The Son & His Mother / Does the Bag of Your Life Have A Hole in the Bottom? / Considering the Outcome
The Son and His Mother
(by Ron Drumm)
As Jesus is dying on the cross He looks down upon His mother. The gospel of John records, "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother … When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home" (John 19:25-27). Of the few words spoken by Jesus on the cross, these words of His speak to our hearts. Our Lord understands our suffering with others. On the cross He is in great agony, but He knew that His mother and other women and the disciple He loved were suffering with Him. What an amazing moment to hear from our Savior’s heart as He called upon one of His disciples to care for His mother!
The Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Jesus giving His life for us. We understand His love for us in that He gave His life for us. How much greater does that love become when we see His love for His mother, Mary. We are reminded of how He loved His own, "Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end" (John 13:1).
We come together to remember His death. His mother watched Him die on that cross. Knowing this makes the death of Christ very real to us. Here we see the Son and His mother together in His last hour of life. On the cross Jesus prayed for those who had put Him on that cross, and He gave comfort to a thief who had asked Him to remember him in His kingdom, and then He cared for His mother. Christ’s death speaks to all of us. We come to the cross that we might live, for we hear the words that Jesus spoke to the living, words of forgiveness, hope and great love.
The Son of God with His mother is very much an integral part of remembering Jesus and His death on the cross. The gospel proclaims a Savior who loved His mother, greatly loved the world, and gave His life for that world. John wrote these words of Jesus in Revelation, "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood" (1:5c).
Does The Bag Of Your Life Have A Hole In The Bottom?
(by Jason Hardin)
Ever had a pair of pants with a hole in one of the pockets? Each time you put those pants on and place your hand in the pocket, you remember. And then you rationalize that it’s not that big of a deal. There are other, more pressing things. It’ll be alright. You’ll remember. Until you absentmindedly drop some coins, or a pen, or a check, or your keys into that same pocket.
Pockets with holes are annoying! (Can you tell I’ve lost more than one item through a hole in a pocket?) But did you know that God, through His prophet Haggai, used that same everyday idea to make a vital spiritual point?
“Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes’” (Haggai 1:3-6).
Though we live in a different era and a different context, it is still wise (and essential) to “consider our ways” in relation to our priorities, actions, and reactions to the revelation of our Creator. Will those things that I’m pouring into the “bag” of my life “abide forever” (1 John 2:15-17)? I brought nothing into this world, and I cannot take anything with me (1 Timothy 6:6-8), but am I living life as if I believe those facts? This sermon emphasizes four major life lessons as defined by the God who created us:
One - Life outside of Christ is a bag with holes (Romans 8:31-32).
Two - Life that revolves around me is a bag with holes (Matthew 16:24-26).
Three - Life without the kingdom of God first is a bag with holes (Matthew 6:33).
Four - Life without treasures in heaven is a bag with holes (Matthew 6:19-20).
You’re pouring a lot of things into your life. But will they last? Does the “bag” of your life have a hole in the bottom? And if so, isn’t it time that you did something about it?
Considering the Outcome
(by Bill Hall)
We have no sympathy for those who at every funeral “preach the dead right on into Heaven,” who ignore the obvious failure on the part of the deceased to serve the Lord, who try to think that all will somehow get to Heaven in spite of their disobedience. There is a hell, and the many of this earth (in contrast to the few) are going there (Matthew 7:13-14).
But we must not allow one extreme to beget another. While the majority will be lost, there are those in this world whose single purpose in life is to serve the Lord and go to Heaven when they die; who devote themselves daily to studying God’s Word and living by its precepts. When such people die, it is right to speak of their good life and faithfulness to the Lord; it is right to commend their example of faithfulness and perseverance to those who may be discouraged; it is right to speak of their eternal reward.
The Hebrew writer stated it this way: “Remember those who led you, who spoke the Word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7 - NASV). Three things are implied in this verse: (1) there had been men in their midst who had served the Lord faithfully unto death; (2) the Hebrew Christians were to be confident that the outcome of the lives of those men was a happy one; (3) considering this, they were to imitate their faith.
We, like the Hebrews, have had the good fortune of knowing many who have lived godly lives and have now passed on to their reward. Some were elders; some were preachers; some were Bible class teachers; others were just good, faithful, dependable disciples of the Lord who placed His kingdom first in their lives. We are not speaking of the lukewarm and indifferent. We are not speaking of those who claim to be Christians, but were lacking in the fruits of Christianity. We are speaking of the truly dedicated ones who constantly reflected the character of their Father and their Lord Jesus Christ. Their influence on our lives was tremendous. They were men and women of whom this world was not worthy. And the list grows with each passing year.
Every one of these had to overcome serious obstacles to be faithful to the Lord. The devil challenged each of them, but he failed. They gained the victory through Christ. Now they are eternally happy because they persevered. Could we ask any one of them, “Was it worth it?” his reply immediately would be, “It was a thousand times worth it!” Not one of them regrets a single moment he spent in the Lord’s service.
We thank God for such people. We rejoice in their salvation. We look on their passing not as those “who have no hope.” And “considering the result of their conduct,” we dedicate ourselves to imitating their faith.