An Evangelist’s Heart: Sorrow

Manage episode 198045636 series 1607977
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In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized abortion until the third trimester of pregnancy with its ruling in Roe v. Wade. Cardinal Terence Cooke spoke for many when he lamented the decision to The New York Times as “an unspeakable tragedy.” In days to come, groups opposed to abortion would begin to take action, but first they responded with deep sadness. In our study of an evangelist’s heart, today we see that an evangelist is saddened by wickedness. Psalm 119 is a psalm of delight in God’s Word. As one of God’s redeemed people, the psalmist knows the goodness of walking in God’s ways. Earlier in the psalm, he uses the word blessed to describe people who “keep his [God’s] statutes and seek him with all their heart” (v. 2). The psalmist knows from personal experience that God’s commandments describe the best life—the life that gives happiness to people and brings glory to God. But while the psalmist finds wonder and understanding in the commandments (vv. 129–130), while he hungers and thirsts for them (v. 131), and while he constantly seeks mercy from the God who constantly gives it (v. 132), the people around him do not. Many of us can relate to this situation, when our friends and neighbors and coworkers are ignorant of the joy that comes from walking in God’s ways. In fact, they actively disobey what God has so clearly unfolded. The psalmist’s first response to his neighbors’ rebellion is sadness. Charles Spurgeon tells the story of Bendetti, a Franciscan monk, who was found weeping one day. When asked why he was so sad, he replied, “I weep because Love goes about unloved.” As evangelists, we mirror the holy emotions of Jesus who wept over the city of Jerusalem because it lived in willful ignorance of the Savior (Luke 19:41–44).

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