March 9th, 2017 — a special day for the seven people who accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts. During the early part of that day, at the FHL Training Food Pantry, 4 people received Jesus. Our Prayer Team Leader, Donna, had implemented something she learned from another ministry, a way to interact with people who were not yet believers. Someone else had planted the seeds of ministry, and she was able to reap a harvest from it.
We are given opportunity to reap what others have planted in many ways. Here is another example. About half of those ministered to at FHL are elderly due to the fact that they participate in a seniors’ program in the same building. So once a month when we open the food pantry, we serve the seniors first and then the general public. We have many such opportunities to tailor our outreach to the recipients since the pantry is in a community center that provides various neighborhood services and is well known in the community. We do not have to work hard to gather those in need! God has set us up for a harvest we did not plant! We had seen four souls enter the Kingdom that day, but the Spirit wasn’t finished yet.
Deuteronomy 6:10-11a, “10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant…” – NIV
Later in the day, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to stop by a soup kitchen that we support. I invited Donna and Lydia, one of our leaders to join me, and as soon as we entered, the leader welcomed me with this — “Merlin, maybe you can help this young man.” I looked to see a man in ragged clothes, trembling and restless. It was obvious he was high on drugs.
I invited him to a private room so that the ladies and I could minister to him. After a few minutes of conversation, we learned of his addiction to cocaine and of his fiancée in rehab expecting their first baby in a few weeks. Compassion welled up in our hearts. The ladies prayed for him, and he made the decision to accept the Lord!
There is more! Later, in the dining room of the soup kitchen, two men started arguing and were ready to collide with anger. The ladies invited one of the men to come into the private room. Both men ended up receiving Jesus. Through the labor of others, God set us up again! This soup kitchen has been serving the neighborhood for several years. The volunteers have established relationships with their clients and we were invited to serve. They planted the seeds and, through the continuing work of God, He brought us in to be a part of the reaping of the harvest. In one day, and in two different locations, God had shown us His mighty hand. He gave us the privilege to harvest in the vineyards we did not plant.
Joshua 24:13, “13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.” – NIV
Long before Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom here on earth, God had been teaching His people the Kingdom economy — an economy where human logic does not make sense. It is a dimension that cannot be understood by the mind but only perceived by the heart.
If we want to see more of the impossible in our lives, we need to see more from our hearts of faith. We will experience His Kingdom where we will eat from vineyards that we did not plant.