Matters of Faith: Reaping the Harvest


By Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

John 4:34-38 (CEV)

34 Jesus said: My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do. 35 You may say that there are still four months until harvest time. But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready to harvest. 36 Even now the harvest workers are receiving their reward by gathering a harvest that brings eternal life. Then everyone who planted the seed and everyone who harvests the crop will celebrate together. 37 So the saying proves true, “Some plant the seed, and others harvest the crop.” 38 I am sending you to harvest crops in fields where others have done all the hard work.

To be perfectly transparent, American communities of color felt a sense of pride and accomplishment because a Black man, Barack Obama was twice elected to serve this country as President of the United States. Whether we agreed with his policies or not, America has to be proud of the fact that a major barrier has been torn down forever. We all knew that his tenure was swiftly coming to an end, but many could not imagine that we would awake this past Wednesday to a new reality. The direction of this county drastically shifted, and the playing field and leadership dramatically changed. But let me offer this word of encouragement so that you remain open to the direction of God in your life and mindful that the Lord uses ALL things to make us better; sometimes, the best thing that can happen to us looks like the worst thing that happened to us. This change could very well be the challenge needed to finally help us reach our greatest potential. We may not see it, but the fields are ripe for the harvest.

The noun harvest in the Hebrew is quasiyr (kaw-tseer’) and means “from the fruit, severed, or plucked,” but only when the time is right and the fruit is ripe is the crop harvested. The crops have been planted and cultivated; the harvest is coming. It’s harvest time in America!

Jesus was at the well and won the heart of a Samaritan woman. She had no idea who He was, but she received His gift of living water, then went and told the people from her city of Sychar about a man who told her everything about herself. They all came to hear Him. When His disciples arrived on the scene, He told them that the fields are ready for the harvest.

My brothers and sisters, the fields are ready for the harvest! It’s time for you to go into the fields! We can no longer ride on the coattails, or on the accomplishments of others. The fields are ripe and ready for the harvest! The people are ready and the land has been prepared. What we cannot permit in our generation is what was said of Jeremiah’s generation, “The harvest is past, the summer has ended and we are not saved!” (Jeremiah 8:20). We have got to tell those who are in our circle of influence that the best is yet to come. We have to tell them to lift up their heads, to go forward and to fight for what they believe in. If we miss the harvest, it is lost forever. If the ripe and ready are not harvested, they rot while on the vine.

Jesus won the heart of the Samaritan woman who became a harvester and bought large numbers of people from her city to hear Him. He challenged His disciples to do likewise because the fields were ready for the harvest. Now I am challenging you; are you ready to reap the harvest? “The fields are ripe and ready to harvest.”

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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