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M.O.M. to Me

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Psalm 127:3 ESV
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
For the most part, children are great.
Teenagers may put us to the test, but hopefully everybody gets through the teen years in one piece.
I have fond memories of doing nice things for my Mom on Mother’s Day.
Breakfast in bed, nice cards, and generally taking up all her duties for one day to give her that much needed time for herself.
Not every home is like the one I described.
Do you know the story about the girl catching her mom washing dishes on Mother’s Day?
HUM - After dinner one Mother’s Day a mother was washing the dishes when her teenage daughter walked into the kitchen. Horrified to see her mother at the sink, she exclaimed, “Oh, mother, you shouldn’t have to do dishes on Mother’s Day.” The mother was touched by this seeming thoughtfulness and was about to take off her apron and give it to her daughter, when the daughter added, “They’ll keep till tomorrow.”
Well, even then I think most mothers still love these blessings from the Lord.
INTRO - In a message by Rev. Wilkerson he noted how biblical mothers are “models, optimists, and mainstays.” Rev. Wilkerson’s message is the inspiration behind our message today.
Ladies Home Journal related that 85% of women surveyed say motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to them.
The mother’s related the “best” things included a number of different areas including:
21% said it was “watching children grow up”
14% said it was “unconditional love”
But, nearly all, 70%, related that motherhood is incredibly stressful.
TRANS - Most mothers agree that motherhood is stressful.
Imagine how much more stressful motherhood was for Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Jesus was not an ordinary boy.
Even so, Mary still had hopes and dreams for her baby boy.
She was happy to have found favor with God:
Luke 1:47 ESV
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
But, while Mary rejoiced, she still had that same sword that mothers know can pierce her soul.
Motherhood is not easy and Mary shows us how a parent rejoices despite difficulties.
EST - We will explore biblical texts related to Mary’s life.
ESS - We will example three attributes every mother needs.
OSS -
TRANS - We will begin this morning by listening in when Mary discovers she is pregnant.

What does it say?

Luke 1:30–35 ESV
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
PRAY

What does it mean?

Godly Models

Do examples help you like they do me?
The best models of godliness are often found in the home.
It’s a hard act to follow, that of a godly mother.
ILL - One of the finest examples of godliness in my childhood home was my mother. Mom prayed, and continues to today, for me every day. If there is something troubling my Mom, she always takes that to God in prayer. What started as a true love for her children grew to be all sorts of people. School friends called her mom. Some of the meanest men in prison called my parents mom and dad for decades. That trend continues today as her grandchildren call her grandma. What is it that draws so many people? It is the fact that she models godliness. Mom is not perfect, but the source of her love is perfect and that is attested to by the hundreds who’ve called her mom.
Being a mom and being true to God 24/7 is no easy task.
Think about Mary for a moment.
God gave Mary a plan for her life.
Everything changed for Mary with the announcement of a baby.
Now, that is usually true for any mom; a baby changes everything.
With Mary, she is charged to have a baby, baby Jesus, and to raise Jesus according to the plan of God.
For Mary, it must had been hard to understand God’s plan, but she remained faithful.
Mary struggled to understand why God chose her.
Mary depended on God each and every moment.
God expects that mothers care for and nurture children
Sometimes motherhood seems overwhelming.
Parenthood, is not something to go about alone.
God is our best help in times of need.
Ruth Graham once said, “As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible.”
TRANS - Godly mothers can be trusted and they know who to trust.
Let’s move from Moms as models to consider their attitude.

Godly Optimists

A mother knows the value of a good attitude.
Moms believe their children can do anything.
Do you recall the first miracle?
In the book of John, the second chapter, the wedding wine just ran dry.
It seems that Mary had some responsibility at the wedding and she asked Jesus for his help.
Mary didn’t know what Jesus would do, but she was sure he’d do the right thing.
Mary told the servants to do whatever Jesus said.
Mary believed in Jesus.
Children need the support of their parents; children need to know that parents believe in them.
Martin Seligman is a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
He says that children’s attitudes are shaped more by mothers than by anyone else.
From Seligman’s book Learned Optimism he relates, “The mother’s level of optimism and the child’s level were very similar.... This was true of both sons and daughters...”
If a child has an optimistic mom, that is wonderful, but can be a disaster for children when their mom is a pessimist.
ILL - When Ashley was just a wee bit, we’d read books, listen to tapes, and talk about matters like she was an adult.
I picked books, like The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstine, that encouraged Ashley to discuss feelings.
Even today we talk about that book.
I learned that the good lessons, such as how to have an optimistic attitude, stay with children even when they grow up.
TRANS - We’ve talked about being a model of godliness and the importance of optimism in the life of a child.
Let’s now consider one of Mary’s most outstanding attributes.

Godly Mainstays

Mary remained true to her faith.
In John:
John 19:25–27 ESV
but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Later, from the book of Acts:
Acts 1:12–14 ESV
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Mary was at the foot of the cross when the world turned its back on Jesus.
Mary was in the upper room when everyone thought Jesus was dead.
Mary remained firmly faithful never giving up on God.
ILL - A mainstay is the supporting line that extends from the mast of the mainsail on a ship.
The mainstay is the most important support line attached to the mast and critical in order for a ship to set sail.
The mainstay is a fitting example of Mary.
She never broke, she always supported, she was dependable.
Mary was the mainstay of faith for Jesus and the early church followers.
Like Mary, this is a wonderful picture of all godly mothers.
Without faith, it is impossible for a mother to please Jesus (Heb 11:6).
Their faith in God makes moms a source of continual strength for their children.
TRANS - We’ve touched on Mary as the model, the optimist, and the mainstay. M.O.M.

How can we respond?

The best and most other-centered thing in this world is the love a mom has for her children.
Mary is:
a model to follow
an optimist at all times
a mainstay of faith
Mary was a godly M.O.M.
Every mother who partners with God can be a light of inspiration to her children just like Mary was in her lifetime.
(end)
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