VIDEO Mother’s Day

“A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?” Hands started going up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first let me do this. He proceeded to crumple the $20 dollar bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air.

Well, he replied, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. “Now, who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what was done to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.

“Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.

“But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who DO love you. The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.

“You are special – Don’t EVER forget it.”

I’m glad that you’re my mother because I’m not sure anyone else could have put up with me this long! Love you, Mom


History of Mother’s Day | History

Love Like Mom

Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. 1 Thessalonians 2:7–8

Juanita told her nephew about growing up during the Great Depression. Her poor family only had apples to eat, plus whatever wild game her dad might provide. Whenever he bagged a squirrel for dinner, her mom would say, “Give me that squirrel head. That’s all I want to eat. It’s the best piece of meat.” Years later Juanita realized there wasn’t any meat on a squirrel’s head. Her mom didn’t eat it. She only pretended it was a delicacy “so us kids could get more to eat and we wouldn’t worry about her.”

As we celebrate Mother’s Day tomorrow, may we also recount stories of our mothers’ devotion. We thank God for them and strive to love more like them.

Paul served the Thessalonian church “as a nursing mother cares for her children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7). He loved fiercely, fighting through “strong opposition” to tell them about Jesus and to share his own life with them (vv. 2, 8). He “worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while [he] preached the gospel of God to [them]” (v. 9). Just like Mom.

Few can resist a mother’s love, and Paul modestly said his efforts were “not without results” (v. 1). We can’t control how others respond, but we can choose to show up, day after day, to serve them in a sacrificial way. Mom would be proud, and so will our heavenly Father.

By:  Mike Wittmer

Reflect & Pray

Who has loved you sacrificially? Who are you loving as your heavenly Father loves you?

Father, no one could love me more than You.

Hate Evil

When we learn to hate evil, we learn to love what God loves

Psalm 97:10-12

You may be hesitant to use the word Hate in any situation, but there are times when it is appropriate. As God’s children, we’re to love what He loves and hate what He hates. That’s why verse 10 of today’s passage tells us, “Hate evil, you who love the Lord.” 

But many Christians fail to adopt this attitude regularly. Instead, there’s often a tendency to play with evil, keeping it nearby for amusement, and even making excuses for its presence. Some may say, “Well, I can’t escape evil since it’s all around me! So the best I can do is try to manage it appropriately.” 

What a deception this is. We can’t manage wickedness. (See Romans 7:19-25.) As soon as we have a single evil thought, we’ve sinned. Psalm 37:27 says, “Turn from evil and do good.” In other words, righteousness requires a complete about-face so we head in the opposite direction from evil.  

We live in a world that is permeated by sin, which is impossible to avoid 100 percent of the time. But we can remove ourselves from particularly tempting situations. Ask the Lord today for the wisdom to recognize sinful traps and the strength to do what’s right. 

He Counted Me Faithful

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” (1 Timothy 1:12)

The testimony of a changed life is perhaps the best evidence that God is alive and active today. The fact that at salvation a dead slave to sin is given life and a new nature comprises the only rational explanation for one who lives in victory and power after a lifetime of defeat.

Take Paul, for example. Our introduction to him is at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58), after which his ardor for the Jewish traditions and hatred of Christianity caused him to wreak “havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison” (Acts 8:3). This was not just casual opposition, for he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1). He was a “blasphemer, and a persecutor [not only of Christians, but of Christ Himself—Acts 9:5], and injurious” (1 Timothy 1:13).

However, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I [Paul] am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15), he said. Paul “obtained mercy” (v. 13), not receiving the punishment he deserved, through “the grace of our Lord [which] was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (v. 14), even though he was not even seeking God (Acts 9:1-5).

To a greater or lesser degree, God has worked that same work of grace in each life that now belongs to Him. Paul called himself the chief of sinners, but each of us has done or has been capable of equally heinous acts. Through His grace, we are not only rescued from addiction to sin, but rehabilitated and empowered and given, as we see in our text, missions to accomplish that are of eternal significance. Let us “thank Christ Jesus our Lord” with Paul. JDM

The Mysterious Presence

My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. —Exodus 33:14

Serious, honest persons have turned away from the whole idea of holiness because of those who have claimed it and then lived selfish and conceited lives.

But, brethren, we are still under the holy authority of the apostolic command. Men of God have reminded us in the Word that God does ask us and expect us to be holy men and women of God, because we are the children of God, who is holy. The doctrine of holiness may have been badly and often wounded—but the provision of God by His pure and gentle and loving Spirit is still the positive answer for those who hunger and thirst for a life and spirit well-pleasing to God.

When a good man with this special quality and mysterious Presence is morally right and walking in all the holy ways of God and carries upon himself without even knowing it the fragrance of a kingdom that is supreme above the kingdoms of this world, I am ready to accept that as being of God and from God! ICH067-068

This is the true divine order: first, reconciliation, then holiness….[I]t is required of those who have been redeemed at such cost and brought into this place of privilege, that they should be holy even as He is holy. CTBC, Vol. 1/199

Satan’s Pincer Movement

Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.—Luke 22:31-32

One of the reasons the Apostle Paul bids us pray for one another is this: the failure of any one of us is going to have some effect upon the spiritual campaign which God is waging against the Devil through the church.

All those who have committed themselves to Jesus Christ should know that the forces of two kingdoms—the kingdoms of God and of the Devil—are locked together in mortal combat. And Christians, whether they like it or not, are thrust right onto the cutting edge of this conflict.

The battle line between the forces of God and the forces of Satan is the church—and that means you and me. What is Satan’s best tactic in attempting to bring about the church’s spiritual defeat? He probes at every point he can, looking for the weakest part. When he finds a weak Christian (or a group of weak Christians), he calls for reinforcements. Then, using what military strategists call “a pincer movement,” he attempts to break through at that point. And when one Christian fails, all of us to some extent are affected, for we are all part of the one line of defense.

How the Devil rejoices when an individual Christian falls—especially a church leader. Therefore, we are called to a ministry of prayer—not just for ourselves but for one another also—that we might stand perfect and complete in the will of God and that our faith will not fail when under attack by the Devil.

Prayer

Father, I am encouraged as I think that today, millions of Christians around the world will be praying for me. Help me never to fail in my responsibility to pray for them. In Christ’s peerless and precious name. Amen.

Further Study

Gl 6:1-10; 1Co 9:27; Php 3:12; Jms 5:16

What are we to carry in prayer?

Of what was Paul conscious?

Watching Daily

Proverbs 8:34

One beautiful moment in my life was a visit to a Moslem mosque where I sensed the deep reality and seriousness of the people’s worship. It was a dim mosque, lit with rows of lamps and filled with solemn white-clad figures, rising and falling in prostration as they worshipped. We stood and listened to the chanting of the call to prayer: “God is most great.”

These people were worshipping Allah, their God; Mohammed was his apostle. For me this did not take away from the beauty of their act, but it did make me feel somewhat ashamed. We worship the true and living God, and Jesus His Son, but how many of us are as devout as these people who pray five times a day? Their prayers were so intense as their voices rose in a kind of wail: “Allah! Allah!” One could feel the urgency in the cry.

The privilege of prayer should be one of life’s most cherished experiences. I am convinced that God does hear our prayers of faith and answers as He wills for our good. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, but whether He gives or withholds, He knows best.

What a blessed release it is to be able to take our needs to our Lord. There are times when pain or illness afflict the human frame; even death has to be faced. What confidence comes to those who hear His voice and know that He hears their cry.

Once following a powerful prayer meeting we entered the waiting elevator. The door that should have closed automatically remained ajar and nothing happened. Quickly, someone stooped down, picked up a handkerchief that was against the door, and exclaimed, “That cuts the beam!” He then went on to explain how the electric beam from both sides had to meet to produce the power to close the doors.

How often the power of prayer in a life is cut by some obstruction. There are occasions when you sincerely enter into the attitude of prayer, you want to be lifted to higher heights in your spiritual experience, but something enters and cuts the beam, bringing prayer to a standstill.

The prophet Isaiah tells of the people offering prayers and sacrifices, but God was not pleased. Their evil ways made Him exclaim, “I will hide My eyes from you, when you make prayers I will not hear.” The beam of power was cut, for their own greed came between them and God.

Prayer is vital to spiritual health. “Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My doors” (Proverbs 8:34).

Janet Wiseman, Watching Daily