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Mother's Day 2009
2 TIMOTHY 1:1-7

By Randy A. Rathman, Pastor
Harvest Church of the Nazarene
Arab, Alabama

Chuck Swindoll observes, “If there is one attitude families are guilty of more than any other when it comes to mothers, it’s presumption…taking them for granted…being nearly blind on occasion to the load moms carry.” On this Mother’s Day Sunday I want us to not only focus on and honor our mothers but to make a commitment to honor them for the next 365 days with the attitude of appreciation they deserve.

I want to share a poem by Fred Kruse titled: What is a Mother?

Somewhere between the youthful energy of a teenager and the golden years of a woman’s life, there lives a marvelous and loving person know as “Mother.”

A mother is a curious mixture of patience, kindness, understanding, discipline, industriousness, purity and love.

A mother can be at one and the same time, both “lovelorn counselor” to a heartsick daughter, and “head football coach” to an athletic son.

A mother can sew the tiniest stitch in the material for that dainty prom dress and she is equally experienced in threading through the heaviest traffic with a station wagon.

A mother is the only creature on earth who can cry when she’s happy, laugh when she’s heartbroken, and work when she’s feeling ill.

A mother is as gentle as a lamb and as strong as a giant. Only a mother can appear so weak and helpless an yet be the same one who puts the fruit jar cover on so tightly even dad can’t get it off.

A mother is a picture of helplessness when dad is near, and a marvel of resourcefulness when she’s all alone.

A mother has the angelic voice of a member in the celestial choir as she sings Brahms lullaby to a babe held tight in her arms; yet this same voice can dwarf the sound of an amplifier when she calls her boys in for supper.

A mother has the fascinating ability to be almost everywhere at once and she alone can somehow squeeze an enormous amount of living into an average day.

A mother is “old-fashioned” to her teenager; just “mom” to her third-grader; and simply “Mama” to little two-year old sister.
But there is no greater thrill in life, than to point to that wonderful woman and be able to say to all the world, “That’s my mother!”

We should all recognize motherhood as a great privilege which should bring joy and fulfillment, but let us also recognize the awesome responsibility it carries. Our mother has had a unique influence on us because for the first five years of our lives we spent more time with her than anyone else. For most of us our mother’s love, nurture and attention were a critical influence in the forming of our self-worth, social foundation and spiritual inclination during our pre-school years.

We could look at many examples from Scripture. There would never have been an Isaac without a Sarah, a Moses without a Jochebed, a Samuel without a Hannah, a John without an Elizabeth, a John Mark without a Mary or a Timothy without a Eunice.

Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5).

Over in the 16th chapter of Acts we are told that Timothy was a native of Lystra, today part of Turkey. His father was Greek and his mother a Jewish Christian. Timothy was one of Paul’s most trusted assistants accompanying the great evangelist through much of his missionary effort including Paul’s first imprisonment. What qualified this young man for special service? I want to suggest it was his early childhood training by a Godly mother and grandmother. Paul recognized the sincere faith of a Godly mother and grandmother which had been passed on to Timothy.

I want us to recognize the awesome responsibility we have as parents and grandparents. This is Mother’s Day and I don’t want to take anything away from our mothers but I want us to consider the potential influence we all can have not only as mothers and dads but as a church family on the next generation.

I read what was apparently a true story about two men playing cards in a gambling den in the Orient. They were Godless men, swearing and cursing as they gambled. One began to whistle. The other looked up surprised, “Say friend, do you know what you’re whistling?” “No,” answered the other, “I did it without thinking.”

“Well,” said the first, “you were whistling a hymn, a Christian hymn-‘One sweetly solemn thought comes to me o’er and o’er; I’m nearer home today than I have been before.’ Where did you pick it up? I didn’t realize you knew anything about church hymns.”

The other man lay down his cards and said, “Oh, yes, I know lots about church hymns. I was not always what I am now. I used to go to church and Sunday School. And I used to know many texts out of the Bible too. My mother, sir, was one of the finest Christian women that ever lived.”

“Well friend,” said the first man, “that is interesting! I used to go to church with my fine Christian mother too. Strange we should meet in this place isn’t it?” They continued to share and reminisce about their Christian mothers and before long they agreed they needed to get out of that place and back to their Christian roots. They sought out a missionary and with his help returned to the Christ of their mothers.

Mom, I know there are times when you feel like you are taken for granted and all your effort is in vain. Take heart, remember the promise of Scripture, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6).

We need to remember that teaching and living are parallels, our children learn not from what we say but what we demonstrate in our daily lives. It is an awesome responsibility to be a mother. Be careful to demonstrate by your daily life what you want your children to remember and practice in their own lives.

It is important for the children to realize that in both the Old and New Testament we are instructed to “Obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord” (Col. 3:20). “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’- which is the first commandment with a promise-‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’” (Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:2).

The family of an elderly woman had been called together for what would surely be their last visit with the dying woman. Her three adult children were at her side and her eldest son bent over, took her hand and told her, “Mom I love you. You have been a wonderful mother.” The dying woman whispered back, “Do you really mean that?” All three joined in unison, “Of course you have!”
The mother’s voice came again, very faintly, “I didn’t know. You have never said it before, I didn’t know.”

When was the last time you let your mother know how much you appreciate her? How have you demonstrated your love and appreciation? Are you really grateful for your mother’s investment in your life?

Let’s make sure our mother knows how much we love and appreciate her and not just on Mother’s Day.



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