Lord, Let the Words that come out of my mouth be yours and not mine, and if I get in the way of that, let these people remember what is from you and not from me. I thank you for the privilege and honor to preach to the word or God today. Amen
Pastor Andy Approached me about a month ago and asked if I wanted to preach on May 11th, TODAY. I did not give him an answer that day.
I had thought about preaching once before when Andy took his trip to the Holy Land, but did not express a real interest to him about actually preaching. I had an idea for a sermon about courage and being courageous in our faith. I thought about the opportunity to go to the Holy Land he was given, but also I thought about the difficulty that went along with his trip.
I was reminded of his fears for International travel, time he would be away from our Church, the possibility of thinking about his missed opportunity to travel to the Holy Land with his grandmother, and the time and ability to prepare for a trip for that long and that important.
Then I thought to myself, what a crazy idea for me to preach a sermon, stop thinking about coming up with a sermon.
Why would I even be worthy enough to stand up here and preach the word of God?
First, I am not a Pastor, or a Youth Director, or a theologian, or a lay leader, or have ever taken a class about preaching. I am an ordinary everyday run of the mill person. I am not even qualified to preach, so I thought.
I prayed about his request to preach for a few days and decided one night that I did not want to preach. But I did not let Pastor Andy know that night.
LeAnn then came home from a Staff meeting the next day and said, “Guess what? Andy announced to the staff that you were preaching on Mothers’ Day”. So I accepted that was what God had planned for me, so I trusted that God would help guide me.
This brings me to Mary, Mother of Jesus. Being Mother’s Day, I thought in only appropriate to talk about one of the most important, if not the most important mother EVER!
Mary was a young, poor and female. These qualities made her unsuitable in the eyes of her people to be used by almighty God. However, God looked upon the quality of her trust and obedience. He knew she would willingly serve God in one of the most important callings ever given to a human being.
God looks at our obedience and trust–usually not the qualifications that man might look upon. God will often choose and use the most unlikely of choices.
Mary was a young girl, probably only about 12 or 13 years old when the angel Gabriel came to her. She had recently become engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. Mary was an ordinary Jewish girl, looking forward to marriage. Suddenly her life would forever be changed.
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.
Mary, perhaps the most well-known mother in the Bible, made this statement when she learned that God had chosen her to bear the Christ child.
Although Mary’s life held great honor, her calling would demand great suffering as well. Just as there is pain in childbirth and motherhood, there would be much pain in the privilege of being the mother of the Messiah.
She was a willing servant. She trusted God and she obeyed his call. Despite the pain and suffering.
BUT…Mary must have known that her submission to God’s plan would cost her. If nothing else, she knew she would be disgraced as an unwed mother. She must have thought that Joseph would divorce her, or worse yet, he might even have her put to death by stoning.
She trusted God and she obeyed his call, regardless of how man (the world, society) would view her!
So after obeying Gods’ call, Mary may not have considered the full extent of her future suffering. She may not have imagined the pain of watching her beloved child bear the weight of sin and die a terrible death on the cross. Still, she willingly submitted to God’s plan.
Can we willingly accept and submit God’s plan for us?
Mary also knew the Old Testament Scriptures. When the angel appeared and told her the baby would be God’s Son, Mary replied, (Luke 1:38) [SCREEN]
“I am the Lord’s servant … may it be to me as you have said.”
She knew of the Old Testament prophesies about the coming Messiah.
God knew that Mary was a woman of rare strength and obedience. She was the only human being to be with Jesus throughout his entire life — from his birth until his death. She gave birth to him as her baby and watched him die as her Savior, OUR SAVIOR
Can we rejoice in God’s plan for us, just like Mary did in Luke 1:38, even when we know that it will cost us dearly?
So how is it that Mary can rejoice when she knows it is going to be tough? I don’t think Mary knew the true extent what would happen to Jesus during his life and most certainly all the details of his path to the cross.
But, maybe she did. In the Old Testament the prophet Isaiah talks about how the Messiah would be a sacrifice for our sins.
(Isaiah 53:5-12) [SCREEN]
Mary knew the scriptures, so she probably heard and read that prophesy. She knew what was going to happen, but yet was still faithful and obedient to God.
Actually I think Mary, was the perfect example of the verse
I Corinthians 13:4-7 [SCREEN]
“Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.”
That just sounds like a mother to me. It sounds exactly like what Mary did for Jesus his entire life. She endured ALL THINGS
It sounds like how my mother treated me. I know the things I did as a child. I would ride my bicycle to the little league field at age 5 myself. Man was my mother patient with me for that. My mother made me attend church on Sunday’s. If I did not, I was not allowed to play sports that entire week. She took no pleasure in being unrighteous. She loved me and encouraged me when I was overweight and had to lose weight just to play youth football. She bared all things with love, and her love was patient and kind.
Think of your own mother and reflect on that verse. Thank her for the Mother that she is. Look for the times in your life that your mother exemplifies those traits in that verse. She may not have all of those traits and certainly cannot do them all the time. But God loves your mother for who she. Encourage your mother by saying “I LOVE YOU” and “THANK YOU”; today, tomorrow, next week, next month. That is what God did for Mary for the entire life of Jesus. Mary trusted and obeyed God, even in the difficult times and he encouraged her not to give up during the hard times
If your mother is not alive anymore, find another mother, any mother, and tell her what a wonderful job she is doing.
Of the three closest mothers to me; my wife, my mother, and my mother in-law; thank you for being so wonderful and loving. I can see those traits from 1 Cor 13 4-7 in all of them.
And with three children, and including myself, my wife has to have patients. And for all the times that Jacob disobeys, or all the hardships she has endured with the twins, LeAnn constantly is not selfish, but puts the needs of them above all other things. No matter what her sacrifice is.
But Children and teens, this is a two-way street. God speaks to you as well in
Ephesians 6:1-3 [SCREEN]
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life.
Being a mother is difficult. Following Jesus can difficult. Trusting and obeying in Jesus and God’s plan for us is difficult for all mothers, fathers, or children.
God used Mary because she was obedient and trusted in God. Mary can be used as an example for us to understand trust and obedience, for our own journey in following Christ. We need to put our trust and obedience in following Jesus. Never fear only Trust and obey.
Let us pray!
Trust and Obedience:
- What part of your life do you need to fully put your trust in God?
- What ways can you be more obedient to God?
- Can we willingly accept God’s plan for our lives?
- What is Gods’ plan for your life?
- Can we even rejoice in God’s plan, like Mary did, when we know that it will cost us dearly?
- How can we find or understand God’s Plan for us?
7a. What qualities in you, may others deem unsuitable to society? to God?
Pray about those qualities and trust and Obey God has a plan for those qualities.
7b. What qualities of yourself do you feel suit God?
Use these qualities this week to Connect, Serve, and Grow the faith, hope and love that Jesus provides
Mother’s Read Proverbs 31 and reflect on how you can become a virtuous woman.
Talk to your small group about these questions. Talk to your mother or children about the questions.
Find a Sunday School Class or small group to join and learn about how to trust and obey God’s plan for your life.