Archive for the ‘Thankfulness’ Category

“WHAT MOTHERS DESERVE”

Proverbs 1:8-9 “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

This is a general exhortation to receive the instructions, and submit to the authority of your parents. And not only hearken to thy father when he teaches you; but these verses are telling us to let our mother’s commands be a law unto us. One of the great steps to wisdom is to give great reverence to your parents, both natural and spiritual; especially reverence to your mother. God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God, in His Word, takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general.

Verse nine is telling us, if we heed to the good things our mothers teach us and observe them as if it is the law, that it will metaphorically be “an ornament of grace” on display for the world to see. Those around you can tell if you are respectful and obedient to your mother or if you are not. It will show in your countenance, in your conduct or in some other way in your life negatively, if you are forsaking the instruction of your mother.

INTRODUCTION: The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.  Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed that they were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

In 1908, the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, but by 1911 all US states observed the holiday, the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

On May 8, 1914, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The next day, May 9, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation, an excerpt of which is below:

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

Billy Sunday speaking on the love mothers have for their children said this “A Mothers love is unselfish, and has no limits this side of heaven.

ON MOTHERS DAY WE SHOULD REFLECT ON WHAT OUR MOTHERS DESERVE:

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR OBEDIENCE (Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. & Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.)

  • Children, obey your parents” – the duty of children to their parents is obedience.
  • In the Lord” – we are to obey our parents “in the Lord”, we are to obey them because God has told us to, because authority was established by God.
  • For this is right” – we are to obey our mothers and fathers simply because it is the right thing for us to do.
  • Even Jesus obeyed His mother growing up. (Luke 2:51 – And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.)
  • Are we giving our mothers the obedience they deserve? The obedience we are commanded to give them by the Lord? The obedience we are told in God’s Word that is just the right thing to do?

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR RESPECT (Ephesians 6:2-3 – Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. & Exodus 20:12 – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.)

  • Solomon warned of dire consequences to those who disrespected their parents in Proverbs 20:20 “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.”
  • In the Old Testament times, children that disrespected their parents were put to death under the law. (Leviticus 20:9 – For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.)
  • In Proverbs 20:20 it says their “lamp shall be put out” in other words they will have no prosperity, they will live an unblessed, by God, life.

An old Chinese proverb says “Respect for one’s parents is the highest duty of civil life.

  • The Bible, God, and common decency, demands that we respect our parents, especially our mothers. Are you respecting your mother like you should? Do you need to apologize to her for any disrespect you have showed her?

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR AFFECTION (I Kings 19:20 – And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?) – Elisha here in this verse demonstrates the kind of affection that is due our parents.

  • Why not be affectionate to our mothers? They have given so much for us, they have sacrificed so much for us, and can we at least in return demonstrate our thankfulness to them by showing outward affection to them?
  • Such affection can be an “I love you Mom!”, or hugs, or gifts.
  • Do we give our mothers the affection they deserve? Have you given your mom the affection she deserves recently and consistently?
  • Elisha here was a grown man going to be a mighty prophet for God; and we see he is begging for the opportunity to run back and hug and kiss his father and his mother. Do we have this kind of love and respect that Elisha demonstrated for our parents? Do we cherish our father and mother like Elisha did? If we do not, we need to get that right with God, and with them.

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE TO HAVE CHILDREN WHO ARE INCREASING IN WISDOM (Proverbs 10:1 – A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. & Proverbs 17:25 – A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.) – We have an obligation to our parents to strive to increase in wisdom throughout our lives and in our decisions we make.

  • Jesus increased in wisdom as He grew from childhood to adulthood, we are to be conforming to His image as we go through our life, this is a key area we need to conform to, and our mothers need us to conform to Christ in this area of wisdom too. (Luke 2:52 – And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.)
  • Mothers worry enough about their children; we should not be giving them any unnecessary grief by our foolish actions or direction.
  • Much of our wisdom, if we will really listen, accept, and apply it, can come from our mothers and what they tell us, teach us, and show us.
  • Are you growing in wisdom in your life? Or are you heading down the path of foolishness? For your mothers sake you should strive to be as wise as you can be in the Lord.

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE RIGHTEOUSNESS DEMONSTRATED IN OUR LIFE (Proverbs 23:24-25 – The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.) – More important than any other achievement we could do in our life for our mothers is the achievement of a righteous character in our life.

“There is no greater joy a parent can have than to see his son take virtuous courses.–Let not thy father and mother then want this singular pleasure; but by thy well-doing fill the heart of her that bare thee with joy and triumph, who, for all the pains and care that she hath had in thy birth, and about thy education, desires no other requital but only this.” – Bishop Simon Patrick (1626 – 1727)

  • Nothing makes a mother happier or prouder than to have a good (righteous) son or daughter.
  • We can get true righteousness in our life by our faithful following of Jesus. (Romans 3:21-22 – But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:)
  • Everyone has a need for the gospel in their life. Your salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ, through whom God manifests His combined righteousness and mercy, will be a great source of joy for a Christian mother. Knowing their children are on their way to heaven is the best knowledge a mother can have. We need to make sure of our salvation and of our mothers salvation too.
  • Any righteousness we have in our life is of God; and how we live in accordance with His Word. We are, according to His Word, justified by our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The benefits of whose obedience and death are obtained not by human works or merit, but by receiving Him as our Savior, and trusting in Him for our salvation. (Romans 5:8-11 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.)
  • Jesus Christ is to whom God commands us to commit our souls, with all humble and obedient regard. This way of obtaining righteousness and life is now made available to all, and is put upon all them that believe, for there is no respect of persons with God. “Whosoever will”, have the chance to get save, will have the ability to have His righteousness imputed onto them. And no greater joy will our mother have then to see us walking after God and serving Him with our life. (Romans 4:22-25 – And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.)

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR CARE AND CONCERN FOR THEM (I Timothy 5:4,8 & 16 – But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.) – Our parents, especially widows, deserve our care and concern.

  • It was God’s original intent that children were to be their parents “social security”. Our parents, as they get older, deserve the best care we can afford to give them.
  • Some as they age may require professional medical care, but we should not simply drop them off at the nursing home for just convenience, our parents are ultimately our personal responsibility and we should honor and care for them as in a way to thank them for all they did for us.
  • Ways you can care for your mother while you and her are still young, is by doing the dishes, helping with the laundry, taking out the trash, helping with the cleaning of the house and you should show your respect to your mother, that she deserves from you, and do all of these chores without prompting and seek to do them all to the best of your ability.
  • Are you caring for your mother like you should? Will you make the decision to start caring for your mother like you should today if you are not? Will you make the commitment to God now to care for your mother as she ages?

IN CONCLUSION: God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God in His Word takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general. We are to obey our parents “in the Lord”; we are to obey them because God has told us to, because authority was established by the Lord. Why not be affectionate to our mothers? They have given so much for us, they have sacrificed so much for us, and can we at least in return demonstrate our thankfulness to them by showing outward affection to them? Everyone has a need for the gospel in their life. Your salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ, will be a great source of joy for a Christian mother. Knowing their children are on their way to heaven is the best knowledge a mother can have. We need to make sure of our salvation and of our mothers salvation too. (III John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.)

We may choose to give our mothers flowers, cards or gifts on Mother’s Day; but we need to keep in mind that all the other days throughout the year she deserves something from us to, our mothers, year round, deserve our:

  • Obedience
  • Respect
  • Affection
  • Wisdom
  • Righteousness
  • Care

Are we practicing all these things that our mothers deserve from us all the days throughout the year or do we just act a little extra nice to her on Mother’s Day?

Everyday we should see God in His creation: in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the friendships we enjoy, and the love and pleasure family brings. We should thank God for all of life’s joys, large and small, and allow them to draw us to Him.

I Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

“In Everything Give Thanks”!

Interesting illustration to this post. On our way to church this morning my wife was stopping to pick up donuts for our class and she slipped and fell; injuring her foot pretty bad. So much so I had to take her back home. As I was driving her home I turned to her and said, maybe not the smartest thing to do, but I turned to her and said “you need to give thanks for hurting your foot this morning“. Thankfully my loving patient wife chuckled in her pain after I said it. Then when I got back to the church she became the illustration to the lesson.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

For this reason is that all things work together for good to them that love God; therefore, every situation may be a subject of gratitude and thankfulness.  While you live for God, prosperity and adversity will be equally helpful to you. For this is the will of God, that you should be always happy; that you should ever be in the spirit of prayer; and that you should profit by every occurrence in life, and be continually grateful and obedient; for gratitude and obedience are inseparably connected. (Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.)

It is God’s will that we rejoice always and that we are to pray without ceasing. It is also God’s will that in everything we are to give thanks. In every circumstance, in every situation, in every problem, in every trial, in every hurt foot, we are to give thanks. Not only are we to be thankful in everything, but also we are to be thankful for everything. (Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;)

Matthew Poole speaking of this thought said “God still by fresh mercies gives fresh occasion for thanksgiving, and we must accordingly continue our thanksgiving through the whole course of our lives without weariness.”

THE NEED TO GIVE THANKS

Ingratitude displeases God. It is included among the sins that would be prevalent in “perilous times”. (II Timothy 3:1-5 – his know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.) The wrath of God will be revealed against those who are unthankful. (Romans 1:18-21 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.)

We are to have the attitude of gratitude.We are to be thankful for what the Father has done for us. (Colossians 1:12-14 – Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:) We are to be abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:7 – Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.) Thankfulness ought to be part of the garment we put on. (Colossians 3:12-15 – Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.)Thankfulness should be a complement to our prayers. (Colossians 4:2 – Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; & I Timothy 2:1 – I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;)

Thankfulness is the key… To overcoming anxiety. (Philippians 4:6-7 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.) Thankfulness is the key to obtaining peace that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:6-7) Thankfulness is the key to praying without ceasing and being able to always rejoice. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you) – When we give thanks in everything we will start praying without ceasing. When you pray without ceasing you will begin to rejoice always. Thankfulness is the key! If we desire to have a peace which passes all understanding and joy that is inexpressible (I Peter 1:8) then we need to develop the attitude of gratitude and be thankful in everything.

Commenting on thankfulness and peace Albert Barnes said “The peace which God gives. The peace here particularly referred to is that which is felt when we have no anxious care about the supply of our wants, and when we go confidently and commit everything into the hands of God.”

HOW TO BE THANKFUL IN EVERYTHING

Remember all things work for good… If we love God and have responded to His call. (Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.) Loving God presumes obedience to His will. (I John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.) Responding to His call presumes obeying the gospel. (II Thessalonians 2:13-14 – But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.)

We can therefore glory in problems, trials and tribulations. (Romans 5:3-5 – And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.) Knowing that it produces character. Knowing that character in turn produces hope.

We can therefore rejoice in persecution. (Matthew 5:10-12 – Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.) Knowing that the kingdom of heaven is ours. Knowing that our reward in heaven will be great.

We can therefore rejoice in trials. (James 1:2-3 – My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.) Knowing that trials produce patience. Knowing that patience produces perfection and completeness or maturity. We need to express thanks in every prayer. We are to include thanksgiving with our prayer requests. (Philippians 4:6 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.) Every time you pray for something, first thank God for something.

“Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” – Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856-1922

We are to express thanks in prayer even when we are facing hard times. Daniel is a great example of this. (Daniel 6:7-11 – All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.) – Daniel made giving thanks a part of his daily prayers even when facing a life-threatening crisis, Daniel still gave thanks as always.

William Hendriksen has beautifully expressed the importance of giving thanks “When a person prays without giving thanks, he has clipped the wings of prayer, so that it cannot rise.” Ask yourself, do you want the full benefit of prayer in your life? Do you want the ability to rejoice always, in every circumstance? Then take the time to thank God in everything, and for everything (Ephesians 5:20) knowing all the while God can use it for your good (Romans 8:28). Do this and you will not only do what is God’s will for you, but you will become “more than conquerors” through the love of Christ and the love of God. (Romans 8:35-39 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.)