All things were created through Him and for Him. – Colossians 1:16
Every year, my wife Anna and I enjoy the splendor of the autumn landscape. The colorful display always ignites anticipation in my soul for the celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Perhaps autumn is my favorite season not only because of its beauty, but for what it represents—the harvest.
Harvest is indicative of multiplication, not simply of crops, but also of human souls. On Earth, we know that if we plant good seed and nurture it, we will reap a fruitful harvest. In Scripture, harvest is about reaping what God has promised through the seed of His Son—abundant and eternal life. That harvest, characterized by God’s adequacy, victory and revival, is multiplied through us to others as we open to everything He intends for our lives. In that regard, there are two special dates that stand out in my life.
The first is February 25, 1944 when, as a ten year-old boy, I asked Jesus into my heart. I was raised in the way of the Lord, but had not made a public decision for Christ. Two years earlier at Vacation Bible School, I’d listened to a speaker talk about opening your heart to Jesus as Savior. Eight year-old Jack Hayford sat there, knowing I needed to come forward, but I would not budge.
I wanted Jesus, and I knew I had to receive Him to go to Heaven. I also knew one other thing: I was supposed to be a pastor and I didn’t want to. I don’t know why I knew this. My parents didn’t suggest I go into ministry. No one had. But I didn’t want to admit to my friends that I was “going to be a pastor when I grew up.”
So I refused to go forward. I knew if you were going to accept Jesus, you needed to follow His will, and I didn’t want to. Two years later, at age ten, I received the Lord Jesus Christ but had not yet to come to a point of full surrender.
The second milestone date in my life was March 19, 1950 when I was 16. I was attending a Youth Conference themed, “Everything for Christ.” At the end of the evening message, the invitation was given, “Who will answer the call of Jesus Christ on your life and give everything for Christ?”
There is no more significant moment in my life’s recollection than when I responded, “Jesus, You can have it all.” I’d opened to everything He had for me when I was ten, but I gave Him everything I had six years later. I had learned we don’t need to fear surrendering everything to God because He never exploits His redeemed. Like the principle of the harvest, the more we sow, the more we reap. The more we sow of His Kingdom into our own lives, the more He multiplies that into abundant life and salvation for others.
This day, dear one, I invite you to give everything for Christ and to witness the Kingdom of God reap a harvest more breathtakingly beautiful than the finest glory that autumn has to offer.