SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-10-17: "Brokenness and Tears"

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          When we started our Penn-Ohio Unity Pastor's Support Group in 1994 There were only three of us. We used an ancient devotional book by Roy Hesson, Calvary Road. We stopped our studies together at the first chapter which spoke of "Brokenness." We stayed on that theme for months. Our reason for coming together for weekly prayer was two-fold: we wanted to demonstrate that evangelicals could assemble on common grounds and we saw the need for real revival in our region that saw people find Christ and get their lives together.

          We apologized to one another for sectarian thinking and conduct. Sectarian mindsets involve promoting you own church and ignoring the needs and concerns of other evangelicals. We began to see each other as brother and sister in Christ instead of competitors for church membership. We began to see the church as an extension of God's Kingdom, instead of our own private enterprise and business.

          Yes, there were tears, plenty of them as we worked on the real issues of Christ's Kingdom of Love. The church and general culture we live in is a tear-quenching, tear-denying, stoic culture of dry-eyed religious Saints and  secular people. That is probably the reason our offspring have such a craving for alcohol and drugs. Substance abuse becomes the primary anesthesia used to repress and hold back unexpressed heartache and disappointment.

          Tears are God's relief valve to aid release of the internal pressure that builds up in the human heart from sorrow and grief. We also have words to help us express the intense internal pain, but we "don't want to talk about it!"

Animals don't talk, people do. Even animals will express their grief, but we prefer to stuff it with depression and a myriad of somatic complaints.

          This sermon explores the twin subjects that are so vital to the Christian life.


Pastor Phil  <><<


October 17, 2010 - Sheepfold Ministries

                                                                                                            Pastor Phil Roland




Matthew 5:1-12

“God cannot use a man or woman until He has broken their hearts. The pathway to Jesus is often wet with tears.”                               Pastor Phil Roland



            A. Hezekiah is broken-hearted before the Lord - 2 Kings 20:1-5

              "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the

                LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and

                seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up

                to the temple of the LORD."

                        1. God is tenderhearted about your heartache and tears

                        2. He knows about all your tears, even in the past - Ps. 56:8

                            David implores God, “Put my tears into Your bottle;”

            B. Tears are a natural part of your humanity: Jesus wept - John 11:35

                        1. World is full of "Tear Quenchers" - "Don't cry!" "Don't cry!"

                        2. Your tears make them uncomfortable - "Get over it!"
                        3. "Tear Stuffers" abound - "See how STRONG she/he is!"

                        4. Jesus' Tears validate your tears -

                            "It's OK to cry, He cries with you!"

            C. Your tears can become tiny messengers to God's Throne

                        1. God looks beyond your tears into your heart -Romans 8:26-7

                            " In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not

                              know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes

                              for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who

                              searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the

                              Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."

                        2. Joy promised to those who take their tears to God -Ps. 126:5

                            “Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.”

            D. It may seem at the time of loss that God's mad: He isn't! - Ps. 30:5

               "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may

                endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning."

            E. God will personally wipe away your tears - Rev. 21:2-4 

                “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of

                  heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I

                  heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God

                  is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.

                 God Himself will be with them and be their God. "And God will wipe                          away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor

                 sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things

                 have passed away."




II.  GOD CAN USE BROKEN THINGS - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

          A. Famous Quotes

                        1. "Some things are better after they are broken. The rose                                          petal must be crushed before it gives forth fragrance."                    Dr. Rick Reasoner 

                        2.  "We may easily be too big for God to use, but never too                                          small."                                                                                    D.L. Moody

                        3. "The Lord was looking for a man weak enough to use, and                                    He found me."   Hudson Taylor, founder, China Inland Mission
          B. Where have you been broken?

                        1. BROKEN DREAMS - What about Joseph's Story? Gen. 30-55

                                    a. Lost everything: Home, Family, Security

                                    b. Sold into slavery, later imprisoned

                                    c. What about your broken dreams?

                        2. BROKEN HEALTH - Job on the ash heap, scraping his sores

                                    a. Continual bad news from doctors?

                                    b. Feel hopeless and in despair

                        3. BROKEN CHARACTER

                                    a. Out-of-Place Conscience

                                    b. Poor and Impulsive Decisions

                                    c. Sense of right and wrong not working well

                        4. BROKEN REPUTATION - Moses in Egypt

                                    a. Bible is full of people who have poor reputation

                                    b. What will people think?

                                    c. Condemned in the Court of Public Opinion

                        5. BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS

                                    a. Failed relationships

                                    b. Forsaken by friends you once loved

                                    c. Abandoned by Family and those once trusted

                        6. BROKEN FAITH

                                    a. Lost your faith in yourself?

                                    b. Lost your faith in your world?

                                    c. Lost your faith in life?

                                    d. Lost your faith in God?

                        7. BROKEN PAST

                                    a. Grieving what "might have been"

                                    b. "If only," or, "I should have"



            C. Bible is full of Broken things -

                        1. Read Paper "God Uses Broken Things"

                        2. Broken Pitchers gave Light for Victory - Judges 7:19-21

                        3. Broken Bread fed the Hungry 5,000 - Matthew 14:3, 9

                        4. Jesus' Broken Body gave Believers' Salvation

                                    a. He has carried our sorrows and sins -Isa. 53:5-6, 12;

                                    b. "Take, eat this is My Body." - 1 Cor. 11:24
                        5. What can God do with your Broken Plans and Sorrows?

            D. God Accepts your Brokenness - Psalm 51:17

               "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O

                 God, you will not despise."

                        1. He calls you to Himself - Matthew 11:28-30

                           "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give

                             you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am

                             gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

                             For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

                        2. Take to Him your Broken Spirit - Joel 2:12:13

                            "Now, therefore," says the LORD, "Turn to Me with all your heart, 

                              With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. "So rend your

                              heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For

                              He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great

                              kindness; And He relents from doing harm.”

                        3. Jesus Accepts Mary's Broken Gift - Mark 14:6-9

                           "But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has

                             done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always,

                             and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do

                             not have always. She has done what she could. She has come

                             beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you,

                             wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this

                             woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."

                        4. Jesus accepts you and your Broken Heart



Matthew 5:1-12

1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2 and he began to teach them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.



NOAH was a drunk.

ABRAHAM was too old.

ISAAC was a daydreamer.

JACOB was a liar.

LEAH was ugly.

JOSEPH was abused.

MOSES had a stuttering problem.

GIDEON was afraid.

SAMSON had long hair, and was a womanizer!

RAHAB was a prostitute!

JEREMIAH and TIMOTHY were too young.

DAVID had an affair and was a murderer.

ELIJAH was suicidal.

ISAIAH preached naked.

JONAH ran from God.

NAOMI was a widow.

JOB went bankrupt.

JOHN the Baptist ate bugs.

PETER denied Christ.

The Disciples fell asleep while praying.

MARTHA worried about everything.

MARY MAGDALENE was, well, you know ...

The SAMARITAN WOMAN was divorced ... more than once!

ZACCHEUS was too small.

PAUL was too religious.

TIMOTHY had an ulcer .




Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA, 2010



If this is not a place where tears are understood,

       Then where shall I go to cry?

And if this is not a place where my spirit can take wings,

       Then where shall I go to fly?


I don’t need another place for trying to impress you

       With just how good and virtuous I am.

No, no, no, I don’t need another place for being on top of things.

       Everybody knows it’s a sham, it’s a sham.


I don’t need a place for always wearing smiles,

       Even when it’s not the way I feel.

I don’t need another place to mouth the same old platitudes,

       Everybody knows that it’s not real.


So if this is not a place where my questions can be asked,

       Then where shall I go to seek?

And, if this is not a place where my heart can be heard,

       Where, tell me where, shall I go to speak?


So if this is not a place where tears are understood,

       Where shall I go, where shall I go to fly?


A Word Music Song by Ken Medema