Acts 1;12-14 Mothers Make a Difference
Mothers Make a Difference
Mothers make a difference. My mother certainly made a difference in my life. In the relatively short time that I knew her she has had an impact on me that continues to this day.
There is the impact of not liking to eat bananas, there is the impact of just digging into a project and following it through with determination. I can still see her purse her lips together and at that point I knew, either what was coming was very good or very bad for me. Somehow, I remember the bad more than the good.
But, what I remember most about my mother is her love for us and for God. Was her love for God and for us perfect? Absolutely not!!
But it was genuine and it made a difference in her life………..It made a difference in my life!!! This is how I describe my mother. “You have found favor with God and blessed are you among women!”
What makes a difference in our lives? What will this difference involve? What difference does that make in our family’s lives? These are three very important questions. It might be that these are the three most important questions we should be asking ourselves every single day.
Jesus recited the shema every day of his life, from his earliest childhood until the day of his death. NIV Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Every single day Jesus recited this passage; you and I would do well to recite this passage from our heart every single day of our lives.
What makes a difference in our lives? What will this difference involve? What difference does that make in our family’s lives? These are the three most important questions you must ask yourself every day.
“then they returned to Jerusalem” What difference did the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ make in these new Christian’s lives? It made all the difference in the world. Their lives had changed. They were no longer afraid. They had purpose. The difference between a Risen Jesus Christ that is living in our hearts and a dead Jesus Christ that we know about in our heads makes a huge difference. When the trials of life come…………….., and they do……………, and they will continue to come………, when we have a Risen Jesus Christ in our hearts, we no longer need to be afraid……..we can live with purpose. That purpose, what does it involve?
“they went to the room” “All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus”
Their purpose involved prayer, not just casual prayer alone, or even fervent prayer alone. They prayed together, they devoted themselves to prayer. Together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus. Prayer makes a difference in our lives. Praying together, with women makes a difference in our lives. They were praying in the upper room waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. We must pray together waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Having an intimate, prayer filled relationship with God makes a difference in our lives.
What will this difference involve?
For Mary, the mother of Jesus, this difference meant that life was very hard. As a young girl she had to suffer the ridicule of getting pregnant before she was married. She had to remain separate, holy, undefiled for the salvation of the world. Often that means giving up what we want in order to give the gift of life to our children. That often means we remain separate, holy, and undefiled for the salvation of our children.
Mary first conceived Christ in her heart by faith, before she conceived in her womb. As Christians, you must accept the reality of Jesus Christ in your heart, before you can bring that reality into this world to your children.
For Mary, this difference meant she had to be a servant. Mary had to serve her Savior, by giving him a home. Mary could not give Jesus any luxuries, she could only give him what she had; mutual trust and love, devotion, sympathetic understanding, purity of heart, her sense of being in God’s presence, and her obedience.
When you as a mother feel like the pressures of the world force you to provide so many things for your children, remember what Mary gave to Jesus. When you are running ragged, remember what Mary gave to Jesus. When the world tells you what you must give to your children, remember what Mary gave to Jesus. Mary gave to Jesus her mutual trust and love, Mary gave Jesus her sympathetic understanding, Mary gave Jesus her purity of heart, her sense of being in the presence of God, and Mary modeled her obedience to God to Jesus. To Mary, this difference meant being a servant.
For Mary, this difference meant she had to live with pain. Pain that her family did not believe her son was God’s Son. Mark 3:21 tells us that “his family tried to restrain him, because people, were saying that her son had gone out of his mind” Many commentators believe that it wasn’t until after the resurrection of Jesus that Jesus’ family believed that Jesus was the Messiah.
For Mary, this difference meant she had endure sorrow. Mary had to hear her son say to her, “Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business.” That statement from a teenage Jesus must have cut Mary right to the bone. It must have pierced her heart. Her sorrow didn’t stop there. Jesus as he was dying on the cross did not address his own mother as “mother” but rather as “woman”. And finally, Mary had to watch her own son die a cruel death on the cross.
What will this difference mean in your lives? Most of you already know what this means. Many of you have already experienced much of what Mary experienced. You too, will have to give up much for your children. You too, will be required to serve your children by giving only what you have that counts; mutual trust and love, devotion, sympathetic understanding, purity of heart, a sense of being in God’s presence, and your obedience. You too, will have to endure pain and sorrow. This pain may be the pain of rejection or, like Mary, the pain of watching your children die a terrible death. You too, will have to endure the sorrow of these experiences.
What a terrible place to leave us if we could not see where Mary, the mother of Jesus is today in the upper room. She has her children with her, as believers. “All these were in constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.”
What difference does that make in our family’s lives? Mary was in the upper room with her children, Jesus Christ did rise from the dead and did ascend into heaven and is sitting at the right of the Father. Jesus is alive and Jesus is Lord. Believe this good news and live in its peace. Prayer together in the upper room came before the first Pentecost. Prayer together came before every revival that has happened since. Revival today in our lives will only come with prayer together in our families, in our churches, and in our neighborhoods. This involved both men and women. I have to believe Mary spent much time in prayer. As mothers and fathers, we to must spend much time in prayer together. The difference it will make in our families will be amazing. Mothers and fathers that pray make a difference in their families lives. Mothers and fathers that believe these words and live them out make a difference in their family’s lives. NIV Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Today, we honor our mothers. We don’t honor our mothers because they were or are perfect. We honor them because when their lives are hard because they have served us, they have endured pain and sorrow from us, they have remained with us. Even if this means only in their thoughts and prayers. We honor them when they follow the model of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. This is the model of motherhood that God honors. The angel of the Lord told Mary she had “found favor with God” and Elizabeth, a member of Mary’s family, told her that, “Blessed are you among women”.
Let these be the words we hear from God and from our families. You have found favor with God and blessed are you among women! Those are the words I use to describe my mother. Amen
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day . These days of tribute offer similar opportunities to focus on the importance of love. For instance, here’s a creed for the congregation to say on Mother’s Day:
I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary.
I believe in the love Mary gave her Son, that caused her to follow him in his ministry and stand by his Cross as he died.
I believe in the love of all mothers, and its importance in the lives of the children they bear.
It is stronger than steel, softer than down, and more resilient than a green sapling on the hillside.
It closes wounds, melts disappointments, and enables the weakest child to stand tall and straight in the fields of adversity.
I believe that this love, even at its best, is only the shadow love of God, a dark reflection of all that we can expect of Him, both in this life and the next.
And I believe that one of the most beautiful sights in the world is a mother who lets this greater love flow through her to her child, blessing the world with the tenderness of her touch and the tears of her joy.
Thank God for mothers, and thank mothers for helping us understand God!
The important thing, as demonstrated in this creed, is that all the materials of the liturgy—prayers, hymns, special music, unusual actions, and sermon—be compatible with the Christian faith and point the worshipers toward the God at the center of the faith.
Hayford, J. W., Killinger, J., & Stevenson, H. 1990. Mastering worship. Series statement from jacket. [Mastering ministry] . Multnomah Press; Christianity Today, Inc.: ortland, Or.; [Carol Stream, Ill.