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The Message of the Mothers

The expectation of many people who come to church on Mother’s Day is that they will hear a message for mothers.  While that may be true for next year, today I want to talk about the message of the mothers.

Many times, mothers are not out front, but in the background of their children’s lives.  Nevertheless, they are always trying to be helpful, trying to deliver a message. 

A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday school presentation. His mother was in the front row to prompt him. She gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it did not help. Her son’s memory was blank. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.” The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud clear voice said, “My mother is the light of the world.” - Bits and Pieces, 1989

These are the messages of mothers that most of us have heard:

Stamina:  “You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”
Weather:  “Your room looks like a tornado went through it.”
Circle Of Life: “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”
Behavior Modification:  “Stop acting like your father!”
Anticipation:  “Just wait until we get home.”
Receiving:  “You are going to get it when you get home!”
Medical Science:  “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”
How To Become An Adult:  “If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”
Wisdom: “When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”
Justice:  “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you”

Jochebed, Mother of Moses

Exodus 2:5-10 (KJV)
5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.
6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.
7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?
8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother.
9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.
10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

The moment Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby Moses, he became the possession of the princess.  Jochebed, Moses’ mother, only received the child back as a trust.  She nursed him and cared for him on behalf of another.  The Moses she sent out on waters was not the same Moses she received back into her arms.  Nothing physical had changed, but a profound spiritual difference had transpired.  He left as a slave and came back as royalty.  He left under a curse and came back with a blessing.  He left a pauper and came back with untold wealth. 

Ephesians 2:12-13 (KJV)
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

The true mother understands that she hold more than a genetic replica of herself in her arms.  She holds a priceless treasure, a soul with ties to eternity, a heritage of God Himself.

Psalms 127:1-5 (KJV)
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.

The message of Moses’ mother is “Watch over God’s child carefully.  He or she does not belong to you, but to another.”

Hannah, Mother of Samuel

1 Samuel 1:24-28 (KJV)
24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.
27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

A childless woman was considered a sure sign of God’s disfavor.  Hannah would not accept her barrenness as simply a necessary evil in life that she could do nothing about.  She was a godly woman and had a deep sense of spirituality.  By the pillar of the temple, she prayed this prayer:  1 Samuel 1:11 (KJV)

“11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life.”

Two dedications marked the motherhood of Hannah.  First, she dedicated herself to the Lord; then, when Samuel came along, she dedicated him.  The first dedication had a huge impact on the second dedication.  Mothers who first dedicate themselves to God have no trouble dedicating their children.

Here’s what dedication means!

The message of Hannah is:  Watch over my own dedication to God because I have the greatest opportunity to influence my child for righteousness.

The Message of Eunice, Mother of Timothy

2 Timothy 1:2-5 (KJV)
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

Eunice was the vital link between Lois, her mother, and Timothy, her son.  She did not lose the faith that she received from her mother, but she guarded it carefully and handed it down to the next generation.  Her mother’s dreams did not die with her.  She kept them alive so they would become part of her son’s life as well.

Jesus told the seventy missionaries that he sent out,

Matthew 10:6-8 (KJV)
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

The life of Eunice was blessed by what she had received.  She knew how to live.  She knew how to love.  She knew right from wrong.  She knew how to value the good things in life.  She knew that things didn’t just happen of their own accord.  She was given a good home; she was determined to proved a good home for her son.

The message of Eunice is, “Watch over the faith that was once delivered to the saints.  You have a Timothy who is watching your every move.  His faith will be real if your faith is real.  He will always have a role model if you will preserve the faith given to you.”

Jude 1:3 (KJV)
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

The message of the Church, the mother of us all.

2 John 1:1-6 (KJV)
1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;
2 For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

The church has a message for all her children.

First, to the unborn children, you may not be born again as of this date, but I love you.  I want to bring you to birth.  I want to present you to your Father and say, Look at this miracle, the miracle of the new birth!

Second, to the children who walk faithfully, carry the name, enjoy the heritage, resemble the likeness, manifest the nature and share the hope of heaven—I love you!  Stay close, pray without ceasing, live joyously, worship exuberantly and trust without reservation! 

Galatians 6:8-9 (KJV)
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Last, to the children who have lost their way, I love you!  I grieve over the empty chair at my table.  I hurt when I call your name and hear no answer in return.  You are always on my mind.  You cannot forget me and I will not forget you.  There is a unique shape in my heart that no one fits except you.

You are my lost coin and I sweep and search the house for you.

You are my lost sheep and I leave the ninety and nine in the fold to go looking for you.

You are my prodigal and I stand at my post peering into the dark horizon hoping, wishing, thinking and knowing that you will eventually come to yourself and make your way back to the father’s house.

Mother Church’s message for you is, Come home, come home…all ye who are weary come home!

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