Sermon delivered May 12, 2001 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Mother Love

When we baptize a person we baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but not the mother. The mother is missing and this is mother's day weekend. I don't understand. Where's the mother in this. There's not mother. I've thought about that. And I think that you, ladies, are the representatives because there's nobody else. They're all men up there or whatever they are. So you ladies are the representatives. You represent God to us. When we look at you we see something pretty special.

Paul made a statement. 2 Timothy 1:5 says: 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. So, where did Timothy get his faith from? He was a third generation Christian, wasn't he? Where did he get his faith from? From his mother. Where did she it from? Her mother. Timothy's grandmother passed on her faith and her values. I think we need to respect our mothers. They are the passer-oners of faith.

I read of a man one time who went to the office every day and worked hard. He felt that his wife somehow needed to know how hard he worked. All she did was stay home. He had to go out and do the work. He'd come home tired and so he prayed: "Dear Lord, I go to work every day and put in eight hours while my wife merely stays at home. I want her to know what I go through, so, Lord, please create a trade in our bodies."

God, in his infinite wisdom, according to this story, granted the man's wish.

The next morning, sure enough, when they woke up in the morning, she woke up as a man and went off to work. And he was a woman. He didn't have time to get dressed. He had to cook breakfast for his wife and for the kids. He had to get them out of bed, and that was like murder trying to get those kids up. He had to cook breakfast for them and get their lunches packed and get them dressed and whatever else you all have to do. Finally he drove them to school, and what a relief! And then..."Oh, now what do I have to do?" On the way home she dropped by the bank to get some money to pay the electric bill. He went home and found some dirty clothes and took some to the cleaners and did the rest in the laundry at home. He tried to experiment with ironing... What an experiment! This new "mother" found herself cleaning the cat's litter box and bathing the dog. Then he went grocery shopping and when he got home he put away the groceries. It was already one o'clock and he had to hurry and make the beds and do the laundry and vacuum and dust and sweep and mop the kitchen floor. He ran to school to pick up the kids, and got into an argument with the kids on the way home. Finally he got the cookies and milk set out and got the kids organized for doing their homework. He began to finish up and get things ready for supper. He peeled the potatoes and washed the greens, and breaded the choplets and snapped the fresh beans for supper. After supper, this new "mother" cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, folded the laundry, bathed the kids and put them to bed while his mate was in watching a baseball game on TV. At bedtime he was exhausted and, though his daily chores weren't finished, he went to bed where he was expected to make love.

The next morning he awoke tired. Quickly he knelt by the bed and said, "Lord, I don't know what I was thinking. I was so wrong to envy my wife's being able to stay home all day. Please let us trade back."

The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, replied, "My son, I feel you have learned your lesson and I will be happy to change things back to the way they were. You'll have to wait nine months, though, because you got pregnant last night."

Never underestimate the efforts of a good mother. The love of a true mother is only surpassed by the love of God Himself.

What is my point in telling you this story? I want you to respect these ladies have to go through. You don't have to switch bodies to figure that out, do you. We have intelligent brains, us men, and we know that our wives do a lot of work. In fact, when you go to the office or wherever you go, they work just as hard as you do. In fact, a lot of these wives also go out and work at the office and come home and guess who gets to do the wash. So let's enter into this a little bit and help each other out. Let's respect respect our mothers.

Let's come over here to Exodus 20:12 (KJV) in your Bible. Here's a text that you've read before, and this is very strange that God would even have to put this in the Bible. This is very weird. Exodus 20:12. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Why should God have to command us to honor our mother? We honor our mother naturally don't we? That's just a natural thing. Honor is the least we owe to our mothers today. Honor includes loving her, respecting her, and esteeming her. Leviticus 19:3. Each of you must respect his mother... The Bible has to command this in several places. You must respect your mother. The opposite of this would be to take them for granted.

It is strange that God requires us to honor our mother. That is like God saying: "I require you to appreciate your right hand." We do appreciate our right hand. But sometimes we don't tell God until the right hand malfunctions. And then we say, "Please bless my right hand."

Sometimes we don't appreciate our mothers until things go bad, or maybe our mother dies. And then we say, "Lord, she was good." You know, we should appreciate them now while they're here. You would think everybody would naturally honor their mother. But alas, how many a poor mother prays and prays for her wayward son or daughter with no result?

What makes a mother worth honoring, anyway? There is nothing honorable in any of us. The only thing that possibly makes us worthy of honor is if the true spirit of Jesus and His love have taken up residence in our hearts. So, you mothers, invite Jesus into your hearts today.

A mother is a person, who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she is so full she can't eat her piece. Mothers are unselfish and put their children first because they put Jesus first.

HONOR thy mother! I knew a farmer in south west Michigan who farmed the same farm his father had. His dad was old and grey and lived in the next house. Even though the old man was almost blind and could hardly hear, his son would go to him often several times a day and ask his advise on just how much corn to plant and when to cut the hay. The old man felt important. He was being honored. Honor thy parents.

Think of what your mother has done for you. If she just charged minimum wage... for all those diapers she changed, all those time she cared for you. And you add the interest to that today, what would the total be? How much would you owe? That total would be a great debt. But if your mother is a good Christian and loves you, she only wants your love. And another thing your mother wants is for you to love the god that she loves. Mothers want their kids to be in heaven. Your love more than pays the price for her care and work in your behalf.

Proverbs 23:22. Listen to your father who gave you life. And do not despise your mother when she is old... So, at what point can we stop honoring our mother? We can't, can we. That honor goes on even after she dies. Verse 25. May your mother be glad, may she who gave you birth rejoice! Praise God if you have a loving Christian mother.

France had a total of sixty-nine kings. Only three of those kings were loved. It was found that sixty-six of those sixty- nine kings had been raised by tutors, by private hired people. Only three, and those were the three that were loved, were raised by their mothers. Mothers have a fantastic power. You kids must see Jesus in you because if they don't catch it in you, if all they catch is your harping at the things you malfunctions with all the time, and you are constantly complaining and criticizing the church, criticizing others, they're going to grow up out of the church. They are going to grow up away from the Lord. I hope I'm not stepping on son toes here, but that's the facts. That's how it works.

Did you know that next to God, the mother's power for good is the strongest known on this old earth. There is no influence greater than a godly mother. (See Adventist Home by EG White, p. 240) So, you mothers are not just housewives.

One day a mother named Emily went to have her driver's license renewed. The recorder said what is your occupation? The poor mother hesitated. The recorder said, "What I mean is do, you have a job or are you just a...?" Emily said, "Of course I have a job... I'm a Mother!" The recorder smiled and wrote: Occupation - Housewife. Emily protested, "I'd rather be listed as a mother." Sorry, we don't list mother as an occupation. Well Emily went home very upset. She told a friend of hers all about it. The friend had to go in in a few days to get her own license renewed. Here is what happened:

As she approached the City Hall she made her way up to the Registrar's office where she met the clerk. This woman had the high sounding title of "Officiating Interrogator". "What is your occupation?" she probed. The mother/housewife said: "I am a Research Associate in the Field of Child Development and Human Relations." The sophisticated clerk paused with her ballpoint pen frozen in mid-air. Again the long title was slowly repeated. That whole title was written in bold black ink on the official questionnaire!

Might I ask just what you do in your field? "I have a continuing program of research (What mother doesn't) in the Laboratory and field (indoors and outdoors). I'm working for my Masters (my kids and my husband). I already have 4 credits (all daughters) I often work 14 hour days (24 is more like it). I have one experimental model (6 month old baby)."

When the application was filled out, the clerk seemed to have great respect for the researcher and even walked her out to the door. (Coronet Mag)

Hebrews 11:23 makes a statement about a wonderful mother. This mothers name was Jochebed. This was a famous name in the Bible. This was the father and the mother of Moses being spoken of here. It speaks about them. It indicates that they were not afraid. Notice how this says: By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. They were not afraid of the king's commandment. They weren't afraid of the law. The law of God was more important to them than the law of the land of Egypt. That's the kind of mother that can make somebody into a Moses. Somebody that was willing to risk her life so that her child can grow up and be special, to follow God.

Look for a moment at this picture of a good Christian Mother: taken from Ministry of Healing by EG White, pp. 377,378. "There is a God above, and the light and glory from His throne rests upon the faithful mother as she tries to educate her children to resist the influence of evil. No other work can equal hers in importance. She has not like the artist to paint a form of beauty upon canvas, nor, like the sculptor, to chisel it from marble. She has not like the author to embody a noble thought in words of power, nor like the musician to express beauty in melody.

"It is hers, with the help of God, to develop in a human soul the likeness of the divine. The mother who appreciates this will regard her opportunities as priceless. Earnestly will she seek, in her own character and by her methods of training to present before her children the highest ideal.... She will keep her eyes fixed on Christ..."

We live in a very wicked age just at the turn of another millennium. Crime, drugs, vice and temptation abound. There is an urgent need right now of mothers who will be as true to duty as the needle to the pole. You mothers must give your best efforts to raising your children properly. The greatest want of the world is not for mothers who watch soap operas and hospital shows while their kids are in the other room drifting away from Jesus.

We need mothers today who know what it is to pray. The greatest thing you can do for your children is to love your Savior. The need is desperate for mothers who study God's word and read to their children from the Bible. Will your children be able to say anything about their mother's old Bible, or is your bible practically unused? Do your children see you praying for them? I beg of you mothers to keep your eyes fixed upon Christ. Do your children see you reading the scriptures?

Ezekiel 16:44. "'Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like Mother, like daughter"'" That's the proverb quoted here in the Bible. There is a strong probability that your children will be just like you. Just like you! If you pray, they're going to pray. If you kick the cat, they will grow up kicking something. If you yell around the house they're probably going to take up that habit.

You are the only mother your children will ever have, barring premature death. Your children deserve the best mother possible. Mothers; keep your spiritual life so lovely and radiant that your family will automatically catch it from you. Fill your home with happiness, love, good food, and good times. Exalt Jesus to your family. I cannot over emphasize the importance of the Mother having a personal saving relationship with Jesus.

A common misnomer is the view that giving birth to a child makes you a mother. Having a kid does not make you a mother. That is about as idiotic as saying that having a piano makes you a pianist. Motherhood takes time, effort and love.

A mother of four young boys got sick. The boys prayed for her. They were young but they knew enough to pray for their mother. The daddy prayed. They all saw her go down, weaker and weaker. After a time she died and was buried. And so here was this father, left alone with four boys. About a month after the funeral, the father took his four sons out to visit the grave. It was there that they first saw the stone monument. The father told his boys that if any of them should ever do anything to disgrace their mother's name that their own name would be removed from the inscription:

CAROLINE
Wife of J. Sterling Morton
Died June 29, 1881, Age 47 years
She was the mother of:
John, Paul, Mark, Carl Morton

I want you to know that those four names are still there on that tombstone. They never did dishonor their mother. Praise God for people like that. We need to do our best to raise our children right.

I want to ask you a serious question: Would your mother be proud of you if she knew all about your life today? It is serious to have our name removed from a tomb stone. But even more serious is to have our name erased from the Lamb's book of life. That's the serious thing. If we ever dishonor Jesus our name will be removed unless we get forgiveness through His grace while we're still living. Honor Jesus. Honor your mother. Love her and love Jesus all the days of your life.

Proverbs 31:10-31 pictures the ideal mother and wife. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue....She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness....Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her....A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Mothers are sort of like pastors. We have several pastors in our church today, and you mothers are like pastors. Your home is your church, and your children are your congregation your living room is the sanctuary, your lap is the pulpit where the Bible is read, and your knee is a sacred altar where prayer is heard. Maybe that is why it is said that an ounce of Mother is worth a pound of Clergy. Mothers are so much able to influence their children, and I appreciate every mother in this congregation today. I hope that each of you will dedicate your life to Jesus Christ so that you will be an example to your children and to the rest of your family.

All women are leaders in this church and in our community. Even if you did not raise a child in your home, there are perhaps many children that have been benefitted by your example. I invite all ladies here today to stand just now, whether or not you have any children.

Prayer of rededication:

Dear Lord: Help each lady in this church to have a rich and deep experience with Jesus. Bless those who are mothers and help them to be a lovely and consistent example to their children. Bless the children that have come from each home here today. Keep them faithful. If they have strayed, please bring them back into the fold before it is too late. Save us soon in your kingdom. Amen.

Hymn of Praise: #517, My Faith Looks Up to Thee
Responsive Reading: #827
Hymn of Response: #492, Like Jesus

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