May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Sermon Bites - May 9, 2010

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Mother’s day is a time to remember our mothers, to appreciate them, to honor them and to thank them. For the Christian, Mother’s day is also a time to remember what God says about mothers and to thank God for all the blessings that we receive from Him, through them.

Today’s readings center on one of God’s great blessings to mankind – Mom.

“18The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.
21So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:18, 21-22 NIV).

Before the first mother, came the first wife.

I hope nobody has the idea that Eve was an afterthought. Like God said, “Goodness, now that I’ve made man, I just feel like something’s not quite right. Hmmm, now what did I forget…”

God’s no dummy. He made all the other creatures with mates, He didn’t just forgot when it came to man. God knew full well what He was doing when He made Adam alone. He was making the first piece of the human puzzle. The second piece soon followed.

Eve completed Adam. She filled in his deficiencies, and he hers. I’m not saying God made man and women less than perfect. I’m saying that man and woman were a matched pair from the beginning. They wouldn’t be complete without each other just as the sky wouldn’t be complete without birds, nor the sea without fish.

Man and woman complement each other. Whether it’s men and women from different families that are good friends, or men and women who are joined together in the intimate bond of marriage. We complement each other. God meant us to live side by side.

Personally, I can’t imagine who I would be without my wife. I’m not saying I’m so great, just that I’m one guy who’d be a lot less without HER. I guess that’s why God gave her to me. Proverbs 19, verse 14 says…
“Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD” (Proverbs 19:14 NIV)
So, husbands, on this Mother’s Day, thank your wife for all she is to you. For all she does for you. For helping make you who you are. And thank the gracious God above for giving her, to you.

“20 My son, keep your father’s commands
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them upon your heart forever;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For these commands are a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and the corrections of discipline
are the way to life” (Proverbs 6:20-23 NIV).

From the very beginning, a mother is a teacher.

When she cradles her newborn to feed him the first time, his schooling begins. The first lesson is love. It is followed by lessons in patience, diligence, self-sacrifice and duty. Later these lessons will be spoken, but at first mom simply teaches by example.

The subjects in a Christian mother’s classroom vary widely. She teaches simple day-to-day things like tying your shoes and chewing with your mouth closed. But she also teaches the profound. Respect for others. Selflessness. Honesty.

A Christian mother’s curriculum begins with the Bible. She wants her child to know and understand this world. But more than that, she wants her child to know and love the world’s Creator. She wants her child to look in hope and trust to the Savior from sin that the Creator sent.

How many children have been held their own mothers as they were baptized into the Kingdom of Christ? How many Bible story books opened by mom? How many alarm clocks set, so that her children will be there for Sunday School? How many Sunday School lessons taught by mom herself? How many children have learned to trust the God of the Bible by watching mom trust Him and communicate with Him?

Paul wrote the following to a young pastor named Timothy…
“5I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV)
Thank God for Christian mothers who teach.

“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too” (Romans 16:13 NIV).
Is Mother’s Day just for women who have given birth? I don’t think so. Many a mother has never felt the pains of labor. Women who adopt. Women who care for children who need them. These are mothers worthy of honor on this day.

And then there are the Christian mothers like Rufus’ mom. Rufus’ mom took the apostle Paul under her wing as if he was her own flesh and blood. And Paul didn’t forget that loving concern.

Can you imagine how touching it must have been for Rufus’ mother when she heard this letter read to the congregation at Rome? Here at the end Paul is greeting different people in the congregation, and then he mentions her in this tender way, “Greet Rufus… and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.”

Paul once instructed pastor Timothy,
“1Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, 2older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2 NIV).
Here we are reminded of the intimate unity that God desires His followers to have.

Jesus has brought us into a relationship with God the Father by taking our sins away. By faith in Jesus we are God’s own children. And in God’s family, we have MANY mothers. Mothers who by their loving service to their fellow Christians, bring honor to God’s Name.

Jesus told His disciples,
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34 NIV).
Let’s do what Timothy was instructed. Let’s treat the older women among us as our mothers in Christ. Let’s love them, care for them and show the world our faith by our love.

“4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5 NIV).
Let’s not forget to thank God for the mother of our Savior.

The Son of God had to be human to suffer and die for the human race. So, He was born from a woman named Mary.

Though He had existed from eternity, the Son of God was obedient to His human mother. The Bible says that the twelve-year-old Jesus…
“…went down to Nazareth with [His parents] and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51 NIV).
Later, at the age of thirty, Jesus miraculously turned water into wine at a wedding festival in Cana. People forget Jesus did this miracle after His mother asked Him to help.

Speaking of Jesus and His mother, how could we not mention how He cared for her from the cross. How He looked down and gave her into John’s safe-keeping saying,
“…“Dear woman, here is your son,” 27and to the disciple, “Here is your mother…” (John 19:26-27 NIV).
Of all the ways that Jesus honored His mother, the best is reflected in Mary’s own song of praise. When still pregnant with the Christ Child, Mary sang…
“…my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” (Luke 1:47 NIV).
Mary knew she was a sinner who needed a Savior. And she knew that she had one – the Child in her own womb.

And that Child is our Savior too.

We’ve sinned against our mothers to many times to count. We’ve been disobedient, disrespectful, unloving, impatient, petty and ungrateful. We’ve utterly failed to honor her like we should.

Thankfully, Jesus never sinned against His mom. And His perfect record completely covers our sad and pathetic one.

Thank God for Mary, mother of our Savior. But thank God even more for the Savior Himself – who makes all of us ungrateful brats acceptable through His cross.

Proverbs 31, verse 30 says,
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30 NIV).
May God bless you mothers out there with fear of Him – a great reverent awe over your Creator and rescuer. And may the rest of us see this as your beauty, and praise our Father in heaven because of it.


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