On this Mother's Day we're so thankful for every mom that is here, and I'm going to preach a special message on how to honor mothers in just a moment. But right now I want to read to you from the Scripture about the Christian home. You know, Satan tears down everything that God builds, Satan tries to destroy it. And God established the home. He established in the garden Adam and Eve, and they brought forth children, and this was his plan. And the world has many substitutes, and they try to desecrate the family. But today we want to honor and lift up the Christian home.
The Bible says in Psalm 127:3, "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." The Bible says that children are the heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward. In a day that is so bent on abortion and so bent on divorce and so bent on everything that would tear apart a marriage or even take the life of a child, God says that he's for the home and he's for the children.
And I want to thank every mom that's given birth to a child. And I know we have some that are brand new moms that are here today, and perhaps you registered at the table out in the back with Brother Rule there and received a gift. If you did not do that, he'll be in the lobby; we want you to receive that gift today. And we want to have a special word of prayer for you right now in this service, so let's pray together.
Our Father, how we thank you for all the moms that are here this morning, and we want to pray a prayer right now for those that are new moms in the last year. I think I see a few here today in this service, Lord, and we're thankful for them. And we just pray that you would help them if they're not saved, that they would turn their heart to you, Lord, and accept you as Savior, so that they could be a Christian mom. And we pray for the children, that they also when they reach the age of accountability, would open up their heart and be saved. So, Lord, we know that as you are the shepherd of the home, that we will be taken to the still water and to the green pasture, and that you'll provide for every need. And so, Lord, may this service bring honor and glory to you today, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. You may be seated.
Well, there are many commandments in the Bible, and there are many promises in the Bible, and many of those commandments are accompanied with a promise, and that's what we find in our Bibles and in our notes this morning in Ephesians chapter 6. The Bible simply says, "Honor thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise." And so we see that there is a commandment, "Honor thy father and mother." But it also says here, "that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth."
Now how many of you were raised in a home like I was; if I did not honor my mother, I wasn't going to live long on the earth. How many of you know what I'm talking about? That's the way it was when I was being raised, "You're going to honor mama." And yet the Bible says that there is a promise. And sometimes people ask me, "Now what do you need to do to live a blessed life?" And there are several key issues that we could look at.
We certainly must obey the word of God; for the word of God guides our pathway and gives us the keys to the life that God has designed for us. We certainly could live a life of giving. The Bible says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you." Certainly that would be important. We certainly in our lives should honor our parents. The Bible says, "Honor your father and mother, that it may be well with thee." And so, when we think about one of the key components to a life that is a life of truly blessedness, one of those is that we would be a people who honor our father and our mother.
Now we live in a day where honor is fading fast. People do not seem to honor the military like they once did. We hear sometimes of veterans parades that are cancelled. People do not honor the police like we should. Oftentimes we hear of people that are screaming and yelling out at the police. And certainly, people are not honoring their own parents and their family like they once did. And it seems like when honor and respect are lost at the home, it affects the entire society in which we live. And that's why this message is so important, because we need a revival of biblical home life if we're going to see the blessings of God in this day.
Now sometimes people don't understand even the importance of mom. And there were some children that were recently asked some questions, and one of them was, "Why did God make mothers?" and one little boy said, "Because she's the only one that knows where the scotch tape is," and that was what he thought mom's important value was. By the way, that's how it was in our home, too. Mom knew where all that stuff was.
Someone said again, "Why did God make mothers?" and he said, "Mostly to clean the house." Now moms, we know that there's more to it, but that's what some children think, right? That's what some husbands think too I'm afraid.
Then they were asked, "How did God make mothers?" and one seven-year-old said, "Well, he used dirt just like he did for the rest of us." That wasn't too bad. And then he said, "Well, God made my mom just the same like he made me, he just used bigger parts." Well, that was closer.
And then this question, "Why did God give your mother and not give you your mother and not some other mom?" and this little boy said, "God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me," and that I can relate to as well.
And so, honoring mom is something that should begin from an early, early age. Now actually, to honor your mom is one of the Ten Commandments. When you read Exodus 20 you'll find in verse 12 these words: "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
Now I realize when I read a verse like that someone's going to go, "Well, you don't know my mom, you know, she's in jail," or, "she should be in jail," or, "she did this," or, "my dad." And immediately, when we read verses like this, people start thinking about, you know, the bad memories, perhaps, of a family.
So let me just tell you this morning, that every parent is a flawed parent. Every person here's a sinner. We all fall short. No one here is perfect. But the fact is that you would not be here today without mom. In fact, the DNA in your body makes you unique, and it comes from your parents. In fact, the Bible says in Psalm 139:13, "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
Now last year they tried to pass a law in Sacramento that if a child was confused about their identity, their sexual identity, and they came to people at the church, and if we were to teach them that God created male and female, if we were to teach them, "Hey, young lady, you're fearfully and wonderfully made. You're made in the image of God. You're special the way you are," and if we didn't agree with the question that they had from something they saw on the Internet, then maybe churches would lose their tax exempt status or something like that.
And I suppose laws like that will continue to come down the pipe, I don't know. They call it conversion therapy. It's not conversion therapy to tell a boy he's a boy and to tell a girl she's a girl – I might add this morning. What we believe at Lancaster Baptist Church from the Bible is that everyone of us are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God makes no junk, and everyone's special. And we're going to counsel kids that way, that they are made the way that God intended them to be made. And in this day when everyone one wants to change everything God makes, we want to agree with God this morning.
And I want you to understand that a part of the process for you, of course, was through your mother and through your father. Sometimes people say that, "Well, this was an illegitimate child." Let me tell you something: there's no illegitimate child. There might be some illegitimate parents, but God makes no mistakes. And every child that's born has a plan and a purpose from God. And God loves children, and God honors motherhood.
Now the fact is that all of us should honor motherhood. And let me ask you this, "How many of your moms had difficulty and had to go through trial in the labor of bringing you into this world?" Come on, how many of you? All of us, right? See, you were a pain from the very beginning, that proves it right there. That's why we're supposed to honor our mothers, right? All of us should be grateful today for our mothers.
So this is what I want to talk to you about this morning: "How do you honor your mother?" And we're going to take it at an elementary level and move up. We're going to start with children, we're going to talk to teenagers, and then I want to talk to all of the adults here who still have a parent that's living.
The first thing I want you to jot down if you're taking notes is that a child honors his mother, or her mother, with obedience. "Children, obey your parents." And obedience begins in our attitude. It is an attitude that is leaning toward your parents, leaning into their authority, to remain teachable.
Proverbs 23:26 says, "My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." A child oftentimes is really going to imitate what he or she sees in her parents, and that's a scary thing. You see a mom or a dad, they've got some quirky behavior, and pretty soon you see it in the children. And so God says to a child – listen, dad: God commands your child to observe your ways and copy you. You're doing this, he's doing that. Right? You're saying foul words, he's saying foul words.
It's an amazing thing to be a parent. It's a scary thing in the sense that they're observing. They're commanded to observe our ways. And children, one of the ways they give honor is by watching us and by emulating us. And, oh, that they would have the right example from us this morning.
Children are imitators, and we must give the right example so that they will imitate the right things. And so oftentimes we'll see a child out in the supermarket acting out or stealing or cursing or whatever, and not long thereafter we might see the parent, and you've never said it audibly, but some of you have said, "No wonder," because children do what children see.
God commands them to see and to observe their parents. Like the little boy that was traveling with his mother, and she kind of gave him a little speech before they went to the airport about what to say if someone asks a question when they got to the counter. And they got to the counter, and sure enough, the man at Delta Airlines looked at the little boy, and he said to the little boy, he said, "How old are you?" and the little boy said, "I'm two." And the Delta agent said, "Do you know what happens to little boys who lie?" and he said, "Yep, we get to fly for half price."
Now children observe and they learn, and they're commanded to. The Bible says in Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." God wants our children to have a fear, a reverential trust of the authority in their life. And the Devil breaks that authority down; and if he can break down the authority of mom and dad, then that child may not like the authority at school, or may not follow the authority of the police. And so we want to have children that are encouraged in their attitude to follow their parents. So it's not only in the attitude, boys and girls, it's also, secondly, in your actions. God says, "I want your actions to be obedient actions."
Now God has established three authorities in the Bible; we find them very clearly. We find the home, and we find government, and we find the church; and God commands us to obeys those that are in authority over us. But what you're going to find is that when the home has a breakdown of authority, and mom and dad are not leading and they're just letting the children have their way, pretty soon you're going to see in government that there's squabbling and fighting, pretty soon you're going to see churches that don't stand like they should. And we see that Satan is fighting all three realms of biblical authority today. But God still says, "Children, obey your parents." God wants order. God has given order in the home between a husband and a wife, and the parents and the children.
Proverbs 1:8, "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. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." So God says, "Children, obey your parents with your attitude. Have a heart that leans towards your mother and towards your father." With your actions, if you are told to do something, hear the instruction of your father and of your mother, whether it's your chores, whether it's your friendships, whether it's the games you play, whether it's your homework.
Listen, every mother and father here ought to know what's going on on your child's computer. You ought to share passwords with them. You ought to understand the games that they're playing. You ought to know who their friends are and what their friend's like. And every parent here has full authority to say, "That's not going to be your friend anymore, you're not going to his house."
Moms and dads need to be more and more involved today. You say, "What are you talking about, micromanagement?" No, I'm talking about control. You want to get into words like micromanagement. No, I'm saying mother and father are to have complete authority over the children. Listen, it doesn't take a village, it takes a family that's functioning to raise godly children.
Moms and dads, you need to know what's going on. And you say, "Well, why are you saying this on Mother's Day?" Because just about every day of our lives we have to help a family whose child got onto the Internet and ran off to another state to meet some guy that said he was 21, he turned out to be 56, because of parents who did not give direction, who didn't really know what was happening on that computer, and because of children who didn't obey.
So boys and girls, if your mom and dad say, "We don't play those computer games," or, "We don't watch those kinds of movies," or, "You're not going to go to that boy's house down the street," then you obey your parents, because they're trying to help you, and they're trying to protect you. And this is how you honor your mother, by leaning into your mother and by hearing your mother and by obeying your mother. This is a basic thing. But how many of you understand that if people would learn to obey authority when they are four, five, and six, we might not have to build so many jails? God wants you to begin training them at a very young age. And so, how do we honor mother today? Well, let's start by teaching our children to obey.
Listen, dads, when you're at home, you make sure that you're supporting mom. And if mom has told the child to do something and he's not doing it, dad, you back that up; and mom's going to back you up when you're at work or wherever else; and you've got to have a united front. And by the way, dads, let me say, the best way, the best way to help raise your children is to honor your children's mother, and to make sure that you have a godly unity, make sure that you're not yelling or screaming or cursing in that home like any other Pagan can do. But make sure that you're treating your children's mother with honor in the home, and showing your children that she's worthy, she's worthy of reverence and trust. And so, a child will show honor through obedience.
Let's go, secondly, to teenagers for a moment. How does a teen honor his mother? And I believe a teenager honors his mother with respect, with respect. Hebrews 12:9 says, "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" God says, "Every child when they're young and as they're growing they should give reverence to their father."
The Bible says in Leviticus 19:3, "Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the Lord your God." Now when the Bible says to fear your mother and father, it doesn't mean literally, "Whoa, there he is." And sometimes we do fear; normally we fear because we've done wrong.
Most people question if they're really saved when they sin. Most people fear the judgment of God when they're living in sin. If you're not living in sin, if you're obeying your parents, it's like, "Hey, Dad, how's it going. Hey, Mom, how's it going," because you don't have a guilty conscience. But the word "fear" in the Bible doesn't mean to fear like being hit or being persecuted. The word "fear" means to show reverence. God says, "I want you to show reverence to your parents."
Now I believe it's a wonderful thing when a teenager shows reverence. I believe it's a wonderful thing when a teenager in this church opens the door for one of our widows in the church. I always say that's a sign of good upbringing. I think it's a wonderful thing when a child is told by his mother, "Honey, would you go take the trash out?" "Yes, ma'am." Or maybe says to his grandfather, "Yes, sir." I think it's a wonderful thing.
You say, "Well, where do you get this old-fashioned stuff?" From the Bible. The Bible says that we're to have reverence for our parents. And it's not always that they say, "Yes, ma'am," or, "No, ma'am." You can show reverence in different ways. But reverence is something that is taught in the home. And so, we show respect.
Teenagers, on this Mother's Day let me encourage you to show respect to your mother. Don't talk back, don't talk down, show respect. You show respect by the way you talk, first of all. Proverbs 23:23, "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him."
It's a joyful thing when you see your child at school being respectful to a teacher, it's a joyful thing. My grandson Chandler, he's in kindergarten, and whenever he comes home from kindergarten or comes by my house or office, the first thing he wants to tell me is whether he got a white note a not. Getting notes are not good, by the way. And normally he says, "I didn't get a white note today." Normally, he wants an M&M or something, you know. And whenever he's good, we want to praise that. Whenever they get a white note or they're disrespectful, it's like, "Oh, that's a bummer." Why? We want them to learn how to be obedient and how to be respectful.
Listen, can I tell you something? We need to start with God and respecting God. God is not the man upstairs, he is holy and righteous. And in your home you need to honor the name of God. God's name should never be attached to cursing. In our home, we never even allow the children to say "gosh," or, "gee," or, "geez." We didn't want to use slang as it pertained to the name of God, we wanted to reference the name of God. This is new. Some of you are first-generation Christians. But how many of you know that God is high and lifted up and worthy of our reverence? Can I get an amen to that? We want to show reverence to God.
And in our home we show reverence to my wife Terrie. She was always to be honored in our home, to be reverence. She was not the old lady. In fact, life was shortened if she was called the old lady. The father's not the old man. Mothers should be the princess or the queen of the family, and you need to teach your boys to honor their mother and to obey her and to have a tender heart towards her.
And so, we need to understand the importance of talking respectfully one to another. But again, if we have a father that's always yelling and curing and mad and threatening, then children do what children see. And so, this thing of honoring mother, it's not just for the children, it's for all of us in the family. And you see, the world and the feminists tells us that Christianity kind of is putting women down because we're not always promoting the idea that a woman should always leave the home. Sometimes women do and sometimes women don't. But I'm going to tell you something: a true Christian home doesn't put a woman down, a true Christian home elevates mother in the home, elevates the woman in the home. And so, by the way we talk we can bring respect.
Secondly, by the way we listen we can bring respect. Proverbs 13:1, "A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke." Now I've been preaching for 38 years and I can tell you, I preach to lots of different kinds of people. I preach to simple people, people that hear it and all they get is the joke. Right? I preach to wise people who are listening right now thinking, "How can I be a better mom, or father?" or, "How can we have a better family? How can I apply this?" That's what a wise person does.
And sometimes I speak to a scornful person, sometimes a scornful teenager. They're sitting there going, "Yeah, whatever. I'm just here because, you know, it's Mother's Day, I have to be here." And it's really hard to help a scornful person. They're like their own worst enemy. It's like trying to save somebody who's drowning, who's fighting against you while you're pulling them out of the water. That's the hardest person to save is the person that's flailing around like that.
But I want to challenge you this morning with the fact that the Bible says, "A wise son hears his father's instruction." And Proverbs 6:20, "My son, keep they father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother." Moms, let me just encourage you: keep giving those commandments and those teachings and those reminders, even when the kids aren't as respectful, even when you're thinking, "Are they hearing anything I'm saying?" They need to hear what you're saying. They need to know what is right and what is wrong, and how to live. The Bible says that we're to bring our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
John Wesley, the great British evangelist, said, "I learned more about God from my mom than from all the theologians in England." And moms teach us so much. One fellow said, "You know, my mom taught me to appreciate a lot of things. My mom taught me to appreciate a job well done. She often said, 'If you're going to kill each other, do it outside; I just finished cleaning.' She appreciated a job well done."
He said, "My mom taught me a lot about religion. She said, 'You'd better pray that will come out of the carpet.'" I heard that. "My mom taught me a lot about logic, 'Because I said so, that's why.'" That's what his mom taught him. He said, "She taught me more about logic, 'If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to go to the store with me.'" That's logical.
He said, "My mother taught me about the weather, 'This room looks like a tornado went through it.'" My mother taught me that, too. "My mother taught me about behavior modification, 'Stop acting just like your father,' she would say. My mother taught me about justice, 'One day you're going to have kids and I hope they turn out just like you,' she would say."
Now moms teach us a lot of things, but we're not going to be benefitted by those if we don't have respect. You know, I think about so many police officers, many in our church. Last Sunday morning we honored many police officers. And, you know, many of those police officers, if someone just will show a little respect, they'll try to give them a little help. You give them attitude, you're not going to get much help. You give a little respect, you get a little help; sometimes you get a little mercy.
God says, "Teenagers, you want to honor your mother; give her respect." How do you respect a mother? You obey. And then, secondly, you give respect. And then, thirdly, how do we honor a mother? An adult honors with appreciation. An adult honors with appreciation.
Now all of you adults, all of you that are, say, 18 and over, how many of you have a parent still living? Let me see where you are? Okay. In the auditorium? Okay. So many of you have a mother or a father that's in heaven today. And those who have a parent that's already in heaven, they would probably say to us, "I wish I had one more day to honor my mother, just one more day."
So let me give you a few thoughts. Those of us that have a mom that's still living, I want to just give you a couple thoughts today. And I know this is a little different. But if we don't learn honor and respect at church, you're not going to learn it on Primetime television. So let's learn a little bit about it today.
What I find is that older people in America are getting less respect, they're getting ignored, they're being abused, and they're being forgotten. We hear about the abortion, and even now the infanticide, where if a child is born and the mother intended abortion, that they can still take the child's life. And how many of you understand, when that type of thing comes to a nation that is barbaric. That is barbaric, and this murder.
But on the other side of the spectrum we have the elderly, and we hear people talking more and more about euthanasia. And what I want you to know biblically is that God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God honors life from the very beginning to the very end. God's word teaches that we should treat everybody with dignity. Can I get an amen on that? Okay. Everybody should be treated with dignity. But we're seeing elderly people not respected like they used to be in America today.
So how can we show respect and honor to our parents? First, we should express our appreciation to them. The Bible says, "Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old." I hope every one of you will call your mom if she's living and tell her, "Thanks for putting up with me. Thanks for all the heartache that you put up with. Thank you for the effort you gave in raising me."
When I was a teenager living in Korea one of the things I learned was that they do respect age in Korea. They really respect the elderly. If there's an elderly lady walking from the parking lot into the church and she's got a cane and she's maybe bent over, the guys in front of the doors, they're not going to stand there talking about soccer, they're going to get their bodies out of the way, open that door and help that lady find a seat; and on the way they're going to bow very, very deeply in respect. And the farther down you bow is the more respect you're showing, because in the Orient, you honor your elders. And you know what? We need a dose of that in America today. We need to learn once again how to express our appreciation for their sacrifices made, to express appreciation for all that they've given to us.
A teacher asked a boy a question in math class. She said, "Suppose your mother baked a pie and there were seven of you – your parents and five children – what part of the pie would you get?" The little boy said, "I would get one-sixth." The teacher said, "I'm afraid you don't understand your fractions. And remember, there's seven of you." And the little boy said, "Yes, Teacher. But you don't understand my mother. Mother would say she doesn't want any pie."
That's how mothers are. Mothers would rather have you get a little extra. Mother would rather have you be blessed than even to be blessed themselves. And we need to take time today to show and to express our appreciation.
One study recently said that for a child to be raised from birth to age 18 costs the average parents today around $200,000.00 to $250,000.00 in clothing, in education, and medical, and cars, and all these different things. The cost of raising a child is incredible.
I want you to think about that for a moment. What could your parents have done? What could they have afforded had they not raised you? You owe a great debt to your parent for raising you up and giving you the life that you have today. Someone said a parent is someone who has photos where they used to have money. You ever get around people like that, "Let me show you some pictures of my children." There's never hundred-dollar bills in those wallets, just pictures, right? All the money's been spent already on the children.
Be sure that you express your appreciation today. Appreciate their efforts, appreciate their sacrifice; communicate your appreciation. The Bible says in Proverbs 31:28, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." Take time to praise your mom for the sacrifices. Take time to give her thanks.
You know, I learned, I'm learning more and more that the older people get in life, the more they crave to know just the details of your life. Some of you 40 and 50-year-olds, your mom and dad, now that they're retired and they're at home, they would just like to know, "How's the weather out there? How's your job? What's going on at that Lancaster Baptist? You're still going to church, aren't you?" They want to know the details of your life. They want you to share with them what's happening. They want you to give them that information and that appreciation. So express your appreciation today and regularly to your parents.
And then let me say, Letter B, render provision. You know, it's interesting how roles reverse. And sometimes there are those moms and dads that are just super wise or super wealthy or both, and then they might give an attitude like they don't even need you. But you know, a lot of times roles reverse, and parents even need a little help at the end. It might be help getting to the doctor. It might be help paying some bills. You know, you may have a sister or brother that's closer to your parents, and that's wonderful; but that doesn't mean you do nothing. God wants you to remember and to honor your mother and your father. In fact, it says in 1 Timothy 5:8, these are all in your notes, so you can study them later, "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
And my mother now is in a memory care home, and I was talking to my dad last year, and he did really well. I mean, he planned well and saved well. But he said, "You know," he said some things had happened with some of his retirement, but he was kind of ready, but he wasn't ready for my mom's care needs. Very expensive. And my brothers and I have been helping him with that. And, you know, it's an honor to do that. The Bible says that we're to honor our father and our mother. The Bible says that if we don't take care of those in our own house we are worse than an infidel.
You see, I get tickled with these politicians; they want to raise taxes while they give $12.00 to charitable organizations. They don't mind spending our money to help everyone else. But I want to propose this to you: if every family and if every church would get involved, we wouldn't have to raise taxes so much. See, that didn't get one amen because this is California and you've been brainwashed by this state. So I'm going to say it again: if every family and every church would do their best, we wouldn't have to raise taxes and become dependent upon the state. God says, "I want families to take care of families."
Remember your mother. Remember your father. Even Jesus on the cross – it's amazing, we studying the sayings of the cross – he said, "I thirst." He said, "It is finished." But do you remember this one? He looked at John and he said, "Remember your mother." He directed John's attention to Mary. Listen, while he was on the cross, while his blood was being shed for our sin, while he was bleeding and dying in agony in John 19:27, he said, "Behold, thy mother." And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home. If Jesus Christ could think about his mother from the cross, maybe you could think about your mother from the 405 freeway.
Psalm 68 tells us as well that we should think of those that are lonely. I think of the widows in particular. Psalm 68:6 says, "He sets the solitary in families." The Bible says we're to honor widows that are widows indeed. On this Mother's Day let us remember our widows. "He sets the solitary."
I asked the office this week, "Give me the names of the widows who have not one relative in the Antelope Valley." Let me show you those names. These are the widows of our church who don't even have a relative in this whole city. God brought them here, their spouses are in heaven now, and the Bible says, "He sets the solitary into families."
Listen, this church is their family. We have over 80 widows, and I'm glad the deacons visit the widows regularly and check on them; and they should; and that's a part of New Testament Christianity. But this morning our ushers are going to have the offering plates at every door on the way out. They're going to stick it right in front of you, I hope, just so you see it just real quickly, because I want to ask everybody here to put a little money in the offering plate on the way out for the widows today. The Bible commands us to honor the widows, and we're going to take whatever comes in – and maybe it be a hundred bucks, or two hundred, or whatever – to every widow and just say, "Your church loves you. We want to remember you. We want to honor you."
This is what God intends the church to be, a place where the elderly are honored, and where parents are honored, and where the widows are honored. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction," James 1:27. We have got to be the church that God has called us to be.
Now some of you, again, some of you sit out here and say, "Well, my parents weren't really worthy of honor." What do you do when you have some bad memories? Let me tell you: don't fake it, face it. Don't fake it, face it.
"Well, how do you face it?" Well, you endeavor to go and make peace. If you can't make peace, you get counseling. You get the right Scriptures hid in your heart so that you can be in victory. The last thing you want to do is repeat the cycle of anger to your own children. And so, get counseling.
The Bible says in Psalm 27:10, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." Find that in your notes, because we want to read that one right now. We're almost done. But look at it, Psalm 27:10, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." Let's read it together. Ready, begin: "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." So really, no matter which parent has forsaken you, the Bible says the Lord will take you up. The Bible says that Jesus Christ will forgive your sin. He will make you whole, he will cleanse you. He can heal your home.
Now I had a godly mother, and I'm so thankful. And she's over in Phoenix now, and as I said earlier, in the hospital. This is a picture of my mom. In fact, this is one of the last times I was able to take her out of her care home and just take her for an In-N-Out Burger; and what a wonderful time that was. And the doctor said, "Now I'm going to let you take her, but you have got to keep an eye on her, because she moves fast." He said, "Sometimes she just runs. She actually had jumped out of the window of the hospital a few times." He said, "You keep an eye on her." I said, "Yes, sir."
And I was sitting there eating my hamburger, paying a little too much attention to the double-double with cheese and animal-style onions and all of that, and I looked up and she was gone. And I want you to know what she was doing on the next slide. She was going to everybody in that restaurant. And in her purse she has no driver's license, no credit cards, all she had was gospel tracts, and she was going from table to table, and she was saying, "Do you know Jesus? Do you know Jesus? Do you know Jesus? If you died, would you go to heaven?"
Now she doesn't know my name, she didn't even know who I was, but she knows Jesus. And the greatest thing my mom ever did was introduce me to Jesus. On April 5, 1972, she showed me that I was a sinner and that I needed a Savior, and that Jesus was the Savior. And my mom led me to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior, and it's the greatest decision that any of you could ever make is to be saved and to know the Lord Jesus. And like my mother, make Jesus the center of your life. I saw her a few months ago and she didn't understand anything we tried to do for a few hours, anything I said. But the end, I said, "Mom, let's pray." "Okay." And I said, "Dear Lord," and my mom said, "Dear Lord," and she talked to Jesus the whole time I prayed.
Thank God for moms that are in this church today. Oh, listen today; you ought to honor your mother. And, oh, how we need to honor motherhood. And if you come from a situation that's difficult, let Jesus bring forgiveness, let Jesus bring healing, let Jesus bring salvation to your life. Children can honor by obeying. Teenagers can honor by respecting. And those of us that are just maybe a little bit older, we can honor our mothers by simply appreciating and communicating with them how we love them.
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