Dr. Billy Holland: The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few
Dr. William F. "Billy" Holland Jr. is an ordained minister, community chaplain and author of the "Living on Purpose" faith column. He lives in central Kentucky with his wife, Cheryl.
What if we knew Jesus was returning in five days? I would think that many people would prepare to meet Him, but is this not the expectant attitude we should have every moment? I believe the Lord is calling for people to repent and rededicate their lives to Him before it is too late.
We never know when our last day or hour will be. Lately, several people I knew have left this world unexpectedly, and if anyone is ever going to yield their will and have a personal relationship with God, today would be the perfect time to call upon Him and become born again.
Jesus perfectly understood what His purpose was, along with the hopeless condition of the world. He did not have time to waste and realized the more He preached and performed miracles, the more people would be inspired to reach out to God in faith and be given access to Heaven. This is why He relayed God’s message wherever there was an audience. He was never intimidated and did not allow the mocking unbelievers to bully Him from doing His Father’s will.
I ask myself, how determined am I to tell others about Christ? For many Christians, having a cross on their key ring is about as far as they want to go with the Lord, but are we not called to have a burden for the lost? Have you ever considered the same reason we are afraid to be an extreme radical witness for Jesus is the same reason we are not interested in praying or worshiping Him?
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Many have never become desperate to do God’s will but rather just want enough of Him to get by. Even though we can have all of Jesus we want, it’s obvious that a majority only desire a comfortable amount.
Have you ever witnessed an individual carrying a large wooden cross? When I see this, I’m reminded of God’s demand that I abandon my plans and embrace His. As I pass by, my heart is pierced with emotion as I imagine how Christ suffered and died on the cross, and at the same time I’m convicted that I do not have the courage to do this.
I realize the passage found in Matthew 16:24 did not necessarily mean to literally carry a cross around town, but we are commanded to lay down our will so that His character can be seen within us. But why would I be embarrassed to remind everyone about the greatest event in the history of the world and is the foundation of my life? Am I afraid that people would point and laugh, honk their horns, and shout insults toward me?
Persecution is common for those who stand for God. So, what causes someone to build a large cross, put it on their shoulder and carry it along the highway? It’s simple; the love of Jesus has become so overwhelming within this perso, they will do whatever it takes to be used as a messenger of the gospel.
When we lose our concern for where people will spend eternity, we have lost our commitment and faith to follow Jesus. The Christian soldier is not embarrassed to witness and testify for His glory. They walk into the flood and the fire because they know that many souls around us are lost and need to be saved.
My wife’s mother was a faithful Christian, and we were very close through the years as we went to church together and spent a lot of time talking about God and the Christian life. She was always listening to sermons and praise music and reading the Bible and spiritual resources every day.
Jesus was all she wanted to talk about and I was reminded when writing her eulogy, that she had written personal letters to several family members over the years as a way of reaching out to them concerning their salvation. She loved her family and was concerned about where everyone would spend eternity. This was another way of telling them how much God loved them.
She was known to be a Jesus fanatic and sometimes her aggressive approach to evangelism made people uncomfortable, but she was sincere and cared so much that she did not fear what others thought about her. Our love for God and all people will reveal our true identity when we stand before the Almighty.