NYC #6 – This Side of Eternity
When Jesus “approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it” (Luke 19:41). He later prayed: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” (John 17:20).
Did his tears and prayers make a difference?
After 3½ years of sacrificial service, one of the Twelve betrayed Jesus. At his crucifixion, Peter denied him. His close disciples abandoned him.
Yet Christ’s tears and prayers were not in vain.
After his resurrection and ascension, in the book of Acts, the church grew from 120 to 3000, and then to 15,000, and then kept right on growing to turn the world upside-down.
Psalm 126:5-6 says, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
Jesus, God who “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14), his eyes once darkened with tears, removes spiritual blindness and enlightens people with truth.
His mission “to seek and to save the lost” was fulfilled (Luke 19:10), and is still being fulfilled through us.
Though God may let us enjoy some results of what we have done for Christ and his kingdom, like Jesus before his death, we will never know the full impact of our lives this side of eternity.
We work hard. We pray. We serve. We cry. We pour ourselves out. We get tired. We wonder if it’s all worth it. Are we really making a difference in our families, on our jobs, in our city?
We might echo the disillusionment of Dilbert in the comic strip: “I don’t think I’ll ever forget what it feels like to sit in a cubicle, and realize you’ve been there for eight hours . . . and everything you did today will become unimportant in the next reorganization.”
Consider God’s viewpoint. “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).
Reformer John Calvin wrote, “Let us not cease to do the utmost, that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord. And let us not despair because of the smallness of our accomplishments.”
Paul added: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
~ Pastor Dave