September 09 by luckboy

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									Harvest Time
Adam Carver
The start of September is traditionally a time for harvest festival. As a young child I went to a Church of England primary school and I can remember walking from the school to the church for a harvest festival, with a few carrots and a cabbage tucked under my arm! The theme of seedtime and harvest runs like a rich vein through God’s Word with many references to it as early as Genesis all the way through to Revelation. The Jews celebrated the Feast of Harvest (also known as the Feast of Weeks) yearly to celebrate the bringing in of the summer harvest (see Ex 23:16). Back in Exodus, God ordained that thanksgiving should be given for the harvest that He had provided. Of course 2000 years ago the Israelites were giving thanks for the harvest of wheat and barley and would have known the blessing of God through rain and sun at the right time. Living under the privilege of the New Covenant (and 2000 years of advance in all areas of life!) we are much less reliant on the sun and rain to fulfil the command Jesus gave us. When He finally left this earth for his eternal home with His Father He charged us to; “...go and make disciples of all the nations...”. The harvest we are charged with bringing in is to expand his Kingdom, through the raising up of disciples in all nations. This mission statement is far too large for any one church The harvest we are charged with bringing family to fulfil. That is why God gives local in, is to expand his Kingdom through the churches smaller visions to be fulfilled so that raising up of disciples in all nations. together we may all fulfil the vision God has for the earth. The LORD has given us a particular vision from Eph 4:11-16. In this vision we know that we are called to 8 things:

• • • • • • • •

Releasing and receiving GIFT MINISTRY EQUIPPING people to be released into their destiny EDIFYING (building up) people Bringing UNITY as we grow in love and knowledge of the truth Release people into the FULNESS of their salvation Helping people grow increasingly MATURE Releasing EVERY PART of the body Seeing GROWTH everywhere we go

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In the last 9 months we have been working hard in all the areas God has granted us to work, to see these things come about and as we have worked, so we have seen a wonderful harvest. We have seen God do wonderful things in the areas in which we serve and bless. As I was praying a few weeks ago God reminded me how important it is to give testimony to His grace and to thank Him for all He has done. So, just like the Israelites of old, we will be having our own Feast of Harvest on Sunday 6th September. Of course we do not sow wheat and barley but everywhere we go we sow the love and goodness of Jesus to all we meet. There is no need to being your carrots and cabbages like I did as a young boy! Bring your ears and your heart, ...everywhere we go we ready to hear the goodness of God. There will also be a time sow the love and goodness of individual testimony when we can give thanks to God for of Jesus to all we meet the fruit we have seen him develop in our own personal lives so come prepared to share too! Our morning meeting on this Sunday we be slightly different as we hear from the different areas in which we sow, in particular we will be hearing about:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Which fields we sow into as a family Who the farmers are in that field How the farmers sow in that field The seed that has been sown The harvest that has resulted

I would also ask that you come prepared to be challenged. As Jesus went about the cities and villages teaching, preaching and healing he saw the multitudes and remarked to His disciples; "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest." (Mark 9:38-39). It was only as I read this recently that I realised He asked his disciples to pray for labourers “into His harvest”. The issue is not the harvest, it’s the people to bring it in! Indeed in John 4:34 (NLT) Jesus says; “But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.” In the past I have always heard this verse used to teach about the need for missionaries and evangelists and rightly so. However the vision the LORD has given us is about making disciples. We love it when people come to know Jesus for the first time but our primary call as a body is not to be an evangelistic association. Our primary call is to make disciples who will grow up in the LORD to impact multitudes in their generation and beyond. Therefore this is not Our primary call is to make disciples a call to suddenly launch a huge evangelistic push. who will grow up in the LORD to Rather it is a call to make sure that we all have the impact multitudes in their generation opportunity to serve in one of the areas God has and beyond. given us the privilege of working.

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If you are a part of CLC and consider yourself a part of the family of God here then I believe that it’s important that you find a way of serving into one of the fields that the LORD has given us to minister. This may not mean that you are working on the front line but we particularly need people who can support those on the front-line, both practically and in prayer. I will be outlining all the different ministries that we have and the various ways you can get involved. Too often we think too narrowly about “being involved”. You may have a heart for the toddlers but not feel able to give the time on a Wednesday morning. There are many other ways you can serve though. Perhaps you could firstly commit to praying for the team or perhaps you could support one of the leaders by doing something in their home so that they can spend more time with the ladies through the week? Maybe you have a heart for evangelism but don’t know where to start. The LORD has given us Bolton Woods as a whole community to witness to and all summer we have been praying through our next steps in this area. It may be that YOU could be the catalyst to the next phase of our outreach here. Perhaps you enjoy meeting people and making them feel welcome. You could serve with our doorkeepers sharing God’s love to all those who walk through the door on a Sunday morning. There are a myriad of opportunities for you to serve in the CLC family to see the vision fulfilled. I am looking forward to sharing them all with you!

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