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July 18, 2021 1:00 am
No position has more potential to influence the future than that of being a mother. There’s no better role model for motherhood than Mary, who struggled as a young mom with several children, including her firstborn, Jesus, the Son of God. Her calling as a mom shows us how crucial motherhood is.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
Many women aim to break the glass ceiling as they aspire to executive power and perks, but no position has more potential to influence the future than that of being a mother.
There's no better role model for motherhood. Then Mary who struggled as a single mom, caring for several children, including her firstborn, Jesus the son of God. Her calling as a mom shows us how crucial motherhood is from Chicago.
We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin Luzerne on this program. We continue a 10 part series on fighting for your family later and our broadcast will learn about a mother's high calling Pastor Lutzer comes now to open our service. We are going to sing together and today is unusual at the church.
We do this several times a year where we highlight children. Let's pray together and give ourselves to the Lord and thank the Lord for his many witnesses to us. Would you quiet your heart before the Lord, would you ask him for focus so that you might be able to honor God with your thoughts. Father, we come before you today and thank you for life itself for the gift of life for every child, which is so special to you. We pray today Lord, that you might help us to have a bigger vision of what you are about in the world and in our own individual lives and help us to worship you and to thank you and to thank you with all of our hearts for your mercies in Jesus name we pray. Amen. And in an and in an elixir my frame from when I was meeting place when I was woven together in the gaps in their your eyes so I informed Bonnie all the days ordained for me were written in your book before my test case.
Wayne, Emily and this is the second in a series of messages called fighting for your family and we have to fight for our family. It says in the book of Nehemiah chapter 4 fight for your brothers, your sisters, your wives, and today we have to fight like never before.
Not physically but spiritually for the family. I'm expecting miracles. As a result of this series. Not because of the messages. As such, though I hope God uses, but rather if we pray together as families and as we begin to call on God. God can do what we can. What sermons can he can take the word of God and apply it last time I gave you the challenge of looking for two miracles.
First of all, the miracle within whatever resentment, anger, brokenness, there might be that God might bring about a kind of healing so that there can be reconciliation and hope in as a result of the past that there might even be a tremendous amount of blessing.
But also pray for another miracle pray for somebody else. Maybe your spouse may be a wayward child or maybe there are other people and you say I'm going to call on God and things are going to be different because I've prayed this morning.
I was so blessed here at the church rather early on, a woman came to me and said no thank you so much for the assignment that you gave us last week reading first Corinthians 13 every day. She said it made a great change in her life and God is working in me.
She said I bless my soul every one of these messages is going to have an assignment. Today's is going to be very clear and very simple.
In many respects that it will be given to you. Near the end of the message but stay with us. Well we emphasize. Of course, motherhood, and Deb you know I was reading this week someone sent me questions and then they are answered by second graders.
Nothing is sweetest children. Why did God make moms because she's the only one who knows where the scotch tape. Is that true, mostly to clean the house, there you go more thoughtfully to help us out when we were getting born. How did God make mothers. I like this one. He made my mom just like he made me but he used bigger part.
Why did God give you the mother you have and not someone else's mom because were related because he knows and I love this one because he knows she love me more than any other. That's great. What did your mom know about your dad to marry him. His last name and then finally does he make at least $800 a year and did he say no to drugs. And yes, do chores, I think that is very important. Hopefully it's even a little more than $800 a year, but at least the kid is on his way. Motherhood well today were going to look at the life of Mary the mother of Jesus, and I can imagine eating gently what you are thinking. You're thinking to yourself already. I struggle with being a mother and I feel so inadequate and I feel as if my bailiwick and now you take this woman went to heaven.
Every evening, supposedly, and came back every morning you're going to use her as an example just to load me with more guilt, not at all. This message is going to be one that is laced with grace, but I need to tell you that the Mary I'm going to present to you today is not the somber faced woman that we see on icons and statues. This Mary was a tough woman who managed a blended family that obviously had a great deal of conflict and for the most part she did it alone. This is not the Mary that we oftentimes visualize in the next few moments.
I hope to blow every stereotype as we look at the total teaching of the Bible need to warn you in advance that we might not be able to turn to all the passages I'd like to turn to. So in some instances I may simply give you the reference have a pencil jotted down and read it later because I want you to see that I'm not making this up, and when this is over.
I hope that even those who aren't married will be able to understand that the principles of this godly woman help all of us in the family, highlight the importance of childhood and family reconciliation. First of all we see, of course, the importance of realizing that children having a child is a divine calling from God, a divine calling from God.
Do we even need to turn to the first chapter of Luke, because it's really the Christmas story. You know how an angel comes and says you receive favor from God, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, this is verse 21 he shall be great, his name shall be Jesus. He will save his people, etc. Mary asks how can this be because I'm a virgin and he says the Holy Spirit will overshadow you and you will have within you created within you. This child is holy child will be created within you, you will conceive but do so miraculously and Mary says be at as you wish. While well first of all I want you to see that raising this child is a divine calling wasn't important for Mary to give great concern and attention to raising Jesus's Hall of course you're saying to me today but I have a four-year-old son and pastor.
Believe me, he's not. Jesus is not Jesus know he's not but he's also an eternal being an eternal being that Jesus was eternal in both ways.
He was eternal in eternity past because he's the one who existed as the son of God forever. He was actually the creator he created his own mother. Ultimately, because he was God and but he's also going to exist as a man forever. The Bible says in the book of Hebrews. This man because he is an unchangeable priesthood endures forever, and the child that you are raising is also going to in forever. He's a forever baby existing forever either in unimaginable bliss or unimaginable horror one of two places.
He is an eternal child, that child that you are raising is also a valuable child great value because you see he's not simply a product of conception. The moment a woman conceives she already knows. By the way that she is a mother God is implanted that in her heart. But the moment that Conception Takes Pl., God begins to go to work and not only create the biology of the child, the physical characteristics that he also implants within that child is soul and stamps on that sold the divine so that every single child is it created in the image of God. No matter what the circumstances of the conception where left to tell the story of Los Angeles, California, where a young woman at the age of 14 was sexually assaulted.
She gave birth to a little baby girl whom she called Ethel when Ethel became an adult.
She said she never as a child had a lap to sit on. She said every child should have a lamp to sit on absolutely every child should have a lap to sit on. But that child grew up and she became Ethel Waters and you think of all those of us who live from another generation who remember night after night singing in the Billy Graham Crusades and her favorite song.
His eye is on the sparrow and I know you watches.
I think she love that song because she knew that when she was conceived regardless of the circumstances she was valuable to God and his I was on that sparrow even before she was born. Every child valuable. Every child created in the image of God.
Could there be a higher calling. Secondly, you have the dedication the dedication now. This takes place here in the Scriptures in the book of Luke chapter 2 actually.
I wish we had time to read it all, but I'm in Luke chapter 2 and there in verse 22.
It says that the time of purification came, Jesus was about eight days old. They brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. That's what happens here at The Moody Church. When we have a child dedication where presenting the child to the Lord. But in order for Mary to be the mother that she had to be. She had several issues that she needed to surrender on first of all she had to welcome motherhood. Remember she was, not campaigning for this particular assignment was given to her by God, and it wasn't easy for her to say to people all you know I am not married but I'm pregnant and that I had an angel come to me and tell me that this was to be divine and the neighbors would say yada yada yada yeti is not easy, but she first of all, gave her self to God. She embraced her responsibility as a mother and then she dedicated the little baby Jesus to God all my parent today and by the way, the next message in the series is to dad's, but I am speaking to moms when you remember that when you have that child want you to visualize God in heaven saying to you this is my child and raise him raise her for me because you can have accountability and parents please and I speak. Especially I supposed to mother's.
If you have a great deal of hurt if you are angry at the child's father because he has walked away and now you're a single mom and there's 100 different scenarios we could tell you, please don't transfer that particular feeling that you have towards the child's father to the child and be an angry mom embrace that responsibility.
Gladly, regardless of your past and say, oh God, this child has come from you to me and you're telling me raise it for your glory. Mary didn't know what she was getting into. That's why were going to be very surprised at the kinds of hassles that she had within her own family and you know Simeon here in this experience says to her and I realize this, but yesterday afternoon as I read this, it hit me with such clarity. When Simeon says later on there in the temple he speaking to Mary he does not speak to Joseph later on it will become clear why, but it says here to marry his mother. He said, behold, this child is appointed for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed and a sword will peers through your own soul also so that the thoughts of many people might be revealed. Motherhood comes with its joy, but oftentimes part of the assignment our sorrows Mary is going to have to endure that sword is will explain in just a moment and she's going to have to endure it alone. Evidently, without her husband. What a challenge she's going to have.
She didn't know who she was raising money. She knew that he was the divine child, but she had no my dear what this meant, and you don't know you are raising either my dear friend this past week as I was reading a book written by Charles Swindoll. My claim to fame is that he and I are friends that were distant friend is a great preacher. You've probably heard them on the radio is on about a thousand stations. He says in his book that his parents really didn't want him, that they always favor the older brother. Why can't you be like the older brother yada yada yada and you know why did we have you thinking to myself you are raising Charles Swindoll for heaven sake you had that kind of an attitude toward him and you have no idea, no idea who you are raising raise him raise her for Jesus, you might to live someday to be very pleasantly surprised. The dedication next we have the nurturing responsibility in this fellow unmarried shoulders, as we shall see. Also, now this is in the Luke also chapter 2.
I wish we could read the story, but we can't. I assume that you know it is parents are at the Passover in Jerusalem and he's 12 years old and they are now going back and they going entire days journey without realizing that Jesus isn't in the company of Jesus at his friends. He has relatives by now probably had his half-brothers. Some of them certainly because in total there were four brothers and at least two sisters, and so they think to themselves well. Jesus is there and they are with the younger children of course were born later but they going entire days journey in Jesus isn't there and then they go back to Jerusalem and I just reading the text. It took them three days to find them there probably think you know he's playing with the other kids in this suburb for this area of Jerusalem. He's not there is not there. What in the world.
12-year-old kid doing in the temple so they find them. Three days later.
If you're lost a child and I'm a member of the Congo and it's a small condo but one of our grandchildren push the button, hopped in the elevator didn't realize that he was in the elevator alone got off on some floor and he thought that it was the right floor because every floor looks like the other one and you know were thinking where is he will easy you run up on that floor and I'll go get this Florida. We need to find this kid. How would you like to lose a 12-year-old at a Cubs game that it brings some white hair to you rather quickly so. His mother now speak she takes the lead here when his parents saw him, they were astonished at his mother said damn son, why have you treated us so behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress. I would think so and he answers and says you're looking for me.
Did you not know that I must be in my father's house. Jesus isn't an easy child to parent. He breaks the mold. Leaving your father's house your father's houses there in Nazareth in the carpenter shop and that's where you should be.
And Jesus said that no no no this is my father's house. Not easy to raise, he was always punting the ball to his divine origin and not as human art. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus ever call Mary his mother there at the feast there and they they need wine you know they have no wine he's saying now mom doesn't call her that he calls her, woman, woman, one of I to do with the don't invade my space. That's what he say he's on the cross and is dying and you can read it there in John 19 and he says woman, behold thy son and he's looking at John-John, behold, thy mother, but he doesn't call her mother why she was the physical aspect of his being, but he knew he had a divine origin. He knew that he was responsible to his father in heaven and so he wanted to write from the beginning, sever that bond that physical bond so that she would realize that he had a spiritual bond because this was no ordinary child. No ordinary child at all and you know they had to treat Jesus differently than they did the other children and you have to treat each child differently because each child has its own band to its own DNA is not one-size-fits-all if some children who are incredibly sensitive.
You look at them and they dissolved into tears give other children they need a lot more than that to dissolve the I happen to be related to someone will be as vague as possible who, when he was getting a spanking for eating chocolates reached over and took another one during well.
He also wasn't Jesus but Mary has to negotiate that now.
The Bible does say that he went to Nazareth and was submissive to them, and his mother treasured all these things in her heart. She's trying to figure out all this business of parenting and Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. He had an ordinary upbringing but also very, very meek, don't treat each child the same way study the child.
Pray for wisdom to understand your child deal with that child. Nurturing them according to God's will. Well now we get to the real difficult part that Mary had after this incident in the temple.
We never hear from Joseph again.
Now, Joseph must've been around because they did have lots of other children. As we shall see in a moment, but we never hear from Joseph.
Everything now falls into the lap of Mary.
She has to take charge, no doubt in my mind. She was one half woman Simeon had predicted that his sword was going to pierce her heart and that sword began very early on when Herod killed all of the male boys in the environs of Bethlehem from two years of age and under the boys and he did this because he was trying to kill Jesus. So Mary knows immediately. This is because of my son that this is and then she lives through all of those controversies that we read about in the Bible regarding Jesus when the Pharisees throw them in his face and said we weren't born of fornication, implying you were we know your mother and she wasn't married when she had Mary had to listen to all that she had to endure and then then the fact is that there was controversy in the family now in order for you to understand how many children they had.
I'm reading this directly out of the Bible.
This is in the sixth chapter of the book of Mark, it says them. Where did this man get these things written about versus two or three. What is the wisdom given to him. How can such mighty works be done by his hands and now notice it carefully. Is not this the carpenter's son of Mary and his brother James Joseph's Judas and Simeon and are not his sisters here with us. These are all four half-brothers for sure at least two sisters because it's mentioned oral she was managing a household with Jesus as the oldest and six other children you imagine what that was like who punched Simeon James.
I think it was Jesus that pumps and are you sure know mom it wasn't Jesus name he never lied.
He never punched anybody out. He told the truth he never stole anything. And he's this righteous older brother and she's managing this household, and the Bible says that his brothers didn't believe on him, even when his ministry begins.
Now that's what I'm not going to turn to but you can write it down. The opening verses of the seventh chapter John they say to them rather sarcastically will wanted to go to the feast and show the miracles.
You can do there.
Because if you stay here no reason to see these miracles and John says and this they said because even his brothers didn't not believe in him and Mary has to manage this. It gets worse.
You'll notice in the third chapter of Mark we have a remarkable remarkable in Mark. I think we've a remarkable story were evidently members of his family think that he is insane. You'll notice in chapter 3. I'm in verse 20. Then he went home and the crowd gathered again so that they could not even eat and when the family heard it, they were out to seize him, for they were saying. He said of his mind is out of his mind hears her brother look at what he's doing is all these large crowds. He is making all of these stupendous claims and we know we ate with him.
We played with him in the playpen. How can this be, and they want to rescue him from the crowd which verses later says that he is beside himself because he is a demon. So let's pick up the story now little later on. It says in verse 31, and his mother and his brothers came they want to take him.
I don't think that Mary ever doubted who her son was but who knows the role that she was playing in this controversy. They were standing outside.
They sent to him and called him in a crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, your mother and your brothers are outside seeking you. Does he say okay mom will come over and talk with you all connect with my brothers now.
He answered them who are my mother and my brothers and looking around at those who were around him. He said, here are my mother and my brothers and whoever does the will of my father.
He is my brother he's my sister sisters to my mother. Thank you very much. Jesus kinda blows them off. They don't understand. And Mary is there trying to navigate all of this tension that develops because this child was not only precocious, he was a divine child, and he refused to fit the mold and they didn't know what to do with him. Now, of course, the sword finally enters into her heart and it's the most sensitive place of who she was when Jesus is being crucified.
Mary shows up again. Joseph is not in the pic.
Virtually everybody, and I believe this to be true to who believes that early on. Joseph died is simply not a part of the picture she has this blended family.
She has this remarkable firstborn.
She's got at least six other kids. And now Jesus is dying and she is there sheet of gladly trade places with him, but she knew that that wouldn't work because he was the Redeemer and she wasn't so matter-of-fact. She also knew that she had to be redeemed by her son as the Magnificat indicates where it says so clearly it says I rejoice in God my Savior. She also was a sinner who needed to be redeemed and there she is.
She could have gone to the authorities and says he's insane to come down from the cross. But she doesn't interfere with the divine will, because she knows enough that the divine will is being accomplished. There, but she's there and she is not only watching him die. She is watching him die an excruciating death, and none of his brothers so far as we know are mentioned as being anywhere around and the mother bears the sorrow along the sword had come to her and what assorted ones the joys of parenting the challenges of parenting. The exhilaration and opportunity of parenting but also the tremendous amount of sorrow that you sign up for.
Often times when you become a mother mothering is not snotty's. What I'd like to do is to wrap all this up by helping us understand three life-changing lessons that will be an encouragement to mothers but to all of us. Ultimately to help us to understand the divine calling that God puts upon as single life as single baby. First of all, it's very clear that motherhood is the highest calling.
It is the highest calling. I'm sure that there is not a mother that is listening today. That doesn't agree that parenting a child is important is it important old.
Yes, it is important what they often don't see it is that it is ultimately important, massively important. Many don't get that I realize of course that there are many because of tragic circumstances who have to work outside the home. Many mothers sometimes single mom sometimes because of other reasons. There are also those who thankfully can work, but they can work from within the home rather than outside the home, so it's not my intention to load people with guilt. Every situation is different.
What I'd like to be able to say is that those who are struggling, especially the single moms, may we as a church come together and stand with them and help them in the parenting process by the giving of ourselves by representing family to them and being there for them. I can't think of any job that would be more lonely than to be an adult with children you come home. There's nobody. No adult to talk to. God bless you single moms. Nonetheless, I am going to read a passage from what is Selma Freiberg wrote.
I worry about babies and small children who are delivered like packages to neighbors to strangers to storage homes in the years when a baby in his parents make their first enduring human partnerships when love, trust, joy, and self-evaluation emerge through the nurturing the love of human parents millions of small children in our land.
Maybe learning values for survival in our baby banks. They may learn the root injustice of the communal playpen, they may learn that the world outside of the home is an indifferent world, or even hostile. They may learn that adults are interchangeable.
That love is capricious human attachment is perilous and that love should be hoarded for the self in the service of survival.
Again, I must say it and you can receive it and let me emphasize again that God's grace covers all kinds of mistakes all kinds of bike to all the indications are the studies that bad bonding of a baby and its mother. If that is not a close, loving, secure bonding, the child will of feel the effects when they go into their marriage, their inability to be able to bond permanently and on and on it goes.
Mothering is not just important, it is supremely important and you and your family have to figure out exactly what that means for you because it may look different in every home. But remember, God says this is my child rears him or her for me. Nothing. Nothing more important than that. Secondly, the rewards of motherhood. Hello you've been waiting for that you been waiting patiently saying where's the reward. The rewards of parenthood are often delayed delayed when Mary is there at the crucifixion of Jesus. That's the best Jesus can do to take care of his mom but it must've warmed her heart woman behold your son points at John, John, that's your mother. The Bible says. From that moment Mary went into John's home.
Johnson okay I received a commission from Jesus to take care of you.
I'm sure that he took care of Mary for the rest of her life. So even there. There was a reward and maybe this is a good opportunity for me to give you an assignment this week. Affirm to your mother how much she means to you, build, rebuild that relationship.
I can't do that anymore. I used to always call my mother on Mother's Day and these days heaven is not taking my calls so if your mother is still alive or find some other mother that needs affirmation and honor her. There are rewards to motherhood and then you know the story there of how Jesus Christ brothers did not believe on him and they're saying oh you know he's out of his mind. Let's go sees him how to that all land hello my friend that ended beautifully asked chapter 1, we won't take time to read it, but it is there in the upper room were there waiting for the Holy Spirit the beginning of the church.
The Bible says there was Mary, and his brothers were there in the upper room and you know when that uses that phrase it very frequently means sisters two brothers are used in a larger context that I could show that to you from Scripture. So in the end his brothers believe in you know what the oldest of their natural children happens to be James and James begins to lead the church in Jerusalem. He writes a book in the New Testament by the name of James.
That's where the book of James came from the half-brother of Jesus that you and I read this yesterday and smiled. If I had been writing that book with what I've written. I'd written James a half-brother of Jesus and then I would put in brackets.
I actually shared a bunk with him when we were growing up, I mean James was the oldest of their siblings apart from Jesus. Of course, was the oldest but born of a different father but no he doesn't he just is James a servant of God. What is the physical relationship was not the important thing and you and I today we can be called servants of God we can be called daughters of God and we can have an intimacy with Jesus the same kind that James had even though he was the half-brother of Jesus or something interesting in the Bible just throw in as a parenthesis in first Corinthians 15 that great chapter on the on the resurrection of Jesus and how he manifested himself and says he appeared to Peter and he appeared also. Later on, it says to James were not told which James, that is, it could be the James of the disciple Peter, James and John, but I tend to think that that might be his own brother hand his own brother, saying loud. I think I grew up with him and he was the Messiah.
He was the son of God. I believe on him.
I'm not a leader within the church, and I even get her to write a book that's going to become a part of the New Testament. It ended well. Parents hello. My heart goes out to you. I see the struggles, even of our own children as they rear our grandchildren the hassles of the things go wrong and you don't know whether to discipline whether or not to discipline you do your best.
But sometimes your best seems to be so woefully inadequate you're tired you read and you know that tomorrow is going to be a day just like this one very tough, but you look at it long term site. While God used me imperfection. You know secret. God uses only imperfect parents and the reason he does is it's always God's always got always working with other than those who haven't been properly parented and they turn out to be servants of God and daughters of God and remember what I told you last message wherever you see sin, you also see Gracie also see the redemptive aspect of God we get our priorities right in our hearts rights and we do our best in God's good power as we yield to him.
We might be surprised someday that the rewards of parenthood, those rewards exist in the future. Even when you can't see them now and what's the bottom bottom line, Mary raised a Savior we get the opportunity of raising children who love that Savior who served that Savior, whose hearts have been given to that Savior and will spend eternity worshiping and praising God along with us praising that Savior forever, and that's who it is that God gives you to parent a child that lives forever giving praise and honor to God. That's our calling.
What a privilege. What a privilege to raise a child for Jesus. There is a story about a woman who was walking along and because I wasn't able to verify the story. I will give you the name that I was given but I verify this part of it that she was in a blizzard and she had a baby. The blizzard came and when she was discovered she was dead because she had taken off all of her outer clothing and enraptured baby and that clothing and the baby lived. Now that's a picture of motherhood, but it's also a picture of what Jesus did for us.
He came in he sauce abandoned he came and saw sinner need he saw us under judgment and he came in he wrapped his love and his righteousness around us and saved us, and then he was raised from the dead, and he went to heaven and is going to return for us because he is a very wonderful Savior who saves us from our sin. Mary raised him, but we get the privilege of raising those who will also worship and love him. If you believed on that Savior. By the way, you can have the assurance that you belong to God forever. That assurance can be yours if you respond to what Jesus did on the cross and if you give your life to him. I mentioned earlier that I was giving you an assignment part of it is to say thank you to some mom and encourage that mom there's something else I want you this week to lay hold of Isaiah 64 verse four. It's only a snatch of verse that you can hold onto it says this God acts on behalf of all those who wait for him. If we pray earnestly and we wait on God. God acts on our behalf. He can change our family. He can change our hearts. He can transform us because God acts that's why prayer is so important. On behalf of those who wait for him and we can raise that child for the glory and the honor of God. Let's pray father despite the imperfection of our parents. The inconsistent discipline the struggles sometimes the rejection. We thank you today that we are here today to testify to your goodness in through and in spite of human failure. Thank you that you use imperfect people encourage each. We pray for those who have never received Christ as Savior. We pray that you might enable them to do that. And may we look into the eyes of the child and say were rearing that child created in your image for your glory in Jesus name we pray.
Amen. Stand close and on today's Moody Church.
Our Dr. Erwin Lutzer spoke about her mother's high calling second in a 10 part series on fighting for your family as our series unfolds you'll hear teaching on marriage and children and on the threats posed by modern technology and the Internet will look at the curse of debt and the rising danger of abuse within the home. Don't miss any of these crucial messages. Society demeans the leadership role of fathers next week.
Join us as we look into the Bible and discover what it means when dad since our our current series can be yours on CD as our thank you for a gift of any amount to The Moody Church. Our just call us at 1-800-215-5001. Let us know you'd like to support Dr. Luther's ministry. When you call Vince in the series on fighting for your family. Call 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another church. Our with Dr. Erwin Lidster and the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago