We are thinking tonight about Sowing in Tears… Reaping in Joy. The Psalmist declares in Psalm 126.5-6, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Now concerning this matter of sowing of reaping… think with me for a few minutes first about…

(1) The Priority of Sowing and Reaping.

I am not being a pessimist but a realist when I say that the tears of Southern Baptist have all but dried up!

Over 11,000 Southern Baptist Churches baptized zero last year! Another 18,000 baptized five or less. Seventy percent of all Southern Baptist Churches are dead… dying… or have plateaued.

And while our tears have all but dried up… Jesus weeps! There is so little reaping with joy because there is so little sowing in tears!

William Booth … the founder of the Salvation Army… received word from his converts that they were coming home. They said, “We’ve tried everything. We’ve tried preaching on street corners, beating drums, passing our tracts, and nothing works.” William Booth sent them a telegram that said simply, “Try Tears.”

Booth later said, “Some men’s ambition is art, some men’s ambition is fame, some men’s ambition is gold. My ambition is the souls of men.”

Evangelist D.L. Moody… with tears said, “I can go to prison for you, I can go to death for you, but I refuse to go to heaven without you.”

It was the priority and passion of Jesus! Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost! And He did it through tears! As He looked over the lostness of Jerusalem… Luke 19.41, “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it.” We need to see people like Jesus sees them! He saw people in their trespasses and sins! He saw people without hope! He saw people without direction! He saw people without peace!

And He wept!

Sowing in Tears… Reaping in Joy!(1) The Priority of Sowing and Reaping.

(2) The Principle of Sowing and Reaping.

Galatians 6.7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

The Bible teaches this wonderful principle of sowing and reaping. And within this principle are three interwoven chords:

-you always reap what you sow. Apple seeds always reap apples! Orange seeds always reap oranges! Gospel seeds will always reap a harvest of souls! We’ve stopped reaping for only one reason: we’ve stopped sowing!

Today… many of the church-growth gurus have convinced us that people will no longer respond to a home visit. They say that confronting people with the gospel doesn’t work with this generation. That people won’t talk to you. They won’t give you any information. Confrontation evangelism is out.

And we’ve believed them! And as a result… we’ve stopped sowing! I’m glad Mr. White didn’t know all of that. He was dying of cancer. I was given his name and thought he was a church member. So I called him.

He quickly informed me that he wasn’t a church member. I later found out from his son that his father was a lost man. I was told he wasn’t open to the gospel! I was told he didn’t attend a church. I was told that he didn’t care for preachers! So… what did I do? I went to his house!

I sat by his bed and began probing about his soul. Tears began falling down his face. Twenty minutes later… on his bed… he prayed to received Jesus into his life. After we finished praying… He said, “You know what preacher? I’m at peace! I’m different!” And he was! Today he is in heaven!

You always reap what you sow!

-you always reap after you sow!

You will never reap until you sow!

-you always reap more than you sow!

Sowing in Tears… Reaping with Joy!(1) The Priority of Sowing and Reaping.(2) The Principle of Sowing and Reaping.

(3) The Promise of Sowing and Reaping.

Galatians 6.9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Here is a promise for us: “for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Do you know what are tendency is when we lose heart? We go to church growth conferences to hear how others are reaping! Now I know there is a place for conferences to help us and inspire us and equip us.

But we need to spend less time going to conferences about reaping and spend more time in sowing! Going… Weeping… Sowing… Reaping!

“…and in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” God forgive us for growing weary in the work. God forbid we grow weary of the work!

“Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy!”

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About The Author

Dr. Ernest Easley attended Baylor University and Dallas Baptist University and earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Religion. He also earned a Master of Divinity from Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Luther Rice Seminary. Dr. Easley has been very influential in the Southern Baptist Convention, serving in various capacities, including President of the Texas Baptist Pastor's Conference, and two years as the Chairman of the Executive Committee. After 31 years of serving as a Senior Pastor, Dr. Easley retired, then went on to serve as the very first Professor of Evangelism in school history at the Union University in Jackson, TN, and is now the Teaching Pastor/Evangelism at FBC Cleveland, TN. Read Ernest Easley’s sermons on spiritual growth and evangelism to get a different perspective for your sermon preparation.

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