Missions have always been at the heart of Cornerstone. In the months of November and December alone, we’ll be sending 21 Courier teams to 10 different nations. Just this week, some of our pastors, together with 50 volunteers from Cornerstone were in Mauritius for our KI ‘Bless Mauritius’ outreach. The teams participated in street evangelism, leadership training, meetings for the women and youth, including a national gathering for the churches in Mauritius.
1. Leap for Joy
As teams return from their trips, we often look forward to hearing their good reports and testimonies of salvation, healings and breakthroughs. It’s like Jesus when He sent out the 70 in Luke 10 and they returned with joy. “At that very hour, Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit.” Luke 10:21
The word ‘rejoiced’ in Greek is ‘agalliao’. The literal definition of the word is to “leap for joy, to exalt, to be exceedingly glad with exceeding joy, to rejoice greatly.” The Lord was so excited in the Holy Ghost that He leapt up and began to jump for joy and to be not just glad, but exceedingly glad with GREAT joy!
When Jesus said that they should not rejoice about demons submitting to them, but that their names were recorded in heaven. He wasn’t referring to them being excited about exercising God’s power, but that He wanted them to know and realise the source and purpose of that power.
It came from the fact that they were known in heaven and that the power they were seeing flowed out for the salvation of souls. Jesus saw the beginnings of a time when His children would be released into all the world to spread the Gospel of salvation and eternal life – the Kingdom of God to all of mankind. The joy was so intense and so stirred from the depth of His soul that He rose up to dance and leaped with joy!
There’s joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. How gracious of our Good Father to call us to share His joy. He says, “It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:32). Paul knew that the souls he had won for the Lord would be his joy and crown of rejoicing (1 Thess 2:19).
We need to experience this intense joy of the Lord, that is our strength (Neh 8:10) to bring in the harvest of souls.
2. Reap in Joy
The joy of evangelism is in seeing souls get saved. It takes a lot of persistence in sowing seeds and prevailing in prayer – it takes a sincere desire and burden to see lost people saved. As Charles Spurgeon put it, “Winners of souls must first be weepers for souls.”
To organise a 5-day outreach event like “Bless Mauritius”, we need manpower, finance, effort and contribution from many sacrificial volunteers. The value of souls saved, healed and delivered well outweighs the price paid. “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Ps 126:5-6
In Mark 4:36-38, Jesus said “Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” Whether your ministry in the harvest is primarily to sow (share your faith, testify, preach), to water (discipleship), or to reap (lead people to Christ), all are important – and when the harvest comes in, everyone will rejoice and be glad. Gal 6:9 says, “Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
3. Sowing and Reaping
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed.” Amos 9:13
The sower will overtake the reaper. God’s promised harvest is that sowing and reaping will happen at the same time. Souls and abundance to the saints is coming quicker than we can preach, or sow. Time is caught up in an accelerated process. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am” (Isaiah 58:9a). Notice the immediacy of God’s response. The closer we get to the end of the age and the imminent return of Jesus, the shorter time becomes. The time is coming when seed time and harvest will be the same.
Jesus says in John 4:37 that the fields are already ready for harvest, meaning that the moment you sow, you’ll find the crop ready for harvest. God is bringing about a mighty harvest. If we believe that it’s harvest time, then let’s step out in faith, with love and boldness, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom at every opportunity. This is something we can do individually, in our cell groups and as a church at our upcoming Christmas Harvest Event. It’s harvest time!
“Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” (Rev 14:15)