Summary: This sermon is a Mother’s Day message which speaks of the qualities of God that we find in our earthly mothers.
I’m sure you’ve heard many sermons on the fatherhood of God. Many more, I suspect than on the motherhood of God. Yet we all know that God is neither a male nor a female.
The apostle John tells us that God is Spirit. God is a spiritual being, neither he nor she. Therefore, I feel it’s just as valid to consider the motherly attributes of God as it is to consider God’s fatherly attributes. And in 1 John 3:18-24 the apostle gives us some qualities of God that we find in our earthly mothers.
Now, I’m not suggesting a change in our reference to God as some feminist would suggest. However, on this Mother’s Day I am suggesting that we can understand some of God’s qualities as we remember and think about our mothers. So, what are some motherly qualities of God? First of all I think of:
I. A Mother’s Re-Affirming Love verse 18
No man will ever be able to comprehend the depth of maternal love. Our gender can’t give birth. We may watch and assist in the process of giving birth, but that isn’t even close to the experience of giving life. For that reason, I believe more mothers fit the description of the prodigal son’s father that perhaps fathers do. Mothers never give up on their children. They stand by through good and bad, thick and thin.
God’s love is like a mother’s love. God can fully understand this maternal instinct and intuition. You see, God does give life. He created all of life and out of love gives life to all who comes to Him by faith in His Son Jesus Christ. God has that same inseparable bond which forms between mother and child. A similar bond forms between God and every human being because God bore you in love. And God stands ready to make you alive for the very first time through His Re-affirming love. Regardless of what you’ve done – mothers and God alike possess a Re-affirming love. Another motherly quality of God is:
II. A Mother’s Re-Assuring Voice verses 19-20a
This entire passage deals with the theme of assurance. No matter how firmly grounded you are as a Christian, you may at sometime need assurance of your relationship with God. When a child is hurt or frightened – who does that child call for or run to? Usually it Mother! Somehow the calm, consoling voice of mother has a way of chasing the ghosts away or easing the pain your feel.
Jesus tells us in the Word, “Lo I am with you always.” Indeed God is there, present and also responsive to our hurts, our fears as well as all our needs. If we call upon Him, He will answer with His re-assuring voice. God is able to save us even when we don’t feel saved. God understands us better than our heart knows us. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as recorded by Mark in 14:36 is said to have fell on the ground and called out to His Father, “Abba, Father…everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And in the intimacy of that moment I can only believe Jesus heard the Re-assuring Voice of God His Heavenly Father.
III. A Mother’s Resource to Know All verse 20b
A mother has a way of knowing it all. Theologically, we call this omniscience. As a child you may think of this as “omni-painful!” Mothers know when we have gotten into trouble. They know when something is wrong. A mother can see into the heart because she knows her child so well. And no matter how hard we try to keep something from her, she can sense intuitively into our situation and find us out.
God is like that. He knows His children well. He knows us from the inside out. He looks into our hearts and sees the truth. He knows what’s in us. Yet, this attribute is not used to condemn us. Oh, our hearts may condemn us, but God is greater than our hearts. He has already forgiven us, just like our mothers do. God has the Resource to Know it all and still forgive us for all our wrongs. One final motherly quality of God is:
IV. A Mother’s Ready Provision verses 21-24
We often take our mother’s routine, everyday provisions for granted. Most of us don’t appreciate all that a mother does. At least until you leave for college or set up house keeping for yourself. It’s the constancy and consistency of her care that gives us a secure, warm trust in life as she’s there providing most everything we need in life.
God is the only one who can really provide this sense of security on the deepest level of live. Jesus told the story of the sparrows to illustrate God’s provision and care, especially the everyday, routine care that God provides. Listen to His words in Matthew 10:29-33 . . .