May 14 06
Sermon Notes for Sunday, May 14, 2006.
Moms and Grads
Today we are doing two things: We are honoring our mothers and our graduates. This is a big day for several of our families.
First, to moms of all ages, you raised your children to become independent people. You raised them to be able to think for themselves and make responsible and good decisions. You may have wondered when they were going to start making those kind of decisions, but you tried to raise to be able to do so. Yet, when that day came, as it has for some of them here today, you weren’t quite ready to let them go.
To help them in life, you gave them good advice. You tried to teach them what it means to be a good person. You taught them that reputations are easy to get and hard to get rid of. You taught them that some things are best left to a more mature time in their lives and that drugs are never a good thing.
Now, the grads and our future grads. The writer here is giving you some good advice. To sum it up in a short sentence: Listen to mom and dad. Why? Because they have been there. You may think that they are ‘old fashioned’ or just plain ‘old’ and out of touch. The writer here tells us that their teachings should be on your heart and tied around your neck.
Look at what he says: The advice of mom and dad
will lead you when you walk,
will watch over you when you lie down,
will talk with you when you awake.
They are a lamp and a light.
Discipline is a way of life.
You see, good character doesn’t fall out of the sky, it has to be formed. That is what your mom and dad’s advice is all about. It’s about your character. While everyone of us will battle character flaws our entire lives, they are trying to help to learn how to deal with them and make life better.
The writer here is telling them to avoid the sin adultery and that sin will be avoided if you listen to them. But this is true for all the other sins that will present themselves to you in the course of your life. While mom and dad’s advice will be of great help in battling sin, you can’t do it only with their help, you need God’s help. One of the themes in the book of Proverbs is just that, don’t forget God in your life and rely on God’s presence and help in all stages of your life.
Some of our grads are already married and parents. You remember what you were taught and now you are passing it on already to your children. You are already helping to form the character of your children and leading them to adulthood. In all you teach, don’t forget the faith. You will teach them more of the faith than Sunday School will, even if they never miss.
In the family dynamic of growing up and guiding in the process, moms thank you for your lessons. Kids, pay attention.
Devotional Guide. Monday, May 16, 2006. Acts 25. Paul has to defend himself in front Felix, King Agrippa and ultimately appeals to Caesar. The prospect of all that legal trouble is frightening to most of us. How would we maintain our witness in the midst of all that? How do we minister to those who are in the middle of legal troubles? Do we automatically assume they are guilty because of where they are? Even if they are, are we communicating God’s love and grace to them?
Tuesday, May 17, 2006. Acts 26. Paul retells his story again, this time to Agrippa. In verse 14 God tells him, “It hurts you to kick against the goads.” Goads? What is that? Today we might say, “It hurts to ignore a cattle prod.” Where have we insisted on going our own way, ignoring God’s proding? Does it hurt when we ignore God’s proding? Where is God leading you now?
Wednesday, May 18, 2006. Acts 27. Paul sails to Rome. There is a violent storm and Paul, and all the others, were shipwrecked. Notice this: In the middle of the storm, Paul organizes a meal. Verse 35 has all the elements of Holy Communion: taking bread, giving thanks, breaking the bread, and eating. What does sharing a meal in troubled times mean to you? When life throws you for a loop, what does it mean to you to share with members of your church family? How might you be aware of the trials that others are going through and how to share with them?
Thursday, May 19, 2006. Acts 28. Paul is in prison in Rome. He was allowed to live in a home, with a guard. Tradition says that Paul’s guards had to be changed regularly because they become Christians. The book ends with Paul in prison, continuing to do ministry. We are the continuation of the book of Acts. What would a book look like if one were written about us and how we continued to do what Jesus taught us? How would it be different from the one Luke wrote?
Friday, May 20, 2006. Take today and review what you have just read for the last three weeks. What did you learn from the Book of Acts? What did you feel you need to do different from your reading of Acts? Reflect on your answers and then act of Acts.