Friday, July 1, 2022

Welcome

July 2022 is now posted.


We will be posting the Glorious Gospel articles individually below. A PDF file (large print) can be downloaded under the Archives tab and printed if desired, as well as past editions.

There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.

 The Glorious Gospel

Continued


Jack Davis


The Glorious Church

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” Eph. 5:25-27.


This “church glorious” points us to the ultimate product of His love and the working of His power. Strong’s concordance gives synonyms for the word translated “glorious” here as splendid, gorgeous, and honorable. This speaks of those that greatly appreciate our dear Lord’s giving, are most receptive to and fully reciprocate His love. Those made kings and priests unto God, and shall reign with Him, are set apart by the cleansing, cleansed by the washing of water by the word. Those Old Testament priests prepared for entering the holiest by washing at the laver. That laver seemed to be both look  glass and wash basin. See Ex. 30:18 & 38:8; II Cor. 3:18.


The Holy Spirit does this work in us today, by the Word. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, They are spirit, and they are life” John 6:63. “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” John 15:3. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” John. 17:17.


The gracious work that our dear Lord is presently doing in the church is preparation for a glorious presentation. This is a viable for every believer, but not all will submit to Him for its completion. The individual in whom this work is being done is part of a minority. Out of Adam’s body God took a rib, and of that rib, God prepared for him a wife – Gen. 2. Adam was a type of Him that was to come (Rom. 5:14), even Jesus Christ, the last Adam – I Cor. 15:45.


Our Apostle Paul also ministered to this end, for the presentation of a chaste virgin to Christ – II Cor. 11:3 & Col. 1:28-29. Oh, who will accept love’s sweetest engagement for that most glorious union? Will you go? Rom. 7:4. That company of believers to be presented unto Him, and by His side as His workmanship will be all glorious within, inwrought gold – Psalms 45:9-15.


“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” I Thess. 5:23-24.


“And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable the unproveable in his sight: If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” Col. 1:21-23.


The distance is immeasurable between what we were by nature, and what He has in mind for us. The same is true with all we could accomplish in ourselves. Our part is to present our bodies a living sacrifice, Let, yield, permit submit!!


We must continue in living by complete confidence in the Lord, and stay steadfastly with the hope of the gospel. We do well to remain in absolute dependance upon Him. Let us be expecting, desiring, earnestly requiring of Him, to perform all that His wonderful word has promised. We are to allow the development of the life of Christ in us, which is indeed our hope of glory. We see yet many spots and wrinkles, and weeds in our gardens. We know purging and purifying needs to be done, and we are prone to cry, “Hurry up Lord!” He is more than able and dependable to get it all done on time, as we commit and submit entirely unto Him. “Mold me and make me after thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still.”


The Glorious Appearing

The grace of God is teaching us how to live, and to be “Looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” We expect be to ready for that meeting in the air – Titus 2:11-13. Then will we fully see Him as He shines forth, manifesting His dignity, honor, and worthiness of all praise and worship. He has provided that we appear with Him in glory – Col. 3:1-2. The full overcomer’s place with Him will be made plain publicly, openly evident. It behooves us to set our affections on things above, if we haven’t already. LOVING HIS APPEARING! Letting love’s longing for His return motivate our living! No time to waste!


A Glorious Body

“Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be ye followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself’ – Phil. 3:16-21.


Looking intently for our Lord’s return transforms our thinking, daily adjusts our focus for living. As we have beheld our dear Lord in His precious Word, He has been changing us from glory to glory inwardly, from one degree of glory to another. We are being marvelously transformed as He is subduing in us all things unto Himself. But soon we are to reflect, radiate outwardly His glory in differing measures. “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead” I Cor. 15:41-42.


He is coming soon to be glorified in His saints, and we in Him. Is not this at least in part the essence of the gospel of the glory? It is Scripturally evident that Jesus is and always will be the brightest light in our Father’s universe. AMEN.

 Worth Worrying?


Gordon Crook, Pastor
Grace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas


Jesus asks a lot of questions during His earthly ministry. Most of them are rhetorical questions to make a point of something important. This is a good method to help people consider your point and to remember it.


In Matthew 6:27, Jesus asks, “And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life?” He is teaching us to trust in our Heavenly Father, and in verses 25 through 34, we find Him demonstrating the Father’s care by comparing us to the birds and to flowers. 


We, as human beings, have a tendency to worry about all sorts of things in our lives. The meaning of the word used by Jesus is “to be anxious.” Anxiety often leads us to act in irrational ways. Worrying about something never changes anything. In fact, it can even make us sick. You might have heard someone say they were “worried sick.”


Jesus wanted us to know that our Heavenly Father cares about us and sees our every need, and He will supply our needs. This is not an encouragement to sit around and do nothing, so God can drop everything in our lap, but to know that God does supply. We need not need to worry about our own effort.


This was not something new the Jesus brought to them (and us), we find this theme throughout the Old Testament. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalms 55:22. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalms 56:3. “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4.


God did not just start caring about His children when Jesus came to the earth, He has always cared about His children. Even the very place we live is evidence of God’s care. The amazing detail of what is required for us to live on this earth is far beyond some random happening. The distance of the earth from the sun, the size of the earth, the exact composition of our atmosphere, and on and on with the details required for us to survive. God provided that, and He sustains it. “Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding (sustaining) all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” Hebrews 1:3.


It seems very apparent that God wants us to trust Him for all our needs. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6. Sometimes I think we believe that we should go to God for our really difficult needs that we cannot figure out ourselves. However, scripture is clear about taking everything to Him. 


This also means that we should recognize that everything comes from God lest we get to thinking that somehow we are responsible for all we have. Our culture today wants us to think that we have worked hard for all we have, and as such, it belongs to us. This also means that we will tend to worry about it all. When we recognize that all we have comes from God, we also realize that we can rest in knowing that He provides what we need.


We can also be anxious about how much we are accomplishing in this world. Martha was quite busy to show how good a hostess she was. Mary realized that there was something better. It’s not that Martha was wrong for wanting to work hard to provide for Jesus in her house, but being too anxious about that caused her to miss out on the best. 


“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

       

We need to learn to cast all of our care on Jesus. Not because we are lazy or don’t want to take care of our own needs, but because He has told us to. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.


I go to work every day, and do my best effort at work, but I trust the Lord to provide for me. The fact that I have never been laid off is not based on my amazing work and intelligence, but rather that God has provided for me all of these years. 


Truly trusting our Father requires that we dispense with the idea that we are sufficient for ourselves. It can be easy to say that we trust God, and when things are going great, even easier. However, we need to be willing to trust God for every part of our life and every circumstance, even if they are not as we want them to be.


Job gives us an understanding of true trust in God. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15. We certainly prefer to trust that God will prosper us (lots of prosperity gospel being preached out there), but God may choose to take us through some difficult times in our life to bring about the change that He wants to work in us. Can you make the same statement as Job in your life? 

 PEACE IN THE DAY OF CHAOS


Anita Clark – Pastor
Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas



“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come... And from Jesus Christ...” Revelation 1:1-2.


When it became the time for Jesus Christ to give His life for the sinful world, He said in John 14:27, “Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The word “peace” in the Gk. means, “quietness and rest.” He has given us peace, our part is to appropriate it, letting God’s peace be manifest in our daily lives. 


The condition of the United States and the World as a whole is very unpeaceful. In the Old Testament writings about the condition of Israel in II Chronicles 15:5, it states, “And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations upon all the inhabitants of the country. And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city, for God did vex them with adversity. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” What a precious promise!


The world has been going through terrible problems. The Corona Virus has really taken it’s toll upon humanity, especially in foreign countries where there are many who live in poverty. Statistics show that in countries all over the world 6,344,239 have died from the Covid virus. The virus is just one problem that we have been experiencing. The war in Ukraine has affected many nations. The U.S.A. is furnishing many weapons and other supplies, which causes us to wonder - How long can this go on? The problems with the prices at the gas pumps, the increase of food costs, and many other conditions have arisen all over the world. Many people are out of work, and some begging for help, and many being evicted from their homes. These are just a few of the conditions around the world in this day we live in. I say unto you, We are living in the last days. Jesus Christ will come very soon. The tribulation is almost upon us.


I Peter 1:6-8 states, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein we greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trying of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Paul says in Ephesians 2:14, “For He is our peace.” The word “Peace” means “our rest and quietness.”

 

The word Peace has three different ways seen in the Word of God.. First there is “Peace with God.” “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The word “justified” in the original Greek means “to render or show or regard as just and innocent.” We were sinners before we came to know Jesus as our Savior. God has made us righteous. We were cleansed because Jesus bore our sins and died for us, and as we accept that, God gives us a wonderful standing. Colossians 1:21 says, “And you who were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind, by wicked works yet now, hath He reconciled.” When we become the children of God, we are given profound PEACE.


The next part is THE PEACE OF GOD. This is what God wants to work in us. This PEACE settles our minds. Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye shall have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” The word “overcome” means “to conquer, prevail and get the victory.” The meaning of the word “peace” in the Greek language means -”quietness, and rest.” As we go on with Christ, yielding to Him, we are continually getting victory over all things that would cause us to lose rewards with Him. Trials are hard. None of us enjoy going through tough times, but we seek the Lord and He gives us peace. How precious!


Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee. Trust in the LORD for ever; for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” As far as our salvation, we should be assured that we are saved and going to heaven. Jesus made the peace at the cross. Satan will try to trip us up, but we are victorious in Christ Jesus. 


HOW DO I GET THAT PEACE? First of all, Jesus is called “The Prince of Peace” in Isaiah 9:6. Also, we can pray for peace to come into our lives. It helps to read the Word of God often, and believe that God hears our prayers and loves us so much.


HOW DO WE KEEP ON FEELING THAT PEACE? The answer: God’s Word. Reading the Word gives us assurance and peace. Also, attending the meetings to have fellowship with other Christian believers is important. Hebrews 10:25 admonishes us: “Not forsaking of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another, and so much the more as we see the day approaching.”


In II Corinthians 13:11 Apostle Paul says, “Finally, brethren, farewell, be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” To “be perfect” in one translation says, “Be made complete,” while the words “live in peace, “are interpreted “ enjoy the spiritual well being experienced by believers who walk closely with God.” “Now the God of Peace be with you all. Amen.”

 Prophecy


Earlene Davis


Personal Lessons in Christ’s letters to the seven Churches – Rev. 2 & 3.


We learn from the Church’s failures and from their  victories and their rewards. We could say, the whole of what Paul’s gospel teaches is brought out. Paul, the Apostle to the Church wrote especially to the Church. In his epistles we learn of a high calling of God in Christ Jesus to which the individual overcomer can attain. Just like these churches had to overcome; there were things they had to suffer. All overcomers we read of in the Bible had to suffer. But many believers judged the way as too hard. The flesh does not want to suffer. II Tim. 2:12, “If we suffer with Him we shall reign with Him.”


When we are first saved, we begin like the Church of Ephesus. We receive the Word of God and go on and are filled with the Holy Spirit (Rev. 2:2-3). As God reveals the Word to our hearts we learn what place we are called to and that we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ. That we are not of this world and we can depend on Christ as our head.  We read all these things in the Epistle to the Ephesians. We love Christ preeminently and as we take in His Word and yield to the Holy Spirit, our love grows. That is the way God intended. You know, if you love someone, you want to please them.

 

There is a danger of failing and it begins with the warning of our devotedness to Christ. We let go of reading God’s Word and cease to pray as much. We let other things intrude on our fellowship with the Lord. The things of the world begin to take over. Many times it may not be evil things, but any thing we put first – material goods, pleasures or just the cares of this life, etc. Rev. 2:4-5, “thou hast left they first love” for Christ…”remember from whence thou art fallen.”


Just as the saints in Ephesus had to overcome that tendency, so do we. We have pressures from within (our flesh) and from outside (the world) and from Satan. But “greater is he that is in you, then he that is in the world” – I Jn. 4:4. 


If we abandon our first love for Christ and do not repent, the next step is dwelling where Satan’s seat is (Pergamos) and that is in the world – Rev. 2:13. Satan is the god of this world, II Cor. 4:4. Seeking the pleasures and fellowship of the world is dwelling where Satan’s seat or throne is.


Jesus prayed for us in Jn. 17:15-17, we are in the world, but not of it. If we live in harmony with the world, we are letting Satan gain a victory. He enjoys nothing more than defeating a Christian, especially one that had been overcoming. Satan makes everything easy for the believer who starts going the way of the world. Gal. 6:8, “he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”


This may not be in what you think of as a worldly sense, it might be in a religious sense. Satan works on our minds so we will start to think that Paul’s way is too narrow and so unbending. We are tempted to get into religious activity that is much more popular. This is how the Christian can go down until his spiritual life is diminished.


What is the remedy? Overcoming, letting the life of Christ rule in our life. The Lord allows temptations, trials and battles for us to learn and grow. Every time we overcome, we become stronger spiritually. The Lord is very much aware of our lives. We read over and over again, in fact seven times in His letters, “I know thy works.” He knows our down sitting and our uprising - Ps. 139:1-4. He knows the thoughts and intents of our heart. Because God is not a respecter of persons, those who overcome will receive the greatest reward. 


It is God’s purpose that everyone overcome and receive a full reward, but not everyone will. So there are different rewards. The promise reward to Ephesus, “to eat of the Tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God,” Rev. 2:7. Adam and Eve had a right to eat of the tree of life, but they chose the forbidden tree. Their fellowship with God was spoiled. The overcomers can eat of the Tree of life, which is Christ, Rev. 22:2.


One of the ways to stay in fellowship with the Lord is to feed on Christ by reading the Word of God. He is the living Word, Jn. 1:1,14. When we feed on the word, we are feeding on Christ. Jesus said in Jn 6:63, “My words are spirit and they are life.”


This reward to Ephesus overcomers means fellowship with Christ and with God. We will read more concerning the overcomers of the Ephesus condition in the next issue, the letter to Smyrna.

 JONAH


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor, Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri


Jonah 3:6 “For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.” 


In Jonah 3:6-9 we see another response to Jonah’s prophecy, it is the King’s response and it is the same response as the response as the people.  In this verse we see the Word Heard, the Word Received and the Word Believed.


The Word Heard: “For word came unto the king of Nineveh,”. I do not know how he heard Jonah’s message, only that he heard it.  It may have been through the overwhelming reaction of the people. He could have heard the news of their proclamations and fasts. He could have seen those things, people in deep mourning, that could not be hidden. He could have heard Jonah speak personally, we do not know. However he heard the message, when he heard it, he reacted and he responded by doing something. I believe this statement that the “word came unto the king of Nineveh” is so revealing. That Word of Judgment came unto him because he was just as guilty as the people, it was just as much for him as it was for the people and he knew it.  The “word that came unto” him could have been two-fold, the word about the messenger (Jonah) and the word about the message (Judgment). One translation reads: “For the word came to the king of Nineveh [of all that had happened to Jonah, and his terrifying message from God]” (Amplified Bible). The Lord could have used the testimony of Jonah’s experience to add to Jonah’s authority as a prophet.


The phrase “came unto” has several different meanings and each meaning can show different stages of conviction and I believe there was a conviction on the part of the king just as there was with the people. The meanings are “to touch, reach, strike and smite.”  Can you not see how each shows a greater level of persuasion and force? First there is a “touch,” that almost seems gentle, an awareness, a way to catch someone’s attention. Second, it goes a little further, it means “to reach.” The message reaches the heart, it cannot be ignored. Third, it means “to strike,” that is like a slap that would further get your attention, you would feel a little pain.  Fourth, it means “to smite” and that is the harshest of all because the pain could not be ignored and would have a lasting effect.  These are not just different stages of conviction, but if the conviction is ignored, they can also show levels of judgment.


And who did this word come unto? It came unto the king of Nineveh. As the king, he is a visible sign of the power and authority of Nineveh.  He is the ruler. He is the is the head. He is a symbol of the people in their attitude and their actions. Isaiah, when writing about the spiritual condition of the people of God pointed out that sin begins with the leaders, who are the head and it spreads and affects the people, the whole body.  “For …the whole head is sick … from the sole of the foot even to unto the head there is no soundness…” (Isa.5-6).  Sin spreads, and the people follow the examples of their leaders, the leaders have a responsibility and are responsible. The name of this king is not given and the Lord does not tell us but commentators and historians speculate on two possible kings. I will mention two, only because there are certain events pertaining to both that show how the Lord uses circumstances to persuade people. Adad-nirari III and his son Ashur-dan III are two kings that may be possible candidates.  


Adad-nirari III.  According to history for some reason he chose to worship one god, Nabu (Nebo), the Assyrian god of wisdom, learning, and prophecy. It was a religious revolution that historians compare to the religious revolution in Egypt when Pharaoh Akhenaten chose to worship one single god Aton, the sun god.  In both cases there was a monotheistic revelation and, in both cases,  it was short-lived. It was short-lived because the priests of all other gods were threatened. But, the sudden change to worshiping only one god is never explained. If it occurred before Jonah’s visit, it may have been one reason why he reacted the way he did and God showed mercy. If it occurred after Jonah’s visit, it may explain why he made such a radical change in setting aside all the other gods and chose a god of wisdom, learning and prophecy.  


Ashur-dan III was the son of the king that started the religious revolution.  His brother reigned before him but during his reign, according to history, Assyria was hit by a plague and later there was a revolt that broke out and after that there was another plague. The Lord could have used all of those events to prepare the people and king for Jonah’s message. The Lord chooses not to give the name of the king, these two men are only possibilities but these two examples show how the circumstances during their reign could have been used the by Lord to prepare hearts for the message of judgment.


The Word Received: “and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him,”.  The king did not simply react to what the people did, but to what Jonah said.  The king will first react and the he will act.  He stood up: “and he arose from his throne.”  He put off: “and laid his robe from him.” He put on: “and covered him with sackcloth.”  He sat down: “and sat in ashes.” He did not ignore the message of Jonah and Judgment, he reacted to it. He did not hesitate, he was willing to step down from his seat of authority. He was willing to strip himself of his garments of royalty.


The Word Believed: “and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.”  He put on: “and covered him with sackcloth.” He put on garments of sorrow and mourning just as his people were doing. He followed their example.  He sat down: “and sat in ashes.” He went one step further than the people did, he sat on the ground in the ashes and the dirt. He did this for all to see. He went from the highest place to the lowest place. He humbled himself before God and before man. He did this publicly and not privately. He stepped down from a place of honor to a place of humiliation. This is a picture of the submission of the kings in the last days (Psa.2:11-12). This is a picture of how the humble receive grace and when that grace is received the Lord says “he giveth more grace,” that He “giveth grace to the humble” (Jam.4:6).  What a powerful testimony of the Word of God!

 God’s Timing and Purposes – Ecc. 3:1-8


Part 7


Pastor Vicky Moots
Kingman, Kansas


Ecc. 3:4: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”  When I first read these two phrases, I thought they were pretty much saying the same thing in a different way.  But they are actually different, because you can weep without mourning, and you can laugh without dancing.  To “weep” means to “manifest strong emotion by crying, or shedding tears.”  We cry in pain or in sorrow, and sometimes we cry with joy, but tears are necessary for weeping.  God gave us tears to moisturize our eyes and to cleanse them, but weeping also cleanses the soul.

When is it a time to weep? We are to weep not only for our own sorrow, but also along with others who are weeping, to share in their sorrow or their pain, as Paul commands us in Rom. 12:15, “…weep with them that weep.”  By weeping with them we are entering into their feelings and showing compassion.

In John 11:33 we read the account of Jesus’ emotions regarding the death of His good friend Lazarus: “When Jesus therefore saw her [Mary, the sister of Lazarus] weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.”  Then in v. 35 we read, “Jesus wept.”

Jesus was not only weeping because he loved Lazarus but because of the sorrow that others were experiencing.  He was weeping with those that wept, even though He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.  In addition, he could have been weeping because of their unbelief.

After He miraculously brought Lazarus out of the grave, their tears were turned to tears of joy and laughter. Rom. 12:15 also tells us that we are to “Rejoice with them that do rejoice…”  I’m sure that Jesus likewise joined in their laughter and rejoicing.  He had previously spoken to His disciples in Luke 6:21: “…Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.”  Because of the hope that we now have in the resurrection, there will one day also be a time of laughter in place of our present time of weeping, when we again see our loved one’s faces.

Another time that we should weep is when we cry tears of repentance.  Luke gives us an example of this in Luke 7:36-50 when he relates the story of a woman in the city “which was a sinner” who came to the Pharisee’s house where Jesus was eating.  Verse 38 tells us that she “stood at his feet weeping and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head…”

Can you imagine how many tears it would actually take to wash someone’s feet? She was truly pouring out her soul at Jesus’ feet.  As she wept and washed the dirt of the earth away from Jesus’ dusty, tired feet, He in turn, washed the dirt from her tired, sinful soul as He said to her in v. 48, “…Thy sins are forgiven,” and in v. 50, “…Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

Even after we are saved, there will likely be times in our lives that we need to weep at the feet of Jesus, to repent of our wrong attitudes or actions toward others or toward God, just as Peter did after he cursed and denied Jesus at the time of the crucifixion.  We read in Luke 22:62 that after Peter heard the cock crow, he remembered the words of Jesus and “…went out and wept bitterly.”  He also poured out his soul, and Jesus forgave him.

We don’t find many tear-stained altars in churches today.  Neither sinners nor Christians seem to be spending much time weeping.  It seems as though the tears have dried up due to spiritual dehydration, from a lack of the Living Water, a lack of hearing the Words of Jesus.

I believe that today is the time for weeping, a time for soul searching, tears of repentance, weeping for ourselves and others; for then will come the time for laughter.  David declared in Ps. 126:5-6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

The Apostle Paul was a good example of this.  He told the elders of the church at Ephesus, in Acts 20:19, that he had been “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears…” And in v. 24 he said, “…neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I may finish my course with joy…”  The tears came before the joy and the laughter.  He sowed the seeds of the gospel, not only with his words, but with his life, and watered it with his tears so that it would produce fruit for rejoicing.  God will likewise use our tears to make us fruitful.

We may go through some dark times of trials and weeping, but the morning will come, as David stated in Ps. 30:5, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  The night doesn’t last forever, and neither do our tears.

David also described our times of weeping poetically in Ps. 84:5-6 when he said, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee…Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well…”  “Baca” means “weeping.”  It is not a literal valley, but refers to any place of tears.  It is a valley that we may have to pass through many times in our lives, but God can collect all those tears and turn them into a well of refreshing and cleansing, if we give them to Him.

We can also choose to intentionally go through the valley of Baca, as Paul did when he said in Phil. 3:10, “That I may know him [Christ]…and the fellowship of his sufferings…”  He chose to enter into, to fellowship and share, the emotional suffering of Jesus, and was also willing to suffer physically for Him as he preached the gospel.  Why? For the joy that was set before him, just as he said regarding Jesus in Heb. 12:2, “…who [Jesus] for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…”  Paul looked forward to the joy of reigning with Christ as His bride.  But the cross and the time of weeping and suffering come before the crown.

But one day the time of weeping will be over.  There will be no more need for tears, as we read in Rev. 21:4: “…and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain…”

Hallelujah! What a day of laughter and rejoicing that will be!