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A RIPE HARVEST

Daily Devotional John 4:27–38


The state of Michigan is the largest producer of cherries in the United States. During the cherry season, the orchard trees are overflowing with tart and sweet cherries, ready to pick and enjoy. Jesus used this cycle of sowing, reaping, and enjoying the harvest as a spiritual object lesson.


I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

JOHN 4:35


In John 4, Jesus’ disciples had returned from purchasing food, and were surprised to see Him talking with a Samaritan woman. When the woman left, they were trying to get Jesus to eat some of the food they had purchased. However, He would not. Instead, Jesus redirected their attention. He told them, “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (v. 35). Jesus was not simply commenting on food to eat. Rather, He was referring to the people from the Samaritan town who were ready to receive the gospel.


It is interesting that the Samaritan woman is the one who told the town’s people about Jesus. Jesus sowed into her life, and then she sowed into other people’s lives. Now the disciples had the privilege to do the reaping. Jesus said to His disciples, “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor” (v. 38).


The beautiful thing about following Jesus is that He gives us opportunities to sow into others’ lives or opportunities to lead people into a relationship with Him. Sometimes He even gives us the opportunity to do both. Each part of inviting people to know Jesus is important; each person plays a part.


>> The Lord continuously brings people into your life. Some relationships are short term and all you can do is briefly touch people’s lives. Other relationships are long term, and you get to walk together through the ups and downs of life. Whether short or long term, prepare to sow or reap according to the Lord’s leading.


Pray with Us


In all “sowing” relationships, grant us true Christ-like love for unbelievers. Teach us to interact with sensitivity and humility; teach us how and when to speak the truth. People are so complex; only You can truly know their hearts.

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