Sunday, May 30, 2021

The Secret


Today is Memorial Day Sunday in the US. We are truly a grateful nation beholden forever to those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who lost their lives on the fields of battle to keep our nation safe and our people free. We honor the memory of the fallen and remember their sacrifice.

Despite the continuing concerns and many disappointments of the recent past, the United States of America is still the best and the most God blessed country in the world. I love America and I am proud our nation has set aside a day to respect those who died in uniform for her defense. May we never forget and may God continue to bless the USA.

This morning is also Family Sunday at COTR. We will be reading from the 1st chapter of Paul’s letter to the Church in Colossae. Might I remind us that:

No one is born by accident and nothing is done without God’s notice. Ephesians 2 confirms that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

I cannot imagine better news than to hear that the Creator of the universe noticed my birth and has invited me to participate in His eternal plan. You are special to God and because of His plan to save souls, He has given you great access and amazing abilities. 

You have been given the opportunity to know God and to introduce Him to others. God’s hand is firmly on your life even when you don’t feel Him. He holds you close to His heart. Today God wants to make sure you know a special secret that others in times past did not know.

Let’s begin by reading:

Colossians 1 NLT

25  God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you.

What is God’s message to you right now?

·        You can depend on Jesus.

o   He is loving, kind, merciful, and true

o   He knows what you are facing

o   He is easily touched by everything that concerns you

o   Jesus wants to be your friend – He has chosen you …

·        Your words make a difference.

o   Your words authorize life or death to work in and around you

o   You can say yes or no to eternal life for yourself, and (?) others

o   You can say yes or no to healing, hope, and the return of joy

o   What you tell yourself makes a difference (Proverbs 18:20-21)

o   What you say to others can bring them closer to, or push them farther from, Jesus.

·        God forgives …

o   So should we

o   It was a secret for generations … now it’s not …

o   The greatest secret ever … Jesus lives in you!

o   This should give you a lot of hope for the future …


26  This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people.

27  For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

28  So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.

This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past but now it has been revealed to you. The secret is Christ lives in you!

Not only did God attend your birth and assign His Holy Angels to watch over you as you grew up, but God also sent, and is still sending, messages and messengers to you to offer salvation through His Son Jesus. Now, if you have believed and been born-again, Christ lives in you!

God has forgiven you; Your words are more powerful than ever; and You can depend on Jesus. Christ in you is your assurance and hope of glory!



In AD62 history records that two men left Rome carrying a valuable treasure. They had been commissioned as couriers to deliver documents written in Rome by a Roman prisoner. These sworn documents were of the utmost importance and the men were chosen well, even though one of them was a former run-away-slave.

The second man, and perhaps the leader of the two, was a man named Tychicus. The documents included at least 3 important letters. One was to be left at the capital of the Roman Province of Asia, the city of Ephesus; a second at Colosse; and a third letter was to be hand delivered by Onesimus directly to his master, Philemon, who lived in the region of Phrygia.

I have wondered with what regard and safety these two men protected these treasured letters. They could not be replaced. I doubt they understood the true value and lasting impact the documents they carried would have on their intended recipients.

Did they roll them up and place them in a tube for safe transport? Or perhaps they folded them and put them into a sheepskin satchel. Surely, they didn’t just carry them in their coat pockets or in their baggage along with their clothes and other personal affects. I can’t imagine what I would do or what could be done in AD62.

These men left Rome on foot before boarding a ship. The whole journey would be more than 1000 miles as the crow flies, (providing they could walk much of the way on water), and perhaps closer to 1500 miles by way of the most traveled routes across land and sea. Finally they arrived at in the Roman Province of Asia, entered the city of Ephesus, where Tychicus delivered the first letter.

Then we understand the two journeyed by foot about 100 miles farther east to the city of Colosse and left the second letter there. From Colosse, no doubt Onesimus went on to the home of Philemon and hand delivered the letter intended for him.

We no longer have the original documents, but we do have copies and they have been scholarly translated into English, Russian, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Farsi, Urdu, Swahili, Telegu, Thai, German, French, and so many others that I can’t even count the number.

This evening I would like to read just a little from one of these 2000-year-old letters written by the Apostle Paul during his imprisonment. Let’s look briefly at a small portion of the letter Tychicus and Onesimus delivered from Paul to the Church at Colosse.  

Colossians 1 NLT

1 ¶  This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.

2  We are writing to God’s holy people in the city of Colosse, who are faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. May God our Father give you grace and peace.

6  This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

23  But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

25  God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you.

28  So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.

29  That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.

Not only did the Apostle Paul feel responsible and work hard while being completely dependent on the power of Jesus Christ inside of him, but that’s also why Tychicus and Onesimus braved land and sea on their long and arduous journey against the perils of an anti-Christian Roman Empire and religious zealots who were endeavoring to rid the world of the followers of Christ.

I can’t imagine Tychicus or Onesimus understood the importance and eternal impact of the letters and the message they carried. They had been entrusted with the Word of Almighty God. The Churches of their day and indeed the whole world since that time would have suffered greatly if they had not have taken their responsibility seriously and endured the hardships associated with carrying the Good News of the Gospel of Christ back to their hometowns, their neighboring cities, and ultimately the world.

Without these two couriers of the Gospel of Christ taking their responsibilities seriously, so much would have been lost and forgotten forever. They did all they did and yet I imagine they had no idea how important it was.

Perhaps neither do we fully understand the current value and the eternal impact of the message we have been commissioned to carry for Christ. Generations hang in the balance, neighbors wait in the wings, Churches hunger to be built, while nations yearn for someone to bring the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ to their borders.

We are not just the best couriers Jesus has; we are the only ones Jesus has. We are God’s hope for this generation. Can He depend on us to carry His Word to the lost and dying today? I believe He can … but more importantly, He believes He can, and He hopes we will. Nothing in life is so important as the salvation of the soul. That’s why we work and struggle so hard. That’s why we are fully dependent on the power of Christ within us.

Make no mistake … You have been chosen and commissioned by God to be a courier for Christ just like those two were chosen by Paul in Rome that day. Jesus is asking you to take the word you have been given to carry and protect it and make sure it is delivered to each one of the intended recipients. It is a priceless treasure, and it will still change the world.  

Will you be a trusted courier for Christ today?

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Pentecost 2021


Throughout the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we are given accounts of Jesus traveling to Jerusalem. First, we read about Jesus going to Jerusalem when He was a baby and then again when He was 12 years old. He traveled there with His mother, Mary, and Joseph, and usually a large group of family members and friends. The journey was a long walk and took up to a week to get their comfortably.

Later in the Gospel accounts we are told that as an adult, Jesus made that same trip from the Galilee to Jerusalem many times. In fact we have reason to imagine He made this journey more than once each year, perhaps every year of His life. Most of the time Jesus traveled with His family and later with His disciples. Once it seems He may have even gone by Himself. Again, it was a long walk there and back and the weather did not always cooperate. Nonetheless it appears Jesus, like most Jewish men, was committed to each pilgrimage.

Why? Why take perhaps 9 weeks out of each year and make the trip to Jerusalem, spend a week there, then make the week-long trip back to your home? Because God said …

Deuteronomy 16:16  Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

From the time of Moses until today, those who follow the Law of Moses are commanded, if at all possible, to appear before the Lord three times each year at the place God shall choose. From the days of King David until the crucifixion of Jesus, that place was unquestionably Jerusalem.

This is why Jesus and His family, and later His disciples kept going there. This is why Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover the year He was crucified. This is why so many Jews and converts to Judaism from all over the known world were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost that same year.

Without respect as to what else is going on in the world at any given moment, God’s eyes and His heart are always on Jerusalem. God’s plan for mankind is tied to what happens in Israel and even more specifically, in Jerusalem.

Between 700 and 900 years before Jesus was born, the word of the Lord came to a prophet named Joel. To give us some perspective as to what was happening on the world stage during that time:

·        In about 910BC King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, lost control of the nation and it divided between the 10 Northern Tribes and the 2 Tribes of Judah and Benjamin in the South.

·        In 900BC the city of La Venta replaced the city of San Lorenzo as the capital city of the Olmecs along the Gulf of Mexico. It was a part of the growing Mesoamerican culture of its day.

·        In 870BC the Assyrian King dedicated a new palace in the city of Nimrud, (20 miles south of Mosel in Iraq), and boasted he accounted for 69,584 guests who attended the palace-warming party.

·        In 853BC, 1000 Arab warriors riding on camels did battle at Qarqar in western Syria. History records King Ahab of Israel sent 2000 chariots and 10,000 soldiers to that battle. The combined forces marked the largest number of people ever assembled for war up until that time. (Also of note: This was the first known reference in recorded history to delineate Arabs as a distinct people group.) At the point when Arabs were written into history, this 1000-member camel calvary were allies with the Jews against their enemies.

·        By 800BC the Egyptians were using sundials.

·        776BC is the traditional date for the first athletic contest at Olympia.

·        753BC is the date established for the founding of Rome.

·        710BC the first key was fitted into a lock at the palace of Sargon II in Assyria.

·        700BC The Greeks added vowels to their alphabet and the Egyptians created an abbreviated form of hieroglyphs for everyday use. (in the script “demotic” – meaning – “for the people”)

·        689BC The Assyrian King Sennacherib destroyed the city of Babylon with such brutality.

·        667BC Byzantium, (the future Constantinople), now the city of Istanbul, where 30 of us will be in 12 days, was founded. It was originally a Greek city-state.


At any rate, while all this was going on under heaven’s watch, God had His eyes firmly fixed on Israel. God’s eternal plan was unfolding on schedule and His Word came to the prophet Joel about a coming day, hundreds of years in Joel’s future, which we now know as the day of Pentecost. Joel perfectly recorded the prophecy and foretold how God would one day pour His Spirit out upon all flesh.

Fast forward 700 to 900 years after the time of Joel to the time of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry. Jesus was 33 ½ years old. It was the spring of the year and time for the Feast of Passover. As was His custom, Jesus went up to Jerusalem to observe the feast. This year would be different than any year before. It had been 1500 years since Moses wrote Deuteronomy 16:16 commanding all men to attend this celebration. It had always been a dress rehearsal only this year, Jesus was the Lamb, and His blood would forever deliver God’s children and set them free from the penalties of sin.

Jesus was crucified at Passover, raised on the third day, it was a Sunday.  Then 50 days later, again on a Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost began.

Acts 2

1 ¶  When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

3  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.

4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5 ¶  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.


9  “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,

10  “Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

11  “Cretans and Arabs — (they said) we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

12  So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

13  Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

14 ¶  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.

15  “For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.

16  “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17  ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

18  And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.

19  I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

21  And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’”

Both the prophecy of Joel and the account of Luke confirms that God poured His Spirit out on His sons and daughters for one eternal purpose … the salvation of people from every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue. And, according to Revelation 14, you will see people in heaven from all over the world: ever custom, culture, creed, and condition of life, who have been saved by the blood of the Lamb because of the precious Holy Spirit who was given to us on the Day of Pentecost so that we might have the ability to be a witness to all nations.

When Jesus breathed on His disciples and gave them power in His name and sent out on His behalf, as recorded in Luke 10, they returned all excited about what they had experienced. Those disciples told Jesus how the devils were subject to them in His name. He confirmed their power was real, but He also informed them as to why they had been given such power. He told them not to rejoice in the power alone but that they should rejoice in the fact that their names had been written in the Lamb’s book of life.

It is now and always has been about souls. And it always will be until the coming of the Lord. Allow me to quote the prophet Joel and the Apostle Peter by giving you the best news ever heard by anyone, anywhere, at any time …

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord, shall be saved!”

Paul quoted this same prophecy in Romans 10:13. Then the Apostle followed up with a sobering truth:

Romans 10 NLT

13  For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

14  But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

So much is going on all over the world today. However, God still has His eyes firmly fixed on His plan to save every person we tell about Jesus. Let’s not forget that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of salvation to the Jew first and also to every Gentile.

Without respect as to what custom, culture, creed, or condition of life you or anyone else experiences … every person needs Jesus!

We have but one duty to the God who loves us and gave His only begotten Son to save us from eternal damnation. We have been commissioned to tell others about Jesus. Without prejudice, pride, or presumption. Every person needs Jesus.

The message of Pentecost is a message of salvation. Go from here and tell someone the Good News this week. How could you not?

Sunday, May 16, 2021

“We Do!”- How in the world did you get like this?


Early in AD53, I suppose the Apostle Paul was 48 years old and had been living and teaching in the city of Corinth for the last 18 months. While in Corinth he met a man named Aquilla and his wife Priscilla. Aquilla was a tent maker so the Apostle Paul picked up some part-time work with him while he discipled them and some others in the city. The Church Paul started in Corinth was filled with some very interesting people. Some were super-Christians and others were barely Christians.

When Paul decided to go to Jerusalem for an upcoming feast, probably Passover, Aquilla and Priscilla accompanied him. When the ship stopped at Ephesus Paul got to preach in the Synagogue there. Afterwards the Jewish congregation asked him to stay with them longer however, he decided it was best for him to continue his journey and he promised to return to Ephesus if the Lord allowed. Aquilla and Priscilla stayed behind in Ephesus to carry on the work of the Lord there until Paul’s hopeful return.

After Paul left a very eloquent teacher of the scriptures and a huge supporter of the teachings of John the Baptist came to Ephesus.

Acts 18 NKJV

24 ¶  Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus.

25  This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John.

26  So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

27  And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;

28  for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 19 NKJV

1 ¶  And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples

2  he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

3  And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

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.”

5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

7  Now the men were about twelve in all.

First, let me say that after reading this some years ago I became much more impressed with the ministry of John the Baptist. If we fail to read the whole New Testament and connect the dots, we might miss the real story and especially in this case the huge impact John the Baptist had on the people in the Middle East, Asia Minor, and Europe. His messages on preparing for the coming of the Lord drew and inspired so many people to go into all the world and tell people about the Messiah.

Just in these few verses we meet Apollos who was an eloquent man and mighty in scriptures who had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and taught accurately the things of the Lord, but he only knew the baptism of John the Baptist. In other words, Apollos only had one message … it was the same message Noah was given … Repent! However, instead of being commissioned to build an ark, Apollos was commissioned to go into all the world, from Egypt to Israel and from Asia Minor to Europe, and tell people to prepare for the coming of the Lord!

Then a few months later we see the influence John the Baptist’s again in the lives of another dozen men who were committed disciples of the same teachings. These men remind me of the disciples of Christ. We aren’t told if they had been converted to John’s message of repentance by someone like Apollos or if they had actually been baptized by John in the Jordan River during his ministry. But whichever, these men were committed to getting right and ready for the coming of the Lord.

I have often thought that the question Paul asked these men should also be asked of us today. It seems from the manner of life they portrayed, to their conversation, or perhaps their public teaching, that Paul expected they were already Born-Again Believers in the risen Savior Jesus. However, they weren’t. They were only living like it.

Even in Paul’s day people looked like Born-Again Believers and said the right things and lived the right way and were sorry for their sins and had been baptized in hopes it would change their lives, however … they had never actually accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

Expecting they were followers of Jesus, Paul said: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

“Well,” Paul said … and I paraphrase … “How in the world did you get like this? … What in the heck made you decide to get right with God?”

They said, “It was John the Baptist. He said we better stop sinning, repent, and get right with God cause the Messiah is coming and we don’t want to be living in sin when the Lord shows up!”

Paul replied: “You’re right. John did preach a lot on repentance telling people to believe on the One coming after him, that is on Jesus Christ, and I’m telling you … He’s here! He came … it’s Jesus of Nazareth … He is the Messiah! Do you believe that?”

They said, “We do!”

When Paul heard they believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior he knew they were saved and so he baptized them in the name of Jesus and then after they were baptized he laid his hands on them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues and prophesied, just like had happened in the upper room in Jerusalem in Acts 2, and in Samaria in Acts 8, and in Caesarea in Acts 10, and in my house in Simms, Texas in 1980.

Something overwhelming and irrefutable happened to those 12 boys that day. They were doing their best, living right, saying the right things, doing the right things, encouraging people with the Word of God they knew, just like Apollos had been doing, and then they had a life changing experience with Jesus Himself.

Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The miracle gift of God to be a witness for Jesus to the end of the earth.

Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?

It’s not enough just to change your ways, go to church, or just be good. Have you been Born-Again? Have you received the miracle working ability to be a witness for Jesus to end of the world?

John the Baptist’s message is still as powerful today as it was 2000 years ago. Get ready and get right and go tell everybody. Jesus is coming soon!

This is what I am asking you to do today:

·        Ask yourself the question:

o   Why do I live like I do?

o   How in the world did I get like this?

·        Open your heart to God and:

o   Ask God to fill you with the power of the Holy Spirit.

o   This miracle gift will manifest in you as the power to be a witness and to explain truths you didn’t even know.

·        If you have not been baptized since you personally believed in Jesus:

o   Consider if you might need to be water baptized.

Let’s pray together right now.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Roots and Fruits of Life


Prayer: Israel; Covid; Colonial; Crazy people without Christ.

Colossians 2 NKJV

6  As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

·        A presumption of reception …

o   Have you welcomed Christ Jesus the Lord?

o   How far have you allowed Him into your life?

o   Is He the Lord of your life?

§  Time

§  Talents

§  Treasury

·        So walk in Him …

7  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

·        Rooted – to be grounded as with a foundation that is fixed.

·        Built up – to build on the foundation which has been laid.

·        Established – to confirm the building is sure and secure.

·        In the faith – which is in Christ Jesus …

·        Abounding – overflowing with abundant thanksgiving to God.

Ephesians 3

17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19  And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

8  Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

·        Beware – Gk Blep’o – it can happen so quickly; keep your eyes open.

o   Be aware

o   Don’t be fooled

·        Cheat – to carry off booty; take captive; captivate

·        Philosophy – through zeal or skill, in the arts or science …

·        Basic principles of the world – worldly philosophy …

o   World – kosmos – the ungodly mass of mankind without God

Colossians 2:23  These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.

o   These principles of the world may seem wise, but they provide no help …

o   Why? Because they are …

·        Not according to Christ …

o   Worldly answers are empty answers …

o   Crazy people without Christ … (living in a burning building)

Psalms 107:43  Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Colossians 2

9  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

10  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

·        Complete – filled; full; furnished; accomplished; supplied; perfect.

You are complete in Him!

Every desire God has given mankind can be made complete only in Christ as we accept Him into our lives by faith, root ourselves and ground ourselves in love, and build our life on the eternal principles of His Word.

Once the process in underway in earnest, a person begins to understand the lovingkindness of the Lord in a new way and thanksgiving to God will abound .where emptiness and concern once overshadowed eternity. 

You will find completeness, wholeness, fulfillment in Christ as you continue to build your life on the faith and love grown in the garden or your heart with Christ.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Mother’s Day


In America we choose one day each year to observe things we feel are special and worth remembering or celebrating. Here are a few from our 2021 US National Celebrations and Observances Calendar:

·        January 1st – New Year’s Day but also National Hangover Day

·        January 2nd – National Science Fiction Day and National Buffet Day

·        January 6th – National Cuddle Up Day

April 15th, normally known as Income Tax Day was changed to …

·        National High Five Day

·        National Laundry Day

May 18th will be National No Dirty Dishes Day

·        If you keep up with this schedule, your whole house will be cleaned by late November.

May 21st – Take a Memo Day

·        I would appreciate it if someone would jot down a reminder?

June 8th – National Call Your Doctor Day

·        Which would have been better if they would have put it on:

June 24th – which is National Work From Home Day

·        That way you would be at home with all the info the doctor needs.

·        And why will we need to work from home? Because …

June 21st was National Take Your Cat To Work With You Day

·        I’m pretty sure the offices will be smelly and in disarray that day.

Also I want to let you all know that I am going to be pretty busy on Sunday the 1st of August …

·        American Family Day and  

·        It’s also National Girlfriend Day

o   I’m not sure how we are supposed to juggle those two on the same day.

o   I guess we could invite the girlfriends to family dinner …

o   Should be enough room at the table because it is also:

·        International Childfree Day

·        And - Sisters' Day

·        And - National Friendship Day

o   Going to be a lot of sitting around wondering which conversation to join in on …

o   But just to keep down on the dead time …

·        It’s also - World Scout Scarf Day 

o   Sadly, I’ll be the guy without the scarf.

o   You’ll be able to recognize me from the nail biting …

August 17th

·        National Black Cat Appreciation Day

o   I would have expected that to be on October 31.

Did everyone get the memo from last year?

·        January 21st was National Squirrel Appreciation Day

No worries though, you still have time on May 21st to take another memo so you can save the date for:

·        July 13th - National Cow Appreciation Day

In case you missed it:

·        April 23rd was Talk Like Shakespeare Day

o   and

·        May 1st

o   Global Love Day

§  sounds good because that day was also,

o   No Pants Day

Here’s something for some of us to look forward to:

·        July 25th will be National Hire A Veteran Day

o   One problem I see with this is that July 25th is a Sunday and most corporate offices are closed so I guess not many of us veterans will be getting new jobs this year.

More good news though, you can wait until September 11th to observe National Make Your Bed Day and … please don’t Ask A Stupid Question until September 28th, that’s your day!

·         National Ask A Stupid Question Day.

·        I actually thought that should have been a whole month, or maybe cover each election season.

As you can tell, we Americans love to set aside a day to observe, remember, and celebrate things, even if they are ludicrous. I suppose we put it on the calendar, so we won’t forget to at least think about it all year. Especially the important things like:

·        May 6th – National Day of Prayer

·        July 4th – Independence Day

·        November 25, 2021 – Thanksgiving Day

·        Today, May 9th – Mother’s Day

Perhaps some things truly do deserve a day to remember, however others, like Mothers, really deserve more than just one day each year.

Where would we be if God had not given us mothers to love, nurture, and care for us? Every day should be Global Mother Appreciation Day. There is something special about our mothers. Nowhere do we see this more than in the Gospel of John, chapter 19.

John 19 NKJV

25  Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

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.

28  After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!”

29  Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.

30  So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

The Gospels give us to understand that Jesus was fortunate to have several women who were critical to His life and His ministry.

·        It was an elderly woman named Anna who confirmed Jesus at His dedication in Jerusalem when He was only 8 days old. (Luke 2:36)

·        There were also three key wealthy women, along with other women, who followed Jesus and paid the bills for His ministry. (They ministered to Him of their substance. Luke 8:3)

·        It was a woman of questionable morals who met Jesus at Jacob’s well and became a dynamic witness for Him to her whole city. (John 4)

·        A young woman caught in the act of adultery was used to reveal the heart of Christ to the Pharisees at the Temple in Jerusalem. (John 8)

·        God used a sick woman with great faith to draw upon the healing virtue in Capernaum one day. (Mark 5)

·        A woman willingly gave her costly perfume to anoint Jesus body for burial before He went to the cross. (Matthew 26)

·        It was a woman who pleaded with her husband, Pontius Pilate, to release Jesus against the cries of the crowd. (Matthew 27:19ff)

·        A woman out of whom Jesus had cast seven devils followed Jesus and became the first person to see Jesus alive after the resurrection. (Mark 16:9)

A few weeks ago during our Easter Sunday service I shared how interesting it is to me that at no time in the Gospels did any woman oppose Jesus or take any action against Him, or accuse Him or treat Him with malice or disdain. No woman ever did Jesus any direct harm in body or in reputation. The recorded enemies of Jesus were always and only men.

Women are survivors, peacemakers, kind, gentle, motherly, good, true, loyal, and selfless servants. They join themselves and give their hearts to serve those whom God chooses. From the very beginning when God took a rib from Adam and fashioned Eve, the grace God has given women is for family and they are often tempered to sacrifice their personal needs and desires in order to serve the greater good of others they love.

Mothers, God-given mothers, whether biological, foster, adopted, or spiritual mothers … they just need to know you are going to be ok.

The Gospel of John records the last moments Jesus hung on the Cross before His death. Let’s read this account together once more:

 John 19 NKJV

25  Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

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.

There were most likely thousands of people witnessing these crucifixions on Golgotha that day. Accusers, family members, on-lookers, and friends of those three who were nailed in agony and sentenced to suffer and die. The shouts, the faces, the scorns, the spitting, the soldiers, the accusations, those laughing, mocking, weeping … so many people.

Not only were there people standing all around physically, imagine the hordes of hell looking on to see the Son of God being tortured and crucified. Also there was a great cloud of heavenly witnesses plus the millions of holy angels standing at the ready with Michael awaiting the call to arms.

Then, as those looking on were peering into the hopes and plans of both heaven and hell, there was Jesus searching through the ages and drawing every sin from every person throughout time and taking it upon Himself to bear their shame and bury their guilt with Him in the grave. I was there when they crucified my Lord.

Then just before He died, He noticed three women at the foot of the cross, close … close enough to Him to hear His voice.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus … Mary, Mary, and Mary.

·        One of them a member of His extended family. An aunt maybe … perhaps even more like a sister some say.

·        Another Mary was a friend, a close friend … out of whom He had cast 7 demons. A true follower who was with Him to the very end.

·        And then … Jesus saw His mother.

The hours Jesus spent on the cross were the most powerful and important moments in all eternity. Yet, when He saw His mother, everything else stopped while He gave Himself fully to her and to what she needed.

No man ever loved his mother more than Jesus. No man ever cared more about his mother than Jesus. No man every gave the attention his mother deserves more than Jesus. The world stopped when Jesus saw His mother in need.

What did she need? What did Jesus need? Jesus needed to know His mother was going to be ok. Mary needed to know her child was going to be ok. That’s why Jesus stopped the world and took the time to say:

·        “Mother, John is going to take care of you now.”

·        “John, let her mother you now.”

Jesus knew Mary would need someone to mother … mothers just do.

Perhaps you might be a Mary or a John for Jesus today.

Every child needs a God-given mother … and … Every mother needs a God-given child.

Where will you fit into God’s plan today?

And don’t forget: We don’t need a special day to remember our mothers. Every day should be Mother’s Day!

Make a Mother’s Day today!

Now let’s thank God and pray for the mothers and the children God has given us.