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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20130317: "Sowing In Tears"

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S O W I N G  IN  T E A R S
SERMON STARTER

          In one of his books, Ray Stedman tells the story of a man who said to his friend,
“I hear you dismissed your pastor. Why?”
“Because he told us we were going to hell.”
“What does your new pastor say?”
“He says we’re going to hell, too.”
“So, what’s the difference?”
“When the first pastor said it, he sounded like he was glad about it. When the new man says it, it sounds like it’s breaking his heart.”
It’s never easy for any of us to receive a hard truth, no matter how necessary it may be to hear it. But there is a much better chance of hearing it if it is told in love.
          Saint Patrick’s Day was originally a celebration of the life and death of Patrick of Berniae and Ireland’s acceptance of Christianity! He was a man who loved the lost souls of Ireland.
          Patrick was not even Irish, but born in Great Briton around 389 A.D.  Since his father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest, Patrick had a very religious upbringing. But when he was about sixteen, he was out working in his father’s field when Irish militia raided the land. Patrick was kidnapped and carried off as a slave to Ireland. There, he worked as a herdsman, remaining a captive for six years. During that time he writes that his faith grew and that he prayed daily.
          After six years, he finally escaped by stowing away on a ship, traveling more than two-hundred miles, and finally returning home. When he was old enough, he followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, eventually becoming a Bishop in the church.
          But in the latter half of his life, Patrick felt called to become a missionary—to go back to the land in which he had been a slave and share the grace and love of Jesus Christ. So in latter part of the fifth century, just four hundred years or so after the death of Christ, Patrick became instrumental in bringing Christianity to Ireland.
          Others had tried to bring Christianity to Ireland, but the Irish people could not grasp the concept of the Trinity—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are all said to be God. To them it sounded like polytheism at best and nonsense at worst. While other missionaries had struggled to explain the concept of the Trinity, Patrick relied on a simple illustration—he used a shamrock, or three-leaf clover, which was the symbol of national pride in Ireland at the time, to explain the nature of the Triune God of the Bible. Each leaf is separate and distinct, yet part of a whole. It’s just one clover, yet with three individual leaves. By making that simple comparison, countless Irish men and women were able to accept the basic concept of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thus, Saint Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of the life of Saint Patrick himself, who died on March 17, as well as a celebration of the birth of Christianity in Ireland.

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

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Saint Patrick's Day - March 16, 2013
Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland

S O W I N G  IN  T E A R S
Psalm 126, Esp. 5,6  
"The seed of the Word of God is precious because of both its content and the dedicated lives who carry it forth. Patricius Magonus Sucatusn left an established church career in England to evangelize pagan Ireland in 420 A.D. His dedication won the entire Island to Christ."           Pastor Phil  <><<

"Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. 6 He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him."   Psalm 126:5-6

GREEK = euangelion = EUAN-GEL-LION = Good News, Shouter of Good News / Announcer of Good Tidings

To Sow in Tears the Servant must:
I.  CONTINUALLY GO FORTH WITH PRECIOUS SEED - Ps.126:6
"He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him."
            A. Agrarian Parable - Matthew 13:19
                        1. His culture was agriculturally based
                        2. Jesus explained "Seed" in the sowing parables - Matt. 13:19
                        3. The "Seed": is the Word of the Kingdom
                        4. The "Seed" is the Word of God sown in the hearts of people
            B. Sowing kingdom seed is a 24/7 proposition - Haggai 2:19a
            "Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate,

            and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. . ."
                        1. You cannot Reap what you haven't Sown
                        2. In Spring you cannot sleep in: You Must Sweat
                        3. You must continually "Go Forth"
C. Sowing Seed in God's Kingdom isn't a 9 to 5 effort
                        1. It takes Focus and Time
                        2. "If it isn't inconvenient, it isn't the Kingdom of God"
3. Kingdom "Seed" is Sown in Love"

To Sow in Tears the Servant must:
II.  CONTINUALLY GO FORTH WITH PRECIOUS SEED WEEPING
"He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing. . ."
            A. Patrick died to self when he was captured at 16
                        1. Taken by force to Ireland
                        2. Forced to be a herdsman for 6 years          
            B. God's Servants must Leave their Past - Phil. 3:13,14
            ". . . but one thing I do,  forgetting those things which are behind and
             reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the
             goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
SOWING IN TEARS, CONT. P.2

                        1. Forgetting what is behind: the Apostle Paul did. . .
                        2. Leave the Security of Family, Jobs and Home
                        3. Lois and I have experienced this twice in 30+ years
                                    a. Los Angeles to Hartford: Suburbia to the Country
                                    b. Traditional Church to the Sheepfold
                                    c. Following Jesus, we've had Several Lives
            C. Be willing to Die to Self to bring the Seed of the Gospel - Gal. 2:20
            "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives
             in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of                  God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
                        1. Grain of Wheat must Die to Reproduce - John 12:24
                         "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the
                 ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain."
                        2. Patrick left his homeland twice
                                    a. First, he was taken unwillingly
                                    b. The Second Time he left answering the Gospel's Call
                                    c. Ridiculed by his Peers for Going to Pagans
                                    d. Won an entire country to Christ
                        3. SALVATION ARMY
                        When a couple of struggling Salvation Army officers wrote to
                        William Booth, telling him they had tried everything to get people to
                        come to Christ and failed, he sent back this reply, "TRY TEARS!"
                        They did and they had a revival.
                       
4. Must have Concern and Compassion for the Lost

To Sow in Tears the Servant must:
III.  HAVE EYES THAT CAN FLOW WITH TEARS - Psalm 126:5
"Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy."
            A. Dry-eyed Saints never won anyone to Christ
                        1. Our culture is surrounded by those in Pain and Deprivation
                        2. Yet, we are an emotionally illiterate, stoic people
                        3. Present Culture Dislikes strong Emotion and Hates Tears
                        4. "Strong emotion makes us uncomfortable"
                        5. Stuff it in - Hold it in - "Don't worry! Be Happy!"
                        6. We are expected to be happy-faced clones
            B. Passion is reserved for where your Heart is        
            A husband said to his wife, "Why do you sniffle and cry over a TV program
            and the imaginary woes of people you have never met?" She replied, "For
            the same reason you scream and yell when a man you don't know makes a
            touchdown."
                        1. St. Patrick wept over the lost of Ireland
                        2. His Passion led to the winning of Ireland's Warlords
                        3. Passion is Irresistible and Contagious
            C. Folk-Musical from the 70's musical for youth, "Good News!"
                        1. We performed it in 1970-71 - "Do you really care?"
    
SOWING IN TEARS, CONT. P.3

     "Do you really care?
                             Do you know how to share
                             With people everywhere
                             God's Good News?"
            C. Jesus had this to say about Passion - Matthew 11:12
            "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven
             suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."  NKJ
                "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has                  been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."  NIV
                        1. Who are the "Violent?"
                    2. They are people who can Feel and Express Strong Emotion
                        3. Those who have a Passion for Reaching the Lost for Jesus
                        4. They will stop at nothing until they pursue God's Calling

To Sow in Tears the Servant must:
IV.  BE READY TO HARVEST GOD'S PLENTY
"He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him."
          A. There is Great Joy at the harvest time
                        1. Grain Harvests on the Great Plains
                        "As a child I once worked on a grain hauling truck. We followed the                           huge combines as they moved through what seemed like endless
                        fields of grain. I shall never forget the constant pouring of threshed
                        wheat into out waiting trucks. What joy!"   Pastor Phil  <><<
                        2. Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents - Luke 15:7
"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven
                         over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous
                         persons who do not need to repent."
3. Man harvests Grain, God harvests Souls
                        4. We are God's Grain
B. Be ready when the call to harvest comes - Matthew 28:19,20
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the
             name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them
             to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you
             always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 

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“Saint Patrick’s Prayer”
(also known as “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate” stated in part:)

“I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall with me be ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”

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S O W I N G  IN  T E A R S
Psalm 126:1-6 (NKJV)
1 A song of Ascents. When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us, And we are glad.
4 Bring back our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South.
5 Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.
6 He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.

 

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Matthew 9:36-38 (NIV)
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Acts 10:38 (NKJV)
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Matthew 20:28 (NKJV)
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Luke 19:10 (NKJV)
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

AGE OF  NARCISSISM
INTRO.- ILL.- A man once prayed like this:
Lord, bless me and my wife
My son John and his wife
Us four and no more.

A childless couple prayed:
Lord, bless us two,
And that will do.

An old bachelor prayed:
Lord, bless only me,
That’s as far as I can see.

ILL.- G. Gordon Liddy of the infamous Watergate Affair said, "I have found within myself all I need and all I ever shall need. I am a man of great faith, but my faith is in G. Gordon Liddy. I have never failed me."

Some day G. Gordon Liddy will fail himself, because no one who is totally self-centered is going to get in the door of heaven!

ILL.- Dr. Kermit Long said, "With all our education, our fine buildings, our image of the church, we are doing less to win people to Christ than our unschooled forefathers did. We’re no longer fishers of men, but keepers of the aquarium, and we spend most of our time swiping fish or swapping fish from each other’s bowl."

I’m not against someone coming to our church from another church, but we never be in the business of stealing sheep from other churches!


HAVE YOU NO TEARS FOR THE LOST? The hurting? The helpless? The lonely? The divorced? The widows and widowers? The homeless? The harlots? The children? etc.

ILL.- It was said of John Welch, a famous Scottish preacher, that he kept a blanket to wrap himself when he got up at night to pray. His wife would complain when she found lying on the floor weeping He would reply, "Woman, I have the souls of three thousand to answer for and I know not how it is with many of them."

Have you wept over any souls lately? If ever.

 

 

PETER APPLES ILLUSTRATION
I read the story of a man named Peter Apples in Gipsy Smith’s book The Beauty of Jesus. Gipsy Smith told about Peter Apples, a man (during the Civil War) who went into the enemy’s territory. Peter Apples did not know much about being a good soldier. He just knew that when his superior officer said, “Charge!” he was supposed to go. And he was the kind of man who never came back until he made contact with the enemy.
One day his officer said, “Charge!” Peter Apples charged. But they came under such severe fire that the superior officer asked them to retreat, to come back. Peter Apples didn’t hear that, so he kept going. He went across “No-Man’s Land” and finally into the enemy’s territory.
He went down in a ditch where the enemy soldiers were lined up one behind the other, took hold of the first one in the ditch, grabbed him by the nape of the neck, drug him out and started back toward home with him.
The enemy soldiers took aim and started to shoot, but since their own soldier was being dragged behind Peter Apples, they couldn’t fire. About the time they thought they had a shot, their own soldier would get in the way again.
Peter Apples continued to travel with the soldier. Finally he dragged him across “No-Man’s Land” and back into his own territory and dropped him at the feet of his superior officer.
The officer looked at him, took a deep breath, and said, “Where in the world did you get him?”
He answered, “I got him over there in the ditch. There’s plenty of them over there, and all of you could have had one if you had wanted one.”

 

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