Special occasions give us special opportunities to express ourselves in ways we might not otherwise. And while we can joke about “Hallmark holidays,” it is good to share our thanks and appreciation in tangible and different ways. Give thanks to God for your mother, and if you are able, thank your mother! Call her hug her, write her, perhaps you might buy her a nice card and some flowers. Mothers are in a unique position to exert a godly influence over their children. Praise God for His almighty grace when they point their child to Jesus! Pray hard for mothers, and pray even harder for those mothers you know who do not know the grace of God in their own lives!
One of the great blessings of Christian community is that other godly women can impact our lives in mother-like ways. Perhaps you can relate to the influence a number of godly women in the church have had on my life as Sunday School teachers, VBS leaders, and just wonderful encouragers (and sometimes correctors)! I continue to remember and thank God for Mrs. Hollister who gave me and my brothers a cookie tin full of those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey kiss on top—an expression of God’s love to an 8 year old long ago. But while the sweets were wonderful, I am so very thankful now that my Mom made me and my brothers eat our vegetables! Those daily, nutritious meals that she made day after day, week after week, year after year were not always fancy, but they were always good for us. That’s what made us grow up healthy, and with an appreciation for a balanced diet.
Well, just so with our spiritual diets. With what are you feeding your soul? As your pastor, I work hard to give you a healthy meal on Sunday morning; it may not be fancy, but as we stay in God’s Word, by His grace it will be good for us. And hopefully, as the weeks go by, there will be some new recipes tried as well. But your week is seven days long: are you finding sustenance in the Bible daily? Holy Scripture is the primary means of grace, that is, the regular (ordinary) way that grace is received.
Do you desire to grow as a believer? Do you want your faith to be strength-ened, your love increased, to be able to persevere in the middle of trying circum-stances? Then feed on God’s Word every day! And please don’t just read it without thinking about what you’ve read and praying over it. The Devil is never pleased when God’s children are spending time reading His Word; but we might imagine that he is less concerned when we are only reading it to check it off our list. Does God’s Word abide in you? Do you abide in it? Or do you race through your daily reading because there are more important or urgent things to do? Please slow down and allow the words to soak into your heart and mind. Remember when your mother told you not to gobble your food? Did she tell you to chew each mouthful 100 times? That’ll slow you down!
One of my seminary professors gave us students a laminated card with Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 157 on one side and an encouragement to meditate on the Word of God on the other. Here are those 7 very helpful questions to ask as you read through the Bible in 2014. Let me encourage you to take a little more time, read a tiny bit slower, and pick a section of your daily reading to focus on with these questions.
What does this passage of Scripture reveal about God for which He is to be adored or praised?
What does this passage of Scripture reveal about God for which He is to be thanked?
What does this passage reveal about my duty to love God?
What does this passage reveal about my duty to love my neighbor?
What does this passage reveal about my duty to love a brother or sister in Christ?
Does this passage expose my sin, so that there is something specific for which I need to repent in thought, word, or deed?
Does this passage expose my sin, so that there is something specific for which I must be watchful, lest I sin in thought, word, or deed?
May we all, as Peter writes, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Pt. 3:18)
Have a blessed month of May,