The Intentional Life – Matthew 9

Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers
are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into his harvest.’” Matthew 9:37-38 ESV

You know the story…

An old man is walking along the beach one day and sees a young man up ahead
flinging something into the ocean.

As he draws closer, the old man sees that the young man is picking up starfish
and throwing them back into the ocean so that they will not die lying in
the sun.

The old man says to the young man that there are miles of coastline, beach
after beach and maybe millions of starfish – how can it possibly make a

The young man tosses in another starfish and says – to this starfish it
makes a difference!

This story has been used many times, in many sermons – yet it still rings

We can make a difference – one person, one family, one block, one
neighborhood, one village, one city at a time.

The harvest is plentiful and it is on us to be intentional with the
harvest. All of us have been given a field to harvest.

It may be your family, your peers at work or school, friends or others you
meet as you go about your day or week.

Here at Central, we call it our Impact list – the people God has
intentionally placed in our lives.

The people we intentionally pray for, looking for an opportunity to share
the gospel or invite them to a Christ-centered activity, where they might
encounter Christ.

Oh, that we would have a heart like Jesus. A heart for others.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were
harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Verse 36

Sheep without a shepherd. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are

Pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest Jesus said, pray for more
laborers as they are few.

Earnestly – the situation is desperate.  There should always be a sense of
urgency when it comes to the harvest.

As I look back on my life, I rarely think – I wish I could have done less.

Instead I think – I wish I could have done more!  Lord, forgive my apathy
toward others!

I could have spent more intentional and quality time with my wife and kids
intentionally leading them one step closer in their walk with Jesus.

I should have reached out to that friend or loved one before they died or
moved away.

But it is never too late to start – to live a life intentionally focused
outward instead of inward.  A life focused on others.

Our greatest preoccupation should be teaching the gospel and sharing Jesus
with others and training others to do the same.

We should beseech the Lord to send out more workers to help us with the
harvest, never forgetting to tend to our own field, one starfish – one
person at a time.

So let’s pray for the workers, have compassion on others, teach the Gospel,
and help with the harvest whenever we can.

Let’s live an intentional life, focused on the things that matter – the
harvest, trusting the Lord to reach and change the hearts around us as we
go about His work.

Until next time – keep reading!