The Ripple Effect

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It’s that time of year where we look out and see the farmers in their combines harvesting this year’s crop.  Now if you’re anything like my husband, Farmer Dean, you felt great discouragement over this past week’s rain and feel antsy to get back in the field and back to work … after all, you have a harvest to reap.  

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As we look around, we realize that farmers are benefiting from the seeds that the planted last spring, and now that fall has arrived, it’s time to harvest the crop.  But what would happen to the crop if no one went out to plant in the fields?  What would happen if no one cared enough to do the work? 

In Matthew 9:37-38, we hear Jesus speaking to the disciples, “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”  Did you hear that?   Into the Lord’s Harvest field …  John 4:35 says, “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” 

When we read these words, Jesus is telling the disciples and the people who are listening to Him, it’s youyou’re needed to do the work.  When we think about missionaries going out into the field,  all across the world, we know that God wants to send His people.  Yes, this is true … but this is a mandate for you … for me, as He wants US, you and me, to go out into the field where He has placed us, and plant seeds for His Kingdom.  

When farmers plant one small kernel of corn in the ground, they wait and let God do His work.  The rains come, the soil takes over, the kernel grows into a stalk of corn, with corn cobs, and many kernels!  It’s a ripple effect, just like if you toss a pebble into the water and watch it create ripples.  That one stone effects the entire body of water.  The one seed planted, creates many seeds, and many are affected by that one kernel.

In Luke 10:1-12, you see the disciples are there with Jesus, so it’s very natural for us to read the same story from Luke and Matthew, but each personality focuses on telling it from their vantage point.  The tax collector, Matthew, tells it from his view point.  The physician, Luke, tells it from his vantage point.  Here’s Luke’s.  Follow along with me as we read Luke’s vantage point:

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-twoothers and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”

Planting seeds for God is kingdom work.  You might think I can’t do it.  Nothing I do will matter.  But it does!  When we plant seeds, it can have a ripple effect. 

Our responsibility doesn’t come in the form of everything … our responsibility doesn’t come in the form of doing it all … no, our responsibility comes in the seed.  We plant the seed … God grows the crop … the harvest for the kingdom begins.  God is glorified … lives are changed.

When we look at this command from God, it is for you and for me.

Maybe that means that you’re helping someone with a ride somewhere, you’re calling them with encouragement, you’re delivering food to their home when they can’t cook, you’re mowing their lawn, raking their leaves, or praying for them.

When we go out and tell people about Jesus’ love, it’s not enough.  Why?  Because we need to be showing others about His love.  We need to be a worker.  We need to be an example.  We need to let people know the kingdom of God is at hand.  We need to be known as “workers.”

Recently, our 4 year old grandson came over to the farm.  Dean and hius brother, Gary, had a truck that needed some work, was very dirty, and was parked in the shed looking rather bedraggled.  Our grandson went in and saw it and really got after Dean to get it washed. 

Well, they didn’t have time to wash it that day, but the next morning Jonah got out of bed and said to Dean, “Let’s go over and see the truck, I bet it’s washed.”  Dean said, “We didn’t wash it, how would it have gotten washed?”

Jonah said, “I bet Uncle Dairy did it … He’s such a worker.”

You see, Uncle Gary is known as a worker.  Don’t you want to be known by God as a worker!?

Jesus is telling us in both of these books, Matthew and Luke, the work is great … the workers are few … you are needed!

You don’t have to go across the world to reach people.  You can go across the street.  You can be effective in “your own field.”

Scripture tells us  in John 1:14 … “the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Message Bible translates that to:  “the word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”

When Jesus came here on earth to become one of us, He lived daily to make a ripple effect.  One pebble in the water, means it ripples to affect another.  One person healed from leprosyhe tells the townOne person healed from years of bleeding, she tells her communityOne person healed from being blindhe tells everyoneIt’s a ripple effect.  God uses it like this:  Just like a seed is planted in the ground and grows a stalk of corn with a couple of ears on it, that’s what it is when we plant seeds for God … things grow.  We create a ripple effect when we talk about God, share God, help others, because it can grow.    

Jesus is sending us out for the harvest.  He’s sending us out to do good work for Him.  He’s encouraging us to share His salvation story right in our own neighborhood.  We don’t have to go across the world to be a worker for the harvest … we can go out in our own backyard, we can walk across the street. Everyone has their own field to work on …. it’s your neighborhood.   

We can plant seeds for God.  I want to be known as a “worker,” don’t you?

Today’ Prayer:  Dear God, help me to be a worker right where I am planted.  Help me to plant seeds of love, truth, encouragement, and the knowledge of Your Son, Jesus, who died to save us.  I commit my field to You.  Work in me and through me to help others.  Make me a ripple effect.  In Jesus, Name.  Amen.

  1. Kathy Weckwerth10-28-13

    Thank you, Barb! What lovely additions to this blog. Blessings to you today! Kathy

  2. Barb Swanson10-28-13

    Hi Kathy!
    Thank you for sharing this insightful, wise
    challenging, encouraging and truthful message from the Word of God and your heart.

    Kingdom work: our daily work in the fields of our lives by God’s power and grace letting the people know that Jesus saves!
    Seeds: deeds of love, kindness, mercy and truth
    Harvest: crop of souls ready to come into God’s kingdom… some plant the seeds, some gather the results of those growing seeds.. bringing them in to
    a place of even greater good (not left standing in the field!) 🙂
    Blessings on your day and ministry Kathy!!!
    Looking to Jesus, Barb Swanson (aka: Christy F. mom!)