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Summary: A few spiritual things I learned from Mom.

“Lessons Learned from Mom”

May 14, 2017

Matthew 20:20-21

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

“What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

A mother is a special person. The bond between a mother and her child is a wonderful thing. The first glimpse a baby has of God is in the face of his mother. As that mother gazes with that glowing face of love on her baby that baby is comforted and strengthened by it. Have you ever seen that special heavenly look a mother gives her child? What love is conveyed!

That relationship ebbs and flows through life from being totally dependent to wanting to cut the apron strings; from love personified to the meanest mom in the world. And because moms are human there is no standard. A mom can be godly and loving or neglectful and hurtful. Some of you may have had mothers that were far from perfect. I had one that was very much like Zebedee’s wife. She was a Christian – and not just in word – she lived it. And I learned some valuable lessons from her that I want to share with you.

First of all, notice that James and John’s mom aspired for greatness for them. They were disciples of the Messiah; they were chosen ones of the Miracle Worker; they were honored to be followers of the King of kings. But that wasn’t enough for their mom. She came to Jesus and asked for a very special favor. She asked for the best position in the coming Kingdom for them. Can you see her kneeling before Jesus, looking up into His kind face, and sweetly asking,

“Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

I love that! She didn’t know what she was asking. The sons didn’t know what she was asking for. But she wanted the very best for her Children. That reminds me of some of you. I see you aspiring for greatness for your children. They may not see it. They may see you as a task master pushing them to do that homework; do those chores; get that job done. They don’t realize that if they are going to be great they will have to learn self-control and responsibility and doing what they should instead of doing what they want.

I see a mother’s love. They may never appreciate the sacrifices you make to get them to school or to the game or to church. But you are building them up; equipping them for greatness. Sometimes I see moms wrongly say and do things – maybe are too critical – but I see that it is often motivated by love. Sometimes it is just wrongly expressed. Try to see past the act, kids, and see the love behind it.

This New Testament mother went to Jesus and asked Jesus for a blessing on her children. I remember my mother doing the same. I caught her a time or two interceding for me and my siblings in prayer. It warmed my heart to hear my mother speaking my name to God. It blessed me to see her kneeling before God and asking Him to bless me – and of course my siblings.

I want to encourage you mothers to aspire for greatness for your children. Bring them to Jesus often. I believe my mother’s prayers kept me safe, saved my life, and even kept me out of jail a couple of times. You can ask me about that later! She was very inspirational in me finding Jesus.

Another thing my mother taught me was that I was loved. The mother of Zebedee’s sons must have loved her sons to have humbled herself like she did. She took a chance for her kids. Why? Love. She loved those boys. My mom was good at expressing her love for each one of us eight kids in my family. We all felt loved. I remember, like it was an epiphany, that day my mom asked me what was wrong and I said, “No one likes me!” She pulled me to her lap in the rocking chair and laid my head on her shoulder and said, “I like you!” I must have been 12 or 13 and almost as tall as she, but for a few minutes rocking on her lap I knew I was loved.

When I was 18, as soon as I graduated from high school I left home to go live with my uncle Duane. He got me a job with Boeing that summer. So from June to December I was gone – doing my own thing. But the first part of December I got laid off and in a driving rain in Missouri that turned to snow in Minnesota, I arrived home in a foot or two of freshly fallen snow. I will never forget how I saw the screen door slam open and my Mom come running out in her robe and pajamas, running through the snow in her bare feet and crying in joy, as she gave me a bear hug. Do you think I felt loved? You bet I did.

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