No Greater Joy

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We visited some of our family this weekend. I had some meeting responsibilities, but Phil (and I later) was able to see

  • one granddaughter play basketball – her team won
  • another granddaughter sing a solo in her Chorus Concert
  • a grandson play basketball – his team won
  • and twin grandsons play basketball – their team won

We were certainly pleased that they all did well and had fun. I am so thankful they are able to play and sing and that they have these opportunities.

BUT, later that day, before dinner, one granddaughter let me read her testimony of accepting Jesus as her savior. Now THAT was really exciting!

After completing her confirmation class, our children’s’ pastor asks each participant to write their testimony down and then bring it to a one-on-one meeting with the pastor. What a wonderful way to affirm their step of faith!’

Several of our grandchildren have made a commitment of faith in Jesus as their savior and have been baptized. There is no greater joy for me as a grandmother than to hear that one of there precious children has become a Child of God.

In III John 2-4, John is writing a letter to Gaius and the churches in Asia and says the following –

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 

Some of the traveling teacher recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 

I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. 

I agree with John – there is no greater joy!

My prayer is that each of these precious children continue to follow Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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It is Finished

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One of the greatest challenges for me as a mother of young children was feeling that I was never finished with anything. I would clean up the kitchen after a meal and almost immediately someone was getting a snack, needing me to fix something for a bake sale ….the list could go on and on.
Never ending tasks:
• Laundry – need I say more?
• Clean sheets – someone throws up in bed right after you wash the sheets, bedspread, etc.
• Vacuuming – our children used to ask “who is coming over?” when I got the vacuum cleaner out, then as soon as I vacuumed, someone tracked in newly mown grass or mud.
• Meals – we all need to eat, but for moms the day often seems to flow from one meal to the next and looking back on my day, sometimes that is all I seemed to do.
• Picking up – I have sorted the toys, put all the puzzles together, and straightened the books …..then the children wake up from their nap. All is undone in a matter of minutes.

The fact of feeling that nothing was ever finished discouraged me. Yet that was a false belief because in reality my children were fed, their clothes were clean – these tasks were finished. The tasks just had to be repeated again… and again… and again. Our children had a clean organized home to live in…

Wait – clean and organized home is NOT an accurate description of our house at that time. The Health Department was never called in, we never had to call exterminators, but we lived in our house and you could tell we had four small children.

The issue of never finishing tasks was the concern for me. Yet in the flow of daily living these repeated tasks were essential to the well being of our life as a family.

During the past week following our Easter celebration, Jesus words on the cross “It is Finished” have caused me to see His death and resurrection in a new way.

John’s description of the crucifixion of Jesus shares this scene – John 19: 28-39

v.28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” v.29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. v.30 When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Jesus death and resurrection was a complete work. Jesus Himself said “It is finished”. There is nothing that anyone can do to make His salvation more complete – neither doctrine nor effort on our part will replace or enhance the salvation that Jesus bought for us with His shed blood.

WHAT A WONDERFUL TRUTH!

Jesus paid the price so that I can live in freedom from the guilt and weight of my sin. It is not something I must do over and over again like the laundry. Once I confess my sin and receive His forgiveness, I am a new creation – not just a remake – but completely new.

2 Corinthians 5:16-18 (NLT)

v.16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know Him now! v.17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! v.18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.

It is finished and I am so thankful!