Summary: Discover how to be a good minister by seeing what it means to be a good mother.

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A Mother’s Way

Romans 16:13 and 1 Thess 2:6-9

[Show video clip “Paying mom”, then go to intro…]

Okay mom, don’t get any ideas! Truth is, moms are too often overlooked, overworked, and underpaid ... but not here at First Family. We love our mothers, don’t we? I know I do…after all, my mom taught me so many things, like…

*Spiritual habits - “You’d better pray that comes out of the carpet.”

*How to appreciate a job well done – “If you and your sisters are going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

*Logic – “Because I said so, that’s why!”

*More logic – “If you fall out of that tree and break your neck, you won’t be going to the mall with me.”

*Justice – “One day you’ll have kids and I hope they turn out just like you!”

Seriously, I want to thank my mom for giving me the best childhood a boy could ask for! She’ll hear this CD, so mom, I want you to know I love you! Thanks for all the papers you re-typed, the after school snacks, staying home when I was little, letting me dream as a boy, urging me to play wildly and use my imagination when I thought I was bored stiff, and spanking the devil out of me when I would mess up! There’s no one like you, mom!

Gratitude like this shouldn’t seem unusual to you. The Apostle Paul thanked many women throughout his letters. In fact, did you know that there is actually one lady whom Paul recognizes as being like a mom to him? Let me show you. Turn to Romans 16

While you’re turning there, I want to clarify something about this portion of Scripture. Some think the sixteenth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans usually strikes people as boring – nothing more than a long presentation of people’s names, most of whom we can’t pronounce. Actually, though, it is a great chapter of tribute and should not be overlooked. For example, it is interesting to note that of the 26 people Paul singles out for his personal greeting, 6 were women. Now that strikes me as being rather interesting, since Paul has frequently gotten a bum rap for being a male chauvinist. I think it also shows us the tremendous influence that women had in the early church.

And 16:13 is particularly interesting: "Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too."

WOW! Paul hangs his heart out here and describes a woman that was as close as his mom – Rufus’ mother!

I’ve been wondering, “When and where did Paul meet Rufus’ mother?” “Did she nurse him through some serious illness?” “Did she receive him into her home for an extended stay during his missionary journeys?” “How did this woman and Paul form such a close bond that he refers to her fondly as being like his mother?”

By the way, Mark tells us that Simon of Cyrene, the man who carried Jesus cross, had two sons: Alexander and Rufus. Was this the same Rufus to whom Paul was speaking? If that is true, his mother would be Simon of Cyrene’s wife. No one knows for sure who this remarkable woman was who served as a mother figure for the great apostle. But it really makes no difference. The point is that Paul singularly pointed out this woman because she was a like a mother to him.

Consequently, she had a great affect on Paul. So much so that I believe it was this woman’s lifestyle that led Paul to use motherhood as an analogy for what a good pastor looks like. That’s right – I personally believe Paul was thinking of Rufus’ mother when he wrote his thoughts in 1 Thess 2:6-9…turn there, would you?

“We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.”

Yes, the overriding comparison is between ministers and mothers, and Paul says that the way a mother lives is a good model for the way pastors and ministries ought to conduct their lives. Did you get that? Apparently, lots can be learned from a biblical mother!

So what is a mother’s way? Notice three comparisons he makes from a mother’s life that I believe he drew from his relationship with Rufus’ mother…

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