Sunday – May 8, 2016 James 2:14-26 “A Woman Restored”

Sunday – May 8, 2016 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday – May 8, 2016 James 2:14-26 “A Woman Restored” from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Mark 1:35-37
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” 

The demands on mothers are awesome. We all should have read Proverbs 31 at some time in our lives and wondered who could ever live up to such an example? Just look at the demands of everyday life – planning family meals, going grocery shopping, working, making meals for finicky children and husbands. Throw on top of that the stamina to deal with medical problems such as ear aches, flu and runny noses and providing counseling services for a child who was just in a fight with the kid next door. And then as circumstances require, provide homework review after taxi service to little league, dance class and the dentist. And somewhere in the middle of this entire schedule moms are expected to remain strong, joyful and true.

As the TV commercial once asked, “what’s a mother to do?”

The family’s needs are a tremendous burden for all moms. But there is another need that mothers have that often gets lost in the business of being mom. Jesus spent time with two women who reveal an important lesson: Martha and Mary. Martha was distracted over her responsibilities in the home while at the same time Mary found time to sit at the feet of the Lord and listen to His words. This caused a conflict between the sisters.

Jesus did not dismiss the value of Martha’s important work but He did recognize that Mary had chosen wisely in coming into His presence. In fact Mary, when she poured out perfume on the feet of Jesus, understood more about who He was than even the disciples knew after they spent three years with Him. Unlike Martha at that time, Mary had developed priorities in her time spent with the Lord that allowed her to absorb the meaning of Christ’s life into hers. The danger of becoming engulfed with the details and duties of life can deny us a seat at the feet of the Savior. The work at hand was important to Martha, and obviously still HAD to get done. But in comparison for Mary, it was not the most important thing.

Listen to the advice of Jesus to His disciples after a time of busy ministry told in Mark 6:30-31: “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” This direction also applies to moms and all those who work in the Body of Christ. Everyone needs quality time alone with the Lord in His Word. Our natural tendency is we get so busy that we meet ourselves coming and going and then omit the much-needed rich nourishment that only the Lord can provide.

Since today is Mother’s Day, my question for you, Mom, is this: Are you so busy coming and going that you do not take time to sit at  the Lord’s feet and listen to His Word and take your burdens to Him? Make time this week to come into His rest.

Sunday – October 4, 2015 Revelation 3:14-22 “Laodicea: Church of the Closed Door” Part 2

Sunday – October 4, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship

Sunday – October 4, 2015 Revelation 3:14-22 “Laodicea: Church of the Closed Door” Part 2 from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

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Word On Worship – Sunday – October 4, 2015 Download / Print

Revelation 3:19
‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”

I do not want to be a doormat, but I have lived like one. I’ve stayed put in situations where I know I should leave. I have stood silently when people have spoken out of hatred and discrimination. I have let people slander, falsely accuse, and violate me; their words like slung mud on my back. I have acquiesced to going places and doing things in I had absolutely no interest. I know the Scriptures tell me that I should bless those who curse me (Romans 12:14), or turn the other cheek (Luke 6:27-29), or that the meek are blessed and shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). I agree wholeheartedly. But that is not what I am talking about.

What I am talking about is motivation. I’m ashamed to say that too many times, my motivation for turning the veritable cheek is not Christ-likeness. Rather, my motivation is acceptance, or fear, or apathy. That’s doormat behavior ­– limp, passive, going nowhere, and getting trampled. Our calling is to be more like Jesus, and Jesus was no doormat. Jesus cleaned feet, yes, but that’s where the similarities end. Jesus willingly, intentionally donned clothes of a servant, knelt at people’s feet, poured fresh water on the dirty and muddy places and made them clean. I hate to ask myself this, but must, continually: what is my motivation in turning the other cheek, in remaining silent, in pausing before I respond? Is it to be mired in dirt, or to emulate the One who is making me clean?

When my motivation is spiritual growth, focus on Jesus, and pursuing righteousness, I enthusiastically work to wash the feet of my friends and foes alike by bearing with those who require extra grace, compromising on issues or excursions, or by calling out faulty thinking in order to edify (not embarrass). It takes work to cover people with grace when their deeds might merit negative exposure. It takes self-control and character to be truly meek.

Doormat living thrives on dirt, the soil of passive-aggression to avoid conflict. The soot of absorbing the maltreatment of others because you believe it’s your lot in life. The motivation of doormat living is self-pity and pride. Self-loathing is a crazy hubris; it is believing that even if God says I’m made in His image, He’s wrong … but only about me. It’s attempting to live like we’re just dust even after receiving God’s breath. We have this treasure, this water, so to speak, in our earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). The treasure is the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). This water is the God-given ability to forgive and be forgiven, so we can continually walk in peace with God. No one but God knows the motivation behind our actions; and we can live the façade of holiness while all the while having a heart of a white-washed sepulcher, encasing dead men’s bones instead of living water.