What's In Your Backyard?
Good morning Church Family,

I recently read a story of an African farmer who had just bought a piece of land from a friend. I am not sure if this is a true story or not, but it makes a point that I would like to address. Enjoy the story.

There is a story of a farmer in Africa, who loved farming. He would go each day to his fields, bend down to grab a handful of dirt, smell it and be grateful for what he had. Through the years, he battled drought, storms, pestilences, each time taking a toll on the farmer's endurance and profits. Each year he was expecting a large harvest to make up for the past year's loss, only to find himself a victim of another ruined crop. His friends started telling him that he should sell his farm and search for diamonds. They had heard of people getting rich on diamonds in the area. This thought was attractive to the farmer until he, remembered that the farmer who had sold him his land and went in pursuit of the illusive diamond, died penniless.
The farmer continued farming the land, dealing with the droughts, storms and pestilences. One day, a friend came by for a visit. His friend was shocked in amazement when he noticed a large rock on top of the farmer's mantle. His friend asked, “Do you know what this is?” The farmer replied, “It's a quartz rock I found in the stream on my property.” His friend fired back an exclamation, “It's a diamond!” “It can't be” said the farmer, “There are acres and acres of these stones all over my property!” It turned out to be the richest discovery of diamonds in Africa. What one man sold and went looking to find, was in his backyard all this time! 

Many Christians will do the same things as the first farmer. They will support great missionary endeavors, which are good, but often overlook the fields in their own backyard. The local church may be too busy attending to their own flock, that they often overlook the opportunities to gather a great wealth (the harvest of lost souls) around them. Some of the people in the area around the church may seem rough around the edges but to a master jeweler (Jesus), He can perform miracles! 

All people are precious in God's sight. Please don't overlook the acres and acres of precious opportunities around you. Let me encourage you to seek the fields that are closest and easiest to harvest. America needs God in a real way. Church, I am excited about our commitment to missions around the world, but we cannot overlook the mission fields all around us.

Luke 10: 2 says, " The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. "Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. "

Let me encourage you to join me in...
  • Prayer - let's be faithful to pray for our community and more specifically for the neighbors directly around you. Learn their names and pray for their salvation.
  • Going - we don't need to pray about going, we are already commanded to do so in Matthew 28:19-20. Let's pray about going to those that are open to hearing the gospel message that live all around us. Let's walk around our neighborhoods and pray for the families in each home.

May God use our church family to locate those rough diamonds that are all around us and introduce them to the Master Jewler, Jesus Christ.

Have a blessed week and I will see you on Sunday,

Pastor Joel