As a Harvest Partner, you join us in helping our generation know God and make Him known.

Because you support Harvest Ministries, you’re investing in the lives of men, women, and young people who will come to know Jesus Christ through our outreach events, radio, television, and online resources.

Your monthly support provides the means to reach the lost, preach the Word, and be a source of relevant Bible teaching around the world. Your partnership also helps us to plan ahead and take advantage of every opportunity God brings our way.

Thank you for being a Harvest Partner!

Sharing His Message

Paul replied . . . “I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”—Acts 26:29

In Acts 26, we find Paul sharing the gospel with King Herod Agrippa and others. We also find some principles that we all can use when sharing our faith:

First, find common ground and build a bridge to your listener. Paul began his defense by saying, “I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense against all these accusations made by the Jewish leaders, for I know you are an expert on Jewish customs and controversies. Now please listen to me patiently!” This was not flattery on Paul’s part. He was telling the truth. Agrippa was steeped in the ways of the Jews. He knew all about Jewish culture and customs. He could have started by saying, “You are a wicked man, Agrippa. And everyone knows it.” But he didn’t do that. He built a bridge. He was respectful.

Second, use your personal testimony. Paul told Agrippa how he became a follower of Christ. He told his own personal story. There is power in your story, whether it is dramatic or not. Don’t glorify or exaggerate your past. Accuracy is important and so is truthfulness. Don’t boast about what you gave up for God, but what God gave up for you.

Lastly, make Christ the focus. It is not about you. It is about Him. You only tell your story to point to His story. Your testimony is a bridge, not the destination. The destination is Jesus and His story.

When we share, we need to pray that God will open people’s eyes spiritually. There is nothing we can say, that will make a person believe. Conversion is a mystery and it is a work of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t understand why God would use someone as foolish as me or you to articulate His message. But the Holy Spirit can make that message resonate with the listener, if we are simply bold enough to share it.

The Value of a Soul

I have been asked, “Why do you go out and do Harvest Crusades? Why do you travel to different areas of the country, taking time away from your church and your family to do this? What’s your motive?”

Why do I go out and do this?

Is it the thrill of speaking in front of large crowds? No, I can’t say that’s it because, in many cases, the crowds may be smaller than our combined attendance at Harvest Christian Fellowship on a given Sunday.

Is it the thrill of travel? Absolutely not. The novelty of travel wore off a long time ago.

Is it because it’s a lot of fun? Well, we do have a lot of fun. But it isn’t all fun. In reality, it’s a lot of work.

Jesus told the story of a shepherd who had 100 sheep and one went astray. What did the shepherd do? Did he say, “Win a few, lose a few. Too bad”?

No, he left the 99 and went after that one sheep. You see, God doesn’t just value multitudes; He values individuals. He values the human soul.

Several years ago, my neighbor told me about a man named Roy who lived in our neighborhood. Roy had a very serious heart ailment, and there was nothing more that could be done for him. So he had been discharged from the hospital and was basically sent home to die.

My neighbor said to me, “Roy is not a Christian, but he has been to one of your crusades. Maybe you should try to talk to him.”

One morning, my wife and I were out walking when my neighbor pointed out Roy to us. So we walked over to him and introduced ourselves. As we talked, it became clear that Roy was not a believer. He had a lot of questions.

Every day, we ran into him and would talk a little bit more. Then I gave Roy a copy of one of my books, which presents the gospel message. I encouraged him to take the book home and read it and then asked if we could talk again.

Roy came back the next day and said, “I read your whole book.” He had more questions. We talked a little bit more, but Roy still did not seem ready to make a commitment to Christ.

One morning, as we were having family devotions, I looked out the window. There was Roy, standing in front of our house. He was out on a walk and had stopped to rest, right in front of our house.

Here we were, reading the Bible, and Roy was standing there. I sensed it was time. So I walked outside and said, “Roy, let’s talk a little more.” As we talked, I said, “Roy, I think you need to settle this right now. You need to get right with God. Why don’t you pray right now and give your life to Christ?”

He said, “I’m ready to do that.”

“Great,” I said. So we prayed, and Roy asked the Lord to come into his life.

The next morning, we saw Roy. He had a big smile on his face. He said he had just been singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Every time we saw Roy, it seemed like he had grown a little more.

His son-in-law told me later that Roy went to his whole family and announced, “You are looking at a brand-new Christian right now!”

Some time later, Roy’s son-in-law knocked on our door. He said, “Roy died last night. I wanted to tell you.”

Certainly there was sadness. But there also was the joy of knowing that Roy was in his new body in heaven. I thought to myself, “What if I had been too busy?” We can make up so many excuses. But God had provided me with a wonderful opportunity to talk with Roy.

So why take the time to share the gospel and hold events like the Harvest Crusades? The answer is obvious: It’s the value of a soul.

God values the Roys of the world. He values you. And He values me. Yet in our culture today, we often place the greatest value on that which, for the most part, has no value. Meanwhile, we completely ignore that which has the greatest value.

Is anything worth more than a soul? The answer, obviously, is no. God values the human soul. And so should we.

Disciplemaking

“So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.” (Colossians 1:28 NLT)

Jesus commanded us to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19 NLT). But what does that mean? It means that to the best of our ability, being led by the Holy Spirit, we are to invite people to follow Christ. Then we are to help them get on their feet spiritually and help them to start growing and keep moving forward. We want to help them grow up.

Somewhere along the line, however, we have separated evangelism from discipleship, but we see no such distinction in Scripture. The idea is not just to lead people to Christ and then say, “God bless you. See you later.” Rather, it is to help them grow and mature in their faith. New believers need help as they make that commitment to follow the Lord.

New believers are just like new babies, and babies need help. And not only do new believers need help, but they need protection as well. The apostle Paul, writing to new believers in Galatia, said, “Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives” (Galatians 4:19 NLT).

You can’t just turn a baby loose in a house. You have to watch them, because they get themselves into mischief all the time. You have to watch over babies constantly, because they are constantly getting into trouble.

The same is true of new believers. They make a commitment to Christ and are so vulnerable. Old friends will call up and ask them to engage in things they shouldn’t. Old boyfriends or girlfriends will contact them again. Those temptations will come. And you, as an older, more mature believer, need to help them and guide them in that regard so they don’t fall away.

Will you make yourself available to come alongside a new believer and help them to grow in their faith? They won’t be the only one to grow and be blessed!

Share you story below—we would love to hear about your discipleship adventure!

Sharing His Message

In Acts 26, we find Paul sharing the gospel with King Herod Agrippa and others. We also find some principles that we all can use when sharing our faith:

First, find common ground and build a bridge to your listener. Paul began his defense by saying, “I am fortunate, King Agrippa, that you are the one hearing my defense against all these accusations made by the Jewish leaders, for I know you are an expert on Jewish customs and controversies. Now please listen to me patiently!” This was not flattery on Paul’s part. He was telling the truth. Agrippa was steeped in the ways of the Jews. He knew all about Jewish culture and customs. He could have started by saying, “You are a wicked man, Agrippa. And everyone knows it.” But he didn’t do that. He built a bridge. He was respectful.

Second, use your personal testimony. Paul told Agrippa how he became a follower of Christ. He told his own personal story. There is power in your story, whether it is dramatic or not. Don’t glorify or exaggerate your past. Accuracy is important and so is truthfulness. Don’t boast about what you gave up for God, but what God gave up for you.

Lastly, make Christ the focus. It is not about you. It is about Him. You only tell your story to point to His story. Your testimony is a bridge, not the destination. The destination is Jesus and His story.

When we share, we need to pray that God will open people’s eyes spiritually. There is nothing we can say that will make a person believe. Conversion is a mystery and it is a work of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t understand why God would use someone as foolish as me or you to articulate His message. But the Holy Spirit can make that message resonate with the listener, if we are simply bold enough to share it.

If you have the opportunity to come to SoCal Harvest or share the gospel with someone, we would love for you to share your experience in the comments below. May God bless you!

Rarely Used Spiritual Weapons

“To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” —James 4:17

God has given us two secret weapons to use in our world today. What are they? First I will tell you what they are not: whining and complaining. It doesn’t do any good. Neither does boycotting and protesting.

The two secret weapons that God has given to the church are praying and preaching. We pray for our nation. We pray for people we will share the gospel with. And then we share the gospel with them.

These are spiritual weapons that are rarely used by the church today. A lot of times it seems as though we do everything except pray and preach. But these are things that we need to do a lot more of. In fact, I feel that to not be praying for our country and preaching the gospel actually could be a sin.

There are sins of commission, which are breaking God’s law. But then there are sins of omission, which are not doing what God wants us to do. We are told in the Scriptures, “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It would be like walking by a burning building and knowing there are people inside but doing nothing to help them. If I don’t go in and try to save them myself, at the very least I could call the fire department.But if I were just to walk by as though nothing were happening and left them inside to die, that would be criminal.

When we see a culture today that doesn’t know God and can know God, when they need to be prayed for and preached to, doing nothing also could be criminal in a sense. We are living in a hostile culture right now. So let’s pray and preach.

Can We Have Revival in our Time?

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
—2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Watch Pastor Greg’s two messages on spiritual revival.

Please leave your comment on what these messages spoke to you!

A Father’s Legacy

The greatest legacy we pass on as fathers is not our inheritance. It is not even our good name. It is the spiritual heritage that we give to our children, desiring them to walk in the way of the Lord.

When David was on his deathbed, he said to his son,

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9 nkjv).

God has placed parents as the authorities in the life of the child. And in many ways, we as fathers represent God to our children.

A story I’ve often told about a little boy illustrates this well. The little boy was frightened one night by a very loud thunderstorm. He called to his father in the next room and said, “Daddy, I am scared.”

His father called back from the next room, “Son, don’t be scared. God is with you.”

The boy paused for a moment and then said, “Yeah, but I want someone with skin on right now.”

Fathers, in many ways, are like God with skin on to their children. I don’t mean that literally, but I do mean that fathers are the representatives of God to that child.

Consider this: many of the attitudes a child will develop about God will be based on their relationship with their fathers. While I am not trying to lay a guilt trip on fathers, I do want to say that we fathers need to do everything we can to be a godly influence on our children. When our children see their mom or dad contradicting what they know is true, great damage can be done.

Sadly, many children do not honor their parents simply because they are not very honorable. Many adults have never grown up themselves, so they abandon their responsibilities to their families to chase after their own interests.

That is why Andrew Murray said, “The secret of home rule is self-rule: first being ourselves what we want our children to be.”

Our children must see the gospel lived as well as preached. We are not only to be witnesses to the world. We also need to be witnesses in our homes. Children pay attention to what really matters to us and how our Christianity affects us in day-to-day living.

You are an example. The question is, will you be a good one or a bad one?

We find an interesting insight in an often-quoted passage regarding parenting—one that is usually quoted when children go astray. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (nkjv).

This phrase, “in the way,” could also be translated, “in his bent.” The Amplified Bible translates it this way: “Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

We see in this a recognition that every child is different. I hope, as parents, that we realize this about our children. Every child has a unique and distinct personality. Just as no two snowflakes are exactly like, it is the same with children.

This is why we need to observe our children. We need to watch our children. Then we need to adapt our training accordingly.

This doesn’t mean we turn away from the principles of Scripture, but that we adapt them to each child. For example, stern words get some children in line, while others need a different approach.

My point is that we need to recognize the unique characteristics in the lives of the little ones whom God has entrusted to our care. We want to do our best to point them in the right direction and train them in the way of the Lord.

How often we think, “I’m too busy for the kids!” Yet time goes by so fast. Treasure each moment with your children, and don’t neglect them. Express your love to them.

To know that our children walk with the Lord—that is our great hope. But we need to remember that they don’t belong to us; they belong to God. Our responsibility is to point them to Him.

You Are a Worshipper

Would you consider yourself a worshipper?

Believers in God might be quick to say yes, while others who are not believers—or perhaps are skeptics—would say they’re not.

I would suggest to you that everyone is a worshipper.

Now, understand me. I did not say that everyone worships God. I simply stated that everyone worships.

Some worship at the altar of the “First Church of the Perfect Physique.” To them, it’s all about how they look. Others worship at the “Altar of the Mall.” To them, it’s all about what they wear. Others worship celebrities or sports stars or political heroes. But everyone worships someone or something.

Now consider this: God is looking for people to worship Him! He is seeking seekers!

Years ago, Jesus had an intense conversation on a hot afternoon with a woman who had wasted years of her life chasing men who let her down. Jesus knew what she really was seeking deep down inside was a relationship with God. She was spiritually thirsty and He made this statement to her:

But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23–24 nlt)

But how do we do this? How do we worship God in “spirit and in truth”?

Is there some sort of formula or ritual for doing so? Perhaps there’s a special place or time that is best suited to get in contact with God. Don’t we need specially trained people to help us call upon the Lord?

Jesus was explaining that true worship is not about necessarily meeting at a particular place or time, but rather a matter of the heart. In other words, spiritual worship is not about where or when; it’s about how.

When Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth,” He indicated two fundamental elements of true worship:

  1. God must be worshipped in spirit.
  2. God must be worshipped in truth.

Let’s start with the latter—God must be worshipped in truth. The God we worship must be the true God—not a god of our own making. So our worship of God must be based on reality or truth. And what is that truth?

First, God can only be approached and known though Jesus Christ.

I know that some people cringe at a statement like this. But it is the truth as presented in the Bible.

You see, Jesus is God made flesh. The more we know about Jesus and His life, the more clearly we see the reality of God. And it is only through his sacrifice and death on the cross that we have access to the Father. We don’t attempt to approach God on the basis of our own personal righteousness or merits. We put our trust in Jesus as the One who makes us right with God.

Second, God is worthy of our worship, and we should worship Him whether or not we feel like it.

Do you think some of Jesus’ followers were “in the mood” to worship God when they were arrested, beaten, and thrown in the dungeon for their faith? Would you have been? We read the story of the apostle Paul and his friend Silas, who were whipped and put in stocks in a dungeon. Yet at midnight, they sang praises to God.

Look, it’s one thing to come to church and worship when we feel like it, when things are going reasonably well. The bills are paid. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. Everything is good. So we say, “Praise God!”

Then the next Sunday, the sun isn’t shining. The birds aren’t singing. There are problems. So we think, “I don’t feel like going to church.” But that’s when we need to worship more than ever. That’s when we need to say, “Lord, I’m helpless. Lord, I need your wisdom. I need your guidance. I need your power. I need your comfort. Lord, I am turning to you.” We worship regardless of our circumstances, because God is always worthy of our praise. We should worship God not because we are in the mood, but because God has asked us to and has everything in control. That is the sacrifice of praise.

Third, we can’t worship God when we knowingly have sin in our lives.

That doesn’t mean we have to be sinless before we can worship God—that’s impossible. Rather, when we knowingly and willfully sin against God, we are deceiving ourselves—and our prayers and worship will not be received.

For example, if I know I’ve lied to someone and have no plans to come clean anytime soon, I can’t expect my worship to be meaningful before God. Or if I am holding a grudge against someone and have no intention of trying to work things out with him or her, then I shouldn’t expect God to be honored by my worship. Or if I am living in sexual sin, I shouldn’t expect God to want to hear my songs of praise or prayers and petitions. The psalmist tells us, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18 nlt).

God wants our lives and our worship to be combined together in an honorable way. God wants us to worship in spirit and in truth. And God wants our hearts more than anything else.

So accept it—you are a worshipper! Just make sure you are worshipping the right God in the right way.