Matthew Message #28 Ed Miller

Chapter 10: The Harvest is Plentiful But the Workers Are Few

How chapter 10 relates to chapters 8 & 9

Principle #1:

Very often the ones who pray for laborers become the laborers

Matthew 9:37-38 “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Therefore, beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’”  Matthew 10:1, “And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.”

Chapter 9 ends with the truth of verse 38, “pray” or as the NAS puts it, “…beseech the Lord of the harvest.”  Matthew 10:1-6 begins with the truth “go”.  He’s going to send His ambassadors into His kingdom.  Chapter 10 is the sending forth of the King’s ambassadors.  As is mentioned in verses 1, 2 and verse 5, and also in chapter 11:1, there’s twelve of them.  One of the things I get out of how chapter 9 ends and 10 begins is this—how often God calls us to be the answer to our own prayer.  As chapter 9 ends He says, “Pray that God would send out laborers/workers.”  In chapter 10 the ones who are praying are the ones who are sent out.  They are the answer to their own prayer. 

There are a number of ways to apply it. If God burdens you to pray for the physical necessities of a fellow Christian, chances are He’s also called you to give to that fellow Christian.  You are part of the answer as well as the request.  When God calls you to pray for the salvation of a loved one, very often God will use you, your testimony, your life, and your faithfulness as a mighty influence for good in the life of the one you are praying for.  When God burdens you to pray for the spiritual growth of brothers and sisters in Christ, there’s a good chance He’s going to use you to share some of the principles that He’s broken upon your heart, and discovered to your own soul.  There are so many hungry Christians; prisoners, widows, children, orphans, service men, college students, teens or the young married or families. If you are not willing to be God’s answer to your burden, you aren’t ready to pray for it. 

Principle #2

The Lord continues to do miracles today through His human instruments

Matthew 10:7-8, And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” freely you received, freely give.”

Though chapters 8 & 9 are the great miracle chapters, I believe with all my heart that chapter 10 is the greater miracle chapter.  Chapters 8 & 9 show the mighty power of Christ to work miracles by Himself.  Chapter 10 shows the mighty power of Christ to work miracles through others; through human instruments.  In one sense that’s far more miraculous, because He’s using frail, weak and simple human beings as His tools.

My father-in-law is very handy around the house.  He’s Mr. Fix-it.  He said to me one day (He was trying to get me involved.  I stay away from that), “Anyone can do anything if they have the right tools.”  Then he gave me a big sermon about tools, and how important it is to have the right tools.  If you have poor tools or the wrong tools, and have to adapt and make do with what you have, then every job is a chore. 

Well, I read chapter 10, and I suggest that the tools Jesus had didn’t make His job any easier.  He used men, human instruments of the weakest kind.  The fact is, the tools that He used, on the level of earth, were more of a hindrance than a help.  It’s one thing for Jesus to heal disease and lepers, cast out demons, raise the dead, and walk on water, but it’s another thing, verse 8, when He tells them to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.”  In chapter 14 we’re going to see Peter walking on water.  It’s one thing for him to do it by Himself, but it’s another thing to do the same miracle through human instruments.  He’s trying to teach us something, and He’s taking a forward step in the truth of redemptive miracles— that is that Jesus Christ continues to do miracles today, but now He’s using human instruments.  He’s not doing them independently.  He’s using us.  In chapter 8 & 9 He did supernatural miracles, and in chapter 10 He did super supernatural miracles, because He used human instruments.  We haven’t left the miracle section by moving into chapter 10.  Here the Lord is using His silly children in order to accomplish His great works.

Matthew 9 &10 Main Message – The Characteristics of a True Shepherd

Matthew 9:36-38 “Seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them because they were destressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Therefore, beseech the Lord of His harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’”

Workers in grace

In Matthew 9:36-38 there are two word pictures.  One is “sheep without a shepherd” in verse 36.  The other is “a harvest without workers” in verse 37 & 38.  There are some interesting Greek words that are used to describe these sheep.  No wonder Jesus felt compassion, because they were distressed and they were downcast.  Literally, the word means that the sheep were harassed and bewildered and rejected. 

A. T. Robertson does a word study on the word “downcast” and says, “It’s what happens when you receive a mortal wound.”  Let’s say that someone stuck a spear or shot an arrow through your heart, what would you do?  “I’d fall to the earth, and I’d be downcast in a most literal way.”  That’s what the sheep looked like to Jesus.  Their shepherds had taken a spear.  They weren’t feeding them.  They were killing and destroying the sheep.  They were downcast with a mortal wound, and were distressed.  It isn’t that they didn’t have shepherds.  They had a lot of shepherds, but they were killing the sheep.  Jesus was burdened for the sheep.  Jesus saw that crowd as spiritually wounded sheep.  He longed that they had a shepherd, and He longed that there would be workers.

Sometimes those who have begun to have their eyes open to the message of victory, grace and liberty in Christ, run from the word “work” and “workers”.  Even if they see it in the Bible, they try to change it to mean something else.  If they see “laborers” or “workers” or “service” they are immediately on the defensive, and are trying to change that word to mean “rest” and “peace” and “inactivity” and that kind of thing.  Those are not bad words.  God uses the word “work” all the time.  Work is a good word.  As Christians we ought to be workers.  That’s not legalism.  There is a way to be legalistic in working.  But there is a way to be a worker in grace.  We must understand how Jesus used the word.

As Jesus stood there that day, He said, “The workers, the laborers were few.”  What did He mean by that?  Certainly, the Pharisees were not few.  They were many.  There were tons of them and they were all over the place.  The Sadducees were not few.  There were tons of them and they also were all over the place.  The Scribes were not few.  There were thousands of Scribes and they were all over the place.  There were many priests.  They were on every street corner.  Yet Jesus looked out and said, “The workers are few.” 

If the Lord Jesus were to appear bodily in the church of Jesus Christ today, would He have to say, “You don’t have to pray that prayer anymore, to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers, because the laborers are few.  You don’t have to pray that anymore because now the laborers are many.  Thank you for praying but the prayer has been answered”?  Or would He still look over the people of God, and He see them as sheep with spears in their hearts; downcast and dejected?  Would He have to say that, in a world that is so busy for God, “The workers are few”?  I believe with all of my heart that the laborers are as few today as they have ever been in any age of church history. 

I took the local phone book today, and on this island I counted twenty six churches, and that does not include the Roman Catholic churches, and it doesn’t include other groups and Bible studies that meet all over the place that are not in the Yellow Pages.  I know at least two other churches that are presently being erected.  There are thousands of Bible Schools all over the land.  There are seminaries, and there are workers, and missionaries in the world by the millions.  There are many Christian authors, Christian psychologists, Christian counselors, Christian psychiatrists, Christian lawyers, Christian doctors, and teachers, music ministries, TV ministries, radio ministries, and tape and literature ministries.  I don’t think there’s any situation in life that hasn’t started a ministry. Yet, I believe the workers are few, because of what I understand when I read this, and by what Jesus meant by works.  Even with all of that list I just rattled off, you’d be amazed if you could see as God can see, how few real shepherds and real workers there are.

The heart of Christ and His compassion is always for the sheep.  It grieves His heart when the sheep are downcast and thrust through.  We may have all of these programs and ministries, and not have a worker among them. That’s why Jesus was so moved.  We look at things in such a surface way.  There are plenty of numbers, but few of the quality that He would call workers; few that He could call shepherds.  We are going to study chapter 10, and it will tell you why there are few.  God is exercising my soul as I study this.  He slays me with conviction.  When you see the principles of the true shepherd, and of the true workers, then you’ll know why they are so few.  God is doing a number on me, seeing what He calls a worker, and what He calls a shepherd.  There are many busy Christians, but no laborers, and the workers are few.  Busyness and work is not the same thing.  You’ll see that when we see the characteristics of these workers.

This is the main burden and main message of chapter 10—the characteristics of the true shepherd; the true worker. This chapter answers the question, “Why are the workers so few.”  You read verses like, “I come to send a sword, and if you don’t hate your father, mother, wife and children,” you’ll know why there are few.  Not many are willing to pay the cost, and not many are willing to pay the price of what He calls a true worker.  It’s spiritually demanding and you’ll see that as we go through it.

Look at Matthew 10:5, “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them.”  Notice that expression, “instructing them”.  Then look at Matthew 11:1, “It came about when Jesus had finished giving instruction…”  So, you can call them the “instructions of the Lord Jesus”.  He starts instructing them, and then at the end He finishes instructing them.  These are His instructions and His principles of the real worker.  He sent out these twelve and said, “Pray for real workers, real laborers,” and then He instructs them, the same as to say, “Here is what a real laborer is.”

Principle #1

God has given true workers authority

Matthew 10:12, “And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority.”

 The first principle can be summarized in “He gave them authority”.    Verse 8, “Freely you have received; freely give.”  I defined authority for you when we did the Sermon on the Mount from chapter 7:29, “He was teaching them as One having authority and not as the Scribes.”   The word “authority” is not volume, decibels, and the louder you yell, the more authority you have.  Sometimes volume is a cover-up for weakness rather than authority.  You don’t have authority just because you can bring blood vessels to your temples, or can shake a pulpit, or scare somebody with loud dogmatic statements.  Authority is not taking a rugged stand on dogmatic truth.  Fact is, authority is quiet and is very serene. 

The etymology of the word authority according to Robertson, Vine and Wuest and some of these Greek scholars, is the word liberty; freedom.  Authority is someone who has liberty, and the power to communicate it.  That’s authority.  When Christ spoke with authority, every time people were set free.  You can’t speak with authority unless someone is set free.  That’s what authority is.  It’s speaking from freedom with the affect that chains are broken, and people are set free.  It’s the power of a very quiet word.  

G. Campbell Morgan likened it to the chords of a guitar in your heart.  He said that when you speak with authority, the Spirit of God strums the strings in the listener’s heart.  Let’s say that some teacher is standing before you with the word of truth, and in your heart you say, “Yes, that’s right.  I never saw that.  It’s beautiful.”   And your heart rings true and the chords down deep begin to vibrate, and you give an intuitive acquiescence; “Yes, that’s what it is.  I always knew that and I was afraid to say it.  I thought no one would ever say it.  I thought I was too square and radical when I believed that, but yes, my heart says Amen to that.”  That’s authority, when you reach down inside the being to the root and blood of the soul of another person, and very quietly say a truth of God that strums that chord, and begins a music in their heart, and the chains drop off, and they are set free.  That’s speaking with authority. The more you speak with authority, the more your words are going to revive those sleeping chords in others.  If there’s no freedom or liberty, there’s no authority.  Authority is power, spiritual power.  It’s when God breaks the chains, and when the Spirit of God opens the prison doors. Only the free can speak with authority.

The first characteristic, the first instruction the Lord Jesus gives of a true worker, the kind He says prays and seeks the Lord, and He’ll send out, are those with authority.  Bible schools and seminaries cannot give authority.  They can give facts and knowledge, and they can give information but they cannot give authority.  The church and the world is full of busy Christians without authority.  They are not free.  They are in bondage.  They are smart and orthodox, they are dogmatic, and in many cases are eloquent, but they have no authority.  They can’t speak anybody free.  They are not free themselves.  They are in bondage.  They are in Christian service but they hate it.  I know.  For seven years of my own life I was there and was teaching and preaching, but I had no authority.

Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones has written a little paperback published by Intervarsity called “Authority”.  Listen to this sentence, “The Apostle Paul decided he was not going to waste his time arguing about presuppositions, and he was not going to start with a preliminary philosophical argument, and gradually lead them on to the truth.  No.  He begins by proclaiming authoritatively the Lord Jesus Christ.  Then He makes this statement, “I’m not sure that apologetics is not the curse of evangelical Christians.”  Apologetics is the intellectual defending of the faith.  I agree. 

Where are the workers?  Where are those that have authority, who have been set free, and who speak in such a way that their message is able to set others free?  We’re building works, we’re building buildings, we’re building organizations and corporations, and we have many programs. We’re civilizing and feeding the heathen, but we’re not setting them free.  No wonder Jesus said, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest,” because the workers that have authority are few. 

I’ve met with many pulpit committees, have received many requests from schools to recommend students to go to that particular school.  Never once have I ever heard on any application a question that would come close to this; “Do they have spiritual authority?  Are they free, and do they speak in such a way that the anointing of the Spirit of God is upon them, and they set others free?”  You don’t hear that.  The questions they ask instead are, “Do they have a degree?”  “Have they been through man school?”  “Do they have man’s authority?”  “Tell me about their experiences.”  “Who recommends them?”  “Are they good leaders?” “Do they smoke, go to movies or play Monopoly?”  Those are the kinds of questions they ask. This is one of the most tragic realities in the church of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, that a man can know nothing of the Lord’s liberty, and know nothing of the Lord’s freedom, and not even have a particle of spiritual life, and yet he is qualified to become a shepherd.  Do you know what he is doing?  He’s destroying the sheep, and he’s breaking the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ; He was moved with compassion.  That word “moved with compassion” is a deep word that means that He was turned over inside, and the Lord was grieving when he saw the sheep, that they had to listen to that junk all the time.  The sheep were distressed and received a mortal wound. 

It’s a shame that man’s authority without God’s authority qualifies missionaries and ministers.  It’s a slap in the face to our Lord Jesus Christ; a dishonor to the Lord.  I don’t think you’ll find an assembly of Christians in a thousand who don’t care about man’s approval, and only look at the qualifications in chapter 10; “Is this a man of God?  Does he have authority?  Is he set free?  When he speaks and he shares, does he set others free?”  That’s the qualification that’s needed.  The reason why chapter 10 follows the miracle chapters is because authority is a mighty miracle of God.  Christian service is not a job.  It’s a miracle, and the Lord Jesus Christ is the One that must work this authority.  Christianity is not a philosophy of life.  It’s life itself.  Authority is living and communicating that life.  Thousands of workers are not workers because they have no authority.  The harvest is plentiful but the workers with authority are few.  Beseech the Lord of the harvest that He would thrust out workers filled with authority into His harvest.

Principle #2

True workers have His miraculous sufficiency for everything; trusting His sovereignty

Matthew 10:1, “He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness,”

Matthew 10:7&8, “As you go preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  Freely you have received; freely give.” 

Matthew 10: 9 & 10.  “Do not acquire gold or silver or copper or money belts or a bag for your journey or even two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worthy of his support.” 

The second instruction of the real shepherd, the real worker, can be stated in these words, “The principle of miraculous sufficiency.” When you read a verse like verse 1, “He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness,” and verse 7 & 8 seems to say about the same thing, “As you go preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  Freely you have received; freely give.”  In verses like that we ask the question, “Can we expect power for such literal miracles today?”  Remember when we went through chapters 8 & 9 we pointed out that they were redemptive miracles and contained spiritual principles.  These are also redemptive miracles; through instruments containing spiritual principles. The workers He sends out not only have spiritual authority, but they are trusting His miraculous sufficiency for everything.  Chapter 10 gives three illustrations of this principle.  The first is trusting His miraculous sufficiency to get the job done.  In verses like that we ask the question, “Can we expect power for such literal miracles today?”  When we went through chapters 8 & 9 we pointed out that they were redemptive miracles, and contained spiritual principles.  These are also redemptive miracles; through instruments containing spiritual principles.

Some Christians, really born again Christians, claim that they are not charismatic.  The word “charisma” means gifts.  All true Christians are charismatic because they believe in gifts.  What some Christians mean when they say they are not charismatic is that they don’t put gifts in the center, but they all believe in spiritual gifts.  What can we expect in our day and age concerning miracles, signs, gifts and wonders?  I believe the answer is this; we can expect His miraculous sufficiency to get the job done.  See, that’s common denominator.  What form will these miracles take?  Whatever outward form that is necessary to get the job done; that’s God’s answer.  Some Christians insist on outward forms.  Some Christians insist on no outward forms.  Those that Christ sends out as true workers, they don’t care.  If God wants to do outward manifestations—Hallelujah!  If He doesn’t, that’s okay, too.  They just trust God’s miraculous sufficiency to get the job done.  God knows what He’s doing.  If it glorifies the Lord to raise up a crippled body, and bring that one back to full health, don’t fight that.  If God wants to do that in order to work out His redemptive purposes; let Him do it.  On the other hand, if it glorifies Him to strike a body down, don’t fight that.  Let Him do it.  Whatever is necessary to get the job done.  Don’t look for signs and wonders, and don’t look for absence of signs and wonders.  Just trust His miraculous sufficiency to get the job done.  He knows what is needed.  Those are the ones that He sends out.   He knows what He’s going to do.

One of the tragedies of the last decade of Christianity is the way the fighting fundamentalists and the charismatics have squared off against each other.  It’s tragic, and while they are fighting, the heart of the Lord Jesus is breaking over the poor sheep without a shepherd, longing for real workers, because the harvest is so ripe.  Those that trust His miraculous sufficiency, in other words, whatever equipment I need to fulfill the will of God, I can trust Him to give me that.  Sometimes we might say, “Well, I don’t have a gift.”  You just surrender yourself to the Lord, and whatever gift you need when you need it, you’ll have it.  The Lord will give you that.  You might say, “There’s no way through this except by a miracle.”  Well, okay, then He’ll give you one.  Don’t worry about that.  Those He sends out just trust Him.  They aren’t worried about the theology of the thing.  They are just trusting the living Savior, a living friend, a living God, and they are resting in His all-sufficiency to do whatever He has called them to do, whatever it takes, and whatever outward manifestations are formed—it doesn’t matter.

There is another illustration in Matthew 10: 9 & 10.  “Do not acquire gold or silver or copper or money belts or a bag for your journey or even two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worthy of his support.”  Let me ask the question, “When you were thinking, did you say, ‘That’s exactly how it is today in the world.  Nobody is acquiring gold and silver.’”  Boy, I tell you, the laborers are few.  A real laborer that He sends out trusts His miraculous sufficiency, not only for the equipping necessary to get the job done, but trusts His miraculous sufficiency for all physical needs.  Even the government is investigating some of these Christian organizations.  What a black eye for the people of God.  They are doing the opposite of verse 9 & 10. 

Christian workers are gathering gold and silver and copper.  You get special reports of them on TV.  The postal service is full of beggar mail.  You must get it, too; envelopes and everyone asking for money all the time.  That’s all you hear, “Give, give, give and send your dollars.  Remember us in your will.”  There’s a new country song out now, “The Great American Dream”.  Here’s one of the lyrics in it, “A preacher comes on TV, and has a suit and a tie and a vest, and tells you to send your money to the Lord, and gives you his address.”  Exactly right!  It’s tragic.  It’s a whole lot sadder than it is funny.  The workers are few; those who are trusting His miraculous sufficiency for support.  There are cases that I know where gold determines obedience.  “He gladly ministered to the Lord among you if you pay enough.”  How few are the laborers who are not going out acquiring gold and silver, and could care less about those things?  Some would be missionaries and never get to the field because the deputation failed, and they can’t earn enough gold.  Modern Christianity with its multimillion dollar industries and corporations, its gathering of buildings and hospitals, schools and movies must break the heart of our Lord Jesus.  They have a thousand and one gimmicks to get money, and they all sound so good.  “Make sure you tithe, and make sure that it goes into the local church and local pot, and make sure you’ve given to your faith promise program, and make a promise to the Lord, and entrust Him to supply the need; seed promises, high pressure suppers and sales, and all that kind of thing.  Workers are few; the kind He sends out, the kind He longs for, the kind that fit in with the program of redemption, the kind that really get the job done.

Matthew 10:19 & 20, “When they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how and what you will speak, for it will be given to you in that hour what you shall speak.  It is not you who speaks but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” 

There is a third illustration; they are also trusting His miraculous sufficiency for so-called emergencies.  They trust His sovereignty.  Here is an amazing thing.  Here is an emergency in the life of a disciple.  We just read this la, la, la, “Oh, they delivered you up.”  When He said that I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, He was saying that I send you forth as meat.  You are their supper.  They are going to devour you. They are delivered up to die.  They are going to the lions, or to the rack, or to the cross.  What does He say to those who are delivered up?  “Do not be anxious.”  “Yeah right; we’re about to die.”  Why?  The ones that He sends out are not anxious because when God is in charge, there is a sweet supernatural naturalness.

There are no emergencies with the Lord.  They don’t even prepare a defense, “Take no thought what you are going to say.  They are about to deliver you up, and you are about to die; don’t even think about that.  Don’t be anxious and don’t be afraid.”  These he sends out are not fighting for the gospel to defend God and defend the gospel.  They don’t have any defense.  They don’t make it happen, and they don’t prevent it from happening.  They just let it happen.  God is in charge, and they just rest in the Lord.  Those are the ones that He sends out.  They are not concerned, they aren’t anxious and they aren’t fretting.  This is 180 degrees from those who are always fighting in all of the issues, and marching, and taking sex out of the schools, and trying to get the library purified, and censoring all the movies, fighting liberals, and all that kind of thing.  Jesus didn’t march, Paul didn’t march, and they had more issues than we do.  They could have marched against slavery.  They didn’t march.  They just rested in the Lord.

I love in this connection 1 Timothy 6:16, “Christ Jesus testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate.”  What was the good confession that He testified?  He opened not His mouth and said nothing.  That’s a great confession.  And what did Pilate say when He said nothing?  He said, “I find no fault in this man.”  A holy life was the good confession that He presented before Pontius Pilate, and that was His good confession, and that’s our confession. Take no thought.  Just be holy and pure, and walk with Jesus; walk in fellowship.  We don’t need to defend ourselves or fight for the truth, and we don’t need to fight cults and liberalism, and all that kind of thing.  The ones He sends out are resting and trusting God to provide whatever equipment necessary to get the job done.  They are trusting God for everything that comes into their lives as needs.  They are trusting God for every so-called emergency that comes.  They are not fretting and they aren’t worried. 

I used to think that the main point of Matthew 10:29-31 was “God will protect you.”  It’s not.  “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent, yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father?  But the very hairs on your head are numbered.  Therefore, do not fear.  You are of more value than many sparrows.”  If you read the context in verse 28, “Do not fear those who kill the body,” they are about to kill the body.  The point of the sparrow in verse 29 is this; trust Jesus if you fall to the ground dead.  That’s the point.  He’s not saying, “I’m going to protect you.”  He’s saying, “If you fall to the ground dead it will not be unnoticed.  God even controls the lives of sparrows.  God is sovereign; even a sparrow can’t die apart from the Lord.  He’s not saying that you won’t fall to the ground.  He’s saying that when you fall to the ground, know that it wasn’t an accident; the Lord is in charge and even in falling to the ground, you are working redemption’s program.  We’re not exempt from falling to the ground dead.  Nothing that comes into our lives contradicts His wisdom, His love and His sovereignty.  It can’t. 

Same thing is true in verse 30 of the hair.  I used to think that my hairs are numbered.  That means that God must love me very much.  I love Lillian very much but I don’t know how many hairs she has on her head.  It’s true that God knows how many, literally, the number; He can compute how many hairs, and He knows every detail, and knows all of our freckles and pores, and all.  He knows all about you.  If you read Song of Solomon you’ll see that.  The groom there even compliments her belly button, everything, because He loves us so much.  That’s a Bible truth here.  If you lose one hair, it has not gone outside of God’s control.  God knows every hair on your head, and not one of them will be lost.  John the Baptist lost all his hair; it came off with his head.  That doesn’t mean that your head isn’t going to come off.  He’s not promising to keep you from physical death.  He’s saying that those who He sends out are willing to die, and are resting; they don’t worry about it.  When they are brought before the court they don’t even think about what they are going to say.  They are not anxious at all.  They are walking in the sovereignty of God.  They know that not even a sparrow can fall, and not one hair on their head can fall unless God says, “Okay.”  They are not afraid of any human being whose flesh is in his nostrils. 

Today we have a bunch of chicken hearted people who are tickling the ears of men, and trying to satisfy everybody, and stroking egos all over the place, so that they are not stepped on, and not rejected, so that people don’t think bad things about them.  Oh, that God would send out laborers!  God doesn’t have a standard where He says, “This is for the leaders and this is for us.”  Even the qualifications in Timothy for elders and bishops are not double standards.  That’s God’s qualifications for all Christians.  But you have had to at least reached that far before you take on responsibility.  Those are principles of maturity for every Christian; not just elders.  God has no double standards.  We are all the same.

A true laborer is one who has the authority, and trusts the miraculous sufficiency of God.  “All I need for equipment, and whatever it takes to get the job done, and all I need for material provision, whatever I need, He’ll provide.  All I need for any emergency that comes into my life is to trust Jesus.”  Pray the Lord of the harvest; workers are few.  Even today, there are busy Christians, but no workers, and the sheep are suffering.