Gospel Workers (1915 ed.)


Sowing and Reaping

“One soweth, and another reapeth.” [John 4:37.] The Saviour spoke these words in anticipation of the ordination and sending forth of His disciples. Throughout Judea, Christ had been sowing the seeds of truth. Clearly and distinctly He had outlined the plan of salvation; for the truth never languished on His lips. The earthly work of the great Teacher was soon to close. The disciples were to follow after, reaping where He had sown, that both the Sower and the reapers might rejoice together. GW 409.1

Today in His great harvest-field God has need of sowers and of reapers. Let those who go forth into the work, some to sow and some to reap, remember that they are never to take to themselves the glory for the success of their work. God's appointed agencies have been before them, preparing the way for the sowing of the seed and the reaping of the harvest. “I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor,” Christ said; “other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors.” [John 4:38.] GW 409.2

“He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” [John 4:36.] Read these words carefully. Study their meaning; for they outline God's plan. Those who sow the seed, presenting before large and small gatherings the testing truth for this time, at the cost of much labor, may not always gather the harvest. Often the Lord's workers are bitterly opposed, and their work is hindered. They do their best; with earnest, painstaking effort they sow the good seed. But the element of opposition becomes fiercer and fiercer. Some of the hearers may be convinced of the truth, but they are intimidated by the opposition shown, and they have not the courage to acknowledge their convictions. GW 409.3

The lives of the workers may be endangered by those who are controlled by Satan. It is then their privilege to follow the example of their Master, and go to another place. “Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel,” Christ said, “till the Son of man be come.” [Matthew 10:23.] Let the messengers of truth pass on to another field. Here may be a more favorable opportunity for work, and they may successfully sow the seed of truth and reap the harvest. The report of their success will find its way to the place where the work was apparently unsuccessful, and the next messenger of truth who goes there will be more favorably received. GW 410.1

The seed sown in trial and discouragement will be seen to have life and vitality. Adversity, sorrow, loss of property, the changes of God's providence, recall with vivid distinctness the words spoken years before by the faithful servant of God. The seed sown springs up and bears fruit. GW 410.2

God has need of wise men and women who will labor earnestly to accomplish the work committed to them. He will use them as His instruments in the conversion of souls. Some will sow, and some will reap the harvest of the seed sown. Let every one do his best to improve his talents, that God may use him either as a sower or as a reaper. GW 410.3