May 8, 2022
Happy Mother’s Day!
The Path to Redemptive Glory, A Mother’s Journey
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Welcome: A blessed Mother’s Day to all who are joining us today.
The calling to motherhood is a gift and a journey with many twists and turns along our path. It’s not a glamorous path; there are many days you look in the mirror wondering what happened to you with your messy hair tossed up in a bun or slicked backed ponytail, dark circles under your eyes from lack of sleep that was not from a night out on the town but up soothing a crying baby, a sick child or waiting for your teen to come home safely; and the scents coming off you are no longer beautiful florals but more of stale spit up or something else you’d rather not identify.
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. You are pushed, pulled, stretched beyond what you knew you were capable of, even broken at times, and yet there is a strength that rises within the heart of a mother to persevere every day, every season and she continues to give of herself as best as she knows how to love her family well.
Motherhood brings out the brave, courageous warrior within who goes to battle for her children and her family. I believe many women find out just how strong they can be when there is a little one looking up to them, depending on them and sees them as their hero. There is a fierceness in a mother that we never knew we had until something or someone comes against our little ones. The woman of God goes to battle in prayer for her children-all of their lives. She is always fighting for them in prayer. That courage and strength of a woman of God is unbreakable for it is the Spirit of the Living God carrying them through every battle.
The journey is long, a lifetime in fact- and will encounter all weather and all seasons along the way.
There will be glorious sunny days where a mom rejoices, beaming with the glow of love and joy in her children. There will be seasons where everything is new like when spring arrives; new territory to walk through and wonderful new gifts unfolding as she watches her children grow.
There will be seasons that are dark, cold and you wonder when it will end like the long winter that lingers on.
There are seasons that leave you in awe as you watch your babies grow into these incredible people finding their place in the world and like the fall, even though you marvel at the brilliant color, you know the leaves will let go, and what was no longer will be. Time slips into memories. A piece of your heart breaks as another season passes.
As moms we will walk through these seasons many times over rejoicing, celebrating, breaking, marveling and always loving.
It’s a beautiful road we walk.
There will be similarities we can share in, but no two paths will be the same and no two stories will be the same; nor should they be. Each person’s journey is uniquely theirs, chosen and ordained by our Heavenly Father to bring out the most beautiful qualities in each of us; to bring out the heart of the Father in us for others to experience.
Moms come in all different packages and the heart of a mother can be expressed in many different ways. One does not have to biologically birth children to be a mom. God calls us all differently for His divine purposes and to our great joy as we follow His path in our lives.
Today on Mother’s Day and as we are in our series of being Free in Christ, I want to encourage us all, especially moms today, to be free from the trap of comparison. Far too often we look at other people’s lives and we compare what they have vs. what we don’t have. We compare how we measure up or more often how we don’t in our mind. That is a destructive mindset and will only leave us feeling less then, envious, and discouraged. It will never leave us encouraged and lifted. This can be applied to any aspect of our lives so this message rings true for all of us.
For those who have the role of mother in any aspect, I invite you to hear today’s message of embracing your story and learning to cherish it. Let us not compare our journeys with another mom and wish we had something different because every story is beautiful and every story comes with its own challenges and heartbreak. There is not a one, that doesn’t come with some suffering and brokenness along the way. When you open your heart to love another as fully and unconditionally as a mother does-it is bound to get broken at some point.
Instead, I want to encourage us all, whether we are moms or as we think about our moms, let us look with fresh eyes today to see where God stepped in and began that journey to motherhood. Let us look with a new appreciation for where His fingerprints were on our lives, guiding, protecting and providing. Let us look and see how throughout that journey and the many seasons He was transforming the heart of us and our moms to reflect His heart. Let us look and cherish the road we are walking to redemptive glory and let us give thanks to God for the incredible blessing of motherhood.
We’re going to look at the path of four different moms from the Bible. Each one uniquely her own in how she was called, what was required of her, and how God’s redemptive glory shown upon her. Maybe you can hear a bit of your story in one of these moms. Maybe you can hear a bit of your mother’s story. Notice where God met each woman and how His hand was upon each woman throughout her journey. Notice His glory that came out of hardship and suffering.
We’ll begin with Mary, the mother of Jesus and a song of praise she lifted up to God during her pregnancy. Listen to her words of praise. Listen to her heart. Hear her confidence in God. Hear her hope of glory not only for her, but for all her people.
Luke 1: 46-55 NIV
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
This is a young woman of great faith. This was not going to be an easy journey. An incredible call and honor were bestowed to Mary along with a heavy, heavy responsibility if she had chosen to go at this alone. But she chose God; she chose faith and she chose to believe God’s promises for her, her baby and her people. By faith she could courageously step on to the path that God lit for her.
- Where We Begin is Our Story
Luke 1: 30-32 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
Mary was a young, teenage girl betrothed to Joseph. There were so many different scenarios-none of them positive of what this pregnancy could mean for her if she focused on all that everyone else would think. Where would she end up? What kind of life did she have ahead of her? Would Joseph stay with her or leave her? But God had so much more…
On the far opposite end of the spectrum we find Sarah beginning her journey of motherhood as an elderly woman. Sarah was married to Abraham. They never had any children and God called Abraham out of his home land to go into new lands where He would make him the father of many nations, at 75 years of age. By faith, Abraham set out with his wife and it would be another 25 years of moving around and listening to God before the time would come for Abraham and Sarah to have their promised child. This would be after they tried to take matters into their own hands because it was taking so long and have a child through her servant Hagar. That created much heartache for both Sarah and Hagar. God said, no, as I promised you, Sarah will have a child that I will make My covenant with.
Genesis 17: 15-17 15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”
Hannah was one of two wives to a man and she was unable to have children, while the other wife had several. The other wife would taunt Hannah and make her feel inferior. She was broken hearted at not having a child of her own and she was crying out to God in her pain and sorrow.
1 Samuel 1: 10-11 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
Then we have Bathsheba. A married woman who catches the eye of King David. An indiscretion takes place, leading to a very complicated circumstance.
2 Samuel 11: 3-5. 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
Each woman entering her journey into motherhood on their own path, with their own story to tell.
Impossible situations and circumstances. Incredible struggles and obstacles to overcome. With man things are impossible, but with God all things are possible.
God said to each woman, as He says to each of us, “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans for a future and hope.” Jeremiah 29:11.
- Our Path to Glory is Uniquely Ours
These ladies each turned to God to bless, guide and protect not only them, but their children. They followed the road to redemptive glory that God was leading them on. So let’s continue on in their stories to see how God worked in these complicated situations.
Mary and baby Jesus were protected throughout her pregnancy, Joseph heard from an angel that Jesus was from God and he should in fact go ahead with the marriage and help raise this son and love Mary. After Jesus was born people spoke blessings over her child and she marveled at all that was being said about this baby she carried in her womb. The prophet Simeon spoke these words:
Luke 2: 33-35 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Mary’s journey of motherhood would come with great challenges, heartache, deep sorrow, and inexpressible joy.
Sarah did become pregnant and had Isaac as promised, at 90 years of age.
Genesis 21:6-7 6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
No longer would she be barren. She would give a son to her husband and she would be honored by her people. She would be the mother of nations as Abraham was the father of nations. This came after 90 years of living without a child, in creating hurt and jealousy in having Hagar have a child in her place. It was a long road and God was faithful to bring her to redemptive glory.
Poor Hannah was misunderstood in her anguish at the temple where the priest rebuked her for being drunk. She had to tell him she’s not drunk, just hurting deeply and praying for God’s mercy and favor in her life.
So the priest then changes his heart and speaks a blessing over her.
1 Samuel 1: 17-20 17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Hannah’s son Samuel was dedicated back to the Lord as she promised and in her sacrifice of giving her son back to God. He was used mightily by God and what a beautiful thing for Hannah to witness in her son. God also blessed her with 5 more children to raise.
For Bathsheba, there was great heartache to endure for a while; she lost her husband and the child she and David created in their moment of passion. But she was devoted to live for God, she was devoted to David as he married her and God had mercy on her and David and blessed them with another son.
2 Samuel 12:24 She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved him.
Solomon means “peaceful”.
None of these roads these mothers traveled were easy; none glamorous; and yet God made something beautiful from each story. As we shared at the beginning, motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It is also not something we should try to do apart from God. With God, He takes the messy, the complicated, the broken, the hopeless, the impossible and He says I can make something truly beautiful from this.
Let’s look at the glorious ending to each story and let it encourage us to cherish our journey on whatever path God has set before us. Let us believe it will lead to His redemptive glory.
- Cherish Your Journey
For Sarah-her son Isaac did have God’s covenant and promise given to him to carry forward:
Genesis 26: 3-4 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring[a] all nations on earth will be blessed.
1 Samuel 3: 19-20 19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.
Samuel grew to be the last judge over Israel and prophet to install the first two kings- Saul and David over the nation.
For Bathsheba-her son Solomon would become king after his father David. He was not the first son in line to be king, but he was the one chosen to be king.
1 Kings 1:30 30 I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”
For Mary, well her song of praise would be fulfilled just as she had believed for it. She would be called blessed for generations to come and God did remember to be merciful to Abraham’s descendants and salvation came to all people who would believe in her son, Jesus Christ.
King Solomon would later pen these words of wisdom gained by the wonderful influence of his mother, Bathsheba and the life she lived in humble service to the Lord.
Proverbs 31: 30-31 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Whatever road began your journey to motherhood I invite you to look back, or to look back at your mother’s journey to see God’s hand writing a beautiful story of glory and grace that is all yours to cherish.
Conclusion: There will be similarities in a mother’s journey but receive freedom from the trap of comparison. Each road is different. Each path is uniquely paved to bring forth a story of glory and redemption that is all her own. It is up to us as moms to walk our path with God. Where we begin isn’t nearly as important as where we finish.
Dear Lord, Bless every mother and every grandmother with the finest of your spiritual blessings today. Confirm in her heart and spirit the work of her hands and the love that she has so freely given to those children under Your care. Validate her worth daily so she has no reason to doubt whether she is loved, valued, and cherished in the eyes of her Heavenly Father.
Create in her a deep sense of your protection and trust, so that worry and fear will disappear as she places her loved ones into Your care. Let her know that every prayer she has prayed and every encouraging word she has spoken on behalf of her children/grandchildren has been transformed into sweet, fragrant offerings before Your throne.
Whisper deep within her spirit the sweet words she longs to hear from You—that nothing can ever separate her from Your love. Help her to nestle daily into the promises of Your Word, standing with faith on the things You declare are true. Let her know that You reward faithfulness, but that true success doesn’t lie in her accomplishments or accolades. Let her rest in the knowledge that she has done all she can—and that she and those she loves—truly belong to you. Bless her with a servant spirit so she can teach her own the joy of hearing one day, “Well done!” In Your name Jesus we pray. Amen.