Mother's Day at Lakeside

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Biological family and church family share many positives for people.  There is a common threat to both the biological and church family; familiarity.  It has been said that familiarity breeds contempt or in other words we take things for granted.  In the family we can take people for granted.

We celebrated mother’s day this past Sunday at Lakeside.  This was a great opportunity to consider how we’re treating one another in our family at home and church.  When considering moms – we tend to act like they will always be with us to love us, solve problems, clean up messes and cheer us on.  Truth is they will not always be with us. 

Mother’s day is a complicated day within any family; including the church.  In the past church families celebrated mother’s day by focusing in on biological moms; but there are so many more moms among us.  The step-mom, foster-mom, adoptive-mom and even the mother-in law are just as powerful expressions of motherhood not to mention those women who have been like moms to us.  At Lakeside we want to acknowledge those women who have blessed us with their counsel, admonitions, correction and nurturing. 

It’s not always easy to love those closest to us because of painful relationships but even more because of familiarity – we take them for granted and grow distant.

It’s not always easy to love people; let’s remember that and encourage one another. 

The Apostle Paul writing to the embryonic church of the 1st century in Rome – shared deep theology that expounded the beauty of justification and the work of Jesus in salvation.  In addition to theology Paul sought to teach believers how to live together.  In Romans 12: 1-2 and again in verses 9-11, Paul teaches us to love one another with intentionality.

We are to present ourselves a living sacrifice – given over to God completely and offered up.  In surrendering our lives as acts of worship to God we relinquish claim to our rights and egos.  The Christian who turns their life over to God is then shaped by God’s agenda and design for life.  This process of surrender starts in the heart or mind and works its way outward through the very body of a Christian – thus transforming behavior.  If the Christian only changes their behavior but fails to address their heart/mind they are like the owners of Asher Goods when the change the clothes on their manikins in the window.  Looks good but behind the clothes everything is the same. 

Paul goes onto teach that the Christian’s actions prove or make a statement regarding God’s will.  Would my actions testify to the will of God in my life?  That’s a hardball question and reminds me that my actions matter and are to be driven by the surrender of my life in worship to God.  Before you read this and conclude I’m writing about perfection (never failing or making poor choices) and turn away – keep reading!  The problem with a living sacrifice is that it tends to crawl off the altar.  The surrendered life and worship of God is not a one and done experience for the Christian.  Worship is a way of life and so to is the surrender of my will to God.

It’s not always easy to love people; let’s remember that and encourage one another. 

Love is to be sincere and leads us to turn away from evil and cling to what it good.  From a life that is offered back to God one can move forward with following Jesus’ example of love.  Being devoted to one another in brotherly love carries deep meaning.  It is coming to a point in relationship where we are comfortable with one another and have deeply established bonds.  This doesn’t happen overnight and takes intentional choices aimed at putting others first.  The calling of the Christian is to out honor one another – like when presented with a check after a meal – one person after another offers to pay the bill fighting for the honor of paying for everyone. 

We can become so familiar with one another in our families and church families that we forget to honor one another – we don’t give much thought to how we can serve and bless one another.  We can get to a place where we take all the blessing we receive for granted and stop giving thought to how we can bless others; becoming takers and not givers.

It’s not always easy to love people; let’s remember that and encourage one another. 

In the church family as well as the biological family it is easy to take offense, pick up a grudge and become bitter with one another because we so close. 

Examine your relationships this week.  It’s not always easy to love people; let’s remember that and encourage one another. 

1.       Express your love and appreciation for that person(s) God has given you.

·       They may not deserve it, boundaries may be necessary because of painful relationships.

·       They may be starving for it because you have held a grudge, forgive.

·       Trust God, sacrifice your pride and express your love.

2.       We gave out roses to our church family as a token of honor (especially for the women among us).

·       Today, honor the women that God has brought into our lives

·       Honor those who have been like moms to us with their care, wisdom and nurturing.

·       Give them your rose.  Tell them you love them.  Those you’re not able to give a rose to send them a message, text or picture of your rose.

You know how it feels when someone sees you, recognizes you and hears you; it feels good.  Can you do this for someone else?

You may be reading this and thinking I just don’t feel Christianity; I don’t feel Jesus.  My counsel today is to go out and do your Christianity – put down your pride and sacrifice yourself for someone or something bigger than your comfort zone, your understanding and see what happens!  Serving, honoring and showing love through difficult circumstances is exhilarating!

It’s not always easy to love people; let’s remember that and encourage one another.