“Never Forget Your Mother’s Voice” 5-8-16 Mother’s Day Dr. Sloan; Gen. 27:13; Pr. 4, 14; 1 Corinthians 13
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For a Video of the Music (cherub, children, and adult choirs singing) click here

 

Babies do certain things in the womb- they yawn, they hiccup, they suck their thumb, you can see their hearts beat at 6 weeks on an ultrasound, they get scared, they start to smell things, they dream – with rapid eye movement, and they learn to listen.  They become familiar to their mother’s voice and other voices too that are around.   So when they were in the womb we would read to our babies, we would sing to our babies, and we would pray for our babies.   Mothers are the first ones that can teach their children about Christ and disciple their children.  Therefore, we need to listen to godly mothers.   This listening involves trust, grace, hope, and love.  I. TRUST- Do not be so consumed with the exceptions that you cannot accept the generalities.  In general, children can trust their mothers. The one who will sacrifice more for you than anyone else is your mother.  Birth itself is a sacrifice of pain and danger.  Mothers often sacrifice sleep, money, things, time for you.  Even mothers who do not say they love their children still sacrifice for them.  The Bible says to Honor your father and mother- in part because those who have brought you into this world in general are trustworthy.         It is quite an honor to have our children be told by God to honor their mothers and fathers that it might go well with them.   This is as part of the Ten Commandments written in stone. We all want our children to do well and succeed in life.  The first step in having things go well with you is to honor your parents.   But it is a scary thing too.  It is scary to be a parent and be honored like that.  We are all sinners.  There is no perfect parent.   A book I read called, “Missional Motherhood” points out that while a mother would fight a bear to defend her children, she might take the last piece of cake before her child can eat it.  Rebekah in our story was not a perfect Mom- but God used her anyway to be a blessing and through her efforts Jesus came through Jacob’s line.  God honors those who serve others with humility. The last shall be first.  To be honored means we try to be honorable- and if we fail (and we will)- we don’t give up- we try again.  Teach your children about what is right and wrong and about God.  This means you have to know.  It means you have to live it.      A major part of listening- is trusting.  You can take in information in your ears but if you do not trust that information it will not do you any good.   Trust those who pass the morals and faith on to you from a previous generation.   Do not trust uncritically, but nonetheless trust.  In other words use the brain God has given you- something else mothers say- but trust nonetheless.      I think of those mothers who were bringing their little ones for Jesus to bless long ago.  At first the disciples said, “Don’t bother the teacher.”  But the mothers insisted.  There is no record of it, but it would be highly uncommon if at least one of the children did not protest to the mother about going to Jesus.   Wouldn’t it have been a shame if the minute a child protested about going to Jesus- or the minute someone makes it harder than it has to be for them to go that the mother turned around and went home.  What an honor it was to meet Jesus face to face and have him bless their child.   Today, it is important for children to trust parents who are doing their best- despite all their sins- to bring them to Jesus.   Mothers have an uncanny desire to see their children blessed.  So Rebekah wanted Jacob to be blessed and not just left out in the cold.  Isaac was already blessed in many ways.  Rebekah was willing to be cursed in order for her child to be blessed.  Jacob had to trust his mother.  Israel sees this as a seminal moment- the beginning of God’s blessing their line- their ancestor- part of their being called to be the people of God.  It began with a mother wanting her son to be blessed-not taking no for an answer- and her son trusting her plan for blessing.   Mothers pray to the Lord for your children.  Most of you do, but take your prayers seriously- for that is how God will bless your children.  Children, trust your mother’s prayers and listen to them yourself.  God can use your listening to her prayers to fulfill the prayers and blessings of your mother.   Bless your children by bringing them to Jesus.  See this as a mission- a very important part of who you are.  II. GRACE- Someone said that the one thing moms have in common besides children is… that there is no perfect mom.  There is a tendency to judge other moms and judge yourself.  There are horrible moms.  As the world around us forsakes God the number of horrible moms will grow.  The danger is that can drag us all down.  We can say to ourselves, “I’m not as bad as that terrible mom who abused or neglected her children.”  The measure is not are you better than the worst mom- but are you honorable?  There will be times, mothers, when you feel like horrible moms- and you might be right.  But just as there is grace for all people there is grace for moms.  If you mess up- don’t give up.  Come back to the Lord, and come back to the person you want to be.  Moms need grace.  Children need grace too.  Harshness comes when we have only rules and no grace.  In this passage in Genesis- the grace was that God’s blessing was not just restricted to the oldest- but went beyond the expectations and the restrictions of human beings.   Rebekah was not perfect- she deceived and encouraged her child to deceive. Grace not only means we have kindness and mercy toward each other- it also means the pouring out of God’s blessing goes beyond the rules.  So Jesus reached out to the leper- even though it was against the rules;  So Jesus went to a graveyard to heal a mentally and spiritually  ill man- that was against the rules;  Jesus ate with sinners; Jesus visited the Gentiles and blessed and performed miracles for them.  The disciples made a rule that Jesus was busy and only had time for the “important people.”  Jesus broke their man-made rules and blessed children.  Do not be scared to bless other people with the love and grace of God- even if they are not very likeable- even if they are sometimes mean.   That includes your children. That also includes your parents and yourself.  Parents be gracious to your children, and children be gracious to your parents.  Then the Spirit of God comes and brings peace to your family and to your own heart.

III. HOPE- A healthy mother will help you to dream.  A healthy mother will help you find your dream, help you dream it, and then do all she can to help you fulfill that dream.   God has a dream for us.  He has a plan for each one of us- and we need to find that plan.  Our mothers can help us as they too seek God and His ways.  Rebekah had hopes and dreams for her child.  But the greatest dream was for her son to be blessed in life by God.  Did you know that George Washington wanted at first to become a sailor on a trading ship instead of a soldier and leader?  He had his trunk packed on board, and he was going to tell his mother goodbye.  She was crying, knowing the morals of the sailors on board.  He took his trunk off and went a different direction- he listened, saying “I will not break my mother’s heart.”  His mother responded, “George, God has promised to bless the children that honor their parents; and I believe He will bless you.”  He listened and honored her hopes.  Billy Sunday used to say, “The devil doesn’t stand a chance against a mother’s prayers.”  Do not spend your whole life rebelling against the voice and hope of your parents.  Rebellion or robot-like submission makes you a prisoner to their voice and to your past.  But use scripture to sift through and filter the voice of the wise people you have met.  The mother who gave you life wants you to continue to have the gift given to you by her.  There are two important parts of hope- one is to know that there is always hope; and the other is to persevere in obtaining your hope.  There are lots of people who get kicks out of squishing others’ hope.  Jesus came to give us that hope.  The miracles of Jesus gave people hope .   The teachings of Jesus gave people hope.  The resurrection of Jesus gives hope as well.   Hope in the blessing of a God who is there.  I read this week of many a mother who said that her main hope was that her child would believe in herself.  Now, confidence can be a good thing, but it can easily turn to pride which is not a good thing.  Our own abilities- our own selves- are limited.  My hopes are that our children will find confidence- as they put their hope in God- who can help them beyond their own ability.  What I want our children at LMPC to know is that they will fail- but there is hope beyond failure- not in their own might and abilities- but in God’s.

III. LOVE- I put love last because love develops all the others.  1 Corinthians 13 tells us- love always trusts; it is full of grace- keeping no record of wrongs; always hopes.  Of faith hope and love the greatest is love.    A love that a mother has for a child is a great gift of God.  But love can also be a curse that tears our heart out when love if denied or if the one we love moves away or worse dies.  In our story, the mother Rebekah was willing to risk getting in trouble because she loved her son, and her son loved her so he trusted her with hope.  One of the hardest thing to kill is a mother’s love.  A few years ago Henry Way, of New York, stole all his mother’s money from her safe and bet it on a Kentucky derby horse and lost.  Mrs. Lilian Way said in court, “I haven’t long to live.  I hope God will forgive my sins, and I want to forgive my son’s.  Henry then vowed to sign his house over and that she could live with him the rest of his life.  She did.  The Prodigal Son is a story of faith hope and love- the love of the Prodigal parent longing for the son to come home.  Yet we should affirm that love is good even if it hurts at times.  We are made to love- love our families- however difficult that might be.  We are made to love God too.  Jesus came to show us that God cares enough to come down for us.

My mother was a missionary mom.  She had many missions, but her main mission was her children.  It was her greatest desire that we have faith.  It showed in so many ways.  She was always putting verses around.  When I got my first apartment in college, and I realized my room mates would not cook, I called the best cook I knew and my mother sent me a bunch of recipes.  But she also included in those recipes some verses encouraging the fruits of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  She said mix these things together and serve generously.  My mother has been gone since 2001- a decade and a half.  I am still trying to follow her recipe.  I still hear her voice echoing in my ears like ripples from a rock thrown in the lake long ago.  Today I invite you to listen to God by listening especially to those times when God’s Word and your mother’s voice intersect and reinforce each other.

“Never Forget Your Mother’s Voice” 5-8-16 Mother’s Day Dr. Sloan; Gen. 27:13; Pr. 4, 14; 1 Corinthians 13
Babies do certain things in the womb- they yawn, they hiccup, they suck their thumb, you can see their hearts beat at 6 weeks on an ultrasound, they get scared, they start to smell things, they dream – with rapid eye movement, and they learn to listen.  They become familiar to their mother’s voice and other voices too that are around.   So when they were in the womb we would read to our babies, we would sing to our babies, and we would pray for our babies.   Mothers are the first ones that can teach their children about Christ and disciple their children.  Therefore, we need to listen to godly mothers.   This listening involves trust, grace, hope, and love.  I. TRUST- Do not be so consumed with the exceptions that you cannot accept the generalities.  In general, children can trust their mothers. The one who will sacrifice more for you than anyone else is your mother.  Birth itself is a sacrifice of pain and danger.  Mothers often sacrifice sleep, money, things, time for you.  Even mothers who do not say they love their children still sacrifice for them.  The Bible says to Honor your father and mother- in part because those who have brought you into this world in general are trustworthy.         It is quite an honor to have our children be told by God to honor their mothers and fathers that it might go well with them.   This is as part of the Ten Commandments written in stone. We all want our children to do well and succeed in life.  The first step in having things go well with you is to honor your parents.   But it is a scary thing too.  It is scary to be a parent and be honored like that.  We are all sinners.  There is no perfect parent.   A book I read called, “Missional Motherhood” points out that while a mother would fight a bear to defend her children, she might take the last piece of cake before her child can eat it.  Rebekah in our story was not a perfect Mom- but God used her anyway to be a blessing and through her efforts Jesus came through Jacob’s line.  God honors those who serve others with humility. The last shall be first.  To be honored means we try to be honorable- and if we fail (and we will)- we don’t give up- we try again.  Teach your children about what is right and wrong and about God.  This means you have to know.  It means you have to live it.      A major part of listening- is trusting.  You can take in information in your ears but if you do not trust that information it will not do you any good.   Trust those who pass the morals and faith on to you from a previous generation.   Do not trust uncritically, but nonetheless trust.  In other words use the brain God has given you- something else mothers say- but trust nonetheless.      I think of those mothers who were bringing their little ones for Jesus to bless long ago.  At first the disciples said, “Don’t bother the teacher.”  But the mothers insisted.  There is no record of it, but it would be highly uncommon if at least one of the children did not protest to the mother about going to Jesus.   Wouldn’t it have been a shame if the minute a child protested about going to Jesus- or the minute someone makes it harder than it has to be for them to go that the mother turned around and went home.  What an honor it was to meet Jesus face to face and have him bless their child.   Today, it is important for children to trust parents who are doing their best- despite all their sins- to bring them to Jesus.   Mothers have an uncanny desire to see their children blessed.  So Rebekah wanted Jacob to be blessed and not just left out in the cold.  Isaac was already blessed in many ways.  Rebekah was willing to be cursed in order for her child to be blessed.  Jacob had to trust his mother.  Israel sees this as a seminal moment- the beginning of God’s blessing their line- their ancestor- part of their being called to be the people of God.  It began with a mother wanting her son to be blessed-not taking no for an answer- and her son trusting her plan for blessing.   Mothers pray to the Lord for your children.  Most of you do, but take your prayers seriously- for that is how God will bless your children.  Children, trust your mother’s prayers and listen to them yourself.  God can use your listening to her prayers to fulfill the prayers and blessings of your mother.   Bless your children by bringing them to Jesus.  See this as a mission- a very important part of who you are.  II. GRACE- Someone said that the one thing moms have in common besides children is… that there is no perfect mom.  There is a tendency to judge other moms and judge yourself.  There are horrible moms.  As the world around us forsakes God the number of horrible moms will grow.  The danger is that can drag us all down.  We can say to ourselves, “I’m not as bad as that terrible mom who abused or neglected her children.”  The measure is not are you better than the worst mom- but are you honorable?  There will be times, mothers, when you feel like horrible moms- and you might be right.  But just as there is grace for all people there is grace for moms.  If you mess up- don’t give up.  Come back to the Lord, and come back to the person you want to be.  Moms need grace.  Children need grace too.  Harshness comes when we have only rules and no grace.  In this passage in Genesis- the grace was that God’s blessing was not just restricted to the oldest- but went beyond the expectations and the restrictions of human beings.   Rebekah was not perfect- she deceived and encouraged her child to deceive. Grace not only means we have kindness and mercy toward each other- it also means the pouring out of God’s blessing goes beyond the rules.  So Jesus reached out to the leper- even though it was against the rules;  So Jesus went to a graveyard to heal a mentally and spiritually  ill man- that was against the rules;  Jesus ate with sinners; Jesus visited the Gentiles and blessed and performed miracles for them.  The disciples made a rule that Jesus was busy and only had time for the “important people.”  Jesus broke their man-made rules and blessed children.  Do not be scared to bless other people with the love and grace of God- even if they are not very likeable- even if they are sometimes mean.   That includes your children. That also includes your parents and yourself.  Parents be gracious to your children, and children be gracious to your parents.  Then the Spirit of God comes and brings peace to your family and to your own heart.

III. HOPE- A healthy mother will help you to dream.  A healthy mother will help you find your dream, help you dream it, and then do all she can to help you fulfill that dream.   God has a dream for us.  He has a plan for each one of us- and we need to find that plan.  Our mothers can help us as they too seek God and His ways.  Rebekah had hopes and dreams for her child.  But the greatest dream was for her son to be blessed in life by God.  Did you know that George Washington wanted at first to become a sailor on a trading ship instead of a soldier and leader?  He had his trunk packed on board, and he was going to tell his mother goodbye.  She was crying, knowing the morals of the sailors on board.  He took his trunk off and went a different direction- he listened, saying “I will not break my mother’s heart.”  His mother responded, “George, God has promised to bless the children that honor their parents; and I believe He will bless you.”  He listened and honored her hopes.  Billy Sunday used to say, “The devil doesn’t stand a chance against a mother’s prayers.”  Do not spend your whole life rebelling against the voice and hope of your parents.  Rebellion or robot-like submission makes you a prisoner to their voice and to your past.  But use scripture to sift through and filter the voice of the wise people you have met.  The mother who gave you life wants you to continue to have the gift given to you by her.  There are two important parts of hope- one is to know that there is always hope; and the other is to persevere in obtaining your hope.  There are lots of people who get kicks out of squishing others’ hope.  Jesus came to give us that hope.  The miracles of Jesus gave people hope .   The teachings of Jesus gave people hope.  The resurrection of Jesus gives hope as well.   Hope in the blessing of a God who is there.  I read this week of many a mother who said that her main hope was that her child would believe in herself.  Now, confidence can be a good thing, but it can easily turn to pride which is not a good thing.  Our own abilities- our own selves- are limited.  My hopes are that our children will find confidence- as they put their hope in God- who can help them beyond their own ability.  What I want our children at LMPC to know is that they will fail- but there is hope beyond failure- not in their own might and abilities- but in God’s.

III. LOVE- I put love last because love develops all the others.  1 Corinthians 13 tells us- love always trusts; it is full of grace- keeping no record of wrongs; always hopes.  Of faith hope and love the greatest is love.    A love that a mother has for a child is a great gift of God.  But love can also be a curse that tears our heart out when love if denied or if the one we love moves away or worse dies.  In our story, the mother Rebekah was willing to risk getting in trouble because she loved her son, and her son loved her so he trusted her with hope.  One of the hardest thing to kill is a mother’s love.  A few years ago Henry Way, of New York, stole all his mother’s money from her safe and bet it on a Kentucky derby horse and lost.  Mrs. Lilian Way said in court, “I haven’t long to live.  I hope God will forgive my sins, and I want to forgive my son’s.  Henry then vowed to sign his house over and that she could live with him the rest of his life.  She did.  The Prodigal Son is a story of faith hope and love- the love of the Prodigal parent longing for the son to come home.  Yet we should affirm that love is good even if it hurts at times.  We are made to love- love our families- however difficult that might be.  We are made to love God too.  Jesus came to show us that God cares enough to come down for us.

My mother was a missionary mom.  She had many missions, but her main mission was her children.  It was her greatest desire that we have faith.  It showed in so many ways.  She was always putting verses around.  When I got my first apartment in college, and I realized my room mates would not cook, I called the best cook I knew and my mother sent me a bunch of recipes.  But she also included in those recipes some verses encouraging the fruits of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  She said mix these things together and serve generously.  My mother has been gone since 2001- a decade and a half.  I am still trying to follow her recipe.  I still hear her voice echoing in my ears like ripples from a rock thrown in the lake long ago.  Today I invite you to listen to God by listening especially to those times when God’s Word and your mother’s voice intersect and reinforce each other.