Tyler and Anna

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17

Tyler and Anna, this verse has been a meaningful one for you in your relationship. You have rightly seen each other as a gift from God and that gift has led you to the this day. You are about to enter a covenant relationship that is like no other on earth. It is a relationship that God intends to only be severed by death. On this day, August 15th, 2014 you two will become one flesh and this verse has much to say about how you should view this day and the rest of your lives together.

James tells us that God is the source of everything. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” It was this way from the very beginning of creation. At one point there was no earth or sun or moon or galaxies or animals or sea creatures or human beings. God formed and crafted this earth through spoken words. Out of nothing came everything. When God spoke planets began spinning into their assigned orbit, vast oceans met dry land and formed shorelines, sunrises and sunsets began a constant rhythm that have not failed to this day. Birds began flying, bugs began crawling, lions began roaring, dolphins began swimming and Adam began breathing. God was the source of this all.

We see that God has given us an entire world that he called good. He made it for us to enjoy. He made Adam and Eve to enjoy each other. There is not one single thing you have received in this life that has not been from your heavenly Father. Each of us sitting in these pews or standing at this altar will not breathe a single breath unless God grants it to us. He speaks and new life is born. He speaks and old life is stopped. He speaks and storms are silenced or spun into existence. Let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God who is the source of everything. To him alone belongs glory.

Not only is God the source of everything but he is the giver of everything. God did not speak this world into existence, wind it up like a mechanical watch, and walk away from it all. He gives good gifts and perfect gifts to us. He is like a generous father who loves to shower his children with presents on Christmas morning.

Some of these gifts we are keenly aware of, like a spouse, or a job we enjoy, or good health, or forgiveness through the cross for our sinful hearts. Many of these gifts we are unaware of and don’t even think about. Did you wake up this morning and breathe without pain? That was a gift from God. Did you drive to this church tonight without getting into a car crash? That was a gift from God. Did you enjoy a bottle of water this afternoon or some food to satisfy your hungry stomach? That was a gift from God. What a wonderful and loving God we have who gives us good and perfect gifts!

James also wants us to know that God uses these gifts as a way in which to show the personal relationship he has with his children. He gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. The gospel of Jesus Christ saves enemies of God, brings them into the family of God, and gives them access to God’s grace and mercy and love.

God does not only give us good and perfect gifts that are material and tangible but he gives us so much more.Tyler and Anna, you were at some point in your life under God’s wrath because of your sinfulness. Your sin separated you from a God that is more awesome and beautiful than you could ever imagine. Through Christ living the life you could never live, dying the death you should have died, and conquering the power of sin, death and Satan, he has brought you into a personal relationship with God. This reality rests squarely on the Jesus Christ; your cornerstone.

“Christ alone; cornerstone. Weak made strong; in the Savior’s love. Through the storm, He is Lord. Lord of all.”

Finally, we see that God is unchangeable. “With whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” We live in a constant state of change. Things that seem so lasting and permanent can be snuffed out or taken away in a heartbeat. A home with all earthly goods and possessions can turn into ashes on one bitterly cold evening in December. Life is but a vapor. We are here one day and gone the next.

Yet, God does not change. His attributes and promises are never changing and will never change. The same God that spoke this world into existence is the same God ruling over this marriage ceremony right now. If God is unchanging that means his promises are unchanging. If his promises are unchanging nothing in this life can separate us from his love! “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:36-39).”

What do these four truths have to do with marriage then? Everything. Matthew Henry describes God this way: “What the sun is in nature, God is in grace, providence, and glory; yes and infinitely more.” Just as the sun is the source by which we see, experience and enjoy life, so God is the source by which our lives are completely dependent. We are in desperate need of his sovereignty, grace and glory whether we realize it or not.

If God is the source of everything and the giver of everything, he will be the source of your marriage and the sustainer of your marriage. You both are entering this covenant as a man and a woman in need of God’s grace and mercy.

Tyler and Anna, you will have times where you will be exhausted with life. You will have times when the trials are deep and the road is dangerous. You will have times where you will experience circumstances that never entered into your realm of thinking. You will have times of disagreement and frustration. God has storehouses of gifts in the form of his help and grace and love waiting to be poured out on you for those very instances. Cry out to God in these times together and you will find a depth of God’s comfort and strength that you will have never known in times of plenty and comfort. And when times are good and plentiful, be thankful that every good gift and every perfect gift is from the Father of lights.

God is a personal God and displays this through the gifts he gives. Tyler and Anna, he has given each of you unique roles within marriage for you to fulfill. He has not given them to you as a burden or as a mere duty to obey, but as a good gift to be enjoyed when you act your part the way God designed.

Tyler, God created Adam first and he gave him a mission. He was to tend to the garden and name the animals. Adam was the pinnacle of God’s creation, made in his own image. You were created to orient yourself to God and his work. Yet this was not enough for Adam. He needed a companion. Anna, God created Eve to orient herself to Adam as he orients himself towards God and his mission. Eve was made to provide friendship and support to Adam.

These are your God given roles designed to bring joy and delight in one another and in God. God is the Author of a story you are about to embark on and you two are actors in this drama. Will you play your part well to the glory of the One who made you?

Tyler, your role is to love your wife as “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25).” Jesus’ relationship with the church cost him his life in order that they would be made lovely in the sight of God; holy and blameless.

Just as Jesus is the head of the church so you are the inescapable leader of your marriage. You will lead either through action or inaction, but you will lead. The kind of leadership and headship you are called to display is not one of dominance but one of being a servant. If an aroma of Christ is to be present in your home for all to see it will begin with you loving Anna as Christ loved the church. Your job is to show a world around you what Christ’s love for his church looks like by the way you love Anna. It’s the role of a lifetime! So treat her well, cherish her through sacrificial love, feed her spiritually, and protect her. Lay down your life for her.

Anna, your role is to submit to Tyler’s servant leadership. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).” One of the primary ways you submit to Tyler’s leadership is through showing him respect. Honor him and submit to his leadership. Praise him when he leads well and encourage him when he doesn’t. Use your tongue to build him up and not tear him down through nagging or arguing.

Tyler and Anna, when you act out your roles in a God-honoring way you are writing a story. You are small parts in a bigger story that is being unfolded in God’s drama of redemption. It is a story that began with God’s creation of a perfect place where Adam and Eve lived in perfect relationship with God. When they stepped outside of their roles, sinned against God, and chose their own script, sin entered the world and corrupted everything. They were expelled from the garden and from that perfect relationship they had with God.

Then, Jesus Christ, the God-Man, stepped onto the stage. Where Adam failed Jesus succeeded. He resisted the temptation of Satan and won for himself his bride through the brutal, bloody and torturous death of a cross. He stood on the neck of Satan and offers life everlasting to those who would repent of their sin and put their trust squarely on the perfect work of Jesus Christ. He purchased us free passage into a promise land where one day we will all sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb. This is the gospel, Tyler and Anna.

You need the gospel. Not to just save you from your sins. You need the gospel for every day of your married life. There are going to be times that you will fail in living out your roles as husband and wife, just as Adam and Eve did. Tyler, you will fail to lead. Anna you will fail to submit. What will you do when this happens? Look to the cross.

Milton Vincent writes, “The gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life.” The gospel is for every facet of your marriage. You are acceptable to God not based on your performance of your roles but based on the perfect work of Jesus Christ. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).” This is a good gift. Indeed it is a perfect gift. It is the greatest gift Jesus, the groom, could have given his bride, the church.

“This is the story of the Son of God Hanging on a cross for me But it ends with a bride and groom And a wedding by a glassy sea Oh, death, where is your sting? ‘Cause I’ll be there singing Holy, holy, holy is the Lord”

The best is yet to come.


A Fortress Build on Blood

 

“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:9-10

One of the reasons we have Fighter Verses at Grace Church each week is so that we would use a promise from God’s Word to fight the fight of faith. We need constant reminders from the mouth of God that tell us who he is and what he does for us. Without them we will forget. Just as a professional fighter will practice moves over and over again so we must remind ourselves over and over again.

The Lord is a stronghold in times of oppression and in times of trouble. We all experience these times in our lives. A stronghold is a good place to be when the bullets start flying and the bombs start exploding. It provides a place of protection. It gives you the upper hand.

The way in which we seek God as our stronghold is through putting our trust in him, knowing him, and seeking him. We do not obtain protection in God’s stronghold by our own merit. The impenetrable fortress of God’s stronghold was built on the blood of Jesus Christ.

He opened the way to the Father where before we could have never come. We can take refuge because Christ paid our ransom. Your acceptance before God is not based on your performance but based on your position. This is the gospel. Let’s come before him and confess our sins.

“We sing of all You’ve done for us. Won for us. Paid for us.”

 


What Running A Marathon Taught Me

C.S. Lewis said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”  Because God is the Creator of everything in the universe, therefore everything that I can observe relates directly to God. Training and running a marathon has caused me to think about how it relates to God. Here are my thoughts that have developed over 407 miles of running in 61 hours while burning 60,778 calories.

1. Christianity begins with an invitation. My friend and pastor asked me if I was interested in training for a marathon with him. I had no interest and no desire to run a marathon. He showed me a training plan which laid out a four month regimen of running to prepare for it. At first I thought it was ridiculous. Stupid. Yet over the course of two weeks the idea I once thought as ludicrous became more appealing.

For anyone who truly is a Christian, life in Christ began with an invitation. It could have been an invitation from a human being or words on a page, but it was an invitation that communicated what the gospel was. God created a rescue plan through Jesus Christ so that we could be forgiven of sins, justified before God, and given his Spirit. The plan is to be received by grace through faith. For Christians, the plan was rejected for weeks, months or years. Yet at some point what was once stupid seen as stupid is now seen as gloriously appealing.

2. The Christian life is one of study and learning and doing. My first training run was on the morning of March 3 and the temperature outside was -10 zero. I knew little about how to run long distances or how my body would react to running those distances. By working through the training plan, reading articles about marathon training and asking questions from others who had run marathons I began learning how to pace myself, where to shop for running shoes, how to properly fuel my body, and what to expect on race day.

Paul commands Christians in I Timothy 2:15 to study to show ourselves approved unto God. James commands Christians in James 1:22 to not only be a hearer of the Word but a doer also. Christians are meant to study God’s Word, learn from it, and delight in it. They are also meant to do something with that knowledge. They are to go out and share it and obey it and live by it. Thinking and doing are not separate entities but a package deal according to God’s design.

3. The Christian life is not a lone ranger endeavor but a community effort. I had a lot of help from all different sources that played a factor into completing a marathon. My wife would always welcome me home from my long runs with a smile, a protein shake and a cheerful “How did your run go?” Dave, an experienced runner, would answer questions that I had or give advice on how to work through problems. Several of my long runs were done with him. On race day my family came up to Duluth to cheer me on throughout the course. People I didn’t know would see my name on my bib and cheer me on by name.

Trying to live the Christian life without being a part of a local church is like trying to run a race by yourself. We shouldn’t forsake the regular gathering together of saints to exhort one another on in love for God and a pursuit of holiness (Hebrews 10:25). Left to our own attempts and thinking we will falter, fail or walk away from the faith. God has created the local church to be a way in which he shows his children grace.

4. The Christian life has ups and downs. It require discipline. There were days when I had good runs, average runs, and downright awful runs. Sometimes I would finish my runs and feel great physically while other times I simply wanted to climb into a coffin and turn the lights out. Cold, heat, snow and rain were factors. Good preparation or lack thereof were factors. Yet each run required discipline to not give up but to get back out there and run the next day or run the next mile or even take the next step.

Paul uses the metaphor of running in I Corinthians 9 to describe the Christian life. He said he didn’t run aimlessly but but disciplined his body to keep it under control. In Hebrews 12:1 he calls Christians to run with endurance the race that is set before us. This means that we will have days where sin beats us up and we will have days when we kick in the teeth of sin. In all of it, by the grace God provides, we are meant to keep running the race until we give up that last breath, die, and than see Jesus face to face. As Lecrae said, “Run boy, run boy, run boy, run!” 

5. God’s glory is shouting at us in his creation. Each day we sit at the front porch with a full view of God’s glory shouting at us through a bull horn. It is his creation. It is easy to overlook and become bored with it because it is in front of us everyday. I was able to spend hours running on snow covered roads and ice coated streets which eventually and slowly gave way to pot-hole filled streets and dry, paved trails. I was able to feel the icy grip of subzero temperatures and the sweat pouring off my head on hot, humid, sticky days. I felt my heart pump life giving blood through my body and had my thirst quenched by cold water and Gatorade. I saw wildlife and wild animals and took my kids on some of the runs with me in the stroller or on their bikes. All these things were a gift from God and were shouting to me how glorious he is.

6. Run your race. When the race began I knew I would have to hold myself to the pace I had trained at. Starting out to quick would come back to collect a price tag later in the race and my times in the last few miles would be significantly longer. Starting out too quickly was tempting as many people passed me. I wanted to keep up with them but I kept telling myself, “Run your pace, Kyle. Don’t speed up.” As the race progressed and single digit miles turned into double digit teen miles I began passing people that were slowing down or walking.

Paul tells us in Hebrews 12:1 to run the race that is set before us with endurance. The Christian life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. Christians can be in danger of rusting out because they are sedentary; not actively seeking to become more like Jesus. They can also burn out though- trying to do too much; trying to run too fast. We need God’s wisdom to help us find the right pace in our Christian discipleship so that we run with endurance and do not burn out too soon.

7. Finish the race. The first 20 miles of my marathon were downright pleasant. I didn’t have any pain and I locked myself in on a comfortable pace. After mile 20 I ran up Lemon Drop Hill and it all changed. I hit a mental and physical wall and the last six miles became progressively worse. Each step became more painful and I could feel my pace getting slower. My mind began focusing on the pain of it all and my eyes continued to drop down to my feet as I put one foot in front of the other. As I ran around the last bend of the race and could see the finish line it was a most pleasant sight! The feeling of completing the race was an amazing feeling.

One day I will stand before my Father who will, by his grace, say “Well done, Kyle. Well done.” The marathon reminded me to keep my mindset focused on that day. When life gets difficult, pain increases, sin gets the best of me, or I feel like forsaking the faith, focusing on the joy of finishing my life well is a fantastic motivator. It is what Paul said when he got to the end of his life and he could feel the sentence of death resting upon him. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (II Timothy 4:7).” 

That’s what I want to say at the end of my life. The reward will be incorruptible, the glory unsurpassable and joy unbelievable. Fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith. All 26.2.

 


How running taught me the beauty of Psalm 139:14

Psalm 139:13-14

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Consider the intricacies and complexities of your body. The eyeball is able to adjust to bright light or darkness and change focus without you having to make any manual adjustments. The skin, when cut or poked, clots the blood and heals on its own in most cases. The heart pumps life giving blood to all areas of the body, every second of every day, for decades without a thought given to it. Indeed we are fearfully and wonderfully made. As the psalmist says in this chapter, we should stand in awe of God’s handiwork in knitting us together in our mother’s womb.

At my best times I obey this verse. Generally I forget it. And at times I intentionally disobey it in the form of complaining.

Right now I am in the final weeks of training for Grandma’s Marathon. Each week I have several shorter runs and then on Friday or Saturday I have a longer run. My long run this week didn’t go the way I had wanted it to. My lap times were slower than I had wanted, I had trouble staying hydrated, my phone fell out of arm band and hit the concrete, and on top of that it rained.

I ended the run a couple miles early, walked into the house and was greeted by my wife who asked me how my run went. I replied that it went terrible and listed to her the reasons why in a self-pitying tone. She asked me what was good about my run and I wanted to sarcastically reply that the best part was that it was over.

In my self-pity I remembered this Fighter Verse. My body is a self-evident testimony to the wonderful work of God and here I was complaining! I had failed to be thankful for the beauty of God’s creation that I can run in each week. I had chosen to stop being amazed by the fact that I can even get out on the pavement and train for a marathon! My soul had not known the works of God in that moment.

So I repented before God and apologized to my wife for being snippy towards her. This morning I can come before God and worship, forgiven of my sin. We are acceptable to God this morning not because of our performance but because of the performance by Christ at calvary. The Christian life is a life of repentance.

How did you do this week in knowing the wonderful works of God? Look to Jesus’ work alone for your acceptability before God. Let’s come to him in a spirit of humility, awe, and thankfulness through prayer.


“Why Do/ Did You Want to Be a Cop?”

The question of why a person wants to be a cop is usually answered with the pat answer, “I want to help people” or “I want to protect and serve.” That is the answer you will probably hear from most cops who have a microphone in front of them or are having medals hung around their neck (not that there is anything inherently wrong about either situation). It is the answer you will most likely hear from those with their names printed on their sweat shirts as they are going through skills or academy. It is probably the answer you will hear from the probationer who has polished black boots, shiny brass and a stiff basket weave belt.

This answer isn’t wrong. It’s just deceiving. I can think of many other jobs that protect and serve the public’s good and pay far better, provide a more comfortable work attire, and don’t require frequent coffee breaks at 2AM at the local Holiday gas station on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Yes, we protect and serve, but what does that really mean. My answer as to why I got into this job is vastly different from my answer eight years later as to why I stay in this job.

My answer now is two fold. First, so others don’t have to and secondly, to protect the status quo.

Eight years in law enforcement came and went with out much thought a week ago.  On May 31st, 2006 I took an oath to protect and serve the citizens of my county with little realization as to what I was getting myself into. I had no idea the toll it would take at times on my body, mind and spirit. One of the reason’s I do this job now is so that others don’t have too. I know many cops who try and talk their kids out of becoming cops because the job can be emotionally and physically demanding. The nights and weekends wear on a person especially as the years begin to pile on top of each other. The sights, the sounds and the clientele  are all factors that cause cops to tell their children- don’t do it.

Motivational, is it not? Do it so others don’t. It goes beyond that for me. The best description I heard of what it means to be a cop is by Chief Kent Williams. He said that the essence of law enforcement is simply continuing to hold up the status quo of society. Sin in the form of criminals and stupid people are constantly trying to push it down and create chaos and cops are there every second of every day to try and hold it back up. We are the band-aids and tourniquets and sheepdog of a society that is constantly falling down and threatening to bleed out. We just try and prop it back up and pass it on to the next shift.

CS Lewis in his book Mere Christianity said it well to further describe what it means to maintain the status quo for society.

The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden- that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time.

I used to get frustrated about things in law enforcement that were not outside of my control. The revolving door of criminals made it feel like we are simply trying to punch water. We can hit it as much as we want but we will never make a dent. My perspective changed when I read this from CS Lewis. My job is to simply hold up the status quo so that each night, most of the people in my jurisdiction will never even think about me because they are enjoying a quiet evening in some way. And when that status quo comes crashing down via a domestic assault, DWI, robbery, burglary, or barricaded person; I’ll be there to try and push it back up for one more night.

I like that. That is why I am a cop.

“For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” Romans 13:4

 


Memorial Day Exhortation

This is Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day was at first called Decoration Day and came about following the Civil War. It was meant to be a day in which we, as a nation, would remember those soldiers who died fighting for their respective sides; north and south. Decoration Day became known as Memorial Day after World War II and was formally declared such in 1967. It’s purpose is to recognize all soldiers who have given their last full measure for the United States of America.

Tomorrow morning I will be at Fort Snelling where a service is held each year honoring those who have given their lives in the defense of our nation. I will stand over the grave of my grandpa and grandma. I will thank God for those who died thousands of miles away in distant lands so we could experience a freedom that most will never breathe. I remember talking to a great uncle of mine years ago who was a Marine and fought in the battle of the Pacific. He told me, “I wouldn’t have given two pennies for my life. Each day I thought I was going to die.” He watched friends die unceasingly.

Memorializing, honoring and remembering is something God created us to do. He commanded Israel to do it when he gave them the passover. Exodus 12:14 says, “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.” The Passover was a holiday that was meant to remind Israel of something. Remind them of what? Of death and deliverance.

The Passover preceded God’s final plague on Egypt in which he killed all the firstborn children of those who did not have the blood of lambs smeared across their doorposts. The blood spared Israel from the wrath of God that struck the land of Egypt. The Passover was the beginning of God’s deliverance of his chosen people out of the grip of slavery. God told them to remember that day and to celebrate with feasting for generations to come.

Each Sunday, this exhortation is a kind of memorial. The purpose of the exhortation is to remind us that we are free to come before God through Christ because of the cross. The blood that was smeared on the cross from Jesus’ body being torn apart was that which spared us from having to experience the wrath of God. If you are a believer, remember that this morning. If you are an unbeliever, come to the foot of the cross and be reconciled with God.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9)


Mother’s Day Exhortation

Each Sunday our church incorporates an exhortation into the worship service. It is a way to remind us of how we are acceptable to God only through Jesus’ work and not of our own. It is a reminder of the gospel. This was my exhortation this morning for Mother’s Day.

The exhortation this morning will rightly and appropriately be centered on Mother’s Day. What has now become know as Mother’s Day started in 1908 when a woman by the name of Anna Jarvis held a service to recognize her mother. Anna’s mother, Ann, had cared for wounded soldiers in the Civil War and had organized efforts to address public health issues in her day. Anna’s mission to have a formal recognition for mothers was brought to fruition in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation stating the second Sunday in May would be Mother’s Day.

Since then cards and flowers and gifts have marked this day. Yet we can look back farther than 1914 and see what God revealed to us about mothers in Psalm 139. God describes how he fashions or brings about humans. He forms, he knits in a mother’s womb, and he intricately weaves. All of us are to be in awe and wonder and praise at this. God has chosen mother’s to incubate and bring into the world that which is to image himself. We are created in the image of God and have been carefully made by him in our mother’s wombs.

So mother’s, on this day, whether you are weary with raising little ones or are older, empty-nesters with children no longer; God has used you to bring about his greatest creation for we are all image-bearers of a great and glorious God. God used a mother as the means by which he was to enter the world and take on human flesh. Jesus became a fetus, sat in amniotic fluid for 9 months, passed through a birth canal, and was born into the world to rescue a people from their sin. It is this amazing reality that brought about the truth of the gospel. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and grew in the womb of a woman, lived a perfect life, and died for the sins of his mother and the sins of those who would believe on his name.

It is this gospel that brings hope to mothers in their mothering. Yet not only moms.It is the hope for women who want children but are not able to. It is the hope for women who have had abortions and feel the guilt of their decision. It is for women who have children who have walked away from the faith and pray for their souls each day. It is for women who have have lost children in death and are crushed under the pain of it. It is for women who have adopted children. It is for those who have experienced abuse at the hand of their mothers and this day is filled with painful memories. It is for those who are foster parents and experience the simultaneous joy and pain of seeing children come in and out of their home. It is for those raising children that are disabled and life isn’t happening the way it was planned. The gospel has implications for every situation in every woman that is here this morning.

There is joyfulness and sorrow that coincide on Mother’s Day. No matter where you are this morning look to Jesus for forgiveness of sin, for hope in salvation, for healing from pain, for endurance in suffering, and for joy in a hope everlasting. For it was this Jesus that entered the world through a mother and rescued all of us from our sins. Ann Jarvis brought care to wounded soldiers in their sufferings. Jesus brought a rescue plan for all of us and is leading us into a joy that is unspeakable. Hope in him.


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