John answered, â€œMaster, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he doesnâ€™t follow with us.â€
Jesus said to him, â€œDonâ€™t forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us.â€ Â Â Â Â Luke 9:49-50 (WEB)
Church signs have been a topic of conversation in our home over the last few months as we prepare for the debut of our next book, Megabelt, by a new author, Nick May. Catchy phrases and bad puns posted in front of churches doesnâ€™t seem like any of the â€œTop Ten Ways to Get People to Come to Churchâ€. Posting service schedules and upcoming events that are an outreach to the community would seem better use of sign space to me.
However, Jesus says here that we also spend way too much time concerned about what â€˜John Smith Churchâ€™ is or isnâ€™t doing and not enough time honestly evaluating whether we are doing what Jesus has called us to do and as leaders in a fellowship are we hearing His voice and speaking His guiding words as to how we spend out time and resources. I donâ€™t believe I have ever heard a prayer offered to bless a neighboring church that they would bring a fruitful harvest to Godâ€™s glory. Nope, I have never heard that.
The root of our problem may be as the disciples show in verse 46 where it says that a argument broke out between the disciples on who was the greatest. By our very church culture of attendance and pastor appointments, we reward numbers and demographic territory taken. Church politics is an abomination in the sight of Almighty God! â€œI AM THE GREATEST!â€ is no longer sung by boxers and musicians but by mega-churches and their leadership!
Oh, my friends, when will we see that the harvest is ripe and the time is NOW? When will we recognize â€“ with joy â€“ the strengths in each other and join together as His Body to be Light and Salt in this dark world? A world starving for what it cannot recognize amid all the glitz and half-truths! It is for us to show by our very lives what we speak with our mouths and know in hearts is the great love of Jesus Christ.
â€œBehold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, â€˜One sows, and another reaps.â€™ I sent you to reap that for which you havenâ€™t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â John 4:35-38 (WEB)