2020-05-10 “Grace” Service & Sermon.

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Watch our Service of the Word here below (click on the triangle in the middle of the picture). If you want to follow the service and participate in it, please, download the service order here. Do it before you begin [to watch] the service!

And … make sure to check out the THIRD VIDEO below! Where the secrets are revealed…

Watch and listen the sermon here below.

Singing under the Cross! That’s how it’s done!

Download the sermon for PRINTING HERE >>>. 

To read Grace-Bethlehem Newsletter for 2020 05 03 CLICK here >>>. 

 

“Is your Mum the only way?”

(Based on John 14:1-14.)

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

Mother’s Day. A special day for very special people in our hearts. A special day for a very special calling. I invite you to reflect on three questions. First, on the greatness of the calling of Mums.

Second, on how hard it is in our circumstances, how challenging. Third, on why do we need to focus on Jesus even on Mother’s Day. The greatness of this calling, its challenges, and our need for Jesus.

The greatness of mother’s calling. Today it is not so obvious. I am not sure whether it has ever been appreciated enough. But let’s try to see how this calling looks from God’s perspective. Whenever we need to look for something really profound, where do we go? Yes, we go to the book of Genesis, to the very beginning.

What was the first great commission given to humanity? Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over it! We could rephrase it as – take care of God’s creation and continue His work of creating and ordering.

But there was a problem. When this command was first said to Adam, he couldn’t do it. This is why God said that this is not good that the man should be alone. It had nothing to do with moral goodness, it had to do with functionality. Adam wasn’t good enough in the sense that he couldn’t be fruitful and multiply on his own.

That is why God created a helper for Him. This is not about difference in their status. God Himself is called our helper both in the Old and New Testaments. It is about bringing to the game something that was missing, something without what it was impossible to accomplish the mission. This is where the first woman comes in.

We can see this wonderful progression in the work of creation. God creates and orders His creation from more basic structures to more and more complex ones. When everything is prepared, He creates Adam, getting His hands dirty in mud and then breathing the breath of life in His nostrils. What an intimate picture!

Finally, God creates woman, as it is quite obvious, from much better material than Adam. Soil versus the side of Adam. God didn’t create Eve to do something that Adam could do, but something – that he couldn’t.

Genesis 1 uses the language that helps us to see that both Adam and Eve, man and woman, are essentially two fitting and harmoniously complementary pieces of wonderfully created incredibly sophisticated living system, which is able to do what may sound unbelievable – to create a new human being.

Only once Eve is created, God affirms that His creation is good, very good, for now it is perfectly fit for the great commission that He has entrusted to us. And, by the way, it is women who can get the closest to the experience of the creation of man as described in Genesis 2.

They see the child that has come from them, they witness their first breath of life, they hear their first cries. Being a mum is as divine and high a calling as there could be. That’s why Adam named his wife Hava (in Hebrew), or Zoe (in Greek), or Vivian (in Latin), for she became the mother of all living. We know her as Eve.

This is something that needs additional emphasizing. She became the mother of all living. Too often we lose perspective, we lose the big picture view and focus only on something immediately before our eyes.

But the Bible takes into account the time factor. God sees not just this moment, but what will issue from it. We would do well, if we remembered it when thinking about the calling of mothers. For example, in Genesis this is how Laban blesses Rebecca:

“Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands!” They clearly were envisioning the future, where generation and generations would come from her. This is true for every mum.

It is not just about the nine month and giving birth to a baby. Even that is something remarkable – when a new human being, who didn’t exist before, grows in you in just nine months and then enters this world.

Then it begins. Those are extraordinary skills and intuition, patience and love, commitment and devotion, courage and self-sacrificial service that mothers provide. Good on you! Feeding the little ones with their own bodies!

Learning to understand what the little being, who can’t talk, needs and wants and what is wrong with them, what hurts, what causes discomfort. Caring for their environment, keeping it clean and safe, teaching to communicate.

Answering all the possible questions, staying up during sleepless nights, or weeks, or months, worrying in hospitals, binding their bruises, healing their hurting hearts, bringing them to Jesus, teaching them God’s wisdom.

What a great pleasure it is to see children who are well behaved, polite and a blessing to society. Thanks to you, Mums! Then steering them into the future fit for them, and when they grow up … still helping them to do all these things for their families.

It is never about one particular baby. It is about all the many generation that will come after. We don’t know who they will be. Caring and loving parents of many. Maybe distinct musicians, or scientists or artists. Wise and courageous politicians.  Perhaps someone who will find cure that saves millions.

Perhaps their great preaching will lead many to eternal life in Jesus. Perhaps faithful and honorable people in their calling, an inspiration for many. This all begins with mums and there is no other way. It is such a high calling. But…

Here we come to the second part. This world is a broken place, any many things don’t happen the way they were initially intended. Many women would dream about being mums, but simply can’t. Circumstances in life. Their own bodies…

Even among our friends there are families that would love to be parents, women which would be great mums, and it just doesn’t happen. There is much pain. Often loss and sadness, deep hurt, even despair, deep longings that remain unfulfilled.

Something really significant is missing. But then on the other hand, the calling of mums doesn’t look that glamorous in our society. And most certainly our society doesn’t see it the way the Triune God sees it.

Which makes it so much more challenging. Little girls long for this calling naturally. You’ve seen how they want to play with dolls, or how they want to cuddle cars if they don’t have dolls, how taken they are when they see a baby.

This wonderful and high calling is built into the very fabric of who women are. But then our society brainwashes them. Being a mum is nothing. What do you do? O… you are just a mum… o you, poor thing!

If you want to be something you need to became like men. There is no place dreaming about being mum and wife, you need to strive for your career. You need to be competitive. You need to be assertive. You can do it! You can show them!

Women are gifted with many talents and many of them are used in their calling as mums. And of course, most women will engage in other callings, will develop rich skills and knowledge and will serve their communities in many diverse ways, using their various gifts. That is given.

But not by despising the calling of mums. Not sacrificing their most fruitful years trying to make some money, or career, or fighting for the survival in often harsh and competitive business environments, or in companies where personal intrigues poison their days, and their life is sucked out by people who couldn’t care less about their well-being and happiness.

This world is a harsh place. But how did we become so foolish and evil as we are now?! How often young women get the message that they are worth only as much as they could give pleasure to young man. No sex, no worth, no attention.

Agree to be used by others, or you are not welcome. But no woman is created for that. This is why books are written, on the one hand, pushing young women towards promiscuous and soul-destroying lifestyle trying to make it appear glamorous.

On the other hand, trying to teach the same young women how not to let such lifestyles to break their hearts. For it does exactly that. How foolish! And how evil it is to teach young women that to murder their unborn children is okay.

Think about recent movement in US: “Shout your abortion!” Be proud for what you have done! “I killed my child so that I can have a career. I killed my child so that I can be an actress, or a lawyer, of whatever … or maybe simply because I just didn’t want any inconveniences in my life, I wanted to continue to sink deeper in my glamourous promiscuity.”

How evil is the world which can celebrate the murder of their own children and despise the gift of motherhood as if it was some sort of decease. Dying world… sinful world… broken, foolish and evil world… a world without future.

This is why we need Jesus. This was our third topic. O, how much we need Him! It is our God who reveals to us His wonderful design for our lives. It is only thanks to Him that we can learn and appreciate the beauty and greatness of motherhood. The Holy Spirit gives us eyes to see it for what it is.

It is Jesus who sends His Spirit into hearts of men and makes them to appreciate the gift of motherhood, who makes them faithful and committed to their wives, who teaches and helps them to love their wives as Jesus loves His Church. It is the Holy Spirit who guides them to sacrifices their lives for their wives so that they can focus on this divine calling of being mums. It is Him who teaches children to honor and respect their mums and to be grateful for all the million invisible things that they do.

We need our Father to give wisdom to mums in this challenging calling. We need Him to protect not just mums, but also these little moving humans who tend to find the most dangerous places. And He does it. Our lives are proofs of it.

We need the Holy Spirit to sooth the pain and grant peace to mums who experience loss of their children, born or unborn. We need the love of Jesus to fill all mums and especially when they are tired to exhaustion, depressed, and need all the love in the world. And Jesus does it. Just be ready to receive! But even that is not enough.

Yes, our God come to us and helps, He shelters and protects us, He embraces and comforts, but still … we can’t fix this place. This world needs a total makeover, and this is exactly what God the Father is up to. New Heavens and New Earth…

Where everything will be made good, full restoration and full forgiveness. There are mothers who hope to see their aborted children in heaven. There are children in heaven who wait to see their mothers who chose to aborted them.

There will be abundance of forgiveness and the old will be gone. We all will be united with our mums who have put their trust in Jesus. This is where we will bath in the seas of forgiveness surrounded by the oceans of God’s love, while His glory will shine on our blessed and joy filled lives.

This is where everything will be made right. And Jesus is our way, the only way that leads us to this place. And what a way He is! Not like any other! He is not only the way and the life and the truth, but He Himself walks with us.

He protects us on our way, He binds our bruises and often carries us when we can’t walk on our own. He also takes all our burdens upon Himself. All our trespasses and our intentional evildoings.

When we are with Jesus, we know what awaits us at the end of the way. Because if you know Jesus, then you know the Father. Then you know His loving and friendly heart, then you know that Jesus has prepared for you a place in His Father’s house. You know that where Jesus is, so you will be too.

This is why we need Jesus also on Mother’s Day. But before we can be with Jesus, first we need to be. As Jesus is the only way to the Father, so also our mums are the only way for us to be. We owe them everything. If possible, say them: “Thank you!”

And to all you, mums, you are great, you are marvellous, your are doing God’s work, amazing work, and it is hard, often very hard, but no one else can do it, only you, come to Jesus and bring your children, and your reward will be great in heavens.

May God bless you and keep you and fill you with His joy!

Amen.

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