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Mother's day 2013

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Some mothers in the Bible can teach us a lot about how to respond to great challenges. …

Some mothers in the Bible can teach us a lot about how to respond to great challenges.
Men and women can benefit from how these women responded to things that would have crushed many people in similar situations.


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  • 1. In the movie the Hobbit, the good wizard, Gandalf, explainswhy he picked Bilbo Baggins, a humble, small, weak creaturecalled a hobbit, to be part of the 14 man team to defeat thegreat powers of evil afoot in the world then. The Saruman herefers to was the chief wizard of the earth back then. This iswhat Gandalf says:“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil incheck, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the smalleveryday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? I dontknow. Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.”When I think of mothers, I have similar thoughts. Human history isfull of examples of great men and women who shook cities,nations and won great battles and built great empires. Think ofCaesar, Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Anthony andCleopatra, Hellen of Troy, Samson, King David, Hitler, Stalin,George Washington & Lincoln.But the small, everyday actions of mothers have done more thanall that.The small, daily, ordinary, routine love of mothers has shapedhumanity more than any other human force and, As Gandalf said,has “kept the darkness at bay.””That is why a line from a poem says, “The hand that rocks thecradle, rules the world:The author of that poem called THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE IS THE HAND THAT RULES THE WORLD isWilliam Ross Wallace (1819-1881).All my life, I, like many others, have marveled at the ability ofmothers to love their children in small, ordinary ways day after day,after night, after year after year with such a tenderness, such selflessness,such devotion, courage, patience, compassion and persistence.Mother’s Day 20131
  • 2. Carrying children, rushing to their aid when they fall and get hurt,mending their bleeding knees and fearful hearts, changing their diapers,feeding them day after day and helping them realize that despite all theirsupposed defects, pimples , freckles and crooked teeth, they are pricelessto her and to God. No one loves like a mother.At times, I have been literally stunned by displays of such love. Fewmen can love anyone like a mother loves her children.There really is no other comparable being in existence, no other loveof a creature that comes close to that of a human mother to herchild.(As a dog lover, I might have said that dogs also impress me with theirlove for their masters, but on Mother’s Day, I will not mention such athing.)For most people, this incredible, selfless love mothers have fortheir children also gives us a glimpse of God’s love.Jewish Prover: God could not be everywhere, so He mademothers.In fact, the poet who gave us that wonderful line about ‘the hand thatrocks the cradle, rules the world’ goes on to say:Woman, how divine your mission,          Here upon our natal sod;      Keep—oh, keep the young heart open          Always to the breath of God!      All true trophies of the ages          Are from mother-love impearled,      For the hand that rocks the cradleMother’s Day 20132
  • 3.           Is the hand that rules the world.My wife, Beth, is such a mother--as, I am sure, are all the mothershere today. Where so such creatures come from?Mother’s of the BibleEve: A mother who should not have survived but did.Five women are mentioned in Luke’s Gospel ( 3) as being in thelineage of Jesus. Eve was not one of them, but obviously, withoutEve no other mother would have ever been born.Without meaning to, Eve’s sin started a chain reaction of sinsthat has brought the entire human race under the power ofsin.Her sin led to Adam’s sin and they were cast out of Paradise,bringing sin, sickness, pain and sorrow on their family and allmankind. Imagine the shame, guilt, despair and self-hatred Evemust have wrestled with.Every time Adam came home tired and cut up by the thorns inthe fields he was farming, every time she had pain in childbirth,she was reminded of Paradise Lost---because of her momentarylust for power in eating the forbidden fruit.How did she cope with the look on Adam’s face when theyremembered all that they had lost? Her short rebellion againstGod’s only commandment had ruined their lives--and they hadhundreds of years to think about that loss!Then, her oldest son, Cain, murdered his brother, Able in a fit ofjealous rage.Mother’s Day 20133
  • 4. “What kind of mother am I that my sons could do such aterrible thing?”, she must have thought to herself. Adam mayhave blamed her, too, just as he did in the Garden when Godasked about the fruit.Many women would have given up at that point. The guilt andshame of marring mankind and not raising a murderous son mighthave driven many women over the edge into suicide or insanity.She knew God could make another wife for Adam and anothermother for Cain. “Why not? She will be a better wife than I havebeen. Maybe another mother can help Cain change his evilways. I am worthless and a curse to all I touch,” she may havethought. “Everything I love, I destroy.”But Eve did not self-destruct as she could have. Why?She knew the incredible love a God as her Heavenly Father.She had walked with Him in the cool of the day in Eden and feltHis deep affection, tender heart and joyful Spirit as they talkedeach day about life in the Garden. She knew that despite hergreat failures, her Heavenly Father would always love her,even as he lovingly disciplined her.Eve also had the love of Adam. She was the only woman onearth, the first woman and God made her from Adam’s rib.How could Adam reject Eve even in his great pain andshame?Adam also knew that if God could forgive Eve and HIm fortheir great sins, Adam could forgive Eve and himself.Adam also had experienced the tender heart of His HeavenlyFather. He could never reject what God would not reject. HeMother’s Day 20134
  • 5. knew God loved sinful, broken, weak Eve just as much asGod loved Adam, who also had sinned.So, knowing the FAther’s tender love and Adam’s love, Evesurvived and went on to produce a son named Seth, whom LukeGospel shows to be part of the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Saviorof the World!Eve should have become an alcoholic or jumped off a cliff to killherself but instead, she remembered the tender heart of herFather and the forgiving love of her husband and chose to livedespite her great pain and shame.Eve shows us that just doing the normal, ordinary things oflife can be heroic and impact many. Eve changed the world byjust continuing to be a wife and mother. Her life helped birthJesus centuries later.Thank God for Eve. Thank God for all the mothers who did notgive up on themselves but trusted God’s love and just keptkeeping on until God made something beautiful of their brokenlives.“Something beautiful, something good. All my confusion, Heunderstood. All I had to offer HIm was brokenness and strife butHe made something beautiful of my life.”Sarah, Hannah, Rebecca, Rachel, Samson’s Motherand Elizabeth: Failed Mothers---or so It Seemed.Barrenness is one of the worst things that could happen to a wifein biblical times and even today in certain parts of the world. In theearly 1500’s, King Henry VIII ripped the Church of England fromMother’s Day 20135
  • 6. the Roman Catholic church in order to divorce a barren wife so hecould get an heir from another woman.To be old and barren was sometimes seen as a curse fromGod by people in the Bible because they knew God was the Onewho opened and closed wombs for children.What does a wife do when her husband is embarrassed,ashamed and disappointed in her due to barrenness?What does a wife do when her husband’s other wives mockher constantly because they have children and that wife doesnot.Sarah, Hannah and Rachel had to endure the taunts of theirhusband’s co-wives who already had produced children. Theiragony of soul had to be great.So what does a wife do when almost everyone, including herhusband sees her as a failure?Some of these women were old now. How does it feel to bebarren and old with no hope of ever redeeming yourself?Does such a wife turn to drugs, alcohol, to other men or just buryher self in self-pity, daily chores and resign herself to a miserablelife as a failed mother?These six women did not. They turned to God, begging Him tointervene. They also begged their husbands to pray for them. Butthey were women who also loved God and believed that he is theworker of miracles--even for old, barren, rejected women. Godhonored those choices.To such desperate wives, God gave sons who changed thecourse of humanity.Mother’s Day 20136
  • 7. • At 90 years old, Sarah became the mother of Issac, thusbeginning the Jewish race that produced the Messiah.• Rebecca, the wife of Issac, after years of infertility, finallybirthed Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.• Barren Rachel and her handmaidens helped birth the 12 sonsof Jacob who led those 12 tribes. Rachel’s pregnancies camejust before her death.• Samson’s barren mother miraculously birthed a Judge of Israelwho has made God famous for 3000 years.• Old, barren Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist, a manJesus called the greatest man of the OT!These six women illustrate several truths worthremembering:• It isn’t over until it is over. Just when you think you are tooold, too barren in any area of your life, too much a failure, tooshamed, too guilty, too rejected, too broken, too crushed, tooruined, too much a mess that nobody has hope for----even then,God can use you to do things that will bless generations ofpeople! Don’t give up on yourself if God hasn’t.How will I know God has given up on me? When He calls youhome to heaven. Until then, trust Him and do what you can to befaithful.• God always knew those women would be mothers ofincredible sons. All they had to do was ask and wait and notgive up on God and turn to sinful ways to dull their pain. Waitingand being faithful to do normal, everyday tasks was exactlyGod’s perfect will for them. Ordinary, routine life lived for Godis usually the perfect pathway to God’s best.Mother’s Day 20137
  • 8. • Doing dishes, washing clothes, cleaning house, dressingyoung children, making meals, loving your husbands andfamily--these ordinary events make a mother famous inheaven and famous on earth to her family. In God’shands, such ordinary things are holy, full of purpose andpowerful to shape children for eternity.• The hand that does these common, ordinary things hasindeed ruled the world through her children and heldback the darkness that might have destroyed many.• Finally, the delayed pregnancies of those six women broughtthem great emotional pain but it brought God greater glorybecause everyone knew it was a miracle of God when theyconceived and that their children had a special destiny due tothe supernatural nature of their conception.AsidePicture of strong man saving a desperate, drowning womanIt is no secret that many men all around the world are waging awar against women through violence, sexual abuse, kidnapping,slavery intimidation and subjugation. This is a darkness that isbecoming darker each year. It is a scheme of Hell to destroymothers and women in general, whose love is so important to thehuman race and to God’s Kingdom.I want us to be a church that stands in defense of women asJesus did when the crowd wanted to stone the prostitute.Let’s look for opportunities to show women that we who arestrong are here to protect those who are weak.Mother’s Day 20138
  • 9. ApplicationPerhaps you are a person, male or female, who feels somewhatbarren. Your life has not produced the fruit you had anticipated.Welcome to the crowd!Perhaps you feel like you are over-the-hill and its too late forGod to use you to do something wonderful for others.God owns the cattle on 1000 hills and He owns the hills. If youare over the hill, He can always give you another hill to climb,another mountain to climb, another victory to enjoy beforeheaven.All of us are being called forward into a visitation of God that willtake us places in the Spirit we may not have been to before.It will require that we not give up on God or on ourselves, likethose six women & Eve. God wants to make all of us pregnantwith ministries of Jesus! God delights to use the weak andfoolish things of the world to do the impossible--that way hegets all the credit!!!We may be older, but we can still be bolder,We may be slower, but still have power.We may be living ordinary, routine lives but that’s where Godalways shows up with super-ordinary power.We may be barren now, but God loves to make the barren fruitfulso he gets more glory.Mother’s Day 20139
  • 10. Is 54The Lord gave this chapter to our family back in 1984 or so. Ithink He wants me to declare it over our fellowship today. This isfor us, too.Isaiah 5454 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;    break forth into singing and cry aloud,    you who have not been in labor!For the children of the desolate one will be more    than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;do not hold back; lengthen your cords    and strengthen your stakes.3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,    and your offspring will possess the nations    and will people the desolate cities.4 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;    be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;for you will forget the shame of your youth,    and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.5 For your Maker is your husband,    the Lord of hosts is his name;and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,    the God of the whole earth he is called.6 For the Lord has called you    like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,like a wife of youth when she is cast off,    says your God.7 For a brief moment I deserted you,Mother’s Day 201310
  • 11.     but with great compassion I will gather you.8 In overflowing anger for a moment    I hid my face from you,but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”    says the Lord, your Redeemer.9 “This is like the days of Noah to me:    as I swore that the waters of Noah    should no more go over the earth,so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,    and will not rebuke you.10 For the mountains may depart    and the hills be removed,but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,    and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.11 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,    behold, I will set your stones in antimony,    and lay your foundations with sapphires.[b]12 I will make your pinnacles of agate,[c]    your gates of carbuncles,[d]    and all your wall of precious stones.13 All your children shall be taught by the Lord,    and great shall be the peace of your children.14 In righteousness you shall be established;    you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;    and from terror, for it shall not come near you.15 If anyone stirs up strife,    it is not from me;whoever stirs up strife with you    shall fall because of you.16 Behold, I have created the smith    who blows the fire of coalsMother’s Day 201311
  • 12.     and produces a weapon for its purpose.I have also created the ravager to destroy;17     no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,    and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you injudgment.This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord    and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”Mother’s Day 201312