Summary: Originally preached for Mother’s Day - encouraging to "bring something forth" in their life. God’s purpose is definitely worth it - just ask your mother!

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you… Gal 4:19 (NKJV)

Today is Mother’s Day – a day that we set aside to give honor to our mothers. Of course, this is the command of the Bible for every day of the year – most of us probably don’t do it enough. Our mothers deserve our respect, our tribute, and our love. It sounds a bit silly to say, but we wouldn’t be here without them. We exist only because they gave birth to us…

May I note that this is also a very painful time for many women? There are those that have not been able to give birth for one reason or another, and it weighs heavily on them. But I have noticed the heart of a mother – the spirit of a mother – in many such ladies. Most of you know my wife and I have not been able to bear children. This has, in the past, been a source of great sorrow to my wife in particular, because she has the heart of a mother.

I remember how earlier in our marriage, we watched a drama about a couple that was childless, and how they dealt with their grief. They were busy people, involved in many ways in their community, and the father in the drama one day said to his wife, “I guess we’re just parents to the world”. After seeing that drama, my wife and I began telling each other that occasionally. God has blessed us with the ability to serve an many ministry capacities over the years, in many areas of the world – and we have been privileged to impact many people for Christ.

Mostly because of my wife’s heart (I know it’s not because of me) – many of our friends have named us as the legal guardians of their children if anything happens to them. We often joke that our friends and family can never travel together, because if that plane went down, we would have about 18 kids!

Indeed, it is possible to fulfill the role of a mother, or father, without physically giving birth. We just finished a series on “Famous Last Words of a Dying Savior” – focusing on Jesus’ last words on the cross. We didn’t talk about them, but did you know that some of his final words involved the beginning of just such a “motherly” relationship? (not that of an actual mother/son)

26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27 and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. John 19:26-27 (NIV)

I would like to talk to you about what it takes to be a mother… Literally, of course, it involves giving birth. But I want to go beyond the scope of physical childbirth, and challenge all of you today to experience the joy of motherhood. The joy of giving birth to something…

[Jokingly] I started to title this message today “I’m Expecting…”. I actually can stick my stomach out farther than most pregnant women, so I was even going to give you a visual! My wife didn’t like the idea much though…

But in our text today, Paul said that he was going through the “pains of childbirth” for something to happen in the church at Galatia. And indeed there is some passion – some dream – some great purpose deep within all of us. There is something that each of us is supposed to birth into our world. There is a calling on your life that nobody else can fulfill.

There are people that will say, in years to come – I’m only here today because of him (or her).

While we give honor to our mothers today – I want to encourage all of you to give birth to something!

What does it take to give birth to anything? I invite you this morning to ASK YOUR MOTHER…

- it involves RELATIONSHIP

The whole process of being a mother – of giving birth – is about relationship. It happens because of relationship, and its result is more relationship. This may sound rather obvious, but the way God made us – we cannot give birth by ourselves.

If you want to accomplish anything great in the Kingdom of God, or if you just want to accomplish anything great in life – you simply can’t do it by yourself.

It was not by mistake that God placed these two guidelines for living at the top of the list of guidelines to live by.

29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: ’Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31 (NIV)

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