Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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A Mother's Prayer
KJV 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

On this Mother's Day, we all acknowledge that the one thing that all people have in common is that we had a mother who carried us for up to nine months inside of her, who gave birth to us, who loved us, nurtured us, trained us and taught us. Our mothers, through their intentional, sacrificial and one-way love, demonstrated to us without words of the Giving Gospel of Jesus Christ. What a blessing to have had a Christian mother who then taught us how to follow Jesus by her example and by her melodies and songs as she went about her many many duties of caring for the family and the household.

While it is true that there are many things that our mothers have taught us, do we not agree that her patient sowing of the seed of Christ through His Word is what we are most thankful for as we reflect upon her love and care for us. May we give praise unto our God, to His Son and to His Holy Spirit who collectively and purposefully have blessed us through our mothers and Who desire that we would pass this on to our families unto all generations. The prayers that our mothers prayed or are yet praying are not forgotten prayers before our Father, for they they are stored in golden vials and come up before Him as a sweet smelling aroma.

In the heart of a Christian mother, there is no greater joy than to hear that her children walk in truth. Likewise there is no greater sorrow in the heart of the mother whose child has not yet been grasped by the gathering grace of God, and how her heart longs to have that child know the Lord. Sometimes the simplest words in kindness will cause one's child to come to know the love of God in Jesus.

Deceased Pastor Ralph Davidson, who grew up in this area, shared of how his mother's words of care and love were instrumental in causing him to receive the grace of God for the forgiveness of his sins. This is his testimony, which I heard many years ago from himself as he was speaking in the small congregation that I grew up in in Washington State. "My brothers and I were heading out the door to "sow our wild oats" and as we walked by mother, who was on her hands and knees washing the floor with her tears dripping in the mop bucket, she said these few words which never left me. "Boys, there is a better way." A number of years later, the "better way" was opened and revealed to me in Jesus Christ."

Dear mothers, Keep on loving your children and sowing into them the love of God in Jesus.

Our message today is entitled A Mothers Prayer and is taken from our Scripture reading from 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Those verses contain the prayer of Hannah after she had been given a child from the Lord, and which child she promised to give to Him for His purposes.

Our first Scripture reading was one of Solomons Psalms, 127 which I will place here below.

Psalm 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Solomon, who also wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in which he came to
the conclusion that all of life is really vanity and empty, writes of the importance of the Lord building and watching that which we are building.

Since this is one of the Ascent Psalms, which were sung during the Israelites annual pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem, one can be fairly certain that he was referring to the continuation of the Lords presence in the lives of people in the future. To the Israelite, Jerusalem was where God was and that is where they went to be in His Presence. Solomon writes here (vs 1 and 2) that all the building and even burning the candle at both ends will not avail anything towards building for the future if it is without the Lord.

Then in verse three he speaks of two very important truths concerning the building of the future. He writes that children are an inheritance from the Lord and that the fruit (children) of the womb are the Lords reward. What does this have to do with the first two verses? Well, a lot..
Children are Gods, they are made in His image and they are given to us in order that they might play a role in His continuing building of His kingdom here on earth. So, here let us ask a question, Why do we receive children? Do we receive them so that our name might continue into the future, or do we receive them so that the Lords name might continue into the future?

Let us turn to Hannah so see how she looked at this question. She lived in a home in which her husband had two wives, she was barren while her cowife had children, and her husband tried to console her but to no avail. She wanted a child, for in those days it was a disgrace to be childless. In her barrenness she prayed to the Lord to be given a man child and she would dedicate him to the Lords work all the days of his life. The Lord heard answered her prayer by granting her prayer and Samuel was born to her and her husband.

Hannahs prayer of praise reflects that she did not look upon her child as something that was given to her for her own posterity, but by her words she testified that the gift of her son was for the purposes of God. She spoke by the illumination of the Holy Spirit which can only speak of the Father and the Son and their essence and of their purposes. Her heart rejoiced in the Lord, her strength was exalted in the Lord and her mouth praised her Lord even in the midst of her enemies. How could she do that? Because she rejoiced in her salvation.

Hannah received her son by faith, which means that she in some manner understood that the Lord was working out the Promise of the coming Messiah. Look at verse 10:

KJV 1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

She sums it all up in verse 10: He will exalt the horn/strength of His anointed, of the Messiah. Hannah understood that life was not about her and her fulfillment, but it was lived trusting in the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. The God of the Promise of the Coming One, Jesus the Christ.

So, our children our created in Gods image, we receive them by faith as gifts and we receive them recognizing that He has a purpose for each of them in His continuing and expanding kingdom.

I do not like to take one verse such as the one below as it is easy to get it out of context of the rest of the chapter or book, but in this case this verse can stand alone. This is written by John the Apostle in the last of three of his letters.

KJV 3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

What would be a greater joy of a mother but to have her child walk in the ways of the Lord? As I have written on numerous occasions, our mothers were the first deliverers of the Gospel to us in that they did everything for us when we could do nothing in return. They continued to train us, teach us, rebuke us, forgive us and to instruct us in His ways, both by example as well as by words.

I would like to share a couple of personal experiences which would relate to what I just wrote. There are two experiences which stand out in my mind today on this Mothers Day, one was early in my life and the other was nearly four years ago. In the first she taught me what is meant by grace and truth, even tho I did not realize it at the time. I recall that I had been behaving very badly in church, and so after church she told me that I needed to be disciplined for misbehaving. She did so and after ward as I was crying she took me into her arms and told me that Jesus is always ready to forgive anyone who is sorry over doing wrong, she assured me of His forgiveness and then she hugged me very tightly. She later told me that Jesus wants me to behave in church and left it at that.

The second occasion occurred by her bedside four years ago where she lay dying. She motioned me to come to her side and told me this: The doctor told me that after I had your older sister that I should not have anymore children, then she hesitated a little and looked into my eyes, and said, But I am glad I had you.

How I pray for each of you that on this Mothers day that you will remember that you are a gift of God created in His image for His purposes. Our mothers did all they could do to bring us to that knowledge through telling us about and by modeling the life of Jesus for us as they loved us and served us. May we honor their memory by continuing on those things that we learned that are to God's glory!

Have a blessed Mother Day!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 14 May 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Love seeks to serve 5.7.2017

John 21:14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "you know I love you." "Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know I love you." "Then take care of my sheep," Jesus said.
17 Once more he asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know I love you." Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep.

Good morning and the blessings of God in Christ Jesus to you on this new day of grace. As I stepped outside this morning at around 5 am to come to the church, the birds were singing the praises of their Creator. I thought of how God is experienced in the normal things of life such as the birds singing their songs as they awake to another day and receive the food that their Creator will provide for them. As we see the robins and sparrows, as we see the leaves beginning to come forth and as we feel the warming of the spring sun, we certainly do thank God for all that He daily and richly provides us for this life.

My wife and I were gone last week to spend the weekend up in Embarrass, Minnesota, where I had been asked to come to share a message for the Word of God. I delivered that message from the portion of Scripture that I have placed at the beginning of this writing, which concerns the restoration of Peter and of his recommissioning of his place in the restoration project of God. I have continued to think on the topic of restoration and so I decided to bring a message forth this Sunday on the Great Restorer, focusing on how Peter came to experience His restoration by Jesus. As a result of that significant happening in his life, Peter came to see that following Jesus meant much more than devotion and commitment to Jesus and His teachings.

For Peter came to understand, to know and to experience that he had been restored through the cross and resurrection of Jesus, he had come to the end of himself in his denial of Jesus, but now Jesus had received him back as he was now ready to serve on the basis of love. He would better understand this reality after the great Day of Pentecost, which occurred 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Have you heard the saying, €œLife is not a destination, but a journey?€ Most us have heard that and it is certainly one that most people are able to relate to. The experiences that we go through in life shape us and mold us. There is not another person in the Bible that we are able to see more of his journey than the Apostle Peter. Jesus called him to the restoration project with the words, €œFollow Me€™ (Matthew 4:19) and He also spoke the same words to Peter in the last part of John 21, the chapter in which our study is from today, telling Peter: €œYou follow Me.€ In between those to €œfollow me€™s€ there was much life that was lived and experienced by Peter in that period of approximately 3.5 years.

There would be much to write about Peter€™s journey, but in short he was called by Jesus to the restoration with the words, €œfollow me€, but had need to be untaught the ways of human effort and power and brought to the point where it was only the power of the Holy Spirit encouraging him, empowering him and inspiring him.

In our text, we can conclude that Peter recognized that he was now restored to relationship and fellowship with His Lord and Saviour, but Jesus wanted to probe deeper into the heart and mind of Jesus. He did this by asking him three times as to whether he loved Jesus. Let us place that conversation here for ease of reference.

John 21:14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead.
15 After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," Peter replied, "you know I love you." "Then feed my lambs," Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: "Simon son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Lord," Peter said, "you know I love you." "Then take care of my sheep," Jesus said.
17 Once more he asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know I love you." Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep.

1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

So, let us think this through so that we might connect in our own journeys to know and experience the love of God in Christ Jesus.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

ESV 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.

Love originated with God inwardly since He is love, He demonstrated it by giving His Son to save us and since He loved us, we ought to love one another. Inward experience of love desires to express itself through action.

When we were up in the Pike area last weekend, I was visiting with a man who knows of and is experiencing the love of God for him. Consequently he is eager to share this love with others and is seeking people into whom he can pour this love.

May the love of God so reign in our hearts and minds that we would find ourselves looking upon others with thankfulness for their love for us. May we also look upon those who may not even know the love of God for them, and may we be the Jesus in the flesh who demonstrates that love towards them in whatever way is possible.

May we be fed today of the Living Bread that came down from heaven, Jesus the Christ, so that His love would not only abide in us, but would flow out of us into the hearts of those who are hungering for His unconditional and saving love!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala


Posted on 07 May 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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A Mother's Prayer
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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