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True joy is something that the world cannot quite understand. The world without Christ cannot know true joy because it only comes from God. (Luke 2:10). See ultimate joy comes to us as we receive Christ as Lord and saviour. We see the Philippian Jailer in Acts 16, as he received Christ he was filled with Joy. However it doesn’t stop here. There is another facet to our joy that goes beyond knowing Christ, it is that of seeing Christ made known in others.
Paul speaks of this in Philippians where he says he is joyful because of them, and that they are his joy and crown (Philippians 4:1)
So what does this really mean. How could other people contribute to our joy? This is really about participating in the mission of the father in sending his son. Jesus on earth was intently focused on his mission, to destroy the work of Satan in humanity, thereby opening up a door through himself where they can be in relationship with God. Thus on earth, we see Jesus, going after the lost, the forgotten, the sinner, the lonely, indeed he describes them as the harvest that is ready to be brought in.
John 4:35. 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.
Elsewhere he asks for a solution to see the harvest brought forth
Luke 10:2. 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 into his harvest field
He asks for you and I to join with him in his burden for the harvest. To in a sense make him happy or joyful. For his joy are souls. He wants us to pray for labourers to win people to Christ, but also to be a labourer that will work in the harvest field to personally see people come to know Christ.
How do I win people to Christ you may ask. I would like to give you several steps over the next few weeks.
First I want to say on the outset that we cannot win people to Christ, only God can. (John 6:44, John 12:32). Having understood that we can allow ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit in the work of the harvest, and begin to pray as the Holy Spirit leads us. Prayer via the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is the foundation for the lost to come know Christ. You may not know the techniques of evangelism, you may be tongue tied and bashful, and really hate speaking to people, yet simply by your prayer, the Holy Spirit can move on the heart of a lost soul. I am reminded of the story of the apostle Paul in the Philippian jail. He didn’t preach a word, yet the jailer asked how to be saved. Why? Simply because Paul prayed mightily in the Holy Spirit, and God moved on the heart of the jailer. Prayer is the key to evangelism, not actually speaking as one may think. Of course speaking is implicit, but prayer, spirit led prayer, spirit bathed prayer, must be the genesis of our conversation with the lost. Another instance of prayer leading to salvation is that of Cornelius in Acts 10. Here was Cornelius a devout religious man who hadn’t received the revelation of Jesus as the Christ. Though ignorant of Christ, he would pray to God and give alms to the poor. One day as he was praying, he received a message from God that he was to meet with Peter. Simultaneously, Peter was praying, and saw a vision, though difficult to interpret at first, resulted in him meeting with Cornelius and preaching the gospel of salvation through Christ. Prayer, both in a believer, and an earnestly seeking unbeliever led to the salvation of not just Cornelius but his entire household. As we prepare to see a mighty harvest in our loved ones, our co workers and so forth, can I challenge you to become consumed with partnering with Christ in the harvest field in prayer? He said, pray that the Lord would send workers into the field. This is a seven word prayer. Short and simple, so we don’t overcomplicate things. Between now and Easter, can I challenge you to pray for an unsaved person around you. Once a day, or once a week, bring this person up to the father, ask the Lord to change their heart, ask that God would send a believer to reach out to them. As you do, be careful for God might very well use you to be that believer that will see this person come to know Christ
– Pastor Olu Jegede