Mothers are special. They go through the valley of the shadow of death to bring new life into the world. They nurture and care for that life until it is grown into adulthood and then they care for them long after they have a family of their own. That kind of caring and sacrifice is what the bible calls love.
Love is really what mothers are all about. This kind of love is not about what she receives but rather about what she gives. Children do not always know how to love others. They are taught to love by the love that they receive from mothers, much like the way we love The Lord because he first loved us (I John 4:19). A mother's love requires sacrifice and a giving of her affection from the time her child is born until long after they are grown.
However, there are great joys in being a mother. Children do grow to return the love that they have received. There is a joy and satisfaction in seeing children grow and prosper under the careful wisdom and counsel of a godly mother. Seeing your children loving and raising their children with the same kind of love that they received is a blessing and an encouragement.
Giving birth and being a mother are two different things. I think that most women would love to be able to give birth to a child of their own, but many are not able for one reason or the other. Many have adopted and taken In a child that was abandoned or orphaned and found the joy of being a mom. They give the same sacrifice and love as a natural birth mother and sometimes even more. Unfortunately, many are able to give birth to a child, but have no idea or inclination of raising a child. As I write this article there have been 427,875 abortions in the u.s. this year. Think of all those women who would love to be a mother and cannot. If these children were given a chance to live and be adopted, we could diminish the number of murdered children in our world substantially. Romans 1:31 describes those that are "without natural affection" or love for their own children. Unfortunately, what is the culture in which you and I live today.
Moms, love your children! Children, love your moms! Give thanks to them for bringing you into the world, for loving you and sacrificing for your well being and success. Honor your mother, not just on Mother's Day, but every day.
And some have compassion, making a difference. Jude 1:22
Our Lord has commanded us to go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, make disciples of all nations and teach them to observe all that he commands and teaches us in his word. The early church took those instructions so seriously that they were accused of turning the world upside down for Christ. Unquestionably, they made a difference in the world. However, they accomplished what they did by going to one soul at a time. They made a difference where they were by introducing one soul at a time to The Lord Jesus Christ. They didn't set out with the goal of establishing great churches, nor did they possess an elaborate plan of global outreach. Those things were the outgrowth of their reaching one soul at a time.
Jesus taught the disciples to be the salt and light, to go into the world with the truth and to boldly proclaim that truth, but Jesus also taught them that HE would build his church (Matt 16:18). That building project has been going on for two millennia and continues on to this very day. It will continue to go on until the trumpet sounds and the church is caught up into heaven. Jesus is still building his church! Jesus is building his church on the obedience of his people to carry out the commands that he has given us.
By following his commands and living as he taught we are living a life that makes a difference. That difference may seem small but we can only make a difference for one soul at a time. Only eternity will tell the full impact of it. We are here to make a difference, one soul, one person at a time.
What is required of us if we are to make a difference? Living a life of holiness before The Lord. Living a life of sacrifice, dedicating our time, talents and wealth to his service. Speaking up boldly for Christ and being a bold witness of his love and grace. Living a life that is dedicated to his service and serving those around us. Being willing to share the gospel with one soul at a time. It is a life that denies self and lives for Christ and for others, that is living a life that makes a difference and that is the life that god has called us to
Being satisfied is not always a good thing. If being satisfied means that I think my relationship with God is adequate enough, and that I don't need more of him in my life, than my satisfaction is a bad thing. It is self-centered and not God centered. I can attend church, go through the motions of serving, and give my tithe every week only to find my heart isn't really in it. Revelation 2:3-4 speaks of the church of Ephesus in which the church was doing the right things but they had left their first love. The truth is this kind of life could never really be completely satisfying to the believer or to god. As a Christian we we should continually ask is The Lord satisfied with me. If God is not satisfied with us than why not? What is it that needs to change? Do we really want to please The Lord in all we do? What are willing to do to please The Lord that he would say "we'll done thou good and faithful servant"? God has not set an impossible standard before us and he has promised us everything we need in order to live a life that is well pleasing to him. I am satisfied with gods provision in my life, but I'm not always satisfied with my walk with him. I need to do better, I need to do more. I want The Lord to be satisfied with me.
There are some things that were established by God and are sacred or holy. They are not to be tampered with by man. Man can't improve upon them, he can only improve his commitment to them. Last week we looked at the family and the word of God. These do not need to be updated or modified to be relevant to this age - they are ageless
The church of The Lord Jesus Christ is another institution of God that is sacred and holy. It is God's method for reaching our world with the good news of Jesus Christ. People have not tried to improve it, redefine it and modernize it, all to try to make the church more relevant to today's culture, but our Lord never set out to make it popular or socially acceptable. It is holy, it is his church, he rules and reigns over his church.
We must never take the church of The Lord Jesus Christ for granted or think of it as being unimportant or unnecessary. It was important enough to Jesus Christ to die for it. It was important enough to Jesus' followers to sacrifice their lives in promoting it. It ought to be sacred to us and important enough to us that we would give our lives to promote it and our wealth to support it. The church is, as the apostle Paul said, "the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." 1 Timothy 3:15
Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.”
Every day we set priorities to help guide us through the day. Sometimes we may set down on paper or in our phone or tablet a list of things to do and then prioritize that list so that we can take care of the things that are most important. However, all too often, our list of things that are “most important” are not reflected in the actual amount of time, energy and finances that we actually spend. How we spend our time, energy and finances is a really good measure of what is really important to us. I wonder what it would look like if we took a notebook and began to account for how we spent each hour of our time, each expenditure of our energy and talents and each dollar that we spent over the last week or month. If we then could put each category in a graph, we would begin to see what our priorities really are.
As followers of Jesus Christ, what portion of our graph would reflect our service to Him? Does He expect to have the priority of our time, energy and finances? To make him a priority in our thinking is one thing, but to give Him preeminence in all the categories of our lives is another. We like to think of God as being there for us whenever we need Him, and that is certainly true. However, the greater truth is that we are here for Him. We are here to serve Him, to honor Him, to worship Him and to give ourselves to Him. That’s why He saved us. That’s why he sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us.
Giving Jesus Christ the preeminence in everything means that He is the reason behind all our attitudes and actions. He is to have preeminence in our family, in our work as well as in our worship. Everything we do is to be for Him, for His honor and glory. 1 Cor. 10:31 “…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” Colossians 3:23 “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” If our service to Christ is reflected in the graph of our lives, how great a portion does it reveal? Can we honestly say that our Lord has preeminence in our time when we neglect assembling in church or we have no time or energy to serve him? Can we skip church for His honor and glory? Does he have preeminence in how we spend our energy or use our talents? Is he honored by what we do? Does He have preeminence in our finances? Is He honored when we do not tithe or give to Him and to His work?
What does the graph of the inventory of your life reflect? Why not take inventory and determine that you will give Jesus Christ the preeminence that He deserves.