12th May is Mother’s Day.
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Women have an honoured place in the Bible - Sarah, Rebekah, Miriam, Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Esther, Elizabeth, Mary, Dorcus and Lydia.
1. Jochebed, the mother of Moses, refused to comply with Pharaoh's edict. She defied the baby killing culture of Egypt and devised a bold plan to save her baby's life - right under the household of Pharaoh himself. The Exodus of Israel from bondage in Egypt and the Law of Moses - the Ten Commandments - continue to be the foundation of Western Civilisation.
2. Ruth forsook the pagan culture of Moab and travelled to Israel to find a Kinsman Redeemer. She became the great grandmother of King David - whose descendants continue to rule. "Your people will be my people. Your God will be my God."
3. Hannah, though jeered at for being childless, and misjudged by Eli as being drunk when praying, determined to seek a child from the Lord - in order to consecrate him back to the Lord - and she gave birth to Samuel, who at an early age learned to say: "Speak, Lord, Your servant listens." Samuel grew to be one of the greatest of Israel's prophets and the one who anointed David as the next king of Israel. (Andrew Murray's Africa Institute in Wellington sent out hundreds of missionaries under the slogan: Africa for Christ. Their building is named: Samuel - Received from the Lord, Given back to the Lord.) Hannah kept her word and gave Samuel back to the Lord for His service - and the Lord blessed her with more children.
4. Elizabeth, childless, sought the Lord and had the privilege of raising John the Baptist - whom Jesus described as "the greatest man born to women." It was John who prepared the way for the Lord, fulfilling the prophesy of Isaiah: "The voice of the one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight'." "He must increase. I must decrease". "I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire!"
5. Mary, the most blessed of all mothers who humbly submitted to God's will: "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to Your Word." Luke 1:38. What an honour Mary had of being the earthly mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Mary instructed: "Whatever He tells you to do, do it!"
6. Eunice, (and grandmother, Lois) who brought up Timothy in the sincere Faith (Acts 16:1 and 2 Timothy 1:5), raised a dedicated Christian who became the Apostle Paul's right hand man and indispensable co-labourer in the Mission of winning Europe to Christ.
7. Susanna Wesley, who gave birth to nineteen children - including John and Charles Wesley. They credited her prayerful instruction and godly example as shaping the whole direction of their lives dedicated to holiness and Revival. The Great Evangelical Awaking that they were part of transformed England and ensured that the Revolution that wrecked France would not destroy Britain.
8. Elizabeth Whitefield, a widowed inn keeper, said to her son George: "I expect more from you than from all the others." George Whitefield grew up to become one of the most effective Evangelists in history. Revival blessings accompanied his open air proclamation of the Gospel throughout the British Isles and North America.
9. Ann Judson, the mother of modern missions, gave her life winning the people of Burma to Christ.
10. Ann Moffat, the devout mother of Robert Moffat, beseeched him, as he headed off to the world, to become a sailor, to promise her that he would begin each day with God and that he would end each day with God. She then kissed his forehead. Robert testified, that "It was that promise and that kiss that made me a Missionary." Robert went on to be the first to translate the whole Bible into an African language. Robert also had the privilege of inspiring David Livingstone to come as a Missionary to Africa with his stirring speech of "the smoke of a thousand villages where the Gospel of Christ has not yet been heard." Moffat and Livingstone opened up Africa for the Gospel of Christ. What an impact Mrs. Moffat had on the history of Africa through her faithful discipleship of her son. Robert later testified that it was his mother, Ann, who had filled his mind and heart with the exciting exploits of Moravian missionaries and other Gospel pioneers across the seas.
11. Amelia Taylor prayed above the chemist shop her husband ran: "Dear God, if you should give us a son, grant that he may work for You as a missionary to China." Their home schooled son, Hudson Taylor, who was reading by age 4, grew up to do just that, launching the China Inland Mission, which mobilised over a thousand missionaries to China in his lifetime. CIM became the first truly interdenominational Faith Mission and the largest Mission organisation of the Greatest Century of Missions.
12. Mary Slessor's mother, (also Mary) dedicated her two sons to missions to Nigeria, but they both died before they were old enough. So Mary Slessor went as a Missionary to Calabar, in Nigeria, in their place. She was called Eko Kpukpro Owa (Mother of all the people) for her tireless work in adopting abandoned children, fighting the slave trade and ending the killing of twins. Mary Slessor of Calabar transformed Nigeria through the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Courageous and fearless, she confronted witchdoctors and saved lives.
The Highest Privilege
There can be no greater privilege than raising the next generation. There can be no more strategic priority than giving life and raising precious Covenant children to love, honour, obey, worship and serve our Great God and Saviour.
Do you have a vision of what God can do in, with and through you and your children? Do not settle for less than God's best. Make the fulfilment of the Great Commission your supreme ambition. Make disciples and teach obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded. Pray that the Lord of the Harvest would use your children to advance His Kingdom. The safest place in the world is in the centre of God's Will. Intercede for your children, even before they are born, like Amelia Taylor did. Bring up your children in the sincere Faith, like Eunice raised Timothy. Consecrate your children to the Lord's service, like Hannah gave Samuel back to the Lord, who had so graciously provided him.
"Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren." Deuteronomy 4:9
This is God's instruction to you as a parent:
"To train up a child in the way he should go" Proverbs 22:6. To diligently teach your children in your house, and as you travel, from the first thing in the morning to the last thing at night (Deut. 6:7). To care for, provide for, nurture and love children in the Lord is a most rewarding and vital calling. Mothers have a great privilege and great responsibilities. Families are the basic building blocks of society. As goes the home, so goes the church and the nation.
The Birkenhead Drill
Hence the women and children first cry of the Birkenhead and Titanic - by chivalrous men who respected mothers.
Solid Foundations for Life
From their earliest years, children need to be taught to fear God, to love His Law, to read His Word, to love and honour and worship our Lord Jesus Christ and to desire the triumph of His Kingdom on earth.
Honour Your Mother
Parenthood is so fundamentally important that God's Word comes to all of us to honour our mothers: "Honour your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
"Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father and keep My Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 19:3
The Curse of Egalitarianism
"Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt." Deuteronomy 27:16
Egalitarianism is a curse. Failure to respect our parents is a terrible sin. (Many often have greater respect for secular Humanist Hollywood stars and actors than for their own parents).
"The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out and the young eagles will eat it." Proverbs 30:17
'"Honour your father and mother' which is the first commandment with a promise." Ephesians 6:2
"Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly…" Leviticus 19:32
We need a revival of respect for the elderly and we need to value and prize mothers for the precious jewels that they are. We need to rise up and become a blessing to our mothers who sacrificed and served us so diligently.
What does God want you to do to show honour, respect and appreciation for your mother and grandmothers?
Let us be careful to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22).
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Victorious Christians - Who Changed the World, will inspire a new generation of dedicated Christians with the incredible examples of excellence provided by 32 of the most courageous and effective Christians in history and includes: 32 Character studies with 350 pictures. The 380 page book includes: 10 Reformers, 6 Martyrs, 6 Missionaries, 4 Evangelists, 4 Professors, 3 Soldiers, 2 Musicians, 2 Kings, an Artist, an Inventor, an Historian and a Queen. This book provides fascinating insights to virtually every age of Church history by focusing on Christian characters, their courage and convictions in times of crisis. Lavishly illustrated, this book can be used for recreational reading by those who enjoy reading Biographies, or as a treasure trove of illustrations and examples for pastors, teachers and homeschoolers.
An audio CD of this message: Mothers With a Mission and the book Victorious Christians – Who Changed the World are available from Christian Liberty Books: P.O. Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, tel: 021-689-7478, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.
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