and she's thinking okay, and she spent more time telling him.
Finally, this is all true. Finally, a dear Christian Indian brother came up and said, he is not saying no. He is saying yes. You should be praying with him. So she prayed with him.
She felt excited. Question. What drove Jesus in his life? What was his food? What lit his fire? It was his father's agenda. He was doing the family business of the harvest. That's what drove him.
That's the point he's getting across. He has a task. He loves doing it, and he came to finish it. So when he's on the cross, one of the last words he'll say is, father, it is finished. It's finished. Mission is accomplished. I've come to do everything you wanted me to do in representing you and paying for the sins of the world. His mission was accomplished, but do you know that you have a mission on earth, and I have a mission on earth? Do you know that? You know how I know that? Because you're still here on earth.
That's why. You see, if God was only interested in saving you and immediately getting you to heaven, what would happen the moment you receive Christ? You'd fall over dead and go to heaven. Do not pass, go.
Do not collect $200. Go directly to heaven. But the fact that you and I are still here means that he has some plan in the family business, spiritual farming, that he wants us to get involved in. That's his will. The Bible says he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. That's his business.
Therefore, it should be our business. Dwight L. Moody from Chicago, the evangelist, who used to love to give altar calls, always made evangelism his business. So much so that he didn't just do it from the pulpit, but he would do it individually.
He was walking down Chicago street one night, and there was a man leaning against a lamppost. Moody walks right up to him, puts his hand on his shoulder, and says, are you a Christian, sir? The man bolted back, put his fists in the air like he wanted to fight, and he said, it's none of your business what I believe.
And Moody politely said, well, sir, pardon me if I've offended you, but to be very frank, that is my business. And he continued sharing with the man, as he so often did. Look at verse 35. Here's the paragraph I want you to notice. Do you not say, there are still four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest. And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit together. For in this, the saying is true, one sows, and another reaps. I sent you to reap, that for which you have not labored, others have labored, and you have entered into their labors. All of this is farm language, agricultural language. The physical reality of the farm Jesus uses to speak of the spiritual reality of the condition of the world. Remember all those parables Jesus gave, like the sower, and the seed, and the wheat, and the tares?
Same terminology. Well, listen to this. In those parables, Jesus said, the field is the world.
Keep that in mind, the field is the world. And he said, the good seed are the sons of the kingdom. You and I, men and women, sons and daughters of God, the field is the world, the good seed are the good seed are the sons of the kingdom. And then he also said, the seed is the word of God. So here's God's method of farming. He implants his word in you and I.
He sends you and I out into the world to speak his word to people of the world, just like Jesus spoke to this woman at the well of Samaria. That is spiritual farming. And by the way, when is it harvest time? According to Jesus, when is the time to be involved in this? Now.
Now. For he says in verse 35, that's the whole point. Do you not say there are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields. They are already white for harvest. Now they had a saying back then. There's four months between seed time and harvest. That was their saying. It meant you do a lot of hard work cultivating the ground, putting in the seed, then you can rest.
It's going to rain, let it rain, wait a while, and eventually it'll come up. What our Lord is saying is that is not the way it is spiritually. There is always someone who can be plucked, harvested for the kingdom. There's always somebody whose heart is ready. He says, lift up your eyes and look.
Okay. Now, while he's saying this, listen to this, while he's saying this to his disciples, guess who's coming to meet them? All the people from the city that the woman spoke to. Look at verse 30 and you'll get the whole thing together. Then they went out of the city and came to him.
So she goes in the city, talks to them. Jesus is talking to his disciples. They're coming out and Jesus says to his disciples, there's the harvest field. They're coming at you right now.
Right now, lift up your eyes and look what's happening. And no doubt, as one commentator beautifully helped us to see, these men were probably wearing white robes as Samaritans did 2,000 years ago and they're walking, kind of bouncing back and forth on the road coming to Jesus. And it must have looked to the disciples like ripened grain of wheat at harvest time, standing there, coming toward them. There's the harvest field, ready and ripe. I wonder if the disciples would have been on a committee to do evangelism in Samaria, what they would have said.
I mean, they're slow on the uptake, right? Let's go get some food. Jesus, have you eaten?
Did somebody give him something to eat? That's what their whole thing is about. And I bet they would have said something like, especially judging from what they said in verse 27, they probably would have said, okay, this town needs to hear the gospel. They need to hear what our master has to say, but I don't think now is the time. I don't think they're quite ready yet.
Jesus needs to spend more time in Jerusalem with the Jewish leaders or in Galilee with the Jewish settlements, but not now. Here's the point I want to make. The problem is never that the field isn't ready. The problem is always that the workers aren't ready to go to the field. It's always the problem.
That's always the problem. Jesus said in Matthew chapter nine, the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest field. Now, according to verse 36, 37, 38, there's all kinds of workers. There's those who sow, those who labor, maybe that refers to those who help water, and there are those who reap.
Different ones. Paul says in first Corinthians three verse six, I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So let's ask a question. Let's not even be nebulous and talk about the church of Jesus Christ on earth. Let's just talk about this church and this service, this third service on Sunday. Of all of the people in this room right now, who was to be involved in the harvest? All of us.
You knew that was coming, all of us. It's not, well, you're the preacher, we pay you to do that, or your staff, that's what they're here for. No, there's some who reap and there's some who sow, and there's some who labor, but we're all doing it together.
That's really the point. Now, the disciples come along as Jesus said, and verse 38, I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored. See, they came in late on the conversation. Jesus has been laboring.
The woman is talking to the people. The people are going to come to him and they're going to believe in him, and the disciples are going to stand around and going, boy, didn't we do great? It was great, and they will be able to share as part of that. But not just now, I want you to see something that I think is tremendous. Keep a marker here and go to in your New Testament, Acts chapter 8, Acts chapter 8. One book to the right, Acts chapter 8. Before we read, just a couple of verses. Do you recall what Jesus tells his disciples before he ascended into heaven? He said, you'll be filled with the Holy Spirit and you'll be preaching the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.
That was their commission. Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, uttermost parts. Meanwhile, they all stayed in Jerusalem until Acts chapter 8.
Now, Saul was consenting to Stephen's death. At that time, a great persecution arose against the church, which was at Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. Took a persecution to get him there, except the apostles. Hmm, the apostles still back in Jerusalem. Verse 5, Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. This is round two of evangelism in Samaria. And the multitudes, with one accord, heeded the things spoken by Philip, and hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
Look at verse 14. Now when the apostles were at Jerusalem, when they heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. Those were apostles. They were with Jesus with his whole woman at the well thing.
Now they go back. Verse 25, so when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. Boy, do you think God has a plan for the city of Samaria and the regions or what? And they had Jesus come there and the disciples watching, and then again others coming to them and the disciples watching, but what a great plan. There's a very important point here that I don't want you to miss. They needed to leave where they were and go to them. They had to go to them.
Farm hands need to go out into the field if they want to see a harvest. Did you know one person counted 132 individual encounters that Jesus had with people in the four gospels? 132 different contacts Jesus made with people. Of that 132, according to this one author's count, six of those encounters were at the temple in Jerusalem. Four of those encounters were in different synagogues. 122 were outside of the spiritual building realm, and they were out on the byways and the highways and the various jobs that people were occupying. That's where they were reached.
Workers need to go out to the field. Let's conclude. Let's finish out our story in John chapter 4.
A seed has been planted, the farm hands are busy, and now a harvest is gathered. Verse 39. Many of the Samaritans of that city believed in him because of the word of the woman who testified.
He told me all that I ever did. So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed there another 48 hours, two days. And many more believed because of his own word. Then they said to the woman, now we believe not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard him, and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the savior of the world.
There's two things I want you to notice. Many believed, many more believed. Many believed when a woman gave her testimony, they saw the changes, they believed.
Something had to happen to change this gal, I believe. But many more believed when they had a personal encounter with the Lord. Personal testimonies are fine. Preacher sermons are fine.
People's experiences are great. But real change will come when a person experiences the Lord for themselves. Maybe you were brought up in church all your life, your parents told you about Jesus, they brought you to church, and so you come to church every week and you believe. Your wife brings you to church, she got saved, so you'll come with her and you'll come every week and okay, I'll come to church and I believe.
Or a son or a daughter is transformed and so the parents decide, let's as a family go together. And you come to church and you believe. But when you yourself come to Jesus, that's when you can say we believe and we know that this is the Christ, the Savior of the world. By the way, isn't it interesting the very first time Jesus is called the Savior of the world, it's by the Samaritans.
Not by the Jews in Jerusalem, by the Samaritans. You're the Savior of the world. You came to us.
We would have no hope unless you came to us. So a question I leave you with. What is your food? What rings your bell? What motivates you? What lights a fire in your heart?
I'm sorry to say that for many Christians, it's no longer Christ or the work of Christ. It's a new hobby, a new relationship, that's what really fires them up. That's what really fires them up. Have you ever experienced, you don't have to say yes, I'll tell you why in a minute, you'll see. Do you ever experience the Christian, the blaz, the blaz?
You have a Bible, you read your Bible, you go to church, you read the Bible church, you sing the songs, you do the stuff. But it's sort of like you're just in the blaz. I have a cure for the blaz. Spiritual farming is the cure guaranteed for the blaz.
It will excite you, it will give you an energy like nothing else will. Charles Spurgeon said to his church, if you would just roll up your sleeves for the work and go and tell the gospel to dying men, you would find your spiritual health mightily restored. For very much of the sickness of Christian comes through their having nothing to do. All feeding and no working makes men spiritual dyspeptics. That is someone with spiritual indigestion.
They eat a lot of food, read a lot of Bible, they get a lot of sermons, but they don't spread it out. So here's the challenge this week. The challenge is to lift up your eyes and to see the harvest around us and ask the Lord, what part do you want me to play in it?
And here's the further part of the challenge. Would you plant this week just one seed? Can we covenant together that this week all of us will plant one seed, will engage one conversation, will share at least one truth about the Lord to some person? Because you'll never see a spiritual harvest unless you plant one seed.
And the more the better, right? I told you my dad was a farmer, my mom had a garden. We had a garden but she was the one that really kept it.
And she grew a lot of stuff in it. But you know what grew in the garden? More than anything else and it was never planted, not weeds, watermelons. And that's because we boys would sit out back in the summer eating watermelon and doing what with the seeds? Spitting them over the fence in the garden. Got all the water and the fertilizer and the watermelon seeds grew.
We spit a lot of seeds in that garden and got a lot of watermelons. So this week you run into somebody at the gas station, somebody in line at the supermarket, somebody next door, spit a seed of truth. Ask them like Moody, are you a believer?
Can I talk to you for just a moment? You don't know what's going to grow. Just one seed, one conversation, one person reaching one person. And you might just plant a seed and somebody else in a week or a month or a year may water it and somebody else may come along as they come to church or a crucifixion. Somebody else may come along as they come to church or a crusade or watch or hear something and reap it. But we're all workers together. Evangelism may seem like a daunting task, but when we keep in mind that we aren't alone in this task, that it isn't our sole responsibility, that it isn't just up to us, that helps it seem a bit less intimidating, doesn't it?
That's all the time we have for today. But before we go, here's a great way to increase your knowledge of God's Word even more. 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 II and Church History II, plus book specific courses like Daniel, Romans, Acts, 1 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. Evangelism isn't easy and sometimes it's even discouraging, so join us next time for a faith lift, right here in Connect with Skip weekend edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth. In ever changing times.
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