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Remember God: An Encouragement To Christian Mothers From Nehemiah

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Songs of Worship:

The Lord’s Prayer - Perry Como
Holy Holy Holy - Reginald Heber
Let Me Rediscover You - Downhere
That Home - Newsboys
Take Time To Be Holy - William Longstaff
Count Your Blessings - Guy Penrod

Call To Worship Scripture:

2 Timothy 1:5 ESV
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

Sermon Scripture:

Nehemiah 2:17 ESV
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.”

Remember God

When one thinks of the book of Nehemiah their mind often goes to the rebuilding of a wall. However, central to that wall is the community of God’s people. The theme indeed is not “how to build a wall” but rather the redemption of God’s people.
A careful reading of the scripture will quickly demonstrate that a city, no matter it’s size, wealth or greatness of it’s wall is not a city long when the morality of law and order has left. When the beautifying structures and foundations of godliness have been abandoned by a people then the physical adornments follow quickly behind in their demise.
Let me put it this way: trades, skills, and knowledge will not save an immoral nation that has forgotten God. It will soon crumble like all other godless kingdoms before her. It is God alone who knows how to build a true and lasting Kingdom, a secure, protected and blessed people. Morality before arithmetic, godliness before the sciences. Otherwise you will lack the structure necessary to learn and prosper at all.
Nehemiah demonstrates where these things are lacking in the people of God. As governor, Nehemiah calls the people to reassemble before God. Each chapter of this book is going to hold an emphasis on restoration. Friends various church organizations have used this book to launch a building program, but such a focus confuses the focus of this book. The focus is not to gather God’s people together to build a wall, but to remember the God that they had forsake, to remember His Word and by such be restored and thus, the wall rebuilt.
It is naive and even idolatrous to think that a physical building program or the building of physical walls of a city is the same as true restoration. Remember when the walls of Jerusalem were intact but the evil that took place within those walls provoked God to tear the walls down? It is an inner resteration an assembling before God that takes place before the outer even begins.
The idea that everything will be fine for the people of God in Nehemiah if they can just live in Jerusalem or “come back to this place” must be resisted. The same is true in building an organizational church. All will be well if we can have these programs, this building or this school. These are false marks of restoration and if restoration is not found then the obtaining of these things often proves greater corruption.
Their is a key that is given to us in understanding the Book of Nehemiah. That key is understanding the place of prayer in restoration. The honest talk with God which depicts the prophet’s dependence upon God.
Sometimes Nehemiah will pray for deliverance, sometimes remembrance, sometimes wisdom, but Nehemiah always turned toward the God whom He served.
Mothers, allow me to address you with this wisdom from scripture since today is Mother’s Day. Three things:
Remembrance
Prayer
Restoration
These are they essential words for you to understand and apply properly in godly mothering. Let’s begin with
REMEMBERANCE:
One of the perhaps more prominent efforts and goals within parenting is to cause a child to be mindful of right and wrong, with the hope of course of in that remembrance to make the right decision from a convicted and sincere heart.
We don’t simply want our children to forever live in a state of dependance upon our instruction of right and wrong but rather to come to a state of being able to understand and have the presence of mind to know right from wrong and act rightly.
In the book of Nehemiah the Hebrew word used for this is translated remember. It speaks of the mindfulness of God and His Word towards His children and the mindfulness of God’s children towards Him and His Word.
It is actually the word Remember that becomes the theme of Nehemiah and gives us insight into the heart of Nehemiah's prayer. Prayer and study of the Word of God is the greatest thing that you can do for a healthy memory as well as for the good of those whom you love and care about.
Often in mothering the temptation is to be most mindful about everybody’s schedule and your to do list. The memory is always taxed and anxieties always high. Your guidance and instructing of your children in this atmosphere can quickly become a burden. Even in the world of homeschooling business of activity and others expectations seeks to pull you away from prayer and time in the Word. The temptation is always to make activities (even God ordained ones) about the temporal, then when the powers that be can make mothering about the temporal and the temporal overwhelming then others step in and take over while your “walls are down” so to speak.
Remember God mothers.
Remember the eternal significance of the children that He has given you and your God given role and opportunity with that eternal soul and let not the world nor religious sales men trick you into forfeiting that. Rather let Prayer and the Word of God strengthen you to be what you otherwise couldn’t be and enable you to do what you otherwise couldn't do.
So often when I have spoken to different Christians and specifically those who are mothers or hoping to be mothers I have heard them speak of some godly venture of motherhood, then downgrade it from a godly venture to a good option for others but a task that is not for them. Mothers, do not be afraid nor ashamed to seek godliness in all areas of life and motherhood, even when the desire or ability seems beyond you. In the flesh all godliness is a foreign pursuit, but in the spirits feeding by the Word and Prayer, godliness is a great treasure only found by the few willing to seek.
PRAYER:
Prayer cannot be understated in the Christian life or in motherhood. Without prayer neither the mother nor the children have a prayer. The lack of prayer is the greatest evidence in our life that we have forgotten the one true God. If one remembers God then they pray and when they pray they remember and petition His rememberance. Seven times we see this very thing take place in Nehemiah:
Nehemiah 1:8 ESV
Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples,
Nehemiah 5:19 ESV
Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.
Nehemiah
Nehemiah 6:14 ESV
Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.
Nehemiah 13:14 ESV
Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.
Nehemiah 13:22 ESV
Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.
Nehemiah 13:29 ESV
Remember them, O my God, because they have desecrated the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites.
Nehemiah 13:31 ESV
and I provided for the wood offering at appointed times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.
How often do our children need not only our love and discipline, but also our mercy. How much more then do they desperately need us to petition God for these things on their behalf. A child is not born a Christian, and it is the parents highest calling to see to it that they care for the soul of their child. That they pray continually for their salvation and the protection of their heart and mind that it be not hardened by the fancies of this world.
Have you prayed for your child today? If today was your child’s last then what great effort have you afforded that they be ready to stand before Jesus and be counted as one of His own. Let this be every mothers first and primary task in the life of their child.
RESTORATION:
It is the Remembering of God and prayer that brought restoration to a nation and it is the same remembering and prayer that brings restoration to you, to your family and to godly motherhood.
Restoration is the recovery from sin to a state of salvation and happiness. It is where one is freed from the lies and pursuit of the things of this world and knows and obtains the freedom and pleasures of God.
The pathway to such restoration is the same pathway that God is using to build His Kingdom. For the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of restored people.
Let me give a few thoughts of what it is not (in motherhood)
What works for you may not work for me
You can have it all
I will get my dreams
Not only do these three things not go with restoration in motherhood, they don’t go with restoration period. These three things are not empowering but are plagued with doubt, stress and turmoil. As long as our pursuit is built upon myself and what I can do or will do rather than remembering and assembling before God then restoration is not on the path that I am traveling. The empowered woman is empowered by the Spirit of God, and guided by the Word of God to strive to live in a state of uncompromised godliness.
When we think of mothers of past generations and examples of the faith is such uncompromised godliness, selfless labor and unyielding love what comes to mind. Then mothers let you also hold up the torch for this Biblical picture of motherhood.
Yes, we all get tired, we all get weary, we all need the strength to persevere and need times and even seasons of rest. But the heart of restoration is far distant than the modern me, myself and I description of womanhood. The calling of motherhood is God given and much greater than any of us.
From the very start motherhood demands selflessness and as such each mother that takes up such a calling to live her life in a state of such selflessness ought to be remembered by us the church. For she is the one most often used by God in Kingdom building plans of restoration.
Christian mothers I encourage you this morning:
Remember God - remember His Word, remember His promises, remember His calling and the high position and responsibility He has given you.
Pray - Beseach God for perseverance, for His rememberance of you and your family and for His guidence, training and strength. Beseach God for the salvation and godly living of all of your children.
Restoration - Remember that you have been restored to God and your life and dreams will be realized only in Him. Remember that He is seeking to use you as a channel of restoration in the lives of the very children that you have given birth to. Let no-one rob you of this great eternal calling by placing false hopes and false dreams in front of you or by claiming to be more eqquiped. The God who has called you will equip you for every good work which He has called you to in Him.
To the church I say this:
Encourage: Encourage every Christian mother in this, but not only this: remember that the very obedience that the Christian mother walks in serves as an example to us. An example of the Christian selflessness that we are to walk in just as Christ did for us. We are each to remember God, pray and know His restoration. As a matter of fact husbands if you would simply apply these three things to how you love your wife then your homes would be transformed as those of you who are doing this can testify to. And if we church would apply these things to how we operate with each other, then perhaps we would see a restoration, a revival such as in the days of Nehemiah.
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