Volume. XXIX, No. 37
Sunday, 15 March 2015


From the Pastors Heart: Tired and Weary for the Lords Work?


My mother was a beautiful lady with a beautiful mind.  She was wiser than any women I had known, and I admired her very much.  I was very proud that I had such a mother.  She was a good musician and had a wonderful voice.  She was wise enough to share her insights with all who sought after her opinions.  As far as I remember her, she was a kind hearted person.  At times beggars knocked on our doors, and I remember that some of them were lepers (Hansen’s disease).  I was afraid of them, but she never sent them away without giving them warm food and some money.  If she did not have anything to give, she asked them to wait and quickly cooked rice for them.  She felt it a shame to stay in bed after the sun arose.  The summer time was always a trouble to me, a lazy boy.  She called my name, removed the blanket away from me, and made me get up.  She did not spare me even during the winter season.  She opened the windows to bring cold air into my room to wake me up.  She was a hard working person from morning till night.  Sometimes I asked her why she had to work so hard and did not rest a bit longer.  Her answer was always the same.  There would be an eternal rest, and while she could work, she would work.  Yes, she was tired many a time, but she kept working and working till she was laid down in eternal rest. 

 

I do not know much about your daily routines and work.  I am sure that all of you are hard working people.  What I want to talk about today is not  your personal life but your life in the Lord’s work.  As you are aware, not all professing believers are dedicated to the Lord’s business.  There are onlookers and simple spectators, as we find in any organization.  Thus a major work always falls on a few dedicated people.  As they give themselves to serve the Lord week after week, they also begin to feel tired.  I am wondering if you have ever felt tired while serving the Lord.  I want to be very honest in my talk here.  Have you ever been exhausted while in the Lord’s business?  I know that it is not because of your unwillingness to serve Him.  Feeling exhaustion in this case is  not even a sign of backsliding.  Having said this, can we say that it is normal to feel tired at times, even in the service of the Lord?  Well, that is the point I want to address today.  I can picture  some of your faces in my mind.  You looked tired last week and the weeks before and before and before.  Let me encourage  you a little today. 

 

Jesus made many disciples, which was a sign of His flourishing ministry.  Even the Pharisees heard that His disciples were more in number than the disciples of John the Baptist.  Jesus did not stay in one place but moved from place to place for more preaching and teaching ministries.  On one occasion, he had to go through Samaria.  John  speaks of this trip in a very educational and stunning way in John 4:4, “And He must needs go through Samaria.”  It means that He had to or it was necessary for Him to go through Samaria.  It talks about a divine necessity.  As we know  very well, He met a Samaritan woman there.   Verse 6 says, Now Jacob's well was there.  Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.”  Jesus became weary or tired.  This tiredness came from His physical journey.  We ought to know that there are times when we feel physically tired.  I have experienced it a few times, even recently.  It was the sixth hour, which means about midday.  Jesus must have been hungry, too.  His disciples went to the town to buy some food while Jesus rested His tired body  on the well.   Yes, Jesus was exhausted.  He had  many good reasons for His weariness.  He preached and taught.  He healed the sick.  He had private sessions with his disciples.  They asked Him questions, and He gave them answers.  He went to a mountain to pray through the night.  He woke up early in the morning for prayers.  He had to face challenges from the religious leaders, and He was constantly watched by doubting people.  He did not own a house.  He said that He did not have a place to lay His head .  Even foxes and birds were better off.  He had to travel on long journeys on hot, dry summer days and cold and windy winter days.  He was, yes, very tired. 

 

I have been reading a book, Disciplines of a Godly Man, written by Kent Hughes.  He has made  many good points  that I must emulate to be conformed to.  In particular, he mentions the weariness of  men and women of God in ministry.  He strongly argues that we ought to discipline ourselves to labor for the Lord.  Listen to what he has to say in his book:

 

“It has been said that the world is run by tired men, and it is true, for we daily see that America is run by tired political leaders — and that wars are won by exhausted generals — and that peace is secured by tired diplomats — and that great legislation is accomplished by weary legislators.  The reason for this is that such leaders are willing to put themselves out whenever necessary in order to accomplish their noteworthy tasks.  Likewise, the Christian world is ministered to by tired people.  Eastern Europe is being evangelized by tired missionaries who are making the most of the fleeting day of opportunity.  Show me a great church and I’ll show you some tired people, both up front and behind the scenes, because greatness depends on a core of people who are willing to put out as the situation demands.  Men, we have to understand that we will never do great things for God without the willingness to extend ourselves for the sake of the gospel even when bone-tired . . . . The Apostle Paul had a heart like that:  he says, “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). This apostolic work ethic is a prominent theme with Paul: “ In weariness and painfulness,” he told the Corinthians, “ in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:27).  The fact is, anyone who has ever done anything for God has had a laboring heart — no exceptions.  Luther is said to have worked so hard that he often fell into bed, not even taking time to change his sheets for a whole year!  D. L. Moody’s bedtime prayer on one occasion, as he rolled his bulk into bed, was, ‘Lord, I’m tired! Amen’” (Kindle locations 3883-3896).

 

If your body feels tired and weary while serving the Lord, do not consider it strange.  Think about the Lord’s command for our prayers in Matthew 9:37-38, “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”  The Lord is looking for laborers, not masters.  He is looking for people who serve, not who are served.  The pictures behind these laborers are wide open fields, lots of weeds and bushes, and also grains waiting for harvesting.  They are mainly agricultural workers who have to work hard from morning till night.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.”  We are labourers.  Thus, we may feel tired at the end of the day.  However, we work with God.  We are working for Him.  We are workers.  There was a night when I felt great weariness  and said to the Lord, “I am tired.”  After a toilsome day, Jesus said to His men in John 4:34, “. . . My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”  He kept working.  My weary friends, our eternal rest is on the horizon.  Until then, let us work, work for Him. 

 

Lovingly,

Your pastor


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Leader: Today: Bro John Wong. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Phil Surman.

*2015 Easter Family Bible Camp registration & diet forms are available on the foyer table. Please note: today is the last day for Early Bird registration & payment of fees.

*Next Lord’s Day, fellowship lunch will be  catered.

*Farewell to Bro John & Sis Sally Tan & their daughter, Li-ern, returning to Perth next week.

*Those who are seeking Baptism, Re-Affirmation of Faith or Transfer of Membership AND completed a BBK course, please see Elder Michael Lee ASAP.

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Please refer to hard copy of Lively Hope.

2. Church activities,  in the past week.

3. Visitors & new worshippers.

4. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

5. Voice of Martyrs speakers last week: Mr & Mrs John Wilson & Ministry in Hope.

 Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Please refer to hard copy of Lively Hope.

2. Special Prayer: Rev Edward Paauwe; Bro Tien Lee’s father (Penang); Bro XiHeng Wu (Jinan, China) & Sis Yashu Qin’s father (Wuhan).

3. God’s healing: Sis Wol Hee Kim (recurrence of condition) & her two daughters especially for Dalhee’s recovery from leg fractures from MVA. 

4. iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.

5. Cambodia Missions - Bro John Saray & Ministry (Sihanoukville).

6. New Life BPC (London) - Encouragement for congregation. God’s guidance & provision of a pastor.

7. Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation.

8. Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.

9. Journey mercies: Please refer to hard copy of Lively Hope.

10. Health in pregnancy: Sisters Josephine Wong &  Emily Zheng.

11. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

12. Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.

13. “Voice of Martyrs” - staff, workers, distributors of Bibles & preachers. For God’s protection & guidance in countries of persecution.

14. Persecuted believers in Islamic & communist countries. This week: Egypt & Saudi Arabia.

15. Salvation of Moslems all over the world.

16. Easter Family Bible Camp: Speakers, camp organizers, helpers & participants

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063