Saturday, May 30, 2015

Following Faith

Gtcotr/ss053115

John 12
42 ¶  Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;
43  for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

James 2
19  You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble!
20  But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

The effect of faith need not be salvation. Even the trembling faith and conviction of some who believe in God does not automatically lead to the submission of heart and character. This element of submission is always found resident in the life of a born again Christian.

Romans 10
6  But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way … , "Do not say in your heart, ’Who will ascend into heaven?’" (that is, to bring Christ down from above)
7  or, "’Who will descend into the abyss?’" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). [Note: I know what faith does not say …]
8  But what does it say? … "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):
9  that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 14:23  But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Perfection is not a requirement for salvation; submission clearly is.

Faith says, “I know there is a God.”

Faith is the power to save a soul providing that soul submits themselves to God and His plan of redemption based on the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus.

Faith is also the power to condemn a soul or a spirit to eternal separation from the God if they refuse to acknowledge and/or submit themselves to God during the period of time God allows them individual opportunity to access this grace. When the door is closed, it’s closed. The door for angels and spirits has already closed. The door for mankind closes at the point of each person’s death and ultimately at the close of this age for everyone.

Each spirit and every soul is without excuse to claim there is no God.

Romans 1
18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 ¶  because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21  because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22  Professing to be wise, they became fools,

It’s foolish to imagine you don’t know there’s a God – and it’s foolish to know He exists and imagine you don’t need to know Him.

You believe … so to the devils - the only thing left for your salvation and deliverance is to for you to “Follow your faith.”

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Each person mentioned in the Hebrews 11, known as the faith chapter, were people who had faith and followed that faith and accomplished great things for God. Miracles begin to happen when we follow our faith!

I challenge you who believe to follow on to know God by submitting your life, your character and the practice of your faith to the Lordship of Christ. It is as simple as a heartfelt prayer, as powerful as the blood of Jesus and as eternal as God.

You can have an abiding and eternal relationship with Creator of the Universe through the faith you already have in God. Here’s how:

Following Faith
1.  Recognize your faith in God
2.  Realize you are lost without His help
3.  Repent of your sins
4.  Receive His forgiveness through Jesus His Son

These same steps ought to be continually taken each and every day of a believer’s life and especially during trying or difficult times and when mistakes, failures or disappointments have occurred and we find ourselves in need of God’s love, forgiveness and grace.


Won’t you stand and pray with me now and let’s acknowledge our trust and commitment to God through Jesus, His Son. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sunday Circles - Water Baptism

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock
Gtcotr/sc053115

Prayer
Hymn: Come Thou Fount
Memory Verse: Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Lesson: Water Baptism

                Pastor remarks and intro of first principle

First Principle: A Baptism of Deliverance
Character: Moses
Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
Question: What are some problems and/or addictions people may continue to deal with after being born again?
Follow Up Question: Have you ever known someone who was saved and yet needed help to be set free? 
Conclusion: The Children of Israel safely passed through the Red Sea while it closed on their enemies, drowning them so that they saw their enemies no more again forever. Water baptism provides the same deliverance for us in that it stops the haunting enemies of our past and their pursuits of us in our new day.

                Pastor remarks and intro of next principle

Second Principle: A Baptism of Repentance
Character: John the Baptist
Scripture Reference: Acts 19:4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
Question: What does repentance mean?
Follow Up Question: Do you think people ever need spiritual help to change their natural lives? If so, what are some provisions God offers the repentant heart?
Conclusion: People came to be baptized by John the Baptist because they wanted a change in their life and needed God’s help to make that change. Water baptism delivers us from our enemies and also provides a place for repentance so that we receive power to change our lives and line up with God’s will.

                Pastor remarks and intro of next principle

Third Principle: A Baptism of Identification
Scripture Reference: Matthew 3:17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Character: Jesus
Question: What are some reasons people may not want to publicly identify themselves with Jesus?
Follow Up Question: Should people allow these concerns to dictate their proper response to Jesus?
Follow Up Question: What are some benefits to our public identification with Christ?
Conclusion:  Jesus was not water baptized to become the Son of God but rather to fulfill the will of God for His life. A voice from heaven spoke declaring to the world that Jesus was the Son of God. Our water baptism is also a point of identification…we identify with Christ and heaven identifies with us.

          Pastor closing remarks and the rest of the story

·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Price of Life

Gtcotr/ss052415

John 12:24  “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”

(I just returned from Fort Bragg NC where I attended the 2015 All American Week in memory and honor of the soldiers lost in war …)

The price of life is death. Either we pay the price for someone else to live or someone else pays the price for us and others to live.

This is true both in our earthly life and in the life to come. Jesus, the Son of God, paid the ultimate price for our eternity when He gave His life to save you and me. God respected the death of Jesus and honored Him. Jesus laid down His life in love. The scriptures tell us:

John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

Simply put – We lay our lives down for those whom we love more than we love ourselves.

We'll come back and further develop this thought in a moment but first let’s focus our attention on the Holiday we will observe tomorrow.

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and tomorrow is Memorial Day - the time we set aside in our great nation, the United States of America:
   * this one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all;
   * this land of the free, home of the brave;
   * this nation that was built on the ideal embraced and taken from a poem by Emma Lazarus written in 1883 which welcomed more than 12 million immigrants to Ellis Island from 1892 to 1954:

“… Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
   * the nation is a golden door …
   * this nation who defends the weak, feeds the hungry, gives to the poor and protects the rights of each individual regardless of race, color, gender, national origin or religious affiliation;
   * this nation of The People, by The People, and for The People, who has always given its very best and brightest sons and daughters in defense of these ideals … the United States of America …

We should yield solemn respect to those who gave their time, talent and treasure, pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to serve our country in times of war and peace, and remember those who sacrificed their lives in that noble cause. These men and women made the difference.

We owe our nation, our homes and our cars, our jobs and our hobbies, our past, our families and our future to those brave Americans who unselfishly gave their lives for us.

There are so many heroes in our past who served in one way or another to make America great. Men and women alike … those who sailed with and supported Columbus; families on the Mayflower; the colonists who braved the elements of a new harsh world; those early pioneers and settlers of the west; men and women of science and medicine; those who laid the railways to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific; people like Lewis and Clarke, Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers and the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr.; … so many educators and philanthropists; inventors and astronauts; homemakers and shipbuilders; slaves and freemen; factory workers and farmers … America is the land of the free and the home of the brave, a land filled with heroes to whom we owe our good lives.

Every day of the year could be a special day commemorating a different segment of our society for their unselfish and sacrificial contribution in making America great and leaving such a legacy behind.

However, one class of citizen stands out on the front lines of our nation when we think of the heroes of our past, it’s the American Soldier. Memorial Day is about those who died while defending us in war.

To give you an idea of the numbers of our brave men and women from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, who have lost their lives while serving in defense of our freedoms, allow me to briefly show you these figures: (Source: http://www.militaryfactory.com/american_war_deaths.asp)

American Revolutionary War                        1775-1783          25,000
Northwest Indian War                         1785-1795          1,056
Quasi-War                                         1798-1800          514
War of 1812                                       1812-1815          20,000
1st Seminole War                                1817-1818          36
Black Hawk War                                 1832                 305
2nd Seminole War                                        1835-1842          1,535
Mexican-American War                                1846-1848          13,283
3rd Seminole War                                        1855-1858          26
Civil War                                            1861-1865          625,000
Indian Wars                                       1865-1898          919
Great Sioux War                                 1875-1877          314
Spanish-American War                                1898                 2,446
Philippine-American War                      1898-1913          4,196
Boxer Rebellion                                   1900-1901          131
Mexican Revolution                             1914-1919          35
Haiti Occupation                                 1915-1934          148
World War I                                       1917-1918          116,516
North Russia Campaign                       1918-1920          424
American Expedition Force Siberia        1918-1920          328
Nicaragua Occupation                         1927-1933          48
World War II                                      1941-1945          405,399
Korean War                                        1950-1953          36,516
Vietnam War                                      1955-1975          58,209
El Salvador Civil War                           1980-1992          37
Beirut                                                1982-1984          266
Grenada                                            1983                 19
Panama                                             1989                 40
Persian Gulf War                                1990-1991          258
Operation Provide Comfort                   1991-1996          19
Somalia Intervention                           1992-1995          43
Bosnia                                               1995-2004          12
NATO Air Campaign Yugoslavia            1999                 20
Afghanistan                                       2001-2014          2,356
Iraq                                                  2003-2012          4,489
Total US Military War Deaths above      1775-2014          1,319,943

(Note: The above source lists only 35 of the 65 wars and armed conflicts the US has waged or participated in since 1775. For information on other conflicts and total American War Deaths ((1.35 million )) -  visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war )

In honor of those who gave their lives in sacrifice for our freedom we have set aside a national day of remembrance, we call it Memorial Day and we celebrate that day tomorrow. Everyone is encouraged to take a moment at 3 p.m. tomorrow and remember those brave souls who chose their course and served the cause, giving their lives in defense of our Nation’s decided best interest. We owe a debt to them and to their families forever.

In fact let’s take a moment together right now and thank God as we prayerfully honor these remembered lives and the sacrifice they made.

The price of life is death … someone else died so you could live. Someone else gave their life so you could enjoy yours. Someone else paid the price for all the things we now enjoy. However …

Of all the wars that have ever waged, the battles lost and the victories won, no war has ever been greater than the war that rages on the inside of a person to live or to die. There are fierce battles ongoing in the hearts and minds of men and women every day, even you, right now!

The battle ‘of the heart’ is a battle ‘for the heart’ and the battle ‘of the mind’ is a battle ‘for the mind’ – one battle is a battle for our eternal soul: who will own it; to whom will it belong eternally? The other battle is for control of our lives while we live out our temporal time on planet earth. This second battle is a battle fought by opposing forces to determine:
·        What we will believe
·        What we will say
·        What we will do

The battle for the heart is won when a person:
1.   Recognizes they need a Savior;
2.   Repents of their sins before Almighty God;
3.   Receives Jesus into their heart as Lord and Savior …

The battle for the mind is a daily battle we face in this life while awaiting heaven’s final call. The battle of the mind is daily won as we:
1.   Prove or disprove each thought by the Word of God;
2.   Train our lips to speak the Truth in Love;
3.   Deny ourselves, take up our daily cross and follow Jesus …

If you have never been Born Again, today is your day to win that battle.
-      Recognize; Repent; & Receive Jesus as Lord and Savior today …

If you have already been born again then you are a child of Almighty God. The greatest fight you now face is how to win those daily battles of the mind. Let me arm you with a winning strategy for those constant conflicts.

Remember what we discovered earlier? - Simply put – We lay our lives down for those whom we love more than we love ourselves.

You see, our greatest victories always come in love and in death – specifically: Death to self and selfish ideals - Love for God and others.

During the past 240 years 1.35 million men and women in uniform have made the ultimate sacrifice because they loved others more than they loved themselves. Listen again to the words of Jesus …

John 15
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.


Today, in respect of Memorial Day, I challenge you to reconsider who and what you love and for what are you willing to sacrifice. Have you laid your life down on the altar of love for God and for others above yourself?  

Sunday Circles - Putting the Past Behind

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock
Gtcotr/sc052415

Prayer
Hymn: Come Thou Fount
Memory Verse: Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Lesson: Putting the Past Behind

                Pastor remarks and intro of first principle

First Principle: Admit It
Scripture Reference: 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
According to Psalms 51, it is against God and God only that we sin.
God does not intend that we tell everyone about our wretched failures.
Acknowledging our sins before God is a first simple step toward forgiveness and restoration.
Question: What are some reasons many people avoid simple remedy?
Follow Up Question: How can we expect God to respond to our confession?
Conclusion: We often find people bowing before Jesus and telling Him everything. Upon their confession, Jesus never condemned but always forgave and encouraged them to go their way and sin no more.

Pastor remarks and intro of second principle

Second Principle: Quit It
Scripture Reference: Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
If we truly want to get out of any hole in life we must at some point stop digging.
When we recognize we are doing something wrong, we then have a responsibility to stop.
There’s always something you can do to please God.
God will help you quit it ...
Question: What are some ways we can work with God to help ourselves do better?
Follow Up Question:  What does the Bible say about turning from sin?
Conclusion: It is to our advantage and to the advantage of others that we recognize when we have sinned, go before God and acknowledge that sin, and seek His help so that we might successfully turn from our sins to a life more pleasing to Him. The benefits are abundant.

Pastor remarks and intro of third principle

Third Principle: Forget It
Scripture Reference: Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
It is not only important that we forgive others but it is also important that we forgive ourselves.
Holding on to past failures can keep our enemies alive.
Once we admit it and quit it, it is then best that we put the past behind us.
Question: When we are forgiven, God forgets our sin. What do you think it means to forget the past?
Follow- up Question: When is it helpful and when is it hurtful to forget the past?
Conclusion: Putting the past behind us can be difficult when we have hurt others by our actions. Nonetheless, it is an important step to the future God intends us to enjoy. In the same way we may need help quitting, we might also need God’s help forgetting.

Pastor closing remarks

·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Hot is Hot

Gtcotr/ss051715

The surface of the sun is 10,000 degrees F while the inner core reaches about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.

Hottest day ever recorded in the United States in Death Valley on July 10, 1913 was 134 degrees F

Hottest day ever recorded on the surface of the earth was in 2005 in the Lut Desert in Iran – 159 degrees F

Average daytime temperature on the surface of the moon is 215 F

The temperature at which an Intel CPU processor shuts down automatically is 257 F

The highest temperature ever survived by a living creature on earth was the near indestructible invertebrate commonly called the moss-pig, or water bear – 304 degrees F (interestingly the same species holds the record for surviving the coldest temperature of any living thing, -459 degrees F.

The perfect temperature to cook a hazelnut soufflĂ© – 325 degrees F.

The surface temperature of Venus, the hottest planet in the solar system – 863 F

The maximum terperature of the brake discs on a Formula 1 car – 1382 F

Silver melts at – 1763 F

Lava from a volcanic eruption – 2192 F

The hottest part of a wax candle flame – 2552 F

The temperature at which iron melts – 2800 F

Gold - Melting point: 1947.52 °F
Platinum - Melting point 3224F
Ruby - Melting point: 3722°F
Sapphire - Melting point 3704 °F

A diamond has the highest melting point of any mineral. The diamond mineral will melt at 6416.33 degrees F.

The chemical element with the highest melting point is carbon, at 7280–8000 °F.

The Earth’s inner core of iron has a temperature of approximately 10,800 °F, yet it is solid, because the pressure there is about 3 million times greater than on the surface.

The Earth’s inner core has a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun … that’s hot!

However the hottest thing on record is man-made … by the way it is the heat generated at the inside of a nuclear explosion fireball, which initial x-ray blasts reaches approximately 18 million degrees F, rather …

The hottest man-made temperature was created by collisions of lead ions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland – 9.9 trillion degrees Fahrenheit. That’s over 5 times greater than the big bang theorists calculate the explosion at the very beginning of the universe.


2 Peter 3    NKJV
9 ¶  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11 ¶  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13  Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2 Peter 3  NKJV
3 ¶  knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4  and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
5  For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
6  by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7  But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Just one word from God is all that is waiting.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

Good News!!! Today we are having a relatively cool day today and the door is still open.


Sunday Circles - Discipleship

Sunday Circles
        Building Your Family With Friends
Church On The Rock
Gtcotr/sc051715

Prayer
Hymn: Come Thou Fount
Memory Verse: Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Lesson: Discipleship

                Pastor remarks and intro of first principle

First Principle: Model
Character: Paul
Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
Question: What are some areas of life where we naturally influence the mind set and behavior of others by what we do?
Follow Up Question: What are some ways leadership can be expressed through our daily lives?
Conclusion: Our spiritual DNA is much like our biological DNA. We tend to imitate our spiritual mothers and fathers. This is by God’s design. For this reason, we should pay close attention to our words, our attitudes, and our actions because others follow us.

                Pastor remarks and intro of second principle

Second Principle: Mentor
Character: Timothy
Scripture Reference: 2 Timothy 2:25-26 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
Question: Can we always expect others will listen to our well meant instructions?
Follow Up Question:  What can we do to better position ourselves to be heard?
Conclusion: It is important we take the time to teach others and instruct them concerning God’s ways, especially those who are headed down destructive paths. Our instructions should come from a heart of humility realizing that we too are susceptible to sin. Often we must build the bridge of relationship before we can successfully reach others with heavy loads of instruction or correction. People care what you know when they first know that you care.

Pastor remarks and intro of third principle

Third Principle: Multiply
Character: Paul
Scripture Reference: 2 Timothy 2:2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
Question: What is the difference in being able and being faithful?
Follow Up Question: In what ways can a person’s ability become a test to their faithfulness?
Conclusion: It is not only our responsibility to lead others and teach others but also to make them fruitful in their adventures of life. One of the original five commands of God was to be fruitful and multiply. Fruit is a second generation expression of life.

Pastor closing remarks

·        Connect Cards; Offering and Prayer
·        Memory Verse

·        Pre-Praise & Worship Prayer will be hosted in the Sanctuary Studio. Worship will begin in just a few minutes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

When Moms Have Challenges

Gtcotr/ss051015

Let’s take a Bible look at a mom and the times in her life when motherhood challenged her and how she handled those challenges.

The mother we are going to use as our guide this morning is the woman God chose to be the mother of His only begotten Son. That’s right; I am referring to none other than Mary the mother of Jesus.

So without further ado let’s begin our adventure through the Word of God by asking the question:

When are mothers most likely to face challenges in life?

In Mary’s case, her life challenges began even before her first Child was born...

1.   Mothers face some of their greatest challenges during pregnancy.
a.   Luke 2:4-6 tells the story of Mary’s husband, Joseph, and his sudden trip south to Bethlehem. It was a week’s walk for a pregnant woman and Mary seemingly made the trip without complaint.

Luke 4:7  Mary brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

b.   Once in Bethlehem their wasn’t even a hotel room available
c.   Mary had to deliver the baby Jesus in a stable and had to use rags to wrap her Child and the only place to lay Him was in a feeding trough.

When mothers face challenges during pregnancy – they do whatever it takes to protect their unborn child, keep them safe and make them a home out of whatever they find.

2.   Mothers also face some of their greatest challenges during adolescence. That’s the age when their child begins to be a little more trusted to go out and about without the constant watchful eye of a parent. This is the beginning stages of growing up.
a.   Luke 2:42-49 shares the account of Mary and her Son when He was 12 years old. This growing Child purposely stayed behind when His mother and family left the big city on their way back home.
b.   It was 3 days before His mother and Joseph found Jesus.
c.   Jesus was doing what He felt was reasonable but His mother did not share His perspective on the matter at hand.

Luke 2:48  So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

d.   Children sometimes push the envelope when it comes to doing what they think is alright.
e.   The scriptures continue the story by telling us that Jesus got up and went home with His Mother and remained in submission to her and as well, she pondered on this matter herself.

When mothers are challenged by their adolescent child they search for a way to reach them and give them firm guidance while realizing that their child is growing up and will one day be making decisions for themselves.

3.   Mothers sometimes face challenges by their 20 something year old children. These represent those who are grown but not yet out of the house. Them and their friends make their own decisions but yet they are still living a somewhat dependent life.
a.   John 2:3-5 give us a look at Jesus and His friends at a wedding in a town near Nazareth. The wedding host ran out of wine and Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew He could help.
b.   But Jesus did not want to help. Perhaps He saw it as a misuse of His abilities or maybe He didn’t want to be recognized as the guy who can turn water into wine.
c.   Whatever the concern, Jesus did not want to do it.

John 2:4  Jesus said to Mary, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” (5) His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

d.   And the water was turned into wine!
e.   Mary didn’t take her Son’s verdict for her decision … and Jesus once again obeyed His mother.

When mothers are challenged by their 20 year old dependent children, they have to be ready to assert themselves and demand respect for a parental decision.

4.   Mothers sometimes face challenges with their children who are grown and gone. When a child is grown and gone a mother’s words become counsel and not command. This can be difficult on a mother who always believes she knows what is best for her child.
a.   Matthew 12:47-50 gives the account of Jesus during His ministry in the Galilee. Some thought He was the Messiah and others a lunatic. Mary was concerned for her Son and so was the rest of the family.

Matthew 12:47 Then one said to Jesus, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside, seeking to speak with You.”

b.   Many believe they simply wanted to take Jesus back home and keep Him from further endangering Himself with the religious leaders.
c.   Whatever the reason, Jesus chose to not respond to His mother in the way she hoped. In fact, if Mary had chosen, her Son’s response could have really hurt her feelings.

When mothers are challenged by grown up adult children they must not allow offenses or hurt feelings to drive a wedge between them and their child. Mary was always right there for her Son, even to the end …

5.   The greatest challenge any mother can face is the death of her child. For some it is a sudden tragedy and for others an impending haunt that demands a journey to the sudden separation that leaves them so empty.
a.   John 19:26-27 records Jesus on the cross after having been violently arrested, wrongfully accused, unjustly sentenced, unmercifully beaten and cruelly nailed to a cross on Mt Calvary.
b.   I’m told that some of the last thoughts and words spoken by men who believe they are dying are often about their mothers.
c.   Mary was at the cross to be with her Son in His final moments. We cannot fully understand the grief she bore nor the pain of her soul as she watched her Child in agony.
d.   Even though she was the mother of the Son of God, she could not understand what was taking place before her very eyes or make any sense of the moment in light of God’s eternal perspective.

John 19
26  When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!"
27  Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

e.   Jesus spoke to His mother and left His parting words of care and concern for her future … a future she would have to endure beyond the death of her Child.
f.    Mary’s life went on … and although she could not change the moment, she kept her trust in God.

When mothers face the death of a child they must continue to put their trust in God for somehow, even without permission, life will go on.

If it were not for mothers not one of us would be alive today. Mothers face many challenges in life. I hope today you will remember your mother with kindness. God commands that we honor our parents. This is His will. Today let’s do this by honoring the mothers all around us.

God bless you moms … we love you and pray that God would continue to give you the grace it takes to put up with the rest of us.