As the fourth week of S.D. Allen comes to an end, there’s been a certain scripture laid upon my heart: “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.” (Luke 10:2a) I had first heard this scripture when I became involved with international ministry as pertaining to international missions, but never had I realized it’s significance in local missions. Until now.
You see just before Jesus declares the words of Luke chapter 10, He shares about the cost of following himself. Person after person declares “I will follow you, Jesus” but only to bargain on the idea that they do one last thing before they go all in. I quickly identified myself similar to the those in the passage. Constantly I find myself compelled by the idea of kingdom work and wanting to be a part of it, but too often I see myself bargaining with Christ that if only He gives me this, then I will do the work. Or if only He lets me have this opportunity first, then I’ll get involved in ministry.
Yet, thankfully Christ has been at work within my heart and mind, and has gifted me this summer with the wondrous opportunity of being a S.D. Allen missionary.
I’ve learned over these past four weeks that there’s a commitment to Christ that comes with salvation. When we choose to follow him, we choose to work for his glory and kingdom advancement, which is going to be a sacrifice. It’s sacrificing sleep because I have to be at work by 8 a.m. It’s choosing not to be lazy and play yet another round of jump rope just so that you can build a relationship. It’s choosing to talk to someone you usually wouldn’t in hopes that it opens an opportunity for the gospel to be shared. It’s asking intentional question with kids no matter the age gap so they can learn that you care. It’s endless moments of denying yourself to proclaim the kingdom of God.
If these past weeks have taught me anything it is that ministry is hard and being a minister of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:4-6) can be exhausting, but the harvest will prove fruitful when we choose to become laborers for the kingdom of God.
Each day, I have the joy to work alongside nine others who so humbly and joyfully deny themselves to labor for the kingdom of God. They’ve taught me enough for a lifetime from the way I’ve witnessed my brothers and sisters pursue so many despite the unrelenting heat and at the cost of sweat, dirt, and the occasional bloodshed. I’ve been so encouraged by their love.
I would challenge anyone reading this blog to reflect on where you can be a laborer. I think sometimes we fail to realize that Jesus probably meant what He said when He told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I would encourage you that there is nothing greater than what is to come from choosing Christ, denying yourself, and laboring for the kingdom of God. We may not see its full fruition yet, but we can claim hope in what is to come.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison as we look not the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
- Jada Culver