Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2012 | John Bayles | Go Into All The World: Looking for Showers, Content with Raindrops (Psalms 126:1-6)

Can you recall those first days of your spiritual birth; those moments and days when your heart was awakened by Jesus? The Word was alive and near, worship was thrilling, prayer was like breathing. Do you sometimes look back to some former day and say, "I so deeply long to return to those days!" Or, "Lord bring those days again!" This is the cry of the psalmist and the congregation of saints who neared Jerusalem each year and sang the Songs of Zion (the Psalms of Ascent). Today's text reaches into the depths of our longing to experience again or anew the times of refreshing. As the text states, "Then was our mouth filled with laughter and our tongues with singing." And in response to these emotions the cry continues, "Turn again our captivity, O Lord."

Certainly the Lord could bring them and us again into that beautiful state of spiritual bliss, but the text turns to a more recognizable model of normal spiritual life. It is the place of sowing, watering, weeding, and finally harvesting that the Lord has provided as a means of spiritual maintenance. And these take patience and hope. Looking back will only take our eyes off the hope of the harvest and distract us from the work of the ministry. Yet, through faithful labor we too will know the response of the effort. "He that goeth forth and weapeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again rejoicing, bearing sheaves with him." This is the secret of the Kingdom of God. It is not the sudden rush of the rain shower that most effectively waters the ground, but the steady falling of raindrops over time.

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January 1, 2012 | John Bayles | Go Into All The World: Looking for Showers, Content with Raindrops (Psalms 126:1-6)


  1. A hard lesson to actually apply, but being "steady" is definitely the key. Great sermon!

    1. It is amazing how often we measure how effective something is by the speed in which it gets accomplished. It is equally surprising how few examples we have of this expectation. If we look at the material universe, there is almost nothing that happens fast: seasons, plant development, time passing, physical growth, learning – all these definitely take place, but over time and at a snail's pace. I think the application of this Psalm drives us to include God workings in us and the steady advance of His kingdom. Often if we get too much success to fast, like conversion and church growth, it does not last very long and sometimes is more broad than deep. I’m very taken by the statistic that the most productive working years for the average male in the US, are between the ages of 45 and 65. Yet we think that all our financial expectation must be met rapidly or we are a failure. As the text states, the rush of the Negev streams in the rainy season do not compare to God's steady supply for our lives over time. His resources come in His timing, at His pace, and according to His good pleasure. “I have been young and I have been old” the Psalmist also said, “but I have never seen the righteous forsake, nor his children begging bread.” God’s plan is for us to reach the finish line successfully, however, the sprinter will not reach the finish line of a marathon at all!