Summary: A Mother’s Day Sermon on the realities of life.
Today is Mother’s Day and some see this as just another way to market the US economy. Many children have bought cards and flowers to give to their mothers. Many will spend time on the phone talking to their mothers. Still others may take their mother out for dinner and give them a kiss and a hug. But is their anything more honorable to a mother when she sees her children and grandchildren producing good spiritual fruit? Is there anything greater than a generation that is connected to the same vine that she is connect too, the vine of Jesus Christ.
In the text that we have today, Jesus does focus on bearing fruit. There is only one way a person can bear fruit and that is through pruning and cutting. This is what Jesus does for us as our parent. Jesus allows us to experience the real world and in that world there is pain and suffering. The real world is not an easy one to live in but it is possible to make it in this world if we place our faith in Jesus and we walk by faith. A mother and a father produce fruit in their children as they show them what it means to live by faith. Parents cannot protect a child from the cruelties of this world but they can show them how to live by faith.
This week I received an e-mail that had 11 principles from Bill Gates. I believe he gave these as part of a speech to High School students and I think they are very good to hear whether you are a parent, teacher, or student these principles are reality about life that are also Biblical in nature. Rule number 1: Life is not fair-get use to it. As parents and teachers we do a disservice to our children when we always try to stand up for them and rescue them from difficult situations. It is not easy when we see our children being treated unfairly but that is a principle found in scripture. Life isn’t fair and that is why a person needs Jesus to rely upon because he is the only one who can bring us through unfair situations.
Rule number 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. As a Christian our strength does not lie in ourselves but it lies in Jesus Christ. If we think that we deserve a pat on the back for every accomplishment then we are not living in the strength of Jesus Christ. Jesus said in chapter 14:12 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." Self-esteem comes through our relationship with Jesus Christ. If Jesus is living in you there is nothing you cannot do in him.
Does that mean Jesus will not allow us to fail? Yes, Jesus does allow us to fail and fall flat on our faces at times. When this happens it becomes important that we get back up by focusing in on him. Sometimes we need to be pruned back in order that we might be able to bear even more fruit. Don’t blame others or God for you failures but see it as an opportunity to grow.
Rule number 3: You will not make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn both. Jesus tells a story of a man who was going on a journey and he gave 10 talents to one man, 5 to another, and 1 to a third. It was their task to earn even more for the sake of their master. Jesus gives us opportunities in life to bring about his blessings into this world. If we take advantage of those opportunities, Jesus will give us even more. But if do not take advantage of those opportunities don’t expect to be much of an impact in this world.
Several years ago a woman short in stature stood behind a podium she could hardly see over. Many referred to her as a mother. Before her sat some of the most powerful people in the world. There was the President of the United States along with his vice-president. There were people from congress and those who held power in Washington DC.
She stood before them as a mother telling them the difference between right and wrong. This is what she said, "The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion…if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other?" But this mother did not stop scolding those of political power. She continued by saying, "Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. Mother Teresa of course spoke those words, but what gave her the right to address some of the most power people in the world with those words?