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Now is the time, the harvest is ready - James C. Bell

Farmers and gardeners know how important it is to harvest crops when the time is right.

I recall living on a farm when I was a boy of 12 to 13 years of age. We prepared the ground by plowing, raking and laying off rows, and then we fertilized each row.

We planted our main crops of cotton and corn in large fields of many acres, worked to keep the weeds out and prayed for rain. Vegetables were grown in a large garden and the same hard work had to be done to keep the weeds out and bugs off the plants.

As the plants grew, we cultivated them until they were well established, and then, we watched and waited for harvest time. This was a very intensive few weeks of very hard work when the crops were gathered. It was a happy time for our family, for it was, in a sense, payday for all our hard work.

Jesus said, in John 4:35-36: "Do not say, 'there are yet four months, and then comes the harvest. Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest."

When we are planting crops or gardens, there is just a short time for harvest, but when we are planting seeds of the gospel of Jesus Christ, now is the time for harvest!

The fields are always "white" or ripe, and ready to be gathered into the Father's house. The work of the Holy Spirit of God works the fields. We Christians are the gardeners who gather the fruit of God as He sends us to witness to those whom He will save.

You might ask, "How does one learn to witness?"

First, be sure you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That is, you must have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and be absolutely certain you will go to heaven when you die.

Second, read your Bible in a time of devotion every day and pray, sharing your desire with Jesus that you want to witness for Him, asking for guidance and an opportunity to share His Gospel.

In Matthew 7:7, Jesus tells us, "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you."

Third, decide just what you will say to the person with whom you will have the opportunity to share. There are many ways to learn how to witness, and one of the best is to enroll in a "Faith" program in your church. If your church doesn't have a program now, ask your pastor to consider starting one.

You can also teach yourself how to witness. When you meet someone whom you think would be open to hearing the gospel, tell them how God loves them and wants to have a relationship with them.

Then, use the A.B.C. presentation. (It's easy to learn and share.) Say, it's as easy as ABC: A) We must admit our sin. Then ask, "Do you know you have sin in your life?" The Bible says we all do. Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

B) We must believe in God. Say, "Do you believe in God?"

And C) We must confess our sins. We don't like this word "confess," but it simply means, asking God to forgive your sins. If they agree, then ask if you can lead them in a simple prayer asking God to forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Memorize this short prayer: "Lord, I know I am a sinner. I've been trusting in my own self, but now, I put my trust in you. I believe in you, I believe in your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins. I ask you, now, to forgive my sins in Jesus' name and to give me your gift of eternal life"

I can tell you God will bless this prayer and many will pray it with you!

When is the best time to witness? Now is the right time. There are many who want to be saved, but don't have a clue of how to ask God for salvation. Christians must be willing to tell them! Will you be one to share the good news of Christ with them?

I pray you will.