Celebrating God's Harvest Victory With Tears

Sermon, and Communion, preached by Christopher Adams, November 2, 2008:

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“(Marsha Stevens, © 1969) I saw every tear drop, while in darkness you cried.

The Psalmist pours out his song of laughter, his ultimate joy in seeing God’s Kingdom being re-built, only AFTER he poured out his tears in the desert of exile where God has always been willing to “carry his people” so they will return wholeheartedly to Him. As in all prayer, and in all sorrow, the tears that come so soon after refresh us, just as the truth of God proves through the heart of the Psalmist.

Psalm 126:4-6

4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.

5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.

6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

We know that God is a God who sheds tears, because Jesus poured himself out in prayer with loud cries and tears (Hebrews 5:7; John 11:35; Luke 22:44). Nothing short of tears would have fueled the spiritual harvest in the desert, where Israel would return fully to their God–likewise, nothing short of tears filling our spiritual Negev today will bring us back fully to experience the harvest of righteousness that Jesus said was all around the disciples if they would but see with faith! Tears of the cross, tears of discipleship and tears of world evangelism are the tears we need. But how will we shed these tears when our hearts have been hardened by sin, worldliness and pain? Only God’s tears for the whole world on the cross will break our hearts, so we can become joyful workers in his harvest field!

“Celebrate God’s Harvest Victory with Tears” preached by Chris Adams on Sunday, November 2, 2008

Isaiah 9:1–7
• God’s plan is always about what He believes you can be.
• Jesus was going to come to the Israelites.
• To have peace in your life, you have to make Jesus your Prince of Peace.

Luke 4:14–30
• They wanted to kill Jesus.
• Jesus is the Messiah: This should be the foundation for the victory.
• Jesus allowed for God to be with you.
• Jesus wanted to restore a spiritual kingdom.
Question: How does God work to help you to remember this harvest?

Deuteronomy 16:16
Question: What did God do?
• He set up an amazing harvest.

Exodus 34:18–24
• The physical reality of the Old Testament is a foreshadowing of a spiritual reality in the New Testament.
• God does not want you to forget Him.
i. Barley harvest: Passover
ii. Wheat harvest: Pentecost
iii. Fruit of the vine and tree harvest: Feast of Tabernacles
• God aligned each of the feasts with the harvest, and a time of the year.

John 4:32–38
• Jesus’ work on the cross is the hardest thing to do.
• Be a disciple maker.
• Bring people back to God with respect to their hearts. (Mark 7:6)

Psalm 137:1–9
• In 606 B.C., God used King Nebuchadnezzar to exile the Israelites.
• God loved them enough to put them in a situation where they would have to be totally reliant and dependent on God.

John 8:31–32
• People don’t want it.
• When you lay down the truth and they oppose it, it gives you a gut check.

1 Corinthians 15:19
• If only in this life we have faith in Christ, then we are to be pitied.
• Faith in Christ, even in death.

Ephesians 5:3
• Set your mind on what the Spirit wants. (Romans 8:5)
• Either you give up and surrender to God or you give up.
• You have to surrender to God.
Question: What is God doing?
• God is working.

1. Tears of the cross.

2. Tears of discipleship.
Question: How could you ever claim to follow Jesus and not live like Him?

Luke 14:33

Matthew 13:44–46

Question: How could you claim to be a Christian/disciple and not live that way?

Acts 11:25–26
• When the term “Christian” gets fuzzy, you call yourself a disciple.
Question: Why call yourself a “sold-out disciple”?
• Because the term “disciple” has lost its meaning in some circles.

Hebrews 5:7
Question: Are you going to follow Jesus with tears?
Question: Can you call yourself a disciple if you don’t cry tears?
• Tears are not a bad thing.
• Tears are what are going to plant the harvest.
• Jesus had a heart for people.

Psalm 126:5–6

Luke 9:62
• If you give up, then you are unfit to be in the Kingdom of God.
• What makes you give up is emotional pain.

3. Tears of world evangelism.
• It is all about the harvest.

Hebrews 1:3
• God’s own heart was to cry.

Hebrews 5:7
• Jesus’ bloody-sweat dropped.
• Those drops of blood of Jesus were God’s tears.
• You need your own tears, and the cross is meant to give you those tears.