NOTES FROM A SERMON PRESENTED BY DR. GREG SLOOP AT THE KANNAPOLIS CHURCH OF GOD ON SUNDAY, May 12, 2019 IN THE 10:30 am SERVICE. FOR VIDEO OF SERVICES, GO TO THE CHURCH WEBSITE, HTTP://WWW.KCOG.ORG, AND CLICK ON THE LIVESTREAM LINK FOR A REPLAY OF THE SERVICES. FOR AUDIO OF THE SERVICES, GO THE THE WEBSITE AND CLICK ON THE MEDIA PAGE.
- Matthew 1:18 (NKJV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
Whether you had a good role model or not…
Whether you are rich or poor…
Whether you are educated or not…
Whether you have read all the best parenting books or websites or not…
Mothers are called to nurture and care for their children, to teach them, rear them in the Lord’s ways. This is the calling of mothers.
God called Mary in a special way. He performed a miracle in her body, giving her a son even before she had relations with her husband. This came with awesome responsibility.
You have been given a responsibility today as a mother. Embrace it. Fulfill this calling. Make it one of your life’s most important commitments. It is that important!
- Luke 1:30 (NKJV) Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
- Luke 1:35 (NKJV) And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
God, through an angel, helped Mary understand the blessing and joy of bearing and rearing a child. She was highly favored! She would bear a son that would change the world. You have the opportunity to rear a child that could change the world!
Too many mothers look at motherhood as a burden, a chore, a job. This calling is precious and vital. It is a blessing from God, not a curse. Look at motherhood through the eyes of God.
- a blessing
- a joy
- a challenge
- a solemn responsibility
- a calling!
- Luke 1:38 (NKJV) Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
You cannot know how to parent until you seek the face of God for wisdom and direction.
Reactive, emotional parenting will lead to inconsistency based on your mood and circumstances.
Mary told God that she was game for whatever He had for her to do. She submitted to God and obeyed His commands.
She then was successful as a mother and gave her son a solid example which to follow.
God longs to give you consistent leadership for your children.
Call on God for wisdom and obey His word and His Spirit.
- Acts 1:14 (NKJV) These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
Motherhood and parenting can become overwhelming, sending parents in a tailspin of keeping up with the crazy busy schedule and juggling all the homework, ballgames, recitals, etc. that come into a family’s daily life.
The most important task for a mother is prayer.
Mary was a mother of prayer. She was so regular in prayer that Luke saw fit to mention the fact that she was a regular part of the prayer time with the leaders and faithful members of the church just after Jesus’ ascension to heaven. She was bedrock in the church. She was bedrock in the community. She was bedrock as an individual. Bedrock is built by prayer!
It is one thing to protect your child from an aggressive animal or from intruders to your home. It is something to protect you child from a bully on the playground or in the park. But it is spiritual, supernatural, to protect your child from temptation and spiritual harm that comes their way. That kind of protection, though, is not offered through a stick or rock, or even a canister of pepper spray. The principal cannot help with these problems. When your child is under spiritual attack, prayer is that answer. When your child is sick, you can take him or her to the doctor, but prayer is the best medicine of all.
Matthew 17:20–21 (NKJV)
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
- Luke 2:19 (NKJV) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19 (The Message) Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.
All wondered, but Mary thought on all the wonderful things that had happened to herself and to the shepherds; keeping them well in mind, and putting them together, so as to see what they all meant. The wonder of the many was a transient emotion; this recollecting and brooding of Mary was an abiding habit. __The Expositor’s Greek New Testament, Volume One
Mary pondered the events of Jesus’ birth and His life. She thought about what was going on. She did not necessarily worry (although she may have occasionally), but she thought about the past, the present, and the future.
Think about your child’s life. Have dreams for them. Think about his or her future. Help him or her set goals and realize their dreams. Don’t force a dream on them, but help them develop their dreams in a magnificent way. Think deeply about your child’s life and help him or her realize the life God intends for them to have!
- Luke 2:34–35 (NKJV) 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Mary had many affirmations in her life as to the future that God had in store for her Son. This passage recounting Simeon’s blessing reminded her that her son was destined for greatness, but also for trouble.
Understand, Mom, that life will bring some troubles, but do not despair. God has a plan for your child that even the worst problems in life cannot derail if you have faith. Your child’s life can mean something. Your child’s life can make a difference. Trust God. Believe, He has a plan!
Jeremiah 29:11–13 (NKJV) 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
- John 19:25 (NKJV) Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
- John 19:26–27 (NKJV) 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
Mary was very present in Jesus’ Life. The ministry of presence is powerful. Being integral in the life of your child is an opportunity for profound influence and blessing.
Mary was present with Jesus. Jesus made sure that someone would be present for her.
- Matthew 2:11 (NKJV) And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Mary opened the doors to strangers, Magi, wise men, when Jesus was just two years old. They came in, offered gifts, and worshipped Him. He was a small child, but Mary knew that He had something special to do for God and the world. She opened the door.
I believe parents everywhere should ask God for vision for their children’s lives, and then open the doors for that vision to flourish. Open doors for their success, their education, their opportunities, their talents. Your child had a calling, and God will fulfill it in their lives. Your job, my job, is to encourage and inspire our children, to open doors of hope and expectancy, to put within them the confidence to reach for and achieve their dreams. That is the job of a mother. That is the job of a parent. Inspire your child to greatness. Inspire your child to fulfill God’s will. Inspire your child to be who they were intended to be in the plan of God. Inspire!
- The Mother of Jesus was a powerful example of motherhood.
- Her example leads others to answer their calling, be obedient to God, and be prayerful, reflective, hopeful, present, and inspirational for their children.
- Be a mother (or a person) like Mary!