HE HAS PLACED YOU IN YOUR
NOW YOU MUST PRAY FOR EYES TO SEE YOUR FIELD.
Jesus told the disciples to start in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. We too need to start where we are, and pray for His Spirit to open our eyes to the people right within our path. Your field changes with life circumstances. I became a Christian when Steve was going through medical school, so my first “field” was my neighborhood and the wives of other medical students. When I had children, their friends were my next “field.” Each neighborhood we moved to was a new “field,” and I have also sought to minister in what experts call the “fertile field.” (More about that soon.)
Though some of you are rural, most of us have a neighborhood of sorts. When I did the cruise last year, the other speaker was Amy Lively, who has written: “How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird.”
Amy put hundreds of invites to a coffee for women in her neighborhood mailboxes. Twenty women
showed up. That led to an amazing ministry. Watch this two minute clip:
IN ADDITION TO YOUR NATURAL FIELD, BE ALERT TO
THE FERTILE FIELD
James Engel, evangelism expert from Wheaton college said: “Common sense would argue that the best audience for evangelistic effort are seekers, who represent the fertile field.” There are two groups of people whose hearts tend to be more open to God than those of other people. They are the “fertile field.” When I evaluate the people I have led to Christ in my life, most of them were in the “fertile field.”
Who are they?
PEOPLE IN CRISIS
Last week our own Lizzy told of suddenly becoming aware of her neighbor’s deep need — and so they are reaching out. Several others of you chimed in on this truth — and Liz shared how a cousin in crisis called her. Then she had a divine encounter at her mailbox with an elderly gentleman who’d been hurt by the church sixty years ago and hadn’t been back. When she asked him how he was he told her he had cancer. And she hoisted the sail and asked him if he knew Jesus. It was right, it was appropriate — and he opened up and she is going to follow up. People in crisis are looking and need the lifeline only Jesus can give. I see this in prison — when I share the Word I can almost see it sprouting before my very eyes, for it is fertile soil. The other obvious fertile field is:
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Nineteen our of twenty individuals become Christians before the age of twenty-five. Howard Hendricks said: “You know, we’re really not too smart. We put eighty-five percent of our effort where we will get fifteen percent of the results and fifteen percent of our effort where will get eighty-five percent of the result.”
ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU EYES TO SEE YOUR FIELD
Father, “lift up my eyes that I may see the fields white for harvest.” Alert me to people in my life in whom You are already at work. May we pray this without ceasing throughout the day.
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- If you have anything to report to encourage the rest of in this journey, a way you are already sensing God at work, please share!
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY
Prepare your heart with this:
3. Read Proverbs 14:13 and share what insight this gives you to the people in your field.
4. Read John 4:31-35
A. In context, what preceded this passage?
B. Describe the conversation between the disciples and Jesus in verses 31-34.
C. In verse 35a what earthly picture does he give to turn the light on to a spiritual reality?
D. In verse 35b what does He tell them to do?
E. David Jeremiah says, and this is logical, that Jesus is looking out over Samaria as he says this. What
insight might this give you about the fertile field, about the people who might be more open?
F. Brennan Manning coined the term “Ragamuffin Gospel.” How did the Samaritan woman fit in that
category — yet how many did she reach?
G. Read Acts 8:4-8 to see where Philip went and what the response was. Thoughts?
5. Read John 4:36-38
A. What is Jesus saying here?
B. Give an illustration of sowing and also of reaping — if possible, from your own life or how you may have
labored hand in hand with another and rejoiced together.
I also want to say a word about when you feel you have hit a roadblock, for though you haven’t reaped, you have sown seeds, and as Ecclesiastes say, “Our own Shirley shared last Friday that she wondered if a friend she saw at a Christian concert might be a Christian or spiritually open, only to find out in conversation that this friend was leading a Buddhist group. Shirley felt discouraged, like she had failed. Yet that friend opened up to her about her beliefs, saying she had never shared with a Christian before. I was cheering — for it shows she saw love and empathy in Shirley — and Shirley truly listened. I believe some seeds were sown and am praying for this friend.
C. What does Ecclesiastes 11:6 say and how might this be relevant to Shirley’s situation — and yours?
6. Jesus prayed all night to ask God to show Him His disciples. As you kneel before the Father, where
does He move you to begin? How does He lead you to begin?
Thursday-Friday Evangelism Panel
This video is so valuable we will be watching it this month and again next. Watch and then share your notes and comments.
7. Notes and comments.
8. Share what God is doing in your heart or in your life evangelistically. How can we pray?