Service with Tears

John Heading, Aberystwyth

Category: Exposition

Tears are a spontaneous outward emotion when the mind and soul experience grief and sorrow, and are the portion of both believer and unbeliever. The Lord's human eyes experienced tears; He wept at the sorrow of Mary and the Jews (this was quite independent of His knowledge that Lazarus would be raised shortly afterwards),, John n. 35; He wept over Jerusalem as He viewed the city that would shortly condemn Him to death, and that would afterwards suffer such fearful judgment for its guilt, Luke 19. 41. The grief of parting was seen in the tears of Mary Magdalene, John 20.11, in Paul and the elders as they wept when they thought they would see his face no more, Acts 20. 33, and in Timothy when Paul was taken from him for the last time, 2 Tim. 1. 4. But tears relating to strictly spiritual circumstances may be a rarity today, though the Lord knows whether some of His servants are reduced to tears in the solitary precincts of the sanctuary alone with Himself. At least Paul was a servant who served with tears in spite of being an apostle. Grief at failure and intense desire for success bring forth their fruit when the soul is poured out before God. In his apostolic sendee,

He was Working with Tears, Acts 20. 19; during the three years he was at Ephesus he had been "serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears". Thus he taught all things profitable and all the counsel of God.

He was Warning with Tears, Acts 20. 31, "I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears". Do we grieve at the possibility of elders becoming corrupt and leading the disciples after their unscriptural ways? This knowledge reduced Paul to tears in a public way.

He was Writing with Tears, 2 Cor. 2. 11, "and of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears". This writing was no superior criticism of failure, but evidence of love seeking restoration to godly living and service.

He was Walking with Tears, Phil. 3. 18, "for many walk, of whom I ... now tell you even weeping". Paul knew his walk in Christ was a proper example for his converts, and grieved at the defiling walk of the enemies of the cross of Christ.

Truly such thoughts illustrate the quotation on the cover of each issue, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him", Psa. 126. 6.

There are 11 articles in
ISSUE (1974, Volume 25 Issue 3)

The Book of Ruth

The Character of Luke

Christian Marriage

Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities

The Man of Liberated Conscience - Psalm 32

Missionary Endeavour

Our Heritage

Service with Tears


‘Therefore’ in the Roman Epistle

2 Timothy 2: ‘Be Careful’

This article is not part of a series

There are 66 articles by this author

The Merchants and the Children

The King and the Multitudes

Fruitfulness and Repentance

Communicating Spiritual Things by Spiritual Means

Service with Tears

Acts, A Study in New Testament Christianity

Divine Assessment and Witness

Epaphras, a Faithful Minister of Christ

Paul’s Charge to Timothy, The First Epistle to Timothy

Prophecy and the Present Age

Groupings Amongst Men

The Rapture and Subsequent Events

Summary of Daniel and Revelation

The Four Kingdom Amongst Men

Apostasy and Its End

How I was called to Salvation and Service - Introduction

Divine Involvement in Assembly Service

Types and Shadows in the Epistle to the Hebrews

Understanding 1 & 2 Chronicles - The House of God and its Service

Do You Pray for the Lord’s Servants?

Greater Than

Conversion, Baptism and Service

The Lordship of Christ in the Local Assembly

Luke’s Life of Christ

The Lordship of Christ in the Local Assembly (Part 2)

Prayer, Power, Plenitude, 1. 15 to 2. 10

Position, Privilege, Peace, 2. 11-22

Prisoner, Promise, Preaching, Prayer, Eph. 3. 1-21

Practical: Prophets, Pastors, Perfecting, 4. 1-16

Practical Conduct - Part 1: 4. 17-32

Practical Conduct - Part 2: 5. 1-20

Personal Relationships in the Family, 5. 21 to 6. 9

Power, Protection, Prayer, 6. 10-24

Parents and Children

Daily Bible Readings

The Seven - Thousand Year Miracle (Part 1)

What the Bible Teaches Vol. 6 John

The Seven - Thousand Year Miracle (Part 2)

The Maturity of Writer and Readers

Giving and Keeping

Purpose, Predestination, Pleasure, Praise, 1. 1-14


As Unknown and yet Well Known

The Beauty of the Assembly

The Holy Assembly


Zion (2)

Are You a Trustee?

The Lord's Titles


The Mount of Transfiguration

Genealogy of the Priests

Both Small and Great

Book Reviews

The Unity of the Godhead

Book Reviews


Book Review

Letters of Commendation - Additional Notes

How Amiable Are Thy Tabernacles

Twenty-One Years Ago

They Continued Steadfastly

Book Review

Matthew 21 - The Context of the Chapter

The Vineyard and the Stone

Parable of the Wedding Feast - Matthew 22. 1-14