Wednesday, May 24, 2017



MAY  2017


            Just recently, we experienced the most important day in the long history of the Christian church, Easter.  There is no other day that so personifies who we truly are, as does Easter.  Without
the cross of Calvary and the resurrection of Jesus Christ on that glorious Sunday morning, the apostle Paul said, “….we are of all men the most pitiable.  But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  (I Corinthians 15:19-20).
            As I began to prepare for this article, I pondered what it must have been like for Jesus’ mother as she saw the events unfold leading up to the Cross, and then after the Resurrection.   Her emotions must have been on a roller coaster as she felt the joy and motherly pride of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and, just a few days later, the utter despair and helplessness of watching as the Roman soldiers nailed Him to the Cross.
            We can only imagine what was going through her mind as she watched her Son agonize for long hours before His death.  How could she bear the burden of the loss of her beloved first-born?  The circumstances of His birth were so special to her.  She must have wondered how these events squared with what the angel had told her at Jesus’ conception:  “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  (Luke 1:30-33).
            Mary must have felt the angel informed her incorrectly concerning Jesus’ reign on David’s throne.  he had been cut down on the very eve of His rise to power.  Now what?  Everyone who had followed Jesus was now in grave danger.  Not one of the followers of Jesus was safe anywhere in Jerusalem.  As the mother of Jesus, Mary was especially vulnerable to these threats.  Surely fear must have been one of the emotions she felt as she lingered near the scene of His crucifixion.  And yet, as she stood there, love for her slain Son was surely the deepest emotion she felt.
            A mother’s love is, I believe, the closest that any human being can experience to the love of God.  Having been the recipient of a Christian mother’s love, I can honestly say that the effect of it is still with me today.  There is no way I would be the pastor of Hilltop Chapel today if it weren’t for the effective and earnest prayers of righteous mother (and father).  Growing up in a Christian home didn’t seem too important to me at the time—as a matter of fact it was a real pain in the neck.  But I can’t even imagine where I’d be  today if it weren’t for parents who loved the Lord and would not give up on a wayward son.  I try to honor my mother’s memory through my ministry here, in Miramonte.  I can hear her saying right now, “just live for the Lord, son, and I’ll be the happiest mother ever.”
            In this lovely month, when we have the privilege of honoring our mothers, let’s remember that the most precious gift any child can give his or her mother is the knowledge that he or she has said yes to Jesus as Savior and Lord.  My mother never asked me to be perfect, just to accept the free gift of salvation and live for Christ.
            How will you honor your mother today?  Taking her out to dinner after church is a sweet
gesture.  If you buy her a nice bouquet of flowers, I’m sure she’ll be pleased.  A big box of candy or
some expensive perfume might even impress some moms.  I dare say, however, that if you really want to make this Mother’s Day one she’ll remember forever, you’ll answer God’s call on your life and start living for Him.
            I know what you’re thinking:  “He’s trying to make me feel guilty and he’s using Mother’s Day to do it.  That’s really hitting below the belt!”  If that’s the way you feel, it’s fine with me.  Your mom and I will use every means possible to get you into the kingdom of God.  Her prayer and mine is that there’s still enough time between now and May 14th for you to make the decision.  You’ve been holding out for a long time, but the Bible says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  (II Corinthians 6:2).  We’ve been praying for you and we’re not giving up until you say yes to Jesus.  So, now that you know what you’re up against, you may as well say yes.  It’ll be easier for you and it will be a truly joyous day for your mom.
                                                                                                                        Happy Mother’s Day

                                                                                                Pastor Rod

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