Sunday, May 09, 2010

What MOM Stands For

What MOM Stands Fori

Introduction: According to a survey by Ladies Home Journal, 85 percent of women say that motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to them.

  1. What’s the greatest part? Twenty-one percent say it’s watching their kids grow.

  2. A category called “Everything” came in second (18 percent),

  3. followed by kids’ “unconditional love” (14 percent).

  4. But 70 percent of all mothers consider motherhood incredibly stressful.

  5. In the next few minutes, I want to look at one mother who experienced a great deal of stress.

Read: Luke 1:26-35


Transition: It was certainly stressful for Mary.

  1. She was the mother of no ordinary boy, but she was a mother still, with all of the concerns, hopes and dreams of any mother for her children.

  2. She had found favor with God, was a recipient of His grace, and therefore could say, “My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (v. 47).

  3. Yet at times a sword pierced her soul. The calling of motherhood is not an easy one, but Mary demonstrated how to be an effective parent, living a life in His favor and grace.

T.S. From varied scenes in Mary's life we can see three attributes every godly mother needs.
  1. Models. A godly mother is a model to follow.
    1. Luke 1:26–35 reveals the divine dialogue of God’s plan for this young “mother-to-be.”
    2. At first it must have been hard for Mary to understand God’s plan for her life, but she was faithful.
    3. Though she struggled to understand, she depended on God moment by moment.
    4. This is exactly what God wants mothers to do today.
(Ill.) Have you ever watched a electrician or telephone repair person climb a pole. The make it look so easy, but in reality, telephone-pole climbing is an art.
In order to climb, one must have a belt that goes around the pole and wear spiked shoes. The secret is to lean back and depend on the belt so the spikes can dig into the pole. Depending on the belt is hard to learn; often a beginner slides down the splintery pole because he won’t depend on his equipment. It only takes a few such experiences to convince the beginner that it is better to depend on the belt.
In the Christian life, God wants us to climb by depending on him. When we are hurt by splinters, we should recognize that they are reminders that we need to depend on his strength and loving protection.ii
    1. Moms are still the significant caregivers. They have an awesome responsibility to nurture these gifts from God we call kids.

    2. Although overwhelming at times, parenthood was never meant by God to be undertaken alone. He is our strong ally.

    3. Ruth Bell Graham said, “As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible.”

    4. Godly mothers are models who trust and who can be trusted.

  1. Optimists. A godly mother hangs on to an optimistic attitude.
    1. In John 2:1–11, a wonderful scene unfolds between a mother and a son.

    2. Moms believe their kids can do anything. How true this was of Mary’s son, Jesus! The wine had run out at the wedding feast. Mary apparently had some responsibility at the wedding, so she asked her firstborn for help. She didn’t know what Jesus would do, but she knew he would do the right thing, and she told the servants to follow His directions.

    3. She believed in Him, and this is an attribute children desperately need from their parents today.

(Ill.) Psychologist Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania has demonstrated that children’s attitudes are more shaped by their mothers than by those of anyone else. “The mother’s level of optimism and the child’s level were very similar,” he wrote in his book Learned Optimism. “This was true of both sons and daughters.... If a child has an optimistic mother, this is great, but it can be a disaster for the child if the child has a pessimistic mother.”
  1. Mainstays.
    1. In John 19:25–27 and Acts 1:12–14, Mary demonstrates one outstanding attribute - she was a mainstay of the faith.
    2. At the foot of the cross when the world had turned its back on Jesus and in the Upper Room when the world thought Jesus was dead, Mary was firm in her reliance on God.
(Ill.) A mainstay is the supporting line extending from the mainmast of a ship. It is the chief support of the mast and crucial to the ship’s ability to set sail. This is a beautiful description of Mary. She was a mainstay of faith for her son's closest followers and the early church. This is also a beautiful picture of all godly mothers.
    1. Without faith, it is impossible for a mother to please Him (Heb. 11:6). Their faith in God makes mothers a source of continual strength for their children.
Conclusion: The greatest and most unselfish substance in the world is the love of a mother for her child. Mary was a model to follow, an optimist at all times, and a mainstay of faith. Mary was a godly MOM, and every mother who partners with God can be a light of inspiration to her children as well.

i Based on a sermon by Rev. Drew Wilkerson in Morgan, R. J. (2001). Nelson's annual preacher's sourcebook : 2002 edition (electronic ed.) (130–131). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

iiGreen, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor's illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

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