Today, we celebrate moms!
Whether a biological mother or spiritual mother or both, we are so blessed to have you as a part of our church family. Today, we want to honor and celebrate you!
The 24/7/365, life-long responsibility of raising children is no easy task. As many mothers here can testify, motherhood definitely does not stop when they reach the age of 18.
For your many sleepless nights, disciplines enforced, tears shed, prayers prayed, failures, successes, and everything in between; we are grateful for you!
For your perseverance, your compassion, your enduring hope, your unfailing love; we are blessed by you!
From the very beginning, God saw that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. How many ladies here can “Amen!” that? When left on our own, we come up with some “creative” ideas that don’t always end well.
God created Eve from a part of Adam. Created from Adam’s rib, she was created with the purpose of living life side-by-side as one with Adam.
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
There are plenty of teachings out there about what a Christian household should look like. In fact, you may have heard and firmly hold to this teaching about marriage and the role of the wife in that relationship taken from Ephesians 5.
In the New International Version of the Bible, the heading is “Instructions for Christian Households.”
In the New Living Translation, the heading is “Spirit-Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands.”
In The Passion Translation, the heading is simply “Loving Relationships.”
The topics covered in Ephesians chapters 5-6 vary from the relationships of husbands, wives, children, masters, slaves (which we can apply to the employer/employee relationship today).
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
However, rarely when this is being taught do we begin just a single verse before this.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Mutual submission, working in cooperation as one flesh, just like Jesus and the church. This is how we were created to function. Not just in our relationship with God, but in our relationship with our spouse and in our relationships with our children and our family as a whole and in our relationships at school or work and in our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the church.
Mutual submission resulting in a unified body operating at its full potential!
Remember last week? Unstoppable!
None more important than the other, but rather each and every part performing the function for which they were created not for their own benefit, but in the service and for the benefit of others.
Women, created in the very image of God, have always played a very important role in fulfilling God’s will and purposes.
In a world culture where women were viewed as property, God chose to exalt them to roles of prophet to speak on His behalf such as Moses and Aaron’s sister, Miriam, who also lead the nation of Israel in worship right after the Red sea swept over the Egyptian army (Exodus 15:20), as well as Deborah who also served as a judge and leader over the entire nation of Israel during the time of judges (Judges 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22), Noadiah (Nehemiah 6:14), Anna who recognized baby Jesus as the Messiah (Luke 2:36-38), and an unnamed prophetess (Isaiah 8:3).
Bold and courageous women fill the scriptures. Shiphrah and Puah were Hebrew midwives during the time of Egyptian bondage. They refused to obey their earthly king when he asked them to abort all male children in direct contradiction to God’s will.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.
Rahab, a prostitute living in Jericho, chooses to protect the Israeli spies and chooses to follow the God if Israel after the city walls came crashing down. God redeemed her life and she was given the honor of being in the lineage of king David and even Jesus, Himself.
While Deborah was leading the nation of Israel, she sent Barak and 10,000 men to defeat Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor. He refused to go unless Deborah would go with them. She agreed, but said, “because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”
All of Sisera’s troops were put to death by the sword and only he remained. Jael went out to meet Sisera and hid him within her tent. After he fell asleep, she drove a tent peg through his head and had the honor of “putting a pin” in the final victory.
God’s word boasts of and praises an amazing woman with an entrepreneurial spirit who can multitask and can well manage both her family affairs as well as her business in Proverbs 31. She’s up late and rises early; working hard and even dabbles in real estate buying land and establishing it as a vineyard. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also praises her.
Paul sent a letter to the Roman church from prison and entrusted it to a woman named Phoebe, a deacon in the church, and asked that the church there serve any of her needs. In chapter 16 of this letter, he sends his personal greetings to many individuals who were significant in doing the work of ministry and in that letter, he mentions many, many women by name. He even makes mention of Rufus’ mother who was a spiritual mother to himself.
The letters of the New Testament were not just written to the men of those churches, but to the brothers and sisters that make up the churches; conveying equality of their value.
The Assemblies of God has a long history of equipping and commissioning women in all roles within the church. In fact, the Pentecostal revival that began our fellowship began at the Azusa Street Mission in 1906 where six of the twelve elders leading that mission were women before this nation even gave women the right just to vote.
In fact, during a time of segregation, God was bringing together in unity people from many different races. That revival included people from all ages, denominational backgrounds, educational statuses, economic statuses, and just about any other difference that you can think up.
There are so many amazing women in the Bible that there simply isn’t enough time this morning to even mention them all. It was so hard to focus on just one! So, we’ll focus on two; Lois and Eunice. This comes from a letter written from Paul to Timothy:
2 Timothy 1:5-14
5 I am 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.
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Of all of the mighty things accomplished by the women of the Bible, I firmly believe that nothing compares to the powerful impact of a mother passing along their faith to their children! In the case of Timothy, that faith was imparted from Lois to her daughter Eunice. Then, from both his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice on to Timothy.
Yes, I’m convinced that there is little more frightening to the devil than a prayer-warrior grandma!
Their faith was a good deposit that served as a firm foundation for God to build Timothy’s life upon. It began a journey for him to become a young leader in the church.
I’m sure that there were times that Lois and Eunice felt like failures. I’m sure that there were days that they were concerned about what direction Timothy’s life would go. However, I’m also sure that they served as guards for that living faith deposited into Timothy’s life and that the Holy Spirit was right there with them through it all.
Mom, grandma, great-grandma, you are not alone! The Holy Spirit is right here within you. Allow Him to strengthen you, encourage you, and guide you as your living faith is imparted to your descendants. Look for opportunities to fan into flame the gifts of God in your children and their children and their children.
You are making a far greater impact in this world than you may ever know! Keep praying, keep hoping, keep believing, and keep looking for opportunities to pass along that living faith within you to your descendants.
Today, we honor and celebrate you!