Categories
Brokenness Character Devotional Formation

A Godly Man Is a Man That Weeps

I came across this excerpt from “The Godly Man’s Picture” by the puritan preacher and author Thomas Watson. This is an amazing analysis of how a man that weeps is godly, so I thought I would share it with you since we live in a society that deems a weeping man as inherently weak.

The saying, “real men don’t cry” is not entirely true. A man that finds in his soul a space for weeping is a man whose soul is filled with grace. It would be wise to say that not every type of weeping is the same though. Some weeping stems from a root of evilness and self-inflicted issues, which are good things to weep about, of course! But other types of weeping stems from the root of grace, the sheer fact that God’s glorious and majestic love is overwhelming, should bring us to our tears.

Enough said… I’ll just let Thomas Watson gift you with his insight into the subject. Take your time, read on, and let the beauty of this message uplift you:


A Godly Man Weeps

(from Thomas Watson’s “The Godly Man’s Picture“)

David sometimes sang with his harp; and sometimes the organ of his eye wept: “I water my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6). Christ calls his spouse his “dove” (Song 2:14). The dove is a weeping creature. Grace dissolves and liquefies the soul, causing a spiritual thaw. The sorrow of the heart, runs out at the eye (Psalm 31:9).

The Rabbis report that the same night on which Israel departed from Egypt towards Canaan, all the idols of Egypt were broken down by lightning and earthquake. Just so, at that very time at which men go forth from their natural condition towards heaven, all the idols of sin in the heart must be broken down by repentance! A melting heart is the chief branch of the covenant of grace (Ezek. 36:26), and the product of the Spirit: “I will pour upon the house of David the spirit of grace, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him” (Zech. 12:10).

Question: But why is a godly man a weeper? Is not sin pardoned, which is the ground of joy? Has he not had a transforming work upon his heart? Why, then, does he weep?

Answer: A godly man finds enough reasons for weeping:

  1. He weeps for indwelling sin, the law in his members (Romans 7:23), the outbursts and first risings of sin. His nature is a poisoned fountain. A regenerate person grieves that he carries with him, that which is enmity to God! His heart is like a wide sea in which there are innumerable creeping things (Psalm 104:25)—vain, sinful thoughts. A child of God laments hidden wickedness; he has more evil in him than he knows of. There are those windings in his heart which he cannot trace—an unknown world of sin. “Who can understand his errors?” (Psalm 19:12).
  2. A godly man weeps for clinging corruption. If he could get rid of sin, there would be some comfort—but he cannot shake off this viper! Sin cleaves to him like leprosy! Though a child of God forsakes his sin—yet sin will not forsake him. “Concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season” (Dan. 7:12). So though the dominion of sin is taken away—yet its life is prolonged for a season; and while sin lives, it molests! The Persians were daily enemies to the Romans and would always be invading their frontiers. So sin “wars against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:11). And there is no cessation of war—until death. Will not this cause tears?
  3. A child of God weeps that he is sometimes overcome by the prevalence of corruption. “For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.” (Romans 7:19). Paul was like a man carried downstream. How often a saint is overpowered by pride and passion! When David had sinned, he steeped his soul in the brinish tears of repentance. It cannot but grieve a regenerate person to think he should be so foolish as, after he has felt the smart of sin—still to put this fire in his bosom again!
  4. A godly heart grieves that he can be no more holy. It troubles him that he shoots so short of the rule and standard which God has set. “I would”, says he, “love the Lord with all my heart. But how defective my love is! How far short I come of what I should be; no, of what I might have been! What can I see in my life—but either blanks or blots?”
  5. A godly man sometimes weeps out of the sense of God’s love. Gold is the finest and most solid of all the metals—yet it is soonest melted in the fire. Gracious hearts, which are golden hearts, are the soonest melted into tears by the fire of God’s love. I once knew a holy man, who was walking in his garden and shedding plenty of tears, when a friend came on him accidentally and asked him why he wept. He broke forth into this pathetic expression: “Oh, the love of Christ! Oh, the love of Christ!” Thus have we seen the cloud melted into water, by the sunbeams.
  6. A godly person weeps because the sins he commits are in some sense worse than the sins of other men. The sin of a justified person is very odious:
    1. The sin of a justified person is odious—because he acts contrary to his own principles. He sins not only against the rule—but against his principles, against his knowledge, vows, prayers, hopes, experiences. He knows how dearly sin will cost him—yet he adventures upon the forbidden fruit!
    2. The sin of a justified person is odious, because it is a sin of unkindness (1 Kings 11:9). Peter’s denying of Christ was a sin against love. Christ had enrolled him among the apostles. He had taken him up into the Mount of Transfiguration and shown him the glory of heaven in a vision. Yet after all this dazzling mercy—it was base ingratitude, that he should deny Christ! This made him go out and “weep bitterly” (Matt. 26:75). He baptized himself, as it were, in his own tears! The sins of the godly go nearest to God’s heart. The sins of others anger God; the sins of the godly grieve him! The sins of the wicked pierce Christ’s side! The sins of the godly wound his heart! The unkindness of a spouse, goes nearest to the heart of her husband.
    3. The sin of a justified person is odious, because it reflects more dishonor upon God. “By this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme” (2 Sam. 12:14). The sins of God’s people put black spots on the face of piety. Thus we see what cause there is why a child of God should weep even after conversion. “Can whoever sows such things refrain from tears?”

Now this sorrow of a godly man for sin, is not a despairing sorrow. He does not mourn without hope. “Iniquities prevail against me” (Psalm 65:3)—there is the holy soul weeping. “As for our transgressions, you shall purge them away”—there is faith triumphing.

Godly sorrow is excellent. There is as much difference between the sorrow of a godly man, and the sorrow of a wicked man—as between the water of a spring which is clear and sweet, and the water of the sea which is salt and brackish. A godly man’s sorrow has these three qualifications:

  1. Godly sorrow is INWARD. It is a sorrow of soul. Hypocrites “disfigure their faces” (Matt. 6:16). Godly sorrow goes deep. It is a “pricking at the heart” (Acts 2:37). True sorrow is a spiritual martyrdom, therefore called “soul affliction” (Lev. 23:29).
  2. Godly sorrow is SINCERE. It is more for the evil that is in sin—than the evil which follows after sin. It is more for the spot—than the sting. Hypocrites weep for sin only as it brings affliction. Hypocrites never send forth the streams of their tears, except when God’s judgments are approaching.
  3. Godly sorrow is INFLUENTIAL. It makes the heart better: “by the sadness of the countenance, the heart is made better” (Eccles. 7:3). Divine tears not only wet—but wash; they purge out the love of sin!

Use 1. How far from being godly are those who scarcely ever shed a tear for sin! If they lose a near relation—they weep. But though they are in danger of losing God and their souls—they do not weep. How few know what it is to be in an agony for sin, or what a broken heart means! Their eyes are not like the “fishpools in Heshbon”, full of water (Song 7:4)—but rather like the mountains of Gilboa, which had “no dew” upon them (2 Sam. 1:21). It was a greater plague for Pharaoh to have his heart turned into stone—than to have his rivers turned into blood.

The wicked, if they sometimes shed a tear—are never the better. They go on in wickedness, and do not drown their sins in their tears!

Use 2: Let us strive for this divine characteristic. Be weepers! This is “a repentance not to be repented of” (2 Cor. 7:10). It is reported of Bradford, the martyr, that he was of a melting spirit; he seldom sat down to his meal but some tears trickled down his cheeks. There are two lavers to wash away sin: blood and tears. The blood of Christ washes away the guilt of sin; our tears wash away the filth of sin.

Repenting tears are precious. God puts them in his bottle (Psalm 56:8). Repenting tears are beautifying. To God—a tear in the eye, adorns more than a ring on the finger. Oil makes the face shine (Psalm 104:15). Tears make the heart shine. Repenting tears are comforting. A sinner’s mirth turns to melancholy. A saint’s mourning turns to music! Repentance may be compared to myrrh, which though it is bitter to the taste—is comforting to the spirits. Repentance may be bitter to the flesh, but it is most refreshing to the soul. Wax which melts is fit for the seal. A melting soul is fit to take the stamp of all heavenly blessing. Let us give Christ the water of our tears—and he will give us the wine of his blood!


Buy the book here:
The Godly Man’s Picture

Share: A Godly Man Is a Man That Weeps 👇

Categories
Blog Post Devotional

Set Your Heart on Seeking God

“He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.” — 2 Chr. 12:14

Have you ever thought about what people will say when you die? The content of your eulogy, we usually think, is a description of the best days we had on earth. We tend to think that people will remember us based on all the good things we did. However, this was not the case for king Rehoboam, son of King Salomon. At the end of his life, we find in 1 Chronicles an editorial comment by the author of this historical account, his take on the life of Rehoboam; “He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.”

Here is what I think we can learn from this description:

When the Bible says, “he did evil”, it should suffice to conclude that this person, well, did evil and that this is clearly a bad thing. It’s already something useful to know about this king. We can safely conclude that we should make sure we don’t end up like him, and at the same time, not do the things this person did that landed him in this debacle.

The Bible, however, goes beyond this, and gives us a description of the single most important thing and characteristic of his life that led Rehoboam to obtain the tag of “evil”… the Bible says, “he did evil, because…” here is the reason why:

… he did not set his heart on seeking the Lord.

What your heart seeks or loves is usually what you worship, and as a result, it is also who you really are. If your heart seeks anything in a higher capacity than it does God, inevitability, it will lead to evilness since it’s only in God that we get our standard of goodness. St. Augustine said, “For when we ask whether somebody is a good person, we are not asking what he believes or hopes for, but what he loves.” So that at the end of the road the question that matters is, what is your heart seeking the most that you love the most? Notice the scripture says, “he did not set his heart…” It’s one thing to believe what you think you love or seek, it’s another thing to realize what it really is that your heart loves and seeks. Sin and evilness are expressions of our loves outside the order of the love structured in God, who is the very definition of good and love.

There are two things that we must be sure to pay attention to if we do not want to fall prey to evilness in our lives; first, you must “set your heart” and second, you must “seek the Lord”. Setting your heart is a style-of-living phrase. It is possible to “seek the Lord” without having the “heart” set to seek the Lord. Setting our hearts means that we must make sure that our whole strength, mind, and heart are set to constantly and consistently seek the ways of the Lord.

We can do things that feel like we are “seeking God” but if our hearts are not “set” on the Lord, then the things that we do are religious and shallow. For instance, we can attend church without wanting church to tend to us. We can read the Bible, and at the same time not want the Bible to read us. We can support and advertise all the social justices in the world, without wanting the ultimate Biblical justice of a holy God to carve our hearts. We can have a stance without the substance. And it sure can feel as though we are seeking and serving God, but if our hearts are not constantly and consistently positioned toward him, without exercising our hearts to constantly desire his will, without training our lives to the spiritual disciplines so that we can understand the importance of being one with God, then our worship and service to God can be shallow, and eventually lead to evilness.

Share This Post

Categories
Articles Blog Post Devotional

Devotional Study On The Beatitudes

NOTE: The Beatitudes Scripture Devotional – If you are reading this, please note that this devotional was first written for a group of students in a class I was teaching on Living Life on Mission. If you find yourself wondering about a statement that may not make sense, it could be because there is context to it that was only expressed to those students. If you have any questions at all, please comment at the end of the article.

Weekly Devotional:

In last week’s devotional for our class we learned that the persecution that the Christian church experienced in the first century was the very beginning of the history of us as a church and faith.

This week, we learned that Jesus prepared his disciples for this persecution. Here are the notes that I used for this week’s class:

Scripture Breakdown

In Matthew 5:10 we see the last beatitude:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Before we talk about this last beatitude, let us see the whole picture on this scripture; this portion of scripture is the last beatitude of a total of eight beatitudes that Jesus is giving us in Matthew 5. These were given as Jesus’ first series of statements in his first recorded sermon – The Sermon at the Mount.

The word beatitude comes from the word beatific or blessed. In other words, Jesus,  using these statements is giving us an insight as to what it means to live the blessed life. The beatitudes are descriptions of how we can live the blessed life.

When we do a Bible study on these, we can see a clear breakdown of these scriptures that allows us to better understand what Jesus is really getting at here. Please see the breakdown of the beatitudes below:

First Section

#1. Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

#2. Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

#3. Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

#4. Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness, for
they will be filled.

————————————–

Second Section

#5. Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

#6. Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

#7. Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

#8. Blessed are those who are
persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Every beatitude has a requirement and a reward

As you can see above, the beatitudes are a series of eight statements of how to live the blessed life. Every beatitude starts with a requirement, and ends with a reward, for instance, the third beatitude:

“blessed are the meek”
is the requirement.

“for they will inherit the earth”
is the reward.

And the rest has the same structure.

The sandwich

With this in mind, we can start formulating our Bible study — the first beatitude has a reward of “theirs is the kingdom of heaven” which is a present tense statement – the rest of the beatitudes after a future tense reward.

In this example then, we learn that those who are poor in spirit actually live in the kingdom of heaven right now. The rest of the beatitudes have a future tense reward … until you get to the last beatitude, which also has a present tense reward – “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

With this we understand the first insight of the beatitudes – a sandwich is starting to formulate. You have the first beatitude with the same reward as the last one, and vice-versa, which means that those who execute the requirement of these two beatitudes get a present tense reward.

You can also run a line across the middle, and the eight beatitudes can be broken in two sections of four. Since the fourth beatitude ends with a requirement that has to do with righteousness:

“blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”,

and the last beatitude also has a requirement that has to do with righteousness:

“blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness”,

It is only right to assume that Jesus is dividing the Beatitudes into two sections of four. So, having the last beatitude of each section ending with a requirement of righteousness, Jesus begins to unfold the entire purpose of the Beatitudes.

The purpose of the Beatitudes

After taking a look at this basic way of breaking the eight beatitudes we understand one powerful insight; that the whole purpose of the beatitudes is to get us into a place of righteousness.

The whole purpose of the beatitudes is to get us into a place of righteousness

Starting with the last beatitude of the first section, which is beatitude number four:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Please note that this beatitude is describing a human that hungers and thirsts for righteousness. But further from Jesus blessing those who are hungry – notice that Jesus is blessing those who hunger, not those who simply have an appetite or craving – what Jesus is trying to tell us is that from beatitude number one to beatitude number four, the whole time, Jesus is speaking about a human searching for righteousness. There is a deep and painful desire to find righteousness. The first section of four describes the journey of those who are seeking for righteousness. This is why the fourth beatitude ends with such statement; blessed are those who have been searching for the thing that matters most – righteousness.

So, the question here is; what does it take to become righteous?

Now with this in mind, read the first section of four again:

#1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

#2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

#3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

#4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

This is what it takes to become righteous – at least that is what we begin to learn from Jesus. When someone is poor in spirit, knows how to and what to mourn for, is meek or humble, and is hungry for what is righteous – he is a man seeking righteousness.

Now, if the first four beatitudes describe a man searching and seeking righteousness, the second section, or the last four, also end with righteousness, but in a different way. The second section of the beatitudes describes a man already walking in righteousness and being persecuted because of it.

The question here is; what does it look like to walk in righteousness?

With this in mind, please see this man already walking in righteousness and being persecuted because of it:

#5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

#6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

#7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

#8. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

This is how it looks like to walk in righteousness. When someone is merciful, pure in heart, peacemaker, and being persecuted because of it – he is a man walking in righteousness.

The first section of the beatitudes, or season one if you will, ends with a human seeking and searching for righteousness, season two of the beatitudes ends with a human being persecuted because of righteousness. This shows us and gives us the evidence of what Jesus is trying to get at. He is reminding us of what really matters – righteousness. The point of the beatitudes is not just showing us how to live a better life, and it’s not just showing us how to live the blessed life – what Jesus is showing us is that living the blessed life is living the life of righteousness.

The point of the beatitudes is not just showing us how to live a better life, and it’s not just showing us how to live the blessed life – what Jesus is showing us is that living the blessed life is living the life of righteousness.

The last beatitude

Coming back to our main point of last class, I said all that to say this; the last beatitude shows a man being persecuted because of righteousness. Jesus was preparing his disciples because he knew that the church would be persecuted, and Jesus was letting them know, that if there is going to be any persecution, let it be because of righteousness and not anything else.

Jesus knew that his disciples needed to be ready to take upon the work of the church, even in the midst of persecution. The last beatitude describes a human righteously being persecuted, but take heart, Jesus’ promise was that those being persecuted because of righteousness are experiencing the kingdom of heaven… right now.

On to you…

Comment below any questions, comments, concerns, complaints. Not sure what to comment? Here are some things that can help you:

1. How do you feel about what you read?

2. Is there anything you agree with? Anything you disagree with?

3. What do you think could have been communicated better?

4. Is there anything you would like to hear more about?

5. Any encouragement for the author?

6. “I don’t feel like commenting” – I feel you. Would you mind sharing this post? You never know who may benefit from it.

Categories
Blog Post Devotional History

A Weekly Devotional

NOTE: If you are reading this, please note that this devotional was first written for a group of students in a class I was teaching on Living Life on Mission. If you find yourself wondering about a statement that may not make sense, it could be because there is context to it that was only expressed to those students. If you have any questions at all, please comment at the end of the article.

Weekly Devotional

Last week we learned that Christianity started in the midst of persecution. According to Acts 1:8 – in that day a great persecution broke. This persecution was the painful start of a new “Religion” in the Roman empire, in the land of Palestine, in the midst of the Hellenistic culture.

However, this persecution, though painful since it lasted more than 400 years, was a blessing – for it caused people to gather. An untamed gathering that gave way for conversations about the resurrection of Jesus. Since people of the “new race” – which was the title given to new Christians when they first started – could not gather in a single building, amongst others with the same belief, they found unique ways to spread the message of Christianity without being taken to prison, or even killed. Some of those gathering ways were to eat in public squares with others, visit each other’s home, join people’s trading journeys, etc. Staying true to the commission of Jesus to his followers; as you go, make disciples.

These first Christians had no Bible as we have it now, even though they had the “scriptures”, it wasn’t an established “scripture” base, rather it was more of a “if this scripture helps me, I will read, if this other doesn’t help me, I won’t read”. However, they would draw strength and belief from the testimony of others.

In this context, we find Christianity flourishing throughout the Roman empire. Simple gatherings, conversations, and testimonies would give way to a whole new religion, still true and strong till’ this day.

The reason why I say all this is because I believe this introduction gives us a good context as to how we can define living a Life on Mission. Even though as a society, and as a people, we have evolved, in our thinking, reasoning, and doing, there are universal truths and wisdom that can still guide our spiritual walk today – over 2000 years later. To be able to live a Life on Mission, we need to define what Life is, and what the Mission is, and the early church, in the midst of persecution can help us understand these two components of our Christian walk.

— Napoleon Bonaparte quotes on Jesus:

“Well then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for Him. . . . I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man; none else is like Him: Jesus Christ was more than a man. . . . I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me . . . but to do this is was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, my words, of my voice. When I saw men and spoke to them, I lightened up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts. . . . Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man toward the unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space. Across a chasm of eighteen hundred years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful! In defiance of time and space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him, experience that remarkable, supernatural love toward Him. This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyond the scope of man’s creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ.”