Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
This is our emphasis for our last week of this challenge.
We started, thinking about the problem of being treated as if we are invisible. There isn’t an age limit to this, but by the time we are old, we tend to find this treatment more frequently. People are more likely to talk around us, as if we aren’t in the room.
It’s a treat to find people who don’t treat us this way. They are unusual.
But often moms are also treated this way by their kids or spouses. As moms, we feel guilty trying to get our kids or spouses to treat us with more courtesy or consideration. But remember what is at stake.
You are training people who will grow up to be employees and employers some day, husbands and wives and even friends. How will they learn to be kind, considerate and respectful of other people if they don’t learn it in their homes?
We aren’t being selfish or mean. We are helping them to live in a cold, cruel world. Learning to be polite, kind and respectful will make their walk through life a much smoother one. They need to learn simple things like using the words “please” and “thank you.” They need to show honor to adults starting with their parents. They also need to see us honoring each other.
Having a father who opens doors for their mom is not simply old-fashioned, it is considerate. Ron can’t do it as much as he once did, but he still often struggles to do it for me. It is deeply ingrained in him. I often need to help him because he is weaker now. I don’t mind. He has done these little things for me for years. In fact, he usually tried to make sure my car had gas in it even if he had to go out at night to get gas for me. He didn’t have to do it. Not all men do that of course. It certainly doesn’t mean they are bad husbands. I just happen to be a bit dingy about filling my tank and he didn’t want me to run out of gas. l But I digress. You know the little, kind things your husband does for you to care for you. He may not give you flowers, but he has other things he does. Don’t ignore those things. They speak volumes to your children even though their marriages aren’t set up doing exactly the same things.
Being treated as if we are invisible helps us think about who we were created to be.
As we deal with issues arising from being treated as if we are invisible, we need to understand that we are people of value because we were created in GOD’s image. Our value is a little lower than the angels, higher than animals.
So our value and that of every other human, is based on the value given us by our Creator…from the very beginning.
When Jesus was here on earth, He underlined this view by giving value to people no one else did, in the ways He embraced them. We looked at two illustrations. That covered most of our first week.
Our second week: Hope.
The second week, we spent talking about hope, what it means, where it is placed. We also saw some women who placed their hope in GOD for some impossible situations.
To review, hope is confident expectation based on the person and promises of GOD.
This is not an “I hope so.” kind of hope. It is an absolute certainty because of the One in whom our hope is placed.
Our third week: Who is the Good Shepherd? How does He care for us, His sheep?
Week three was spent considering the Shepherd/sheep metaphor and what that has to do with our theme. It particularly relates to the Shepherd who cares for us through all the days of our lives…all the stages, changes, difficulties and joys. He is with us through all of it, shepherding us as needed. It was also a reminder that the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep if needed.
Week four: our last days and eternity with Jesus.
This week, we will be talking about the last years of our lives and the direction we, His sheep, are going. We are headed to heaven if we have trusted the work of Jesus as sufficient to pay for our sin. As a result, because He took on Himself our record of sin and paid for all of it, we now have his record of a holy, sinless life lived during his 33 years here on earth. Based on His record, we are now righteous when we stand before GOD. It’s a legal transaction that has taken place. We have been justified. GOD did not wink at our sin. The process was legal and just. It satisfied the requirements of a just GOD.
We don’t have to fear standing before GOD in case we have forgotten to ask forgiveness for one final sin before our death. It was all forgiven at the cross many years ago! I can’t tell you how long I feared meeting GOD for this very reason. But all the sin of my entire life was forgiven that day at Calvary…over 2000 years ago! How glorious is that?!
Do I need to ask forgiveness for the sins I commit now? Yes, but it is more for my sake now. I need to pay attention to the sin that dirties me. It’s more like washing off instead of taking a bath. The sins I ask forgiveness for simply remind me how much I need Jesus…everyday.
And what about eternity in heaven?
What will that be like? We will talk about that this week too! It will be amazing, beautiful, creative, beyond belief, with Jesus!
So let’s get started…