The Hardworking Farmer

Sermon preached by Christopher Adams, October 19, 2008:

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Communion by Rod Carter:

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Create in me a pure heart, O God. Psalm 51:10

There is one way that most of us can relate to a hard-working farmer, even if we’ve never stepped foot on a farm in our life–and that is that all of us at one time or another get TIRED! We can be tired in different ways for different purposes, but the best exhaustion around is to be a tired worker in God’s harvest field. Paul reminds us of the incredible renewal that awaits those who pour out to bear fruit for God. In 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 and especially in verse 16:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

We see that daily renewal is possible and is God’s will for all of his hard-working children. Didn’t Jesus remind us in Matthew 11:28-30 that if we work side-by-side with him, the yoke (work) would be easy and the burden light?!

Just as a farmer concerns himself about renewing the soil (Exodus 23:10 shows God’s plan to replenish the soil every 7th year, thousands of years before agricultural scientific research “proved” the benefits . . .), we must concern ourselves with keeping the soil of our souls, our hearts, renewed. God has this one planned out perfectly for us, as well! Hebrews 3:12-13 is one of countless Scriptures that guide us in building “one another relationships,” where our goal is to disciple/train/strengthen each others hearts! But everyone knows what happens when you work out for the first time after not having exercised for a long time: you realize how out of shape you are.

How in shape are you when it comes to getting the help you need through your discipling relationships, to stay in that “Zone of Repentance” that brings times of refreshing (Acts 3:19-21)?

Knowing every 13 seconds someone dies in the U.S. alone, the challenge for every disciple in the Central New York Church of Christ is clear: to be patiently urgent about helping one another and the lost come to repentance, so that all of our hearts can be purified of all unrighteousness and we can all be refreshed and continue working in God’s harvest field! As the song says, “There is much to do, there is work on every hand!”

2 Corinthians 5:14–21
• You have got to learn to love hard work.

2 Corinthians 6:1–2
• You are compelled to do what God tells you to do.
• God is able to put His message in you.
• You are representing God Himself as if He was making His appeal through you.
• You are God’s very own.

John 15:1–8
i. Pruning.
ii. Growing.
iii. Abundant fruit.
• You have one job.
• Jesus says that you cannot fall away if you remain in Him.
Question: Why don’t you think that God is going to do what He says He is going to do?
• Talk to yourself with the Scriptures.
Question: What could stop an abundant harvest?
• Disease, pestilence, war and flooding are things that you cannot control but they do not last.
• The only thing that could stop an abundant harvest is not working hard.

Galatians 6:7–10
• The definition of not giving up is doing good to all people.
• Staying spiritual is the whole ballgame.
• In your pride, you do not want to look weak.
Question: What is being spiritual?
• You need to confess your sins to other disciples of Jesus Christ.

1: Tired but renewed.
• Farmers love what they do; they love the process, not just the result.
Question: Are you tired?
Question: What will renew you?

2 Corinthians 4:7–18
Question: Is it going to happen if you wait until the weekend to be renewed?
Question: How renewed are you?
• Bible study and prayer are two important things to do as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 51:10
• Nine months passed before David was open about his sin.

Exodus 23:10
• Every seventh year the Israelites had to leave the land vacant.

Matthew 5:5–8
• In order to be renewed, your heart has to be purified.

Hebrews 3:12–13
• It is an inclusive command.
• You are open to confessing your sin.
• See to it that it happens on a daily basis.
• If you haven’t done it in a while, then it gets harder.
• You need to get open about your life.
• Set your mind on discipling.
• Discipling leads to repentance.

Acts 3:19–20
Question: What happens when disciples of Jesus Christ disciple each other?
• Times of refreshing.
• There is a time of sin, a time of refreshing and a time of Jesus taking you up.
• Knowledge comes from applying the Scriptures to your life.
Question: Why wouldn’t you want to work hard for God?
i. You may not know about it.
ii. You may not want to work hard – flat out rebellion.
iii. You may know what you should do but you are weak in your faith.

Matthew 13:44–46
• Each person has to find his or her treasure.
• When you find your treasure, you will repent.
• When you do not own something, you are not motivated.
• Encourage one another.
• You have got to own it.

Philemon 6
• The full understanding of what Jesus did on the cross is what is needed to be renewed.

2 Timothy 2:21
• You have got to love the work of the cross.

2: Confident but humble.
• The Kingdom of God needs to be a part of you.

Matthew 11:28–30
• It does get down to knowing who you are, which can help in discipling.
• Jesus wants you to come to Him because He is gentle and humble.
Question: Where does your confidence come from?
• Self-esteem is not impacted just by praise.
• Efficacy: competency, mastery.
• Self-efficacy: your own belief that you can do something great.
• If you are constantly feeling bad about yourself because you think that you cannot do something, then it will affect all of your relationships.
• Jesus died and substituted Himself for you.
Question: Would God send down His Son if you weren’t worth it?
• Put your faith in God.
• Continue to pour yourself out for the harvest.

3: Patient but urgent.
• You will find few people who are more urgent than farmers.

Acts 2:36–41
• Repentance is one of the things that you have to be urgent about.
• Peter called them to repent.
• These guys were about to be renewed.
• It is a call to every single member of God’s family back to repentance. (Hebrews 6:1–12; Jeremiah 26:1–16)

Revelation 2:21
• Jezebel was given time to repent but she didn’t.
• Here the Bible says that you have time.
• You will be called to refresh others.

Psalm 126:5