This message was presented on May 11, 2014 as part of the 1 Timothy series.
I have a great mom and I call her everyday, well maybe 360 days of the years. I love to make sure she’s doing alright and say and hear the words, “I love you.”
When I was a boy, my mother could have said these things,
- …to teach me LOGIC… “If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can’t go to the store with me.”
- …to teach me ANATOMY… “If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they’re going to freeze that way.”
- …to teach me DEALING WITH PAIN… “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
- …to teach me about my ROOTS… “Did you think you were born in a barn?”
- …to teach me about ANTICIPATION… “Just wait until your father gets home.” By Carol Sumpter.
There are mothers of famous people that may have said:
- MONA LISA’S MOTHER: “After all that money your father and I spent on braces, Mona, is that the biggest smile you can give us?”
- COLUMBUS’ MOTHER: “I don’t care what you’ve discovered, Christopher. You still could have written!”
- MICHELANGELO’S MOTHER: “Mike, can’t you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?”
- THOMAS EDISON’S MOTHER: “Of course I’m proud that you invented the electric light bulb, Thomas. Now turn off that light and get to bed!”
- JONAH’S MOTHER: “That’s a nice story, but now tell me where you’ve really been for the last three days.
The realistic mother of three notoriously unruly youngsters was asked whether or not she’d have children if she had it to do over again. “Yes,” she replied. “But not the same ones.” David Finkelstein, Reader’s Digest.
We’re studying 1 Timothy and how Paul trained his replacement Timothy. Through his life and letters, Paul had a great impact on the Church Age and he passed onto Timothy Truth, experience and character through discipleship. Yet much of Timothy’s conscientiousness was the result of two mothers in his life – his mother and grandmother.
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. (2 Tim. 1:3-5 NKJ)
15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 3:15 NKJ)
Mothers are some of the greatest leaders. Now every woman is not and may not become a mother for a variety of personal and divine reasons. You can still be a mother in discipling younger women, if you choose to follow Jesus. How do you prepare leadership? We noted the first two principles over the last two Sundays:
1) Train them to know who they are in the Jesus 4:11-12
2) Train them to know His Word by His Spirit 4:13-14
3) Train them to absorb God’s Word for transformation 4:15
There are eight common challenges that face mothers of young children: 1) Low view of self, 2) Monotony and loneliness, 3) Stress from too many demands 4) Lack of time with their husband, 5) Confusion about discipline, 6) Chaotic home atmosphere, 7) Need for outside role models, and 8) Training of children. Susan A. Yates, And Then I Had Children, Wolgemuth & Hyatt. My friends, we can’t stay where we are, we need to help each mother become a supernatural mother.
Before we look at the passage, let me ask you, “What did God do for you?”
- Did God so love the world that He thought and thought about man and then He cheered man on to become as good as God is to gain eternal life?
- Did God demonstrate His love toward sinners by sitting on high and continuing to think about man, but stayed in His perfect security?
- Did God manifest love by thinking about all He knew and wished man could come to heaven, wondering if man will make it, waiting in heaven where it was safe?
No, God came in Jesus to be mistreated, scorned, laughed at, struck, lied about, treated unjustly and then persecuted before crucifixion – for YOU. It’s like being a mother -mistreated and disrespected by children.
15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. (1 Tim. 4:15 NKJ)
The first word Paul used was “meditate,” which is a command and translated in the New American Standard as “Take pains in this.” Both are good translations. I loved the men’s retreat, where Brady Ball gave his testimony and then talked to us about worship – individual worship. We practice corporate worship, but how many of us practice individual worship? If you meditate on God’s Word, that is one way you practice individual worship. Then Paul wrote, “…give yourself entirely to them…” which is like the scale exercises every person must endure who learns to play the piano. Throw your energies into this. Literally, “…be in them” or “identify with them.” Like white on rice. We identify with lots of things. We identify with our Facebook account, or iPhone, or car, or style of clothes. We get into a category of music or particular sports team, like the Pacers or Colts. “Be in these things,” – the teachings of Scripture. How do you get into a pool? Do you dabble or jump in?
Years ago, a young mother was making her way across the hills of South Wales, carrying her tiny baby in her arms, when she was overtaken by a blinding blizzard. She never reached her destination and when the blizzard had subsided, searchers found her body beneath a mound of snow. But they discovered that before her death, she had taken off all her outer clothing and wrapped it about her baby. When they unwrapped the child, to their great surprise and joy, he was alive and well. She had mounded her body over his and given her life for her child, proving the depths of her love. James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited, Tyndale, 1972, p. 375.
Why continue in them? That your progress be evident to all. Mothers, you live in a fish bowl. Children watch you and learn first from you. That’s why you need a supernatural life. You all live in a fishbowl. People are watching and taking cues from you. It’s the grace of God that empowers you to be set apart for God’s purposes.
My friends, ministry is too challenging to be half-hearted. Like a mother, when the baby is born, you jump in and mother that child to adulthood. In the same way, exactly what a mother does, God says, deny your life, devote your all, surrender everything and jump in by faith. We are not here to conduct behavioral therapy. We are not trying to force children to act a certain way. We are here attempting to reach the heart of the child, so the Holy Spirit will transform the child by God’s Word to the image of Jesus.
Is that what your purpose is? What are you willing to do to make that happen?
4) Train them by being transformed yourself 4:16
16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Tim. 4:16 NKJ)
Paul said, “Take heed!” He said this to the Corinthians, “Take heed to yourself, lest you fall.” Know yourself well. It’s a command to “hold fast.” Now, we’re all over holding fast our tickets to the race or game or stuff we buy in the world! We’re all over holding fast to a personal agenda, especially when it comes to how we think something should be done at church. Paul said, “Take heed to yourself.”
How well do you know yourself? It’s easy to think more highly of self than we ought to think. Paul addressed that in Romans. Timothy could have blamed his problems on others. If he does, he won’t grow spiritually. Do you remember what Jeremiah said?
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. (Jer. 17:9-10 NKJ)
So how do you check your heart? Ask a trusted friend. Reflect on friendships, job relationships and how they went and/or ended. Ask others for input, evaluation, or suggestions on strengths and weaknesses. Or do you want to know the best way I know to get feedback? Become a pastor! You’ll get plenty of feedback!
Then Paul said, “Continue in them.” Stay with them. The order here is important. First examine yourself, then purify yourself (continue in them), and then teach others. OR, be a mother. You get plenty of feedback on how you are doing as a mother.
Then Paul closed chapter four, “You will deliver yourself and others.” Was he talking about salvation from condemnation? No. the basic meaning of save is “deliver.” Paul meant, “Examine yourself, continue in God’s Word by God’s Spirit and you’ll deliver yourself and others from temptations and false teaching.
How do you prepare for leadership? Let’s remember:
Jesus is our Leader and Lord!!!
Train yourself to Jesus, so you can disciple others for transformation!
- Discipleship does not happen by osmosis. Anything spiritually good is going to take concentration and effort 2 Tim. 2:15. I remember the one time I thought I would sleep on a book for osmosis, the only thing I got out of it was a stiff neck. Transformation comes by regular time in God’s Word led by God’s Spirit.
- The Lordship of Jesus will drive the committed Christian to seek discipleship and the privilege of discipling others. Not everyone can be a mother, but everyone can disciple others.
Let me close with a couple affirmations toward mothers:
Our minister’s wife told of filling out a form in her pediatrician’s office. Beside the blank marked “occupation” were these words: “If you devote the greater part of your time to loving, caring and making a home for your family, put a big star in this space.” Bonnie Miller.
You can judge leaders by the size of the problems they tackle– people nearly always pick a problem their own size, and ignore or leave to others the bigger ones. Anthony Jay, Bits and Pieces, September 1989. Mothers don’t get to choose who their child is going to be. God empowers supernaturally mothers to raise leaders for Jesus.
What makes your life different than one in the world?
How many women are prepared for being mothers? That is to become leaders? When you look at statistics, something is not going well for the church. Eighty percent of young gals are leaving the church at 18 and not returning. What do we need to do in order to turn that tide so that young women will want to devote their lives to be good mothers? Is it the school’s responsibility? I hope you would never trust the government to teach godly values to young girls.
When I look at certain countries and cultures, I notice pictures of women and children, but very few men. Why? We haven’t over the last 300 years disciple young girls how to become godly mothers. Too many are concerned about stuff, trips and the best of life and ignoring the problem. They have children, let them raise them. I raised mine, they should figure it out. That is foolish thinking and I trust no one would ever think that, or at least will stop thinking that. What should you think?
I love the fact that many moms are having children and are staying home or are spending a minimum amount of time away from their children. Children are too precious and important to be entrusted to other people. I’m glad for Noah’s Ark, because the children are getting Bible stories and lots of patient love. That’s great!
I want to address those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. You may have raised your children, but what are you doing to help disciple the young women to godliness, so they will not become romantic one night and find themselves pregnant. How are you spending time investing your life and love into the children’s ministry and youth ministry at Grace to turn the tide? We have to change what we are going. The word retire is not found in Scripture, but discipleship and older women teaching younger women is found. Can Jesus count on you engaging young families and helping raise godly women, instead of emotional women, who chase after a quick romance? You are needed.
Men you have a great opportunity if you see your role of becoming a noble man and helping to raise godly women, rather than a seed-bearing fool. Let’s let the Lord Jesus count on us to prepare leaders for Him of both young men and women and see the next generation committed disciples of Jesus!