Bishops Message - Vessels for the Harvest
Diocese of Singapore
Bp Rennis Ponniah
25 April 2017
Click here to listen to Bishop's message. Below is the sermon outline.
VESSELS FOR THE HARVEST
God is all the time forming us, His children, for His purpose and for His glory.
We are constantly learning the way of life of a disciple of Christ.
I. CREATE SPACE FOR GOD TO ACT
- A corrective to ‘managing things too much’ and the endlessly busy life.
1. In your personal walk with God (Elijah in 1 Ki 19).
(a) Daily Quiet Time (Ps 5:5)
Isaiah 50:4, “The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue that I may know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, to listen as one being taught.”
(b) Weekly Extended Time
(c) Special Encounter Times - some are planned (Quiet Retreats twice a year), some come our way unplanned – God Himself breaking through to us in our ‘wilderness’ moment.
Elijah in 1 Kings 19:3-4, 9-13
- After the great victory, a great let down (Jezebel after him)
- Present your brokenness/emptiness to God
- God does not come to him in the old categories of thought (wind, earthquake, fire)
- But in a still, small voice – barely audible murmur
- Accept “the jarring elements of a blessed whole.”
- Restored to significant ministry
2. In your interpersonal relationships (our Lord in Lk 24:13-35).
(a) Family relationships:
One on one time with wife and with children
(b) Discipling relationships: Informal times together.
Programmatic teaching with informal discipling
3. In our gatherings as God’s people.
(a) When we meet for business
- PCC, ministry meetings
- Acts 15:28 “It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you beyond these requirements”
(b) When we meet for worship
- Weekly services, cell meetings
- 1 Corinthians 14:26-33 Time to listen to God and exercise gifts of the Spirit.
II. PARTICIPATE IN WHAT GOD IS DOING
1. It’s Harvest Time
(a) In the midst of thick and extensive darkness, and great moral confusion, there is a great spiritual hunger
(b) Harvest in all 7 countries
(c) 3-fold Harvest:
Harvest of Souls
Harvest of Holiness
Harvest of Kingdom Workers
(d) Encouragement from Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:31-38)
2. Prepare for It with Faith & Love.
(a) Revitalization of prayer: Praying for Revival.
(b) Repentance & cleansing.
(c) Readying yourself for the engagement.
- ‘In anguish’ Jesus prayed more earnestly (Lk 22:44)
- Spiritual stretching, not too comfortable in your lifestyle, in your values
(d) Readying your congregation/your church for the harvest.
Renewal & re-formation in the Holy Spirit.
(e) Reach out to others in obedience & faith.
- A National Harvest in 2019
- Not mass evangelism, but personal evangelism on a mass scale
The fields are white for harvest:
When were you last so excited about something that you didn’t need to eat?
1) The Samaritan woman’s response stirs in Christ the exhilaration that in the fields outside Jerusalem, there is a special hunger ready to receive the good news of the Kingdom. As a result, he can see in His mind’s eye the fields of corn turning white, ready for harvest (the Deaneries, the neighbourhoods, the schools, the oikos). God is opening up brand new fields
2) “Four months, then the harvest” – proverb to say there is always a time lag between sowing and reaping. Not so, says Jesus. There is no time lag. No sooner sown then reaped. Don’t delay. It is harvest time.
3. Anticipate a Revival-time Harvest with Joy & Desire (sanctified imagination)
(a) Harvest of souls for eternity.
(b) Healing of lives from human brokenness (Lk 7:11-16).
(c) Re-making of lives in God’s image.
Woman at the well: trapped in immorality and a social outcast, but the first evangelist
(d) Restoration of God’s patterns for ‘life at its best’. “Mishpat” = God’s righteousness effected in society
(e) Family & Community transformation.
God the Potter is forming us to be vessels for His mighty harvest. He is pouring out His Spirit to revive His people and to turn hearts to receive the truth of the Gospel. Through us, He is “not merely saving souls but is forming the image of Jesus His Son in the peoples of the world.” What a calling! Pray to be a vessel for His mighty HARVEST.
Click here to listen to Bishop's message.