Summary: A Mother's Day Sermon to challenge mothers, fathers and the family of God to leave an impression for Christ on the hearts and minds of all ages.
Leave an Impression
May 13, 2018
Proverbs 31 describes the wife and mother of noble character. The concluding words of that chapter are: “Honor her for all that her hands have done.” On this Mother’s Day, we honor those women who have poured out love from their hearts and toil from their hands for the sake of their families.
My sisters and I are certainly blessed by a mother of noble character. Her love and care for us through the years has left an endearing mark on our lives. We have been blessed by a loving mother who has never known the meaning of idle. Her hands have accomplished much. Her commitment to her husband, her children, her family, her friends, her students, her church, and her community has left a lasting impact. In fact, I would say confidently, that she has left an impression on us throughout her life.
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses is challenging the Israelites to live boldly for God, to follow his commandments, to walk in his ways all the days of their lives. But, not only that, he challenges them to pass on these instructions to their children and grandchildren. So, in Deuteronomy 6:1,2 we read:
These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.
One of the great legacies of my life is that my family tree is filled with believers – grandparents and great-grandparents who loved the Lord and the church and taught their children to do the same. Such a legacy leaves an impression on your life.
Yesterday, at the pizza party for our grandson’s baseball team, a 10-year-old boy led the prayer for the meal. I could not have prayed such a beautiful prayer as he did if I had worked on it for hours! It is most obvious that his parents and others had taught him the truth of God and to have an awesome respect for him.
Many today are not so blessed. Many Christians today are the first of their generation to follow in the ways of Christ.
When I started in ministry, it was most common for almost everyone I met to own a Bible and go to church, at least occasionally. Today, you can easily find someone near you, in your neighborhood or at work or where you shop, who do not have a Bible, know little of what it says, and have never darkened the door of a church building.
Even God’s chosen people, the Israelites had walked far away from God, had never been taught and were therefore disobedient to God and resisted his instruction. The book of Deuteronomy is the record of Moses instructing a new generation on following God, because the previous generation had been so disobedient that God punished them by causing a forced wandering in the desert for 40 years, with only the new generation entering the Promised
Land. (w/ the exception of Joshua and Caleb & family)
So, Moses taught the basics to these young families. He said as recorded in Deuteronomy 6:5-7.
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 IMPRESS THEM on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Impress them…leave a lasting mark…impress them so that their lives are never the same. Impress upon them the importance of loving God with your heart, soul and strength.
In my youth, leather-craft was a popular free-time activity at church camp and scout camp. Pieces of leather were cut in various shapes and then stamped and stained with different designs. The process involved taking a metal rod and placing it on top of a metal engraved stamp and hitting it with a hammer, leaving a lasting impression on the leather. Then, the leather was stained to create an item of lasting interest and beauty. (Example: Belt made by my wife when we were dating.)
At the ball game yesterday, before the team party, the catcher got hit in the side with the baseball. I was real sympathetic and said: “That’s going to leave a mark!” That’s usually the phrase we use, almost in a negative way describing an injury or wound. However, the scripture today encourages us to leave a mark – to make an impression – that is God-honoring and lasts forever.