Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Photo of Derek Morris

Laborers Are Few

Derek Morris


There is much work to be done for the Lord, but the laborers are few.


Derek Morris

President of HOPE Channel, Inc. and host of Hope Sabbath School. 


  • March 28, 2015
    11:15 AM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Copyright ©2015 AudioVerse.

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

Oh Father in heaven we thank you so much that we continue continue our study of the teaching of Jesus in Luke Chapter ten. We have learned already that the harvest truly is great and we long to see the world our world as you do. We have prayed for you to open our eyes and to open our hearts and now as we continue to study together we pray in the name of Jesus that you would be our teacher. We want to follow you wherever you go and we thank you in Jesus name Amen. Jesus says He begins his teaching to the seventy shares with them this radical perspectives of the harvest truly is great. But then he presents a radical problem which you will find in Luke Chapter ten and verse two. He says the harvest truly is great but. And what are the next words in your bible but what. They are the laborers are few now. One of the things I've learned traveling around the world is that the message has a different application in different contexts. We are not all the same. We are not all in the same place and so it may be that the application will be different for a group of O.C.I. leaders than it would be for a general congregation. But you help me with this if you would let me ask the question though. Before we go on why are the laborers feel may be the Lord of the harvest made a mistake. Maybe the Lord of the harvest under estimated. Maybe he thought it would be a small harvest and actually the harvest truly is what a great man. When he made a mistake. So what do you think. Shall we blame God You say it's not God's fault. God knew that the harvest would be good. So why are the laborers few That's the question. Well let me ask you another question how many are called to be laborers in the harvest. Anyone who accepts Jesus and becomes his follower is becomes a harvest worker is that right. He calls us all he says follow me. So if we all called to be harvest workers and the Harvest truly is where the laborers. Well the problem is not actually that there are too few laborers the problem is that there are too few laboring labor and that's the problem and I want to suggest to you two reasons why there are too few labouring laborers or working workers. Maybe the first one doesn't apply to this group as much as it does to some groups maybe. I think the second reason may apply more to this group than to some. Let me suggest a first reason why the laboring labors are few and that is that those who are called to be labourers have become distracted. Can you remember that word. They have become what now. I want you to look with me at a story Jesus told in Matthew twenty two. One I know you have your Bible with you there. Matthew chapter twenty one Jesus told the story about a man who had two sons Matthew twenty one beginning with Verse twenty eight. What do you think a man had two sons. He came to the first and said Son go work to day in my vineyard. He could have said go work in my harvest field because the harvest truly is. It is the same story isn't it. It is using a vineyard rather than a harvest field. So he says to his oldest son work in my vineyard. The oldest son answered and said verse twenty nine what. I will not be rude son I will not but afterward he regretted it and went. First he said what I know but then he looked at me saw that his father was not asking him to do anything unreasonable. After all it was harvest time and the Harvest truly was. So he said that is not an unreasonable request. He repented of his inactivity and he went. Next verse Matthew twenty one verse thirty. He the father came likewise to the second son. Now he says to him Son I need you to go work in my vineyard in the harvest because of the harvest is great and the second son said what. OK I go out there or I go sir. But what. He didn't go. What's going on with this younger son. Well there's two possible explanations. Either he's possibly just lying. I go sir and has absolutely no intention of going. Is that possible. I don't think it's likely in the story because his older brother has just embarrassed himself right. I will not and then he said you know what I really should go. So I doubted the younger son is like is possible though isn't it. I go there you got to be kidding. I'm not going. What's more likely though is that he intended to go because it was indeed the right thing to do wasn't it. Because the harvest was it was the right thing to do. But he became what was that word again he became distracted. So I have another question. What might distract us. Now this is not for O.C.I. retreat participants this is for regular mortals right. I've got a second got a second reason for us why we may have too few laboring labors but this is for the other people. They become distracted. What could distract someone from being a laboring laborer in the harvest while Jesus told another story. Look in you Luke Chapter fourteen in this story. They are not even asked to work. They're just invited to a banquet but they become. What was that word distracted. Let's see what excuses they give. And you'll probably say I know someone just. Like that. You may nudge her or him sitting next to you. Verse sixteen of Luke fourteen a certain man gave a great supper and invited many and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited come for all things are now ready. Now please notice they're not even asked to work. It's not say the harvest is great we need more laborers. They're just coming to the banquet or at least they are invited. Verse eighteen but with all all they all with one accord began to do what. To make excuses. And let's see the three distractions that they have. The first said to him I have bought a piece of ground and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excuse no I don't know who would buy a piece of ground without seeing it right. That's not too smart is it. They could be right next to a toxic waste dump or it could be right next to something that you don't want to be right next to. Normally people look at land before they buy it but notice this person is not going to work on the land he's just going to you know he has acquired a material asset and he's going to look at it. Now I want to ask a question Is it possible that material assets could distract us from being fruitful laborers. I travel around the world. I tell folks that people in America are mad. If I tell them by the way I was born on a small island but I do now have an American passport and I am proud to be a part of this great country. It is a wonderful place to live but there is a problem here. We are as a people addicted to material things. We build bigger houses to put more things in. I mean go to Norway go to Sweden. They don't have to have that the houses are not so big. But you know what's even more strange we had more garages are gay marriages or whatever you call them. We sometimes get two or three but we cannot get our cars in because they are full of things. So we have come up with an amazing idea. We build little buildings in town storage buildings that you can rent to put your things in. Now I tell the people that when I travel around and you know what's amazing. They have little storage buildings where they live. So we are mad. I wish I could tell you it is only people outside of the church who are addicted to material things. After all how much of this stuff can we take with us. And yet there are people obsessed with collecting things while the harvest is ready. Another said verse nineteen of Luke fourteen. I have five yoke of oxen and I am going to pass them. I ask you. They have an excuse I thought at first this was the same as material asset but I realize this is actually work related. He's not just going to look at them he's going to you know he's going to work you know I just got a new piece of equipment and I need to really make sure it's working well life. I got a new laptop. I got you name what it is where you work a new piece of equipment of some kind and or I've got things to do. You know it's a curse isn't it. I am so glad we don't have cell phone service here. But you know most people today they go home but they work. They take their work with them. They work some of them work while they're eating supper. You know they will step out during worship because something arrived. They will work till late at night the children are asleep you know and sometimes it gets tense with all of the work. Do you know it can even happen when you're working in a good activity even working for God. Did you know that work for God could distract you from being a harvest worker and things sometimes get a little tense you know and then we say I'm doing it for Jesus. When Jesus never asked you to sacrifice your health or your family for your work. I would come but I have work to do. The second excuse I wish I could tell you that work a whole is that's work addiction workaholism. I wish I could tell you that is only outside of the church but you know what I've discovered. It is the most accepted addiction in the church. Oh he was the first one my friend died at fifty one he was the first one there in the morning and the last one at night and everybody thought we should say amen. But he died at fifty one. It is the most except Is it not the most accepted form of addiction workaholism. How shocking it would be that we would allow our work to distract us from being a faithful harvest worker. I told you this is all relating to other people right. It's not relating to you I've got something greater for you. Question third distraction verse twenty two by the way you'd be offended unless I was reading it from Jesus right. Verse twenty. Still another said I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come. Relationships distract us. It could be a marriage relationship. If you are here and you have a spouse who loves Jesus and supports ministry together you ought to say amen. That is a huge blessing is it not to have a spouse who supports love Jesus and support you. That is a huge blessing. We need to thank God for that we need to take care of our families. Thank God for them. But sometimes we allow relationships to distract us not just that we're getting married but. But sometimes you know even even in relationships between each other you know organizational relationships institutions you know what I'm talking about. Sometimes relationships can get a little strained. And we're all on the same team right. I've been so blessed I told my wife just being here for the past the you know what is it twenty hours just being here and hearing the desire to work together we are family are we not. And not just O.C.I. family Steve Wright but the global family of God we're part of this movement this prophetic movement. And sometimes we don't see everything exactly the same but we are we are working together and if we allow conflict in a relationship to hinder us from the harvest work how we have become what's that word again. Distracted we we spend more time arguing about why we don't agree instead of doing the harvest work. Well I don't know if any of those distractions relate materialism work addiction relationship issues I don't know if any of those might distract as if they do maybe while we're here we need to just say God I just want to repent of these things. I ask you to heal me so that nothing would hinder me from being a fruitful harvest worker. I think distractions are one reason why there are too few harvest workers but I want to share another reason that I don't often share because I think that most of us need to hear that but but another distract another reason besides distraction is discouragement. Discouragement comes most frequently when we are not taking care of ourselves. I was reading this morning several quotations in the spirit of prophecy from Christian service was one if you. I'm interested to see me afterward so share them with you. One of the great challenges you face as leaders is physical exhaustion and when you are physically exhausted because the harvest is great and the laborers are yeah that was how we heard that show and you know when you shared about trying to bring things together you know the potential for exhaustion when you were here and then three I was over there and then back here and when we are physically exhausted we are more prone to discouragement. Is that right. If you don't believe that with the story of Elijah. You know the the treatment that the angel gives for Elijah when he's basically suicidal right. Let me die on the on of what what's the treatment. Rest and healthy first. Right. Right there. Rest and help people. It will bring a change of perspective because I miss listening to God and God says you know I know you feel you're the only one but I've got seven thousand who have not felt the need of it but I just want to appeal to you it is possible that you could become so exhausted that you become discouraged and in your discouragement you may fail to be the fruitful harvest worker that God's going to be a might talk does this make sense this is not here to complain is just here encourage you that while you are running your lifestyle center or your lifestyle program you need to take care of yourself. Now the heart. This truly is great that the laborers a few I need to move on with the time we have this morning go back to Luke ten because there is a prayer now that Jesus asked us to pray. I've been praying it for the last sixteen years and it's changed my life. I prayed this prayer and God uprooted me from what I would consider a prestigious teaching position at one of our finest universities. People who go to southern stay there until they die. They call it Happy Valley. They even have a cemetery so you can wait there till Jesus comes. But I prayed this prayer and God uprooted us. I'm so thankful for a wonderful companion. It's her birthday in eight days too so we have a kind of birthday together. I'm so thankful we are no longer two but one. And so when God uprooted us he uprooted us together. Hallelujah. But we have seen more miracles. We saw miracles at Southern but we have seen more miracles especially in the last decade than any time in our lives. You see what I'm going to share with you today is revolutionary. If you have the courage to pray. What I'm about to share with you you will see miracles and if you stay with us through tonight I'm going to share with you in the message tonight. A breakthrough for me because I do not believe that God wants us to do ministry without miracles. And I'm not talking about just kind of a show you know sign the Wonder show and I know we can all do God's work without miracles. It's not possible it is too much for us. There must be a miracle. So don't miss tonight I sound like an evangelist I know but. We you missed and I am going to be here tonight. Maybe we should hand out the presents the night. Me I don't know where you went that big but this prayer is revolutionary and I believe that your group of leaders who are ready and longing to see God move is that right. So here we go. The harvest truly is but the laborers are there for what's the next word therefore pray OK now there are several words in Greek I am not a Greek scholar. I have friends who dream in Greek is used to have nightmares about Greek but not a Greek scholar but I do know how to use the tools and there are several words that can be translated pray one to make a request or to express a desire but this verb is the verb. Oh my means to beg death. Oh my what does it mean. Meta Beggs is that sounds wrong to you now even if you didn't have the background knowledge in Greek or a lexicon to look up what that means. You could take a can coordinate you know want to can coordinate is right I have a little one in the back of my Bible but anybody have a strong this can coordinates or a Young's can coordinate now the concordance is online right you can look online if you look at the verbs. Oh my. And you can find other places which use now your bible students who are not going to read them all but you remember Luke five twelve a leper comes to Jesus and it says he begged for him Lord if you are willing you can watch me make me clean That's right. The verb of Wise Use He begged him it's life and death isn't it. He begged. Does that sound casual to you or in tents all right. Then you remember the story in Luke Chapter eight verse thirty eight. Jesus is just set a man free from a lie. Agent of demons Luke eight thirty eight and the man set free begs Jesus that he could go with him you remember. But Jesus says no go back to your people and do what you tell them what the Lord has done for you. But there is a verb there oh my. He begged Jesus that he could go with him. Do you see the intensity of this world order. Luke nine verse thirty eight a man whose son is controlled by a demon and the father comes and it says he begged Him Do you have the word implored may be employed is the same word Mike. He begged him now is there anyone here besides me who's had a child under attack. Is there anybody you do not pray casual prayers when your child is under attack. Oh dear god. You cry out. Right this is a verb but I love this reference in Luke twenty two verses thirty one and thirty two where Jesus says Simon Simon Satan has sought to sift you like wheat but I have prayed Oh my is the verb I have prayed for you. You know that brings me great encouragement is Jose Jose that brings me great encouragement that Jesus does not pray weak prayers for us say amen. He ever lives to intercede for us and when he prays he cries out. Now listen to me very carefully. When Jesus is crying out to the father or when we cry out are we trying to change to the father's heart whose heart needs to change. You see when I pray when I cry out that's what the verb means to cry out or to beg. I am not trying to change God's heart. I am good. Him permission to change my heart. This isn't now so that when the enemy comes and says How dare you use this woman so powerfully Jesus will say my child cried out to me my child cried out to me and gave me permission to change her heart to change his heart. Therefore pray if that's all that we knew we could take more time with that but I know it's almost lunchtime here. But but if all we knew was the intensity of the prayer pray like never before. We are in a hundred days of prayer right now. Started on Wednesday pray like never before. Not to change God's heart. United prayer doesn't change God's heart. Changes are as we come into His presence. You say what should I pray. Cry out pray the Lord of the harvest. What should I ask the Lord of the harvest to do. What does it say in your Bible. To send forth laborers and that is not what the text says. Now I've looked at it in Portuguese. Look at it in Korean. I've looked at it in Spanish I don't know what it says in Swedish but I want to tell you this strict text is one of the most frequently mistranslated texts that I have ever read. First of all it doesn't say pray it says beg. That's a little more intense isn't it. And it doesn't say send out Greek lesson the verb send out in the Greek is hapless fellow from which we get the English word apostle. Apostle means one who is sent out. In verse one of Luke ten and in verse three Apostolou is used where it says he sent out sent them out the seventy and then in verse three says I send you out as lambs apples fellow that's what the word means to send now so I'm reading in my Bible and I get to verse two and I'm looking for apples fellow and it's not there. What we're supposed to cry out to God to do is not apples fellow that's not what they are. You want to know what's there it's a very strong word I had to look it up if it's true it's a combination of two words actually a prefix and a verb the verb is bellow and balot means to throw. Balogh means what to throw. So if you've got you can cordon said you member that they would cast the nets out of the boat. The verb is Ballo or when the solo went out to catch the seed the verb is Ballo Ballo means to to throw. That's right. Or when do you remember they picked up stones John to throw them at Jesus. Remember that the verb is Ballo and balot means due to throw. You can look at me when John the Baptist was thrown into prison. The verb is Ballo Ballo means to throw but there's a prefix on the beginning of this verb it's the prefix EK So the word is at Bello Ballo means to and prefix Act means out ECK out so if balogna used to throw eggs Ballo means to throw out. No I grew up in England to throw out could mean to discard. Like to throw out rubbish or to throw That's not what this means this means to throw out somewhere OK to throw out that cast out. Does that sound as gentle as send out when you say Derek I don't know if I want to pray that prayer you want me to cry out to God who created the world to to grow out laborers into his harvest and by the way you can just pray to God I just pray that you throw out Mark hallelujah and throw out Rumiko Gromyko Hallelujah. You cannot just pray that prayer you have to say God The Harvest truly is good but the laboring labors are so I'm going to beg you to egg Ballo to what we're all our neighbors into your harvest and you have my permission to begin with me. They say Where is he going to throw away. He will throw you where you will be most fruitful in his work. The Verbeck Ballo is used more than thirty times in the New Testament. This will shock you. For casting out demons that Ballo Does that sound gentle to you I beg you to ask Val it's use in John Chapter used twice in connection with Jesus when Jesus cleansed the temple Do you remember the story. What had John till he went and what were they doing in the temple court they were they were selling animals and in exchanging money how dare you turn my father's house into. A marketplace and and he said she made a whip of cords John to verse fifteen and he sent them out is that what it says. The verb is a caballo. Some translations say he drove them out threw them out right. He threw them out the Berbers at Ballo he threw them out. Get out of there. How dare you make my father's house into a market place. Ellen White says divinity flashed through humanity trials. But you know this Verbeck Ballo is use one other place with Jesus. It took me maybe eight years to find it. I'm slow but I found it. Sometimes they can feel you could they take the same or they translate it in a different way because it sounds too radical and we're still here for a nice prayers Oh Lord Lord please send out workers when we should be crying out to God to throw us out into his harvests because the harvest truly is scary. Did you know that Jesus prayed that prayer. When I read studied the life of Jesus for many years but normally when you read the temptations at least for me I always read in Matthew four where it says that it is led by the Spirit into the wilderness and he fasted forty days and after forty days he hungered remember you know the tax rate. But do you know that Mark records differently. Take a look at that and Mark chapter one and verse twelve Mark Hughes's. Different verbs. He said something here. I was so that was kind of strange when I read that I didn't understand it sounded strange. What is the saying you're viable in Mark one in verse twelve. The spirit drove him out into the would you like to guess what verb that is. AK Ballo the spirit threw him out or drove him out. Now listen carefully. If the Holy Spirit never forces us to do anything is that right. Satan tries to force people right but the Holy Spirit doesn't force us right we have to choose. So if if if the Holy Spirit Ballo Jesus into his ministry by the way a ministry that change the world. That means that Jesus gave him permission. That means that Jesus prayed the radical prayer Jesus said Lord of the harvest. I see that the harvest truly is but the laboring labors are so I beg you to egg barrel laborers into your harvest and you have my permission father to begin with me. Now it makes so much sense to me that Jesus having prayed this prayer not a safe prayer I know they could change everything it did for me I'm no longer living in Happy Valley though I love to come and visit here. But it made perfect sense to me then when Jesus sent out the twelve in Matthew nine he said to them the harvest surely is great but the laborers are few therefore beg the Lord of the harvest to ech Ballo laborers into his harvest he tells them to pray this prayer and then he comes to. Or the seventy and also to us and he says it's still true. The harvest truly is what. But the laboring laborers are they become distracted or may be discouraged. We need to pray like we have never prayed before. We need to cry out not to change God's heart but to change our hearts and give him permission to act Ballo us where He wants us to be you know there's a lot of stress in general conference headquarters right now because we all lose our jobs in about how many weeks is it that we lose our jobs and April May June and yet my wife's going thank you Jesus right to pray that we all lose our jobs in twelve weeks and you know you know what. Yeah and you know what you know what it's OK it's OK because we're not there because we wanted a job there. We are there because we were at battle there. AMEN AND And so if God was the egg Ballo out somewhere else it's OK this is not our work is his work. Got to know that when you get out of the car with a bunch of soldiers right. It is his work. It's not our work. And I learned something about this radical prayer from the game of basketball No I do not play basketball I think Ch'an Chanel do you play you tall. Anybody should ear tall. Does anybody here like to play basketball. Yeah OK well you're not so tall but you like basketball you must be very fast right. Anybody over here like to play Oh you want to play because well I learn something and I hope I wouldn't share this in and forgive me in the region. Swedish where we don't. Too much basketball. But but you know the game right. So I learned something about this brand with this illustration I'll close about what happens when you are willing to cry out to God and say God Whenever wherever I give you permission to throw me out into your harvest he's going to put you exactly where you know you'll be the most effective. Sometimes it's like this someone sent me a You Tube clip. No I don't watch much on You Tube but some Once I got to see this it was a game of basketball and they were just two seconds left in the game and the the person with the ball is way back in his own court and there was the center court and the basket he's got to get his way down the other end they may need to close it it was their own basket. There's no time for him to drive all the way down to do some fancy lay up shot. He is right there. There's two seconds left and they're down by two points so he needs a three point shot. So you know what he does he takes the ball no time left. He takes the ball and he heaves it over his head. It's flying high toward the other end of the court. Someone told me you call that a hope shot you really hope it goes in a hope shot and all of his team is watching Ike because that three point shot will give them the game and the rest of the the opponents alike. They're hoping you know it will go when the ball is flying through the air and and on his way down the buzzer. I but but I learned something about basketball. Tell me if I'm right that if it's on its way down that it's if it goes in accounts is that right. Even though the buzzer is gone these people think they want but the ball still coming down and it comes down and it comes down and the man back up we need. He's like you know what everybody is talking and these people over here are like because the game is lost. Sometimes when you pray this prayer and you beg the Lord of the harvest this is such an appropriate prayer for O.C.I. I mean you are front line people. Sometimes God will take you and he'll throw you from Eden Valley to the Dominican right like a farm manager right. I heard he's actually from the Dominican Republic right got through home sometimes got a Friday across the world but he did that for us when he drew us from Southern all the way out to Loma Linda it was a all at any call from California. I want to live in California when we first got there we saw something some kind of orange cloud I said What is that sunset my son said that smog from Los Angeles. I thought it was a nuclear explosion rolling down the valley who'd want to live there. But God knows where you'll be the most fruitful sometime to throw you halfway across the world. But there's another shot in basketball. I can't do this one either. It's called a slam dunk. Have you ever seen a slam dunk. Do you know what I mean you know what a slam dunk is OK You know what a swim back is OK so this is an amazing shot there are ladies who can do slam dunks do namely and kind of come up you know when they do the fancy dribbles I mean it's all quite amazing you know the ball you never know quite and then they come right up and they have these little jets in their boots you know they go up into the have you seen it I mean it's amazing. Way up in the air. They have the ball and sometimes they they go like this they'll stick their tongue out or make a funny face or make a funny shouted and when they put the ball down. The direction is it going straight down right there like way up on top straight down the box and sometimes when you pray the radical brew and harbor tails write to God wherever I can go write God wherever God says OK Are you ready you say yes I'm ready. He says OK ready your Mattie wherever wherever he says OK I want you to stay right where you are you listening to me very carefully. You say Well that didn't work. I'm still here. No no no no. Now you get up. I'm not discouraged because the work is not always easy but you get up and say why are you why are you in Congo Why are you over in Savannah Tennessee Why are you there and you say I'm here because the Lord of the harvest and valid mi are you with me I am here now because this is where I work. Trying to stay out of trouble in prison time until Jesus comes. I am here because the Lord of the harvest Ballo me there and I will be there for how long are you going to be here I don't know I'll be here I'll be here in Bulgaria till he battles me from Bolivia to somewhere else because I am his disposal he knows where I will be most fruitful in his work so I'm going to not only pray this prayer I'm going to encourage everybody you say what about my team members and don't tell them to pray that prayer because God may grow them somewhere else. So no it's OK because he knows to where they'll be most are you with me. He knows where they'll be most fruitful. So don't worry if God takes on what and throws her halfway across the planet because he's putting her where miracles will happen. He's putting away she will be the most fruitful in his work and he will do the same for you. If you have the courage to pray now I wish I had more time but I don't but I just want to tell you this if you have the courage to pray this prayer you must listen to this because I want to tell you God will show you how weak your mom did you hear what I just said. I send you out as lambs. Matthew nine to the twelve sheep to us which is lambs and I don't know where you grew up but where I grew up we didn't get up saying I'm a strong as a lamb today. This may be as strong as an ox or a horse or a bear a lion but not a lamb you need to listen because there's some really important message in the ten if we have the courage to pray the prayer because God will use us to change the world but it will be his strength that is made perfect in our weakness. You have the courage. You said there are two I've been praying this prayer for years I would just say hallelujah and maybe that's why you're here. Or maybe if they were I never saw it like this before and I really do day by day want to give God permission wherever he wants me to be whatever he wants me to do I want to give him permission in fact I want to cry out to him I want to give you an opportunity to pray right now I'm not going to as you stand to come forward. Your leaders here I want you to just spell your head and I want you to talk to the Lord about. What you've heard this morning and then I will lead us in a prayer to close our worship time. If you'd like to kneel low bow your head however you are most comfortable in your prayer time lord the harvest is great but the labors a few you've you've appealed to us to beg you to throw out laborers in your harvest. You want to give him permission today for your life just just be in prayer with him. This media was brought to you by our Eucharist a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio for or if you would like to listen to more sermon W W W dot audio Verse dot org.


Embed Code

Short URL