DayBreaks for 5/26/16 – Of Clouds and Charlie Brown

DayBreaks for 5/26/16 – Of Clouds and Charlie Brown

Sometime ago in the “Peanuts” comic strip as Lucy, Linus, and Charlie Brown looked up to the sky, Lucy said, “You can see lots of things in the clouds.” Then turning to her companions, she asked “What do you see, Linus?”

“Well,” he said, “those clouds up there look to me like the map of Belize, the little nation in the Caribbean.” Glancing in a different direction, “That cloud looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor. And that cloud formation over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Steven; why I can see Saul of Tarsus standing to one side.”

“Uh huh,” gasped Lucy, “That’s good.” “And, what do you see Charlie Brown?” Clearing his throat, Charlie timidly replies, “Oh, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I’ve changed my mind.”

You may smile at Charlie Brown. Yet in a more profound way, he reminds me of the first disciples of Christ who had a hard time stretching their faith to see the coming of the Kingdom of God and the spiritual harvest around them. And in that way Charlie Brown also reminds me of me.

As I look around, I can either get discouraged thinking that the Kingdom of God is on a losing streak or I can choose to see these days as times of perhaps unprecedented opportunity for spiritual harvest.

And that leads to the next question: how am I gifted by the Spirit to engage in the harvest? We are all expected to be part of the great army of harvesters. We may not be the reapers – we may be sowers – but we are all to be engaged. We can’t, nor should we, wait until Jesus appears on his white horse to lead us into an engagement with the forces of darkness…we are to do it now – while we await his return.

What do you see when you look around you?

Let’s all commit ourselves to doing something each day to contribute to the harvest of souls.

Matthew 9:35 (NLTse) – Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

PRAYER: Jesus, I know that I can get so tied up in the business of each day that I seldom think about how white the fields are for harvest. Open my eyes to see how abundant it is and to understand the role you want me to play in it! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 2/29/16 – Seeing As Jesus Sees

DayBreaks for 2/29/16: Seeing As Jesus Does

I would never presume to be able to tell you definitively what Jesus is thinking or seeing at any moment in time. Still, I think the New Testament gives us insights into how he sees and thinks.

John 4:35 (ESV) – Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.

When Jesus made this statement, he was sitting beside a well in the homeland of the Samaritans – the people who were considered by observant Jews to be impure, filthy, great sinners and people who were worse than dogs. Rather than walk through Samaria, they would go way out of their way to walk from Galilee to Jerusalem…and that’s saying something given the geography and the heat of Israel.

When Jesus makes this statement, he’d already spoken to the Samaritan woman while the disciples were gone seeking food. His disciples come back from their shopping and were taken aback by the fact he was talking to a woman – let alone a Samaritan woman. Jesus, knowing their hearts and thoughts, encourages them to improve their vision. Where they saw despised Samaritans, Jesus saw a field of humanity ready to be harvested for the Kingdom.

Are we ever guilty of the same lack of vision today? Before you answer too quickly, picture yourself in the Middle East and in front of you is a vast field of ISIS soldiers. What would you see? What would you think? Would you see enemies and be eager to call down God’s wrath, or would you see a field that needed harvesting…and even further, would you be willing to go to work to help harvest that field?

I fear that we (perhaps I should speak simply for myself) see the condition of the world around us and think that it is a problem. But would Jesus see it that way? Does Jesus see the state of the world as the problem? I think not: Luke 10:2 (NLT) – These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.

Jesus doesn’t see the nature of the field being the problem. The problem is not the sinners…but the lack of believers willing to join in the harvest.

Why was the Samaritan woman so responsive to Jesus’ message? I suspect it was because she was so far gone into sin that caused her to respond. It is only those who realize their sinfulness and brokenness who will respond, and according to Jesus, there are many for who that is an accurate description. They are not to be hated or despised, but loved by Jesus’ followers…loved right into the Kingdom.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Jesus, teach us to see what you see.  Teach us to love as you love. Teach us to see the field as being white for harvest, and to pray for the Lord to send forth reapers – even us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.