Posts Tagged ‘throne of grace’


I love this verse from Stuart Townend’s song “How Deep the Father’s Love for us”

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

If you have been a Christian for many years, it is easy to forget what a wretch you were. If you continue to walk close to the Lord, you will be mindful of that wretchedness. It is the walk of a wretched man saved by Jesus that is best suited to being a “Good Samaritan”. If you think you are something for God; if you walk around thinking that God is sure glad He got you, you will not be a Good Samaritan. Oh, sure, you love yourself, but you love yourself too much to ever reach out to the wretches living around you. The love you have for yourself is blinding you from seeing the needs of other wretches around you.

A Good Samaritan has no “walls” when it comes to the needs of his neighbors. A good samaritan is not afraid to get close to other “wretches” to see what their needs are. He sees no color, no race, no status, no religion. He sees the forsaken, the diseased, the impoverished, the disabled, the alone, the abandoned, the damaged. He not only looks close, but he does what he can to meet the needs of the “wretched”. Everything he has is Gods, and he holds nothing back from God or his neighbors.

The Good Samaritan does not go around boasting of what he does. You see, he is simply one wretch helping another wretch.

A person who is a living, walking, Good Samaritan reveals what is in his heart.

The Heart of a Good Samaritan reveals two things:

1. Our love for God and His Son Jesus Christ

2. Our love for people, the people that Jesus died on the cross to redeem the other “wretches”

  • These people were ugly, hateful, sinful, vile, sin-sick, hopeless, rebellious
  • But Jesus loved them, died for them
  • These people were you and me.

In effect, being a Good Samaritan unites us with the heart of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ultimate Good Samaritan. He gave his all for our sake, the wounded, the captured, the bruised, the broken, the forsaken.

Satan and Sin had us in an eternal death grip, but Jesus Christ came to our side and freed us from the death grip of sin. He was our personal Good Samaritan.

The question I want to answer today: How do we continue our comittment to being Good Samaritans?

Now, I know that you do not normally think of yourself as being selfish, uncaring and unconcerned. Certainly the lawyer who asked Jesus the question “Who is my neighbor?” did not see himself as that way. He thought he was a model Jew, the best of the best. However, Jesus cut to the very depth of his soul by revealing his bias toward the Samaritans. He challenged him to see everyone, regardless of his or her religion or culture as his neighbor, worthy of his love.

Face it; it is easy to overlook certain people. It is easy to judge, condemn, and even isolate ourselves from certain people. However, Jesus challenges us to know that there is not one person on this earth that is not worthy of our love. Jesus wants us to know that He died for everyone, no matter how vile they are, or regardless of their religion or culture. We are not special. We are not better than anyone else is. They are our neighbor and needing our love because such were we! What is more, because of our busy and isolated lives, we lose sight of the needs of people who don’t live by us, or who are in neighborhoods we do not go to.

Practical Advice about Trip Hazards

Before we look at Scripture and see what can trip us up, I want to offer some practical advice for any Good Samaritan.

One problem facing many of us Baby Boomers in the troubled times we are in, is caring for our elderly parents, caring for a son or daughter out of work, caring for a spouse with a debilitating medical condition. Many find themselves in a Caregiver Role. To be a Caregiver is to provide financial, relational, physical, spiritual, or emotional support to someone who is unable to live independently like:

  • newborns or small children
  • those recovering from an injury or illness
  • aging loved ones
  • anyone facing a terminal illness
  • those who are disabled in some way (physically, mentally, emotionally)

This just about covers parents and people from all lifestyles and all ages, so it probably affects you or someone you care about. There are dangers involved in being a Caregiver or a ‘good Samaritan.’ One of those dangers is in the form of overwhelming stress or an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

There are CARETAKERS and there are CAREGIVERS.

A caretaker provides a level of compassionate service for someone in need. It is not usually overwhelming enough to create compassion fatigue or massive distress because there are clear boundaries, defined duties, and reasonable expectations, as well as defined hours of service.

Caregivers do the same work, but often with greater intensity, since they often aren’t compensated in some way and just work out of the goodness of their hearts to show compassion to the person in need. They often give and give expecting nothing in return, yet that is often why they run out of energy and burnout. They do not have defined hours, schedules, or budgets. It can get very stressful, very fast because they cannot do everything for everyone all the time without it leading to caregiver stress.

The Caregiver Stress Checklist

  • Am I easily agitated with those I love?
  • Am I becoming more critical of others?
  • Am I having difficulty laughing or having fun?
  • Am I turning down most invitations to be with others?
  • Am I feeling depressed about my situation?
  • Am I feeling hurt when my efforts go unnoticed?
  • Am I resentful when other family members are not helping?
  • Am I feeling trapped by all the responsibilities?
  • Am I being manipulated?
  • Am I missing sleep and regular exercise?
  • Am I too busy for quiet time with God?
  • Am I feeling guilty when I take time for myself?

Warning Signs of Caregiver Stress:

  • Physically – exhausted and worn out
  • Emotionally – resentful, stressed, bitter
  • Relationally – feeling used or unappreciated
  • Financially – overwhelmed or depleted

It is right to care for people in need. It is healthy to show compassion. Those are good things and make us feel better for having made a difference in the lives of others. You can show care in many ways and should. Caring is important, but there are some hidden dangers if you do not realize a simple truth.

TEAM GOOD SAMARITAN

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a timeless story of being a compassionate caregiver.

We should not miss the truth of how to protect the Good Samaritan from compassion fatigue.

Yes, he jumped in to help a stranger, and, yes, he showed great love for another human being, but he did not do it alone! The Good Samaritan started a healing process in the life of a wounded man and allowed others, like the innkeeper, to be part of the team to make a positive difference in helping a man rebuild and recover. When you are part of a team helping someone going through a crisis, you are less likely to burnout. And that’s a good thing for everyone so you can have a lot more energy to help others for years to come.[1]

If we are to love our neighbors, and not suffer from burnout, or compassion fatigue, we must be part of a team. We must discover that there is help from a higher power!

For the heartsick, bleeding soul out there today who is desperate for a word of encouragement, let me assure you that you can trust this Lord of heaven and earth. There is security and rest in the wisdom of the eternal Scriptures. I believe the Lord can be trusted, even when He cannot be tracked. Of this you can be certain: Jehovah, King of kings and Lord of lords, is not pacing the corridors of heaven in confusion over the problems in your life!  He hung the worlds in space. He can handle the burdens that have weighed you down, and He cares about you deeply. He says to you, “Be still, and know that I am God”. Psalms 46:10   — James Dobson, Ph.D.[2]

GO TO THE THRONE

To be a Good Samaritan means that you memorize and take to heart Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

We often think this verse applies to when we are being tempted. And that is a strong part of it, but the truth is that the weaknesses spoken about refers to illness, physical exhaustion, lack of strength, any condition of weakness that could lead us to lose heart, give up, have a breakdown, get hard hearted, get calloused, disillusioned. In other words, Jesus sympathizes with those conditions that could lead us to give up being a Good Samaritan, to give up following Him, to give up loving our neighbor.

We need to be a part of His team, we need to come boldly to the throne of grace, not only for help and strength for us, but for the ones we are caring for.

Mother’s, when you don’t think you can take care of an aging mom any more, when you have had your heart broken by a wayward son or daughter, when you are about to give up caring, go to the throne, go to the one who has been there, and realize His strength is yours, His grace and mercy are overflowing for those in need, exactly at the time you need it most!

What Will Trip Us Up?

What Keeps us from the throne? What will cause us to stumble and stop being a Good Samaritan?

There are four major reasons that we may stumble and fall, which will keep us from the throne of Grace.

These are found in verses preceding of Hebrews 4:14

1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:1-13

FOUR TRIP HAZARDS

  1. Faith Connection (Weak or non-existent)
  2. Disobedience (Idolatry, Iniquity and Immorality)
  3. Bitterness (Hard Heart leading to no ability to sympathize)
  4. Grumbling- (Temporal Focus because of a messed up heart!)

1.  Faith Connection

  • Verse 2: For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

Even though they had witnessed miraculous acts, God was still invisible to the wandering Jews. Whatever their thinking about who this invisible “I AM” was, it did not settle into their heart.

If you are going to continue to be a Good Samaritan, you have to have a daily faith connection to this awesome God, “the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. 1 Timothy 6:15

For anyone who desires to please God must believe that He is. Not only on Sunday, but you need a faith connection every day of the week.

Faith is a solid, substantiating force that sustains us during good times, bad times, and difficult times. Satan delights in getting you to doubt God, to ignore God, to resent God. Satan tries to sever your faith connection every day!

You faith connection will allow you to see God in the midst of the storm, in the midst of your exhaustion, in the midst of your struggles, in the midst of your frustrations.

This Christian walk is by faith and not sight, and as soon as you lose faith, or weaken in faith, you will stumble from being a Good Samaritan.

Genuine Love for you hurting and weak neighbors comes from your faith in our Loving God!

2.  Disobedience (Idolatry, Iniquity and Immorality)

  • Verse 6: “and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience”
  • 1 Cor 10:7-8 – Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

The Wilderness Jews had a problem with idolatry. They put other things before God. Their broken faith connection did not allow them to see God in their everyday lives. So when Moses was gone for 40 days, they got nervous and afraid, and made their own god to worship. They disobeyed keeping the law, they disobeyed Moses, they lusted after things rather than desiring God.

Their disobedience grew from having a small god and large appetites for themselves. They put themselves before God.

It is good to do a heart check every so often. What are you desiring, what are you obsessing over?

When we take our eyes and our hearts off the desires of God, and put them on what we want or what we think we need, then we will stumble from being a Good Samaritan. We will take our eyes and our hearts off our neighbors.

Are you having conflicts in your marriage, in your relationships? Do a heart check! Perhaps you are putting your desires ahead of the other person. You may think you are right, but try humbling yourself before God, and then seeking Him until His desires become your desires in that situation.

Too many times conflict is caused and sustained by our selfishness and by putting things before our relationships.

3.  Bitterness (Hard Heart leading to inability to sympathize)

  • Verse 7: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts”.
  • 1 Cor 10:9 – We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

When we lose our faith connection, when we start putting our desires before God, it will not be too long before something happens in your life that causes you great hurt, great resentment, great anger. The Jews were upset over the desert, the food, the leader. They were angry, upset, and bitter. This bitterness led to hearts that were hard and insensitive to God.

You may have experienced this yourself.

You lost something/someone very dear to you, a son, a daughter, a wife. Or it could be an important job, a friendship. Children get bitter when they are forced to move, when divorce splits the home. Sickness, disease, an accident…anything that happens that directly affects our comfort, our life, our control. When life seems out of control, when our heart is broken, when we get angry, when we question what is going on…there is a temptation to lash out, get resentful, and the bitterness grows.

We must not put Christ to the test

Sinners are said to tempt God (Matt. 4:7; Luke 4:12; 10:25; Acts 5:9, peirázō; 1 Cor. 10:9), putting Him to the test, refusing to believe Him or His Word until He has manifested His power (Sept.: Deut. 6:16; 8:16; Ps. 78:18). When God is said to try (peirazō) man (Heb. 11:17 [cf. Gen. 22:1; Ex. 15:25]), in no other sense can He do this (James 1:13) but to train in order to elevate a person as a result of the self-knowledge which may be won through these testings (peirasmoí <G3986>). Thus, man may emerge from his testings holier, humbler, stronger than when he entered in (James 1:2, 12). [3]

I have known people who were so excited about serving God, who were so in love with Jesus, and because of some tragedy or some loss, have lost that love, that enthusiasm. They test Christ by saying, “if you love me, then you will make this right!” They believe that Jesus owes them and they get upset with Him when things don’t work out the way they think they should. What joy it is to know mature saints who have grown sweeter with the years, who have faced sorrows and heartaches yet their heart is still tender to God, still tender to the needs of those around them

We have a great friend of the family in Swann Bates. She is in he eighties now, and I had not seen her since my mom died in 1996. I had always admired her love for Jesus, her love for the word. She was one of those ‘refreshing’ saints that lifted everyone she met. I knew they had had some financial setbacks late in life, and i wondered how she would be when I went over to her place last Christmas. She was exactly as I remembered her, bubbly, in love with Jesus, refreshing, concerned about me and my family. She had grown sweeter with the years. A couple months ago she lost her daughter, Donna, to breast cancer. I called her up and left a message of consolation. She called me later, and instead of being down, expressed to me her praise for the Lord, her praise for the love of Christ. I could sense the tears, but her love for Jesus came through strong and loud.

I want to be a Mrs. Bates if I make it into my eighties! Don’t you? Praise God for the power of Jesus to make us sweeter through all this life brings us!

If you hear of someone’s need, or see someone hurting, and the Holy Spirit can’t tug at your heart, perhaps there is some bitterness that is spoiling your love.

Bitterness can ruin relationships, especially between a husband and wife, can ruin friendships, and can ruin your enthusiasm for worship, for serving in your church. It will harden your heart to the point where your love for your neighbor is gone, and all that is left is a huge fence.

It is hard putting your heart out there for anyone to step on it. It is hard serving people who are not grateful, who don’t seem to do anything for themselves, or who just seem to be milking the system. It is easy to say it does not do any good, but remember, Jesus Christ died for that person. Jesus Christ died for you. He put His heart out there for everyone to spit upon to beat to mock, and yet He still loved us, still suffered that horrible experience of the wrath of God being poured out on Him.

How is your heart? Is it as tender as when you were in school? Do you still care about the needs of those around you? Or is your heart crusted over, hardened by bitterness and unfulfilled expectations, hurts and losses. Any hurt, any loss pales in comparison with what Jesus Christ experienced for you.

4.  Grumbling- (Temporal Focus because of a messed up heart!)

  • Verse 13: And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account
  • 1 Cor 10: 10 “nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer”.
  • And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. Numbers 11:1
  • Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.   John 6:43

When we lose our faith connection, when we lose our desire for God, when our heart becomes hard, it isn’t long before our attitude is affected. You can always tell when someone has a problem with God when they start grumbling.

It can be a little thing, but in my experience, grumblers never stop with little things (like the weather). Grumbling reveals that some things are not right in your heart. In addition, if your heart is not right, the grumbling will come out louder and with greater intensity.

I am not saying that all grumbling is bad. However, I am saying that God hates grumblers, because grumblers are not being thankful for Him!

“How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. Numbers 14:27

DOES THIS SONG DESCRIBE ANYONE YOU KNOW?

The Grumble Song by Thoro Harris

In country, town, or city
Some people can be found
Who spend their lives in grumbling
At everything around
Oh yes, they always grumble
No matter what we say
For these are chronic grumblers
And they grumble night and day.
Chorus:
Oh, they grumble on Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday,
Grumble on Thursday, too
Grumble on Friday, Saturday, Sunday,
Grumble the whole week through.
They grumble in the city
They grumble on the farm
They grumble at their neighbors
They think it is no harm;
They grumble at their husbands,
They grumble at their wives
They grumble at their children
But the grumbler never thrives.
They grumble when it’s raining
They grumble when it’s dry
And if the crops are failing
They grumble and they sigh
They grumble at low prices
And grumble when they’re high
They grumble all the year round
And they grumble till they die.
They grumble at the preacher
They grumble at his prayer
They grumble at his preaching
They grumble everywhere;
They grumble at God’s people
And say ’tis all display
But holy folks don’t grumble
They have only time to pray.
If you don’t quit your grumbling
And stop it now and here
You’ll never get to heaven
No grumblers enter there;
Repent and be converted
Be saved from all your sin
You know that grumbling Christians
Find it hard a crown to win.

Being a Good Samaritan can be difficult. Never do it on your own. Realize it is TEAM GOOD SAMARITAN THAT WILL ENDURE.

Come daily to the throne of grace, there you will find a loving Savior who sympathizes with everything you are trying to do, with everything you are going through. He wants to join His heart and strength with yours in meeting the needs of your neighbors. He offers His grace and strength at just the right time.

  • We need to give Him our hearts daily
  • We need to follow Him daily
  • We need to rejoice and be thankful daily

JESUS is our example. He is our Good Samaritan.

If we lose our faith connection, if we start going our own way, if our hearts get hard through bitterness, if we start to grumble because we have taken our eyes off Jesus and started looking at circumstances instead of Him, then we will give up being a good Samaritan, we will lose our love for our neighbors, we will build walls around our lives, and we will become a grumbler.

And like the Jews in the wilderness, we will lose our way and be overcome in the wilderness.

Do you love Jesus?

Do you love Jesus?

Do you Love Jesus?

Then feed HIS lambs! Jesus says, “Feed My lambs.” Jesus wants us to take care of HIS lambs. And for us to do that, we must be connected to Him by love. His heart must be our heart!

The Lord would answer, “Ah, Peter, and I love you”; but He did not say so, and yet He did say so. Perhaps Peter did not see His meaning; but we can see it, for our minds are not confused as Peter’s was on that memorable morning. Jesus did in effect say, “I love you so that I trust you with that which I purchased with My heart’s blood. The dearest thing I have in all the world is My flock: see, Simon, I have such confidence in you, I so wholly rely on your integrity as being a sincere lover of Me, that I make you a shepherd to My sheep. These are all I have on earth, I gave everything for them, even My life; and now, Simon, son of Jonas, take care of them for Me.” Oh, it was “kindly spoken.” It was the great heart of Christ saying, “Poor Peter, come right in and share My dearest cares.”[4]


[2] Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group, http://www.LifeWorksGroup.org eNews (Copyright, 2004-2008, by the LifeWorks Group in Florida. 407-647-7005).

[3] Complete Word Study Dictionary, The New Testament.


A mommy was out walking with her 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. The cautious Mom took the item away from her and asked her not to do that.
“Why?” her daughter asked.
“Because it’s been on the ground, you don’t know where it’s been, it’s dirty and probably has germs”
Her daughter looked up at her Mom with total admiration and asked, “Mommy, how do you know all this stuff? You are so smart.”
The Mom quickly replied: “All moms know this stuff. It’s on the Mommy Test. You have to know it, or they don’t let you be a Mommy.”
They walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, and the little girl seemed deep in thought.
“OH…I get it!” she beamed, “So if you don’t pass the test you have to be the daddy.”
“Exactly” the mommy replied back with a big smile on my face.

Actually, there is no test to become a Mom, but even brief rundown of some of the job descriptions of a Mom are overwhelming:

Dentist, Taxi driver, Doctor/Surgeon (stuffed animals), Lawyer, Policewoman, Coroner- (for pets), Coach, Teacher, Cook (apple jacks)/Chef (macaroni and cheese), Laundress, Dishwasher, Maid, Nurse – until we get our MD which happens after kid #2, Personal dresser, Personal shopper, Personal assistant, Secretary, Rocking chair, Singer, Artist, Diaper changer, Seamstress, Groomer, Cheerleader, Plumber, Counselor, Tissue (Mom’s clothes work better) Food taster, Tickler and Pudding lid licker.

With all these responsibilities, is it any wonder that Mom’s mess up from time to time? Sometimes Mom’s flunk the Mommy Test!

Lydia and I were in Archie last year playing golf at Blackberry Trails. We were on the fourth hole when we get a frantic call from our fifth child, Lindsey. She was headed out to the garage to go shopping with our 8th grandchild, Laila. Laila was just seven months old. She had her in her seat that snaps into the pedestal in the car. She forgot to get something, so she sets the seat on the counter top, and goes up to her bedroom. She hears a horrid sounding “crash” and Laila lets out this blood-curdling scream. She runs downstairs to see Laila lying face down on their hard tile flor, with the baby-seat on top of her. She picks her up and sees a huge bruise and knot forming on her forehead.

When Lydia got the call, she was frantic as well. She immediately left and met Lindsey at the hospital.

Lindsey had one of those Mommy Mess-Up moments. She just didn’t think that a seven month old could wiggle and kick that much. Lindsey had her first experience with “mommy guilt’, but praise God, Laila was fine. It seems that God designed little babies with “mess-up’s” in mind. Their little head bones are still forming and can take an accidental fall very well.

An important aspect of being a Mom is learning how to deal with “Mommy Mess-up’s!

Ali Landry is an actress, model, ABC’s Superstars celebrity participant, and founder of children’s clothing line Belle Parish, and became mom to Estela in 2007.

“As a mom, I almost always feel guilty.  I think it’s just part of being a mom, never feeling like you have enough time for the kids, your husband, yourself!  It’s a daily struggle to be the best wife, mother, daughter etc. I can be.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day.”

Now that my daughter’s a little older (2-1/2), I’m no longer so germ phobic.  I no longer feel like I need to clean off everything that falls on the ground before she sticks it back in her mouth.  A few germs are good for kids!”

If a few germs are good for kid’s are “mess-ups” good for Moms?

Wiktionary defines “mess up” as:

  • To make a mess of; to untidy, disorder, soil, or muss. “The afternoon breeze messed up my hair.”
  • To cause a problem with; to introduce an error or mistake in; to make muddled or confused; spoil; ruin. “The change messed something up, and it’s not working anymore.”
  • To botch, bungle; to perform poorly on. “Well, I messed up my solo, but otherwise it was a good concert.”
  • To make a mistake; to do something incorrectly; to perform poorly. “He has a hard time getting started because he’s afraid he’ll mess up.”
  • To cause (another person) to make unwanted mistakes in a given task, usually through distraction or obnoxious behavior. “Stop bumping me! You keep messing me up!”
  • To damage; injure. “He messed up his elbow at the track meet.”
  • To discombobulate, utterly confuse, or confound psychologically; to throw into a state of mental disarray. “That girl totally messed me up, man. I’m not sure who I am anymore.”

Mom’s learn that messes are a fact of Motherhood:

As one Mom writes:
The morning starts off with spilled milk and sticky crumbs on the kitchen floor, progresses to tomato juice dumped on the carpet, includes a stopped-up sink and a visit to the emergency room, and finishes up with the dog meeting a skunk.  Throw in a call from your husband telling you he’s bringing company home for dinner — “just something casual, hon.”
Sometimes we really mess up.
Sometimes — for a lot of different reasons — we are reckless, or clueless, or just plain mean.  We’re spoiling for a fight.  We indulge our sarcastic streak.
Our families suffer for our thoughtlessness and mistakes.  Sometimes, for a little while, we just don’t care.
We blame the kids or we blame our husband.  We blame our mothers, the neighbors, or the girl at the check-out counter.  We blame just about anyone or anything else that  allows us not to take responsibility for our own actions and failures.  We justify our own behaviour, even if only to ourselves.
After all, we’re the mom, right?

And that is why we feel so bad, later on, when we realize just how much we messed up.

Whether it was an honest mistake, or something we did purposefully, messing up has consequences to our families, our friends, and to ourselves.
Sometimes our carelessness causes harm or serious pain to someone we love.  Or our mistakes disappoint them.  Perhaps our bad attitude causes someone we love to try on a bad attitude for themselves.
What do we do then?
What do we do when we’ve run over the cat with the car because we were in a hurry?
How do we handle it when we forget our daughter’s kindergarten Thanksgiving feast?
How do we respond when we hear our sarcastic attitude coming out of our son’s mouth?
These are the moments we are glad our families cannot fire us.  Because we supervise our own work, it is up to us to fix the mess.  We must come up with our own remediation plan.

The truth is, Mom’s can try to fix the messes, come up with your own remediation plan, but you will continue to suffer from “Mommy Guilt”. God has a better way to deal with mess-up’s. God can even deal with Mom’s who are totally messed up!

How Does God deal with Mommy Mess-Up’s?

1.  Moms that Mess Up are the Rule

Romans 5:12 (ESV) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…

The very first Mom messed up. In fact, she and her husband are the reason all mom’s mess up.

Genesis 3:1-7 (NLT) 1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.  “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Everything is under the Curse of Sin

Because of Adam and Eve’s collosal mess-up, sin (mess-up’s) entered this world. This world and everything in it is under the curse of sin. Mom’s are going to mess up, and they will continue to feel guilt over their mess-ups.

On the website “True Mom Confessions”, Mom’s can post there mess-up’s anonymously. There are literally thousands of anonymous confessions. I have picked some of the “tamer” ones, posted this past week:

From True Mom Confessions

  • every time my two year old eats she does it with her mouth open..i want to kick her across the room anytime she eats within my hearing range.ive told her to close her mouth time and time again and now she does it on purpose
  • if i could have a do-over, id take it in a heartbeat. i hate my kids, my husband and life.
  • My sister is not bathing her 2 yr old or brushing his teeth because he doesn’t like it. She gives him a sponge-down and lets him chew on his brush for a minute instead. Am I overreacting when I say I think that’s just plain old bad parenting, JUST because he doesn’t like it they don’t do it?? He still has cradle cap coz they never wash his hair!
  • So mad at the boys yesterday. So mad. Damian (age 3) pooped his underwear (as if this isnt bad enough) and then proceeded to wipe it on the living room window. Then (yep, theres more!) Brayden (age 22 months) put his hands in it and smeared it on the window. And it wasn’t like they were being unsupervised either! Grant was in the same room with them and I was walking back and forth doing laundry, just didn’t realize what they were doing. Disgusting!
  • I failed. I did not protect my little boy from a savage dog attack. I did not keep my promise of me always keeping my babies safe. I lied to them; because it is NOT safe here .. I hear sirens and dogs barking everywhere in the air. I failed to Keep my young beings’ safe and innocent. I hate that bull mastiff so much I wish I knew where he was..
  • I’m the mom with the 17 year old pregnant daughter. I told her to get and job and be out of the house in a month tonight. How did I ever raise such a spoiled brat? And yes this pregnancy is a mistake and this baby is a mistake. I told her if she chooses adoption then I would pay for college like I promised. If she chooses to continue this charade of adulthood then she’s on her own. I know some people don’t agree but this isn’t how I raised my daughter. I’ve never understood parents that pay for their adult children. It’s not going to be me.
  • WISH MOTHERS DAY WAS OVER ALREADY, MINE HAS PASSED AWAY, AND I CAN’T HAVE A BABY. UGH. THIS IS THE HARDEST WEEK OF THE YEAR FOR ME. SORRY MOMS!

Yes, Mom’s and women mess up, deal with guilt, deal with frustration, and yes, even hate their lives. This is the sad state of mankind. That is what Paul wrote in Romans 5:

Romans 5:12-14 (ESV) 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given…and death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam…

Mom’s all all under the curse of sin, and so death reigns over our lives. That little baby you bring into this world, that brings you so much joy, will also bring you sadness, heartache, and there is nothing you can do about it, except to see things God’s way!

We Need Someone who can “Reverse the Curse”

So Mom’s, and Dad’s, we need something to reverse this curse, and turn life into a Blessing! We need something else to reign over death! Glory be to God, there is an answer to our messes, even when our lives are totally messed up! That answer is Jesus!

2.  Moms that Mess Up can receive the Wonderful Grace of Jesus!

  • Romans 5:15 (ESV) But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
  • Romans 5:20 (ESV) Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…

“Trespass or offense” is paraptōma, “a falling alongside, a deviation from the right path.” A “Mess-up”

The glorious truth about “Mommy Mess-ups” is they show you your need for a Savior! Your mess-ups can open your heart to see your need for Jesus Christ! And when Jesus becomes your Savior and Lord, He gives a wonderful gift to you-the wonderful Grace of God.

In fact, wherever “mess-up’s ” abound, the grace of God abounds even more.

My dad moved us up to Prairie Village when I was five years old. He and mom had to leave their family in Ft Worth TX and move to a city where they knew no one. On top of that, Dad’s new job required him to travel 4 and 5 days a week. I was 5, my brother was 4 and we had a new baby brother. My brother John was one of those “impossible” kids. He was born rebellious. Nothing seemed to work. I can remember my mom chasing him all through the house, trying to spank him with a hair brush. One time she spanked him so hard it broke the hair brush, but John just kept laughing at her. It didn’t phase him. Mom’s favorit expression to yell was “Wait till your father get’s home Friday!” Mom and Dad had problems over this change in their life. I remember at about the age of 8 having to go live with a business associate of my dad’s. Mom had to go away. She was gone for a couple months. I learned when I was in my teens that Mom had had a nervous breakdown. She couldn’t cope with all the problems, with dad being gone, with her guilt, with her anger, with all of her “mess-up’s.” The mess-ups had gotten so bad that now her life was “messed-up.”

One thing that happened after Mom came home was we started going to a church down the street. Prairie Baptist Church. I started learning about a man named Jesus. Mom started to pray with us and even read the Bible with us. After Glen Conus and Myrl Scofield made about 15 visits with my Dad, he started going to church.

Things began to be different in our home. Mom was different. Dad was different. John was still John, but Mom could deal with him now. Dad still traveled, but managed to be home more often.

What Happened?

My Mom and Dad had found Jesus! God had showered them with Grace, the power to do what they ought to do! The power to do what they couldn’t do!

God’s Grace Enables Me by Janet Mullaly

I Know it’s the Spirit who is at work within me,
cause I can’t do these things by myself.
I have tried and I’ve tried
but it’s always the same on my own
Everything is a mess.
I give praise to my Lord
I give Praise to my King
I give glory and honor to God
For it is Him and not me
This I clearly  do see
It’s His Grace
That enables me!

God’s grace is far more effective and powerful than any single mess-up or a bunch of mess-ups! God’s Grace can forgive and even transform the worst of “messed-up” Mom’s.

Now I’m not implying that only Mom’s mess up. No, men and women alike all mess up. What I am saying is that even the worst mess-up’s can be covered and forgiven by the grace of God!

In fact, Paul describes himself as the Chief of “Mess-up’s”: 1 Timothy 1:15 (KJV) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Jesus Came to Reverse the Curse!

  • “For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
  • “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephes. 2:4-9).
  • “And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:14-15).
  • “…His grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephes. 1:6).

Mom’s, when you place your life, your “mess-up’s in Jesus hands, you are surrounded by His grace. Your mess-ups may be simply because of the place you are in life-but in Christ, you are totally accepted in the beloved!

Donald Whitney in Simplify Your Spiritual Life.  “Like Jean with three in diapers, you may be in a situation that curtails many of your spiritual activities.  You may be looking at many months or even years of such limitations.  Do what you can.  God does not love us more when we do more, nor less when we do less.  He accepts us, not because of what we do for Him, but because of what He’s done for us in Christ.  The Bible says,”He made us accepted in the Beloved [that is, Jesus}” (Eph. 1:6).  And nothing “shall be able to separate us form the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39). Love God, and within the limitations He has sovereignly placed in your life at this time, do what you can.”

No matter your mess-up, no matter how bad it was, or is, in Jesus Christ, you are accepted and beloved by God! His grace gives you the power to overcome the worst of mess-ups.

Does that mean life will be rosy after coming to Jesus? No! Christian Mom’s mess-up just like non-Christian Mom’s.

What’s the difference then? The difference is that now you have the Grace of Jesus to deal with your mess-up’s. You have Grace to carry you through the stress. You have Grace to give you peace when that “mommy-guilt” rears it’s head.

Stress can lead to mess-up’s, mess-up’s can lead to guilt, guilt can lead to regret, regret can lead to depression and despair.

Look at how Jesus handled stress, and a moment when he could have committed an enormous “mess-up!”

For the truth is that if Jesus had to face stress, Mom’s are not exempt. You will continue to face stress, especially because you are a Mom. And when you think you have it licked because they are out of the home on their own, along come the grandkids. The cycle goes on.

So Mom’s need to see how Jesus dealt with stress, stress that could have led to a monumental mess-up. Even Jesus came to experience the grace of His Father.

It was just hours before He was to experience the crucifixion, before He was to experience becoming sin and being separated from His Father. It was the hour when He would experience an infinity of the wrath of God.

His state of psychological stress was so severe that it has since been written about in medical journals: Hematohidrosis is a condition in which the blood vessels around sweat glands dilate to the point of rupture, whereupon the blood flows into the sweat glands – coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.

This is a physical phenomena not frequently experienced, even in the most stressful circumstances. Yet, Jesus found Himself sweating blood on the evening before His crucifixion.

During this period of time, Jesus demonstrated for every Christian how God equips a saint to think about, walk through, and succeed when under necessary STRESS:

S – Scared to death of the
T – Time just ahead, yet
R – Resolving to
E – Exude grace while being willing to
S – Sacrifice our very life, if need be, to
S – Succeed in God’s goals for us.

Jesus was literally “overwhelmed with sorrow”, “full of anguish” and “falling face down” in prayer. But, HE PRAYED!

Moms, when your stressed, when you mess-up, PRAY!

P – Present your fears to God as honestly as you can
R – Relinquish yourself into His hands
A – Agree that He is Sovereign and ask for as much mercy as is possible given His goals
Y – Yield yourself fully to His choices for your future.

Mom’s, Jesus wants you to pray, to come to the THRONE OF GRACE!

  • Hebrews 4:16 (ESV) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
  • James 4:6-7 (ESV) But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God…

God Gives His Wonderful Grace to the Humble. It’s Ok to Mess-up! As the song so aptly announces:

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

Refrain

Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Wonderful grace, all sufficient for me, for even me.
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame,
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus.
Praise His Name!

Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost,
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.

The Water Bearer

Pay attention to this parable of how God uses our “mess-ups” to bring beauty to the lives around us:

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his shoulders. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was perfect for the task for which it was made, and proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without your being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace my house.

God is able to work His GRACE in the lives of every humble Mom who is aware of her mess-ups. In fact, God can keep you singing and rejoicing even in the midst of chaos. There will be flowers of beauty springing up all around your tears!

3.  Moms that Mess Up can become Queens in Jesus!

Remember Queen for a Day?

The show opened with host Jack Bailey asking the audience—mostly women—”Would YOU like to be Queen for a day?” After this, the contestants were introduced and interviewed, one at a time, with commercials and fashion commentary interspersed between each contestant.[3]

Using the classic “applause meter”, as did many game and hit-parade style shows of the time, Queen for a Day had its own special twist: each contestant had to talk publicly about the recent financial and emotional hard times she had been through.

Bailey began each interview gently, asking the contestant first about her life and family, and maintaining a positive and upbeat response no matter what she told him. For instance, when a woman said she had a crippled child, he would ask if her second child was “Okay.” On learning that the second child was not crippled, he might say, “Well, that’s good, you have one healthy child.”

The interview would climax with Bailey asking the contestant what she needed most and why she wanted to win the title of Queen for a Day. Often the request was for medical care or therapeutic equipment to help a chronically ill child, but sometimes it was as simple as the need for a hearing aid, a new washing machine, or a refrigerator. Many women broke down sobbing as they described their plights, and Bailey was always quick to comfort them and offer a clean white handkerchief to dry their eyes.

The more harsh the circumstances under which the contestant labored, the likelier the studio audience was to ring the applause meter’s highest level. The winner, to the musical accompaniment of Pomp and Circumstance, would be draped in a sable-trimmed red velvet robe, given a glittering jeweled crown to wear, placed on a velvet-upholstered throne, and handed a dozen long-stemmed roses to hold as she wept, often uncontrollably, while her list of prizes was announced.

The prizes, many of which were donated by sponsoring companies, began with the necessary help the woman had requested, but built from there. They might include a variety of extras, such as a vacation trip, a fully-paid night on the town with her husband or escort, silver-plated flatware, an array of kitchen appliances, and a selection of fashion clothing. The losing contestants were each given smaller prizes; no one went away from the show without a meaningful gift.

Bailey’s trademark sign-off was “This is Jack Bailey, wishing we could make every woman a queen, for every single day!”

But God’s Word says mommies can be QUEEN for all eternity! In fact, even amidst the chaos of motherhood, mommies reign with Jesus!

  • Romans 5:17 (ESV) For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
  • Romans 5:21 (ESV) so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mom’s, you don’t have to have a sob-story to be selected as Queen for a Day! The fact that you know you mess-up is good enough. Simply humble your heart before Jesus Christ, tell him you have messed up, that you need Him to be your Lord and Savior, and guess what, you become Queen for Life!

Jesus Christ reigns over death, over Satan, over sin! He reigns over the worst mess-up. When you place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you are born again as a daughter of God! You are a Queen, reigning with your new Husband, Jesus Christ!

You reign, not because you are a super Mom, or a saintly Mom, in fact mistakes are OK! Your righteousness and Queenliness is not based on you, it is because you are in your husband, Jesus Christ! You depend upon His righteousness!

Jesus never messes up! But you will always mess-up!

Remember the next time you feel you are messing up, you lose your temper, you are exhausted so you take it out on your husband- You are a Queen, reigning with Jesus Christ!

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a mom,
I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on. Pooped on. Chewed on. Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests. Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom .

May you always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of Motherhood!

Today, you are on Queen for a Day, but Jesus is saying:

“This is Jesus Christ, and I can make every woman my queen, for every day of their life!