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Mother's Day 2015

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2015 6:00 am

Mother's Day 2015

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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How about that, Summit Church? Put your hands together and thank God for what an incredible testimony. Happy Mother's Day weekend to all of the campuses of the Summit Church.

We have something that is very, very special for you this weekend. Earlier this year, I was at a conference down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The conference was called Liberate. My wife and I were there together, and I was getting ready to speak. I think the MC made some announcement about who the other speakers were going to be that day. The speaker, the announcer said, you know, later this morning, we're going to have Elise Fitzpatrick. She'll be speaking, and my wife leans over to me and she says, oh, Elise Fitzpatrick, she is my favorite Bible teacher. And I said, well, you know, I teach the Bible also.

And she says, yes, I'm very aware of that. And Elise Fitzpatrick is my favorite Bible teacher. And that just confirmed to me something that I've been wanting to do for a long time, and that is to have her as a part of our ministries here at the Summit Church. And so this weekend, we have the privilege of welcoming her to the Summit Church.

In just a moment, she's going to come up here, and she and I are going to have a conversation about some things that are not only relevant for Mother's Day, but are just relevant for all of us at whatever stage of life that we are in. I first became aware of her ministry several years ago when someone handed me a book to preview for the women of our church. I believe it was Comforts from the Cross.

It was either Comforts from the Cross or Comforts from Romans. It was a book written by Elise Fitzpatrick for other women, and I got about the 10th page into it, and I thought this is one of the most fantastic explanations of what the gospel is and how it applies to my life. I actually hid it around because I didn't want everyone to see I was reading a book that had been written for women.

But I told my wife, I was like, you got to read this. Since that time, I have read, I would say, just about everything that she has written. She's written a lot on parenting. Her book on parenting, Give Them Grace, was one of the absolute best that formed kind of how Veronica and I approach rearing our children.

It is phenomenal. I have not read her newest book. I will have to admit that, Good News for Weary Women, not only because of the name, but I will read it as I've read all of her other ones. I just want to make sure I get it on Kindle so no one knows what I'm reading.

We have those available at all of our campuses in the Next Steps area. For those of you guys that just learned that it was Mother's Day weekend and you were like, oh no, that is a great way for you to take a bad situation and make it redemptive. You can go outside and you can purchase that book and your wife or mother will think that you knew all along that it was Mother's Day weekend. So you want to take advantage of that.

But what a privilege it is. And so at all of our campuses, Summit Church, if you will put your hands together and would you welcome to our stage here, Elise Fitzpatrick. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you, JD. I'm not sure if I should pull the chair out for you or not, but I'll just point to it right there. This here is the chair. Now, let's see.

Let's just, first of all, make sure that everybody knows everybody. I believe that you have three children. Is that correct?

Yes, I do. I don't know how old they are, though. Not sure how old they are. Are they all yours?

They're mine, but I have grandchildren and they're the only ones I know how old they are. How many of them are there? Six. Six.

How old are they? No. You were just kidding? No, I do. Okay.

Sixteen and fourteen and two eleven-year-old girls and two eight-year-old boys. Do they all live out on the West Coast? Yes. Yes, they do.

All within a half an hour or so of our house. So we're really blessed. Wow.

Living the dream. Yes. Well, I have several very difficult questions that I cannot wait to ask you.

I'm not the only one who has come up with these, but I'm just very excited. So we'll jump right into it. I would like to start with an observation that I have about women. Okay.

I'd like to see you do that. Yes, well, I just want to jump in the deep end. Women today, it seems to me, seem to receive really conflicting messages about really where they ought to find their, I guess we could call it identity.

Yes. It seems like our culture right now teaches that in order for a woman to have a good identity, she's got to have a good degree. She's got to have a career.

She's got to be able to prove that everything that, you know, a man could do 30 years ago, she can do. And then, that's kind of one message. On the other side, it seems that in a lot of, you know, churches that take the Bible, you know, really seriously, conservative churches, they kind of come back at that message by saying, oh, no, no, you need to find your identity as a wife and a mother. And really that's success in life is being a good wife and a good mother. One of the first things I noticed when I got into your books was how much you talked about identity. It was the thing that ministered to my soul probably more than any other thing. So, where should women find their identity?

Yeah, thank you. I guess that the problem is that we tend to think that we find our identity in what we do. So, my identity is I'm a mom or my identity is I'm single or I'm a working woman or… And I think that's the wrong place to try to find our identity. I mean, the question would be what would my identity be if I were in an accident and could not travel around and speak?

Or if I had had a stroke and couldn't speak? What is my identity? Is my identity primarily rooted in what I do or is it rooted in who I belong to and what he has already done? And this question of identity is a question that Paul talks about in Philippians 3.

So, let me just go there quickly. In Philippians 3, beginning with verse 3, it says, We are the circumcision who worship by the Spirit of God in glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in our flesh. No confidence. Where do I go if I'm feeling concerned, if I'm worried, if I'm fearful? Where do I go for confidence? Do I go for confidence in my identity as a mom who is doing everything I can do to try to do things right?

Or do I put my confidence in something else? So, Paul says that we put no confidence in the flesh, though, he says, I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh. So, if you want to talk about, you know, who's got what going on, Paul's the guy. He says, if anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Circumcised on the eighth day of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, the Hebrew of Hebrews, as to the law of Pharisee, as to zeal a persecutor of the church, as to righteousness under the law of blameless, which is a shocking statement. I wonder how much we take that and we say, oh, yeah, that's all about Paul and that whole business of being a Pharisee and all of that.

But we don't see how we do those same things, you know. So, like, we could say, I have confidence, I have a degree, I have this job, or I have this many children, and I homeschool them. And by the way, I homeschooled my kids, so I'm not picking on homeschoolers, but, you know, I homeschool my kids, or I have a house that looks a certain way. See, for Paul, it was an issue of ancestry and how he was doing in fulfilling the law. For us, I think particularly as women, it is a lot of times how we think we're doing fulfilling whatever law we have given ourselves to. So, if it's the law of you can go to work every day and you can bring home the bacon and, you know, your great woman see me roar, or it's I'm homeschool mom or I'm just going to stay home and be mom. And I don't have any problem with that.

I mean, that's wonderful, I think, if women are able to stay home and they have small kids particularly, I think it's a good thing for them to stay home, but that's not our primary identity. That's what Paul's getting at. So, you're saying that there's a law that our culture is giving and that law says you got to achieve this. And then there's a law that the church gives which says, oh, you got to be this and neither law.

Yes. And the problem is that if that's how we're living, the law is never, it's never going to be enough, see. It will never be enough. So, if I'm in the workforce, I will never have accomplished enough. If I am fulfilling the law of being a great mom, well, you know, the kids always get in the way of me being a great mom, right?

I'm a great dad on paper. Exactly. I've heard that. Wait. From somebody else or from my kids? Well.

Or from my wife? Yeah. All right. So, see, as long as that's how we're trying to give ourselves confidence, it's never going to be enough.

We're going to kill ourselves trying to do more, try harder. See, that's not the message. That's not the message of the church. So, Paul, sorry, I'll get off this in a second, but Paul says, whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

For His sake, I've suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, and we know what that word meant. In order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ. So, my identity as a woman, and guys as well, your identity is not primarily rooted in what you have done. Your identity is rooted in what Christ has done for you and your faith in that.

That's our primary identity. And if we forget that, if we forget that all of our righteousness, our okayness, all of our okayness before God and before others, if we forget that that comes from the work of Jesus Christ alone, then as a mom, I'm always going to be on my kid's case to try to get him to do the right thing, because I got to approve of myself as a mom, or perhaps as a husband or a dad. You're always going to be trying harder to prove that you're really okay. So, if my okayness, my righteousness is the biblical word, if my righteousness is not rooted in myself, but rather in what Jesus Christ has already done by living a perfect life in my place, dying a substitutionary death for me in my place, and then being raised for my justification. If my identity is rooted in that, then it doesn't matter if I get in an accident and I can't care for my kids, or my kids go off the rails. I mean, does that break my heart?

Yes, of course. But that's not my primary identity, and I won't despair over that. So, to the woman who feels like I'm not a very good mother, maybe because she feels like, whether it's right or wrong, we won't judge, because we don't know the case, obviously, but she feels like I can't spend it. I feel like I'm one of the ones that does have to be in a job, and I'm not able to do it. I just feel defeated, or for the one that feels like I'm just not a very good mother, or for the one whose kids, as you say, have gone off the rails.

How do you make that simple? What do you do when they come to you with that kind of guilt? Yes, so then what we say is, first of all, of course, I mean, we live in a sin-cursed world, and so I'm not going to be able to say anything that's going to change that reality.

There are difficulties and trials and troubles everywhere. However, I don't need to be filled with despair, because I'm not living up to someone else's, or even my own expectation of what it means to be a godly woman. What I am living in, rather, is faith in the reality that Jesus Christ lived perfectly. He was the perfect son. He was the perfect son to his mother, whom he gave over into the care of John as he was dying. He was the perfect single parent in a family. He had to oversee his family after his earthly father, Joseph, died. He provided for the family.

He did that perfectly. He loved his father his entire life, even though, at the end of his life, he was deserted by his father, for our sake. So then I say, yeah, you feel despairing because you can't approve of yourself, and what I'm saying to you is, don't try, because you've got something better. You've got something so much better, which is the approval of God, who, by the way, his opinion is the only opinion that matters. His opinion is the only opinion that matters, and what he said about you, even in your failure, is my righteousness is enough. And will that help me be a better parent?

Will it help me be a better? Well, yes. Well, yeah, because see, now I'm not trying to invest into my children my identity. I know that when my kids were growing up, our youngest son, Joel, who's graduating from seminary, actually, this month, he had long, very curly hair, and he was kind of hygienically challenged.

We have a lot of college students in that category. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So at this point, he was about 16, and we lived in Southern California. He was a surfer. So, you know, he'd go to the beach, and he'd go surfing, and he'd come home, and I'd look at this hair, and I'd think, dude, what is in there? I don't know.

Is that like a fish or what? And I used to walk into church with him, and I would see people in church look at him and look at me with disdain. And it would make me so mad, but it wouldn't make me mad at him or at them.

It would make me mad at him because my identity as my worth, my value as a woman, as a mother, was invested in whether or not people approved of my children and whether or not they were doing a good enough job. So if I could have had my kids walk in and look like the Duggars or the Von Trapp family singers, you know, like all perfect and all in a row. This is good in your world.

Yeah, that would have been good. I met them once. We'll talk about that later. If I could have walked into church and had everybody approve of my children, then I would have said about myself, I'm a woman of worth.

I'm okay. I have righteousness. And because of that, I had all kinds of anger towards my children, anger towards them when they didn't make me proud, which is kind of what we want our kids to do, isn't it? Make us proud. Anger at them when they didn't make me proud and then fear that they weren't going to serve Christ.

And the way that played out was in my hammering them nonstop. So you're trying to get them to become something for you, which has to put a lot of pressure on the kid, which probably creates resentment. And so in the life of Jessica, who is our middle child, Jessica was the perfect Pharisee. She won Miss Christian Character when she was in kindergarten, seriously. And she went on missions trips. She was part of the youth group. Everybody loved her.

Everybody would say, why can't you be like Jessica to their kids? She had a letterman's jacket with the verse on it. I mean, she was that girl. She even went to Bible college when she was 17 or 18. And one day, she tells the story publicly, so I'm not speaking out of turn, but one day she was in prayer in Bible college and she said she really wasn't praying. She was, you know, she said at that point, if we would have had cell phones, I would have been on Facebook.

Right. So, just during prayer, God came to her and said, all your goodness, everything you're trying to do to prove to your mom and your whole family that you're really good, it's not enough. You need to trust me. And Christ saved her soul. And she came home and said, Mom, I got saved at school today. And I said, wait, what?

What? I mean, you were baptized, you did this, you did this. Oh, yeah, I was just all, I was faking it the whole time. See, part of that was me. I mean, part of it's her and her desire to be well-fought of. But then part of it also was me and the pressure I was putting on her to be a good kid, not like me because I didn't grow up in a Christian home, so I said my kids aren't going to be like that. So, I put all this pressure on her to be good, so she faked it, which is why the very best statistic is 66% of our kids when they leave our homes also leave the faith. See, my hunch is that they haven't really heard the gospel.

What they're hearing from us is be nice, look good. Yeah, because I feel like, you know, obviously, I have four kids who are all pastors' kids. Right.

And I know what the reputation that goes with them, and I figured out that a lot of it, I can feel myself putting pressure on them saying I need you to be this because people think about me based on what you are. That's no reason to be righteous. Right.

It creates resentment, you know, to that freedom. Well, speaking of that, you have written a lot about parenting. In fact, that's some of the most helpful stuff that I, I mean, it's all helpful, but. Yeah, it's all helpful, Jamie. That's what I meant to say. I've read everything you've written on parenting and applied it all. Why are my kids still so messed up? Yeah, I know. No, I'm kidding. It's your fault.

That's probably true. What are some of the biggest myths that you've seen in the church today about parenting? It's the whole good kids in, got good parenting in, good kids out.

Okay. So, what we would call a covenant of, a parenting covenant of works. So, if I'm the right kind of parent, and I'm consistent and faithful in discipline and instruction, then if I do these things right, then what will automatically happen is my kids will serve Christ.

That's a myth, actually. First of all, because God never places the burden of someone else's salvation on our souls. I mean, can you imagine the burden of the salvation of someone else being all up to you?

It would be, it's terrible. We can't do it. I can't, by my own effort, save anybody. So, that is, that's one of the biggest myths and that's why people go to conferences or read books on parenting, which, thank you, but read books on parenting because they're looking for the magic bullet.

So, if I can just get the right five steps, if I can get them going and I can just get my husband on board and get him going, then our kids will turn out the way we want them to turn out. But, you see, that's not at all. That's not at all what Scripture teaches us about salvation.

As a matter of fact, think about it. The entire first generation of the New Testament church, none of them were raised in a Christian home. None of them had, I mean, among the Jewish church, they certainly were raised with the Torah, but in Ephesus or in the Greek world, they weren't raised even with the Torah and yet God saved them. And that's our hope as parents, not just as moms, but as dads and grandparents. Our only hope is that salvation belongs to the Lord and the Lord is immensely powerful and immensely merciful.

And upon that, we hang all of our hope. Yeah, I think one of the things that I've actually shared with our church several times is you pointed out that God would have had to have been a perfect parrot by definition. Yes. And yet Adam rebelled against him and so did a third of the angels. And one of the things you said that it was a game changer for us in our family is that thinking that this covenant parent, parent covenant of works kept us from the one thing we probably most needed in our parenting, which was hope and the grace of God. Yes. And I remember you walked through 1 Peter and you were just like, after Peter gives all these instructions to the church about how to survive persecution, at the end, he doesn't say, so hang on to your verse memorization and hang on to your fellowship.

Because hope and the grace of God. Right. Which is kind of, I mean, that's what I know my hope is for my kids. Yeah, exactly. So as parents, the only way we can not drive our kids crazy is... I should write this down. The only way we can not drive our kids crazy is instead of setting up a paradigm where we're saying, I'm really good.

I'm the good, godly, believing parent, you should be like me. And so we have this sort of adversarial thing happening. Instead of doing that, saying, you have trouble sharing Optimus Prime? How many of you know who Optimus Prime is? I mean, he's the big dog transformer. I know. Yeah.

Okay. Yeah. He's Autobot. He learned that. He's not a Decepticon. He's an Autobot. He came back from the dead too once. Yes, he did. Oh, glory.

Yes. So when they're fighting over who gets Optimus, then I don't say, I can't believe you're not sharing. What's wrong with you? Or what I used to say, which was, let me tell you something, guys. Everything in this house belongs to me.

So if you don't learn to share, I'm just going to take it all back. I mean, that's really godly and so, you know, yeah, filled with grays. That's right. Yes. I use that line frequently.

Do you? Sorry. Instead of that, saying, of course you don't want to share.

I don't want to share either. I mean, I get on an airplane. You know, I fly Southwest a lot. I get on an airplane. And, you know, King Kong comes and sits down next to me.

It's like, excuse me, right? I don't want to share. See this invisible line? Dude, you're crossing it.

I get not wanting to share. See, but it's having that openness of heart where we admit to our children, I'm a sinner just like you. I sin in sort of more sophisticated ways.

I flatter myself. I sin in more sophisticated ways, but I sin just like you. But together we run to Jesus who is the Savior. He's the rescuer. And it's his record of always having shared his toys. Now, why did Jesus have to live life as a child? He had to live life as a child for all of the times that you and I don't share our toys. He did for us perfectly fulfilling the law of loving your neighbor in our place. So he had to live that whole life with little brothers and little sisters and that whole thing.

He had to live that life for us. So then we tell our children, if you believe, if you believe, even if you don't share, you have Christ's perfect record of always sharing in your place. Now, that I know. I say that and people, parents go, no, I can't say that.

Yeah, you can. That's the gospel. And when you say that, that's the only thing that can transform a heart. The only thing that can transform a heart is the gospel. You see, I can compel outward compliance. I can compel that. I can make my children obey outwardly, but I can't transform the heart.

The only thing that does that is the gospel. I want to go on to a third question because I know our time is limited. You're a woman.

So they say. You're a phenomenal Bible teacher and you are very passionate, I know, about seeing how God has designed women to use them specifically in the kingdom. The evangelical church has often struggled with that question. What are some of the unique gifts that women bring to the church and how can we as a church unleash women so that they have maximum gospel impact on the world? Yeah. Yes, I want my primary passion is to see women fulfilling their call in Christ, wherever that is.

And what I don't want to do is say, you cannot do this, this, and this, or you must go do this. What I want to say is you have been completely loved. All the love you're looking for, you've already been given in Christ. And all the forgiveness, you've already been given in Christ.

And the perfect record, you've already been given in Christ if you believe. Now, in light of that, love your neighbor and you give people, you give women that message. And that's the message that will turn the world upside down.

It will turn up. See, the message of be a good mom and stay home or the message of fulfill your potential as a woman and go out and get a great job. Neither one of those things are any different really than basically what the world says which is be good. What we say to our neighbors wherever they may be, yeah, I get that it's hard and that you're struggling. I get that because I live the same life you do. And what's different about me is that I have a savior who lived perfectly and died in my place. And you can have forgiveness. And that message. Because both those messages are chains that the world puts on us which ends up making… Like, I know for me, you know, the law that I live under is if your church is a certain size or you do this, then you'll be successful and you'll matter if people say that you're a good preacher.

And that caused me to be a very bad parent because I'm always, you know, trying to figure out how to become better at this even if they've got to pay the price. And it was realizing God does not love me anymore if our church fails or if it succeeds or based on the quality of my sermons. That actually freed me up to be able to say I'm not going to do this which may end up growing the church because I need to be a daddy and love my kids. And it frees you also to be transparent and to be a truth teller because I don't have to worry. You don't have to worry.

We don't have to worry about anyone else's opinion of us. See, to be absolutely free from the slavish bondage to what other people think of us, to be free from that and then to be able to love our neighbor wherever God calls us. So I want to lay down my life and the reason I want to lay down my life is not because I've got something to prove or I'm trying to earn something or I'm trying to prove that I'm really a good Christian woman or fight some cause.

I want to lay down my life because Christ has given me everything, everything I need He's already given me. Because I know we have some, you're talking specifically to women, but we have some men who are terrible dads because they cannot escape the chains of feeling like they've got to get to a certain place in their career. Maybe their dad held it over them or maybe they hold it on themselves and it's a liberating message which leads me to the last question I want to ask you here. It is Mother's Day as we have talked about. Yeah, so you better have your card and your little gift out. Or Good News for Weary Women would make a fabulous gift. For a lot of people they love Mother's Day, for a lot of others it opens up a lot of wounds.

For both women and men, could you just talk really briefly about what makes today so difficult and how the gospel is good news that can shape how we celebrate this whatever circumstance we're in. Right, so if Mother's Day, so many women stay home from church on Mother's Day because they're single and they just cannot stand to hear it again. Or because their relationship with their children is bad and they try to raise their children properly but their kids won't even talk to them now. Or maybe they're in a family and they have kids but their husband just basically ignores them on Mother's Day.

And all of these things, if they've had an abortion, maybe they're infertile. And the church has basically said to all these women, you have no worth unless you have children you're raising. And to that, against that we should militate strongly.

Because again, our worth is not in what we do. So does God use us? Yes, in whatever way He chooses.

Which may or may not be, being a mom. But He uses us according to His plan and we are welcomed by Him. Listen, here's the gospel. We are more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe. We're more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope.

Now, live in the light of that. If you have children, you can love them freely. You can confess your sin freely. You can run to Christ together freely. If you don't have children, love your neighbor. Listen, single women, you are of great value to the church. And you have value to the church far beyond whether or not you babysit other people's kids. You have great value to Christ.

Live your life, burn it for the Lord, and the Lord is pleased with that in whatever sphere we find ourselves. Amen. Summit Church, Elise Fitzpatrick, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you. Nice to meet you. Thank you. Thank you. I'll see you. I'll give you. We'll do the awkward shake hand hug, whatever you do.

All right. Summit Church, the gospel, let me repeat what she said, is that you are more sinful and damaged than you probably ever realized and yet more loved and accepted than you ever dared hope at the same time. And the gospel reshapes everything about your life, whether you're a mother, whether you're single, whether you're a father, whatever stage that you were in. This is in part through Elise's ministry as well as the other reading I was doing at the time that God gave to me something that I have come to refer to as what I call the gospel prayer.

And I think that it would be something that would be a very fitting way to end just our time together and then to actually get you to pray it to God. There are four phrases of it. I do not expect for you to remember all of them, but I will give them to you.

If you write fast, you can certainly jot them down, but then I'm going to just lead us in a time where we pray these together specifically about the subject at hand. The first phrase of it is there is nothing in Christ, there's nothing I could do that could make God love me anymore and nothing I have done that makes Him love me any less. And what that means is that I could be the perfect parent and God would not love me one bit more. It means that I could come into my marriage with all kinds of mistakes.

Maybe it's a failed marriage. Maybe it's I'm the worst parent on the planet and God does not love me any less because God's love for me is no longer determined on what I do. It is determined on what He has given to me in Christ and the fact that He has adopted me as a son or daughter. In Christ, there's nothing I could do that could make you love me anymore, nothing I have done that makes you love me any less. The second phrase is you, God, you are all I need for everlasting joy. You're all I need for everlasting joy. And what that means is that if I get your approval, then who cares about the approval of everybody else?

When I was in college, I wanted to be successful and I wanted to be rich. When God called me into ministry, I managed to drag those two idols. I just dragged them into the church and I thought, well, what I got to do is I got to have a great ministry and then I'll be happy. And so every weekend after the sermon, if it had been a bad sermon, you could scrape me up off the floor with a spatula because I needed to preach good sermons in order to feel like I had worth because I needed people to talk about me and say, oh, he's a great preacher and he's a great pastor and he's really done something with his life. You are all I need for everlasting joy means I don't need a big church. I don't need a successful ministry. I don't even need you to like me because if the God of all the universe, if I am someone that he cherishes and if he is on my side, then who cares what a bunch of Noah Count earthlings have to say about me?

No offense. But you are all I need for everlasting joy. The third phrase is, as you have been to me, so I will be to others. It means that having been a great recipient of grace in the gospel, that means that I want to be that toward my kids. I want to be that toward my spouse. I want to be that toward the world. And so just like your life was a sacrifice for mine, I want to make mine a sacrifice for the world that is around me.

You are all I need for everlasting joy. And then the fourth phrase is, as I pray, I will measure your compassion by the cross and your power by the resurrection. As I pray today, I'm going to measure your compassion by the cross and I'm going to measure your power by the resurrection. That gospel shapes how I pray for my children. It shapes how I pray for my neighbors. It shapes how I approach life because I know that God demonstrated his love for my kids when Jesus died on the cross. And I know that God demonstrated his power, his ability to save when he rose from the dead. And that means I don't enter into a day with a sense of defeat because no matter what obstacle I have in front of me, no matter what difficulty I see in my children, I know that the God who gave his son is so compassionate that he definitely hears whatever is on my heart and the God who raised Jesus from the dead is certainly capable and powerful enough to be able to deliver the situation that I'm praying and asking him about. Isaiah 59, 1 and 2 says, The Lord's arm, it's not shortened that it cannot save. It means that God is no less powerful today to save than he was 2,000 years ago.

And his ear is not heavy that he cannot hear. It means he's no less compassionate today than he was when he from the cross looked at the people crucifying him and said, Father, have mercy on them. They know not what they do. Father, forgive them. It is your sins, Isaiah 59 says, that have separated you from God. Mainly your sins of unbelief.

Your sins of thinking that it's you. You're the one that's got to please everybody. You're the one that's got to make life work. Really, Christianity begins in rest. Good mothering, good fathering, good parenting begins in rest. Being a good spouse begins in rest.

Being a thriving single person begins in rest. The rest that says, in Christ, there's nothing I can do that would make you love me anymore because you said it is finished and that's been given to me. And you're all I need for everlasting joy. That is the Gospel for Mother's Day. It is the Gospel for Father's Day.

And it is the Gospel for every Sunday in between. So why don't we bow our heads at all of our campuses. Would you bow your heads together? And could I speak those words over you?

I'm just going to give you phrase by phrase. And would you just pray them back to God? And if you're a mother that you're in a situation that you feel devastated and defeated, why don't you just pray and believe these things right now. Believe the Gospel. Pray it over yourself. In Christ, here we go, number one, in Christ, there's nothing I could do, God, that would make you love me anymore.

It loved me anymore. What I have done that would make you love me any less. Now say to him, God, you are all that I need for everlasting joy.

You're it. You plus nothing equals everything. You are all I need for everlasting joy.

Just say that to him from your heart. Father, as you have been to me, so now I will be to others. Once you think about whatever situation with your kids, with your spouse, with friends, God, help me to be as gracious and compassionate to them as you have been to me. Lastly, as I pray, as I pray, I'll measure your compassion for this situation by the cross and your power to save by the resurrection.

And I'll ask according to the greatness of your compassion and the greatness of your power. Father, we love to meditate, we love to go deeper into the gospel of Jesus Christ and thank you for showing it how it applies on Mother's Day and how it applies to all of us whether we are mothers or not. God, we are one kind of person, we're sinners.

We have one great source of unhappiness and that is idolatry. We have one great salvation, the blood of Jesus, one great satisfaction, your presence that never fades, never goes away. We love you, Father. We glory in you, we rest in you. We revel in the gift that you've given us in Christ. Behold what manner of love you have given to us that we should be called the sons and the daughters of the Almighty God. We pray in Jesus' name and all God's people said, amen, amen. Our worship teams will come.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-04 09:37:46 / 2023-09-04 09:53:58 / 16

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