Study 10 A PROMISE TO CHRISTIAN WORKERS
(Scripture Portion: Psalm 126)
The last two verses of this psalm are the key-verses of this study, and the last two phrases in particular are wonderfully prophetic, in a three-fold sense. First, they are prophetic of Israel’s history. The words have already received a large measure of fulfilment, and today the Jews everywhere are passing through the time of tears and weeping. Soon their time of weeping will pass and they will “return with songs of joy”. Second, they are prophetic of our Lord’s ministry. Meditate on the separate phrases in verse 6, and compare the following: Psalm 40:7; Luke 9:51; 19:41; John 11:25 and Hebrews 5:7; John 12:24; 14:3; Jude 14. Third, these words are prophetic, or descriptive of Christian workers. There is a three-fold contrast: (1) going out and coming in again; (2) weeping and rejoicing; (3) carrying seed and carrying sheaves. Let us look at the description of the Christian worker in verse 6.
1. The Christian Worker is one who GOES OUT
In Mark 16:15, we read the Great Commission that is binding upon every Christian.
- 1. Note the word “GOES”. This implies activity, movement. The important part of Christian service is the actual doing of it. This was the secret of the marvellous success that attended the labours of the apostles - “they went out… ” (Mark 16:20). Are you “going” (Matthew 28:19)?
- 2. Note the word “OUT”. This implies leaving one place and going to another. It could mean leaving home and going abroad. It certainly means that if we are to be used of the Lord we must go where He sends us, to where lost sinners are waiting to be saved – and many of them are waiting! We need to be stirred out of the rut of ease, selfishness and complacency, to go out in the name of the Lord. Are you going out to save souls - Acts 8:4?
2. The Christian Worker needs to have a PASSION FOR SOULS
“He who goes out weeping …” It is not enough to go - we must have compassion for the souls of men; to be imbued with this heavenly concern for the lost; and once we are really concerned our tears will flow . If we would labour in prayer, we should soon have the joy of bringing forth children and seeing people born into God’s family – look up Matthew 9:36, and compare Jeremiah 9:1; Acts 20:19. When did we last weep over a poor lost soul? On one occasion General Booth received a message from one of his officers saying that the work was so hard that he could make no progress. The General replied with a telegram - “Try tears!” Perhaps that is the Lord’s message to you? Look up Galatians 4:19.
3. The Christian Worker is one who SOWS SEED
All true Christian service consists of seed sowing – taking a Sunday School class, distributing tracts, preaching, visiting the sick, letter-writing …Look up Luke 8:11 and see what the seed is.
- 1. This seed is precious (Psalm 126:6 (KJV); 2 Peter 1:4). There is none like it; it is life-giving (John 6:63).
- 2. This seed is powerful (Romans 1:16; Hebrews 4:12). It can turn sinners into saints (Psalm 19:7).
- 3. This seed is productive (Daniel 12:3). It brings forth an eternal harvest.
But the seed must be sown! Seed in the basket will never produce a harvest. It is not the truth we know but the truth we sow that bears fruit - and we shall reap what we sow! Sow wheat, and there will be a harvest of wheat; sow truth, and there will be a glorious harvest; sow error, and there will be a harvest of shame - look up Galatians 6:7.
4. The Christian Worker has A GREAT ASSURANCE
He knows that “he will return with songs of joy”. There may be much toil and many tears now, but the harvest is assured. There are two victory promises in which the Christian Worker can rejoice - look them up in Isaiah 55:11 and 1 Corinthians 15:58 - and look up Galatians 6:9 also!
5. The Christian Worker will know the JOY OF HARVEST
Look at verses 5 and 6 - “songs of joy”, and compare Luke 15, verses 5-6, 9-10 and 22-24. There is joy to be experienced by the soul-winner now (see John 4:36), and there will be great joy in that day when we are all gathered into the presence of the Lord (Matthew 25:21). Is there any joy like the joy of winning a soul to Christ? And if the joy is great now, what will it be then, when we see those whom we have won in the presence of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 2:19)?
6. The successful Christian Worker will NOT BE EMPTY-HANDED in the day of harvest.
The successful worker will bring his sheaves with him! How very sad to be unsuccessful, to go to Heaven without ever having tried to sow or reap – empty-handed!