Summary: This sermon looks at motherhood from the perspective of the story of Mary & Martha.

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INTRO – There’s a war going on against women in our world today. Not using this terminology the way the liberals in America use it, when they suggest that the war against women is when we as Christians stand against abortion & stand up for the lives of unborn children. That’s not a war against women – It’s a war against innocent helpless children who are being murdered in what should be the safest place in the world – their mother’s womb.

No, the war I’m talking about is a literal war against women across our world, where women & girls are seen as nothing more than 2nd rate citizens, as the property of men, & easy targets for abuse of all types. Over the past few wks, we’ve seen news reports of the extremist Muslim group, Boko Haram, & their kidnapping of schoolgirls across Nigeria, forcing them into slavery & all kinds of horrendous activities. It is a tragedy of worldwide proportions & must be stopped.

It is so sad to see this type of thing happening around our world, esp when it is done in the name of some religion or belief system that teaches that women are inferior. I want to be very clear in saying that our God would never lead us to do anything to abuse girls or women in any way. He created women, just as He created man. Ladies, you are made in the image of God, you are beautiful, & you need to remember that! You know that the word “woman” originated in the Garden of Eden, b/c when Adam saw Eve for the 1st time, he said, “Wo-Man!”

The beauty of women is amazing, & I’m not just talking about physical beauty. Unfortunately, in our society, that’s what gets emphasized the most, leading to a lot of insecurities, depression, & discouragement. The true beauty of you women in seen in:

- your seemingly unending source of strength;

- your unbelievable patience & perseverance;

- your unwavering faith as you pray for your kids, if you’re a mom, esp when they are wayward kids for a season; How many of you are thankful for a praying mom???

- your unusually strong sense of perception & discernment;

- your unequalled tolerance of pain – There ain’t a man here today who could give birth to a child!!!

I know sometimes you feel like you’re overlooked, neglected, & unappreciated. And, unfortunately, sometimes you are. I know it seems like your work is never done. Story of a teacher who gave her class of 2nd graders a lesson on the magnet and what it does. The next day in a written test, she included this question: "My full name has six letters. The first one is M. I pick up things. What am I?" Almost half of the students answered the question with the word “Mother.” How many of you moms can identify w/ that?

Or maybe you feel like the mother of three notoriously bad kids who was asked whether or not she'd have children if she had it to do over again. "Yes," she replied. "But not the same ones." Sometimes you just have days like that.

Well, today we want all of you women to know that you are appreciated. You are special. You are extremely important to your family, to this church FAMILY, & to our community. Those of you who are moms have the huge privilege to impact your children’s lives & your families’ lives in ways that can possibly last for all eternity.

I want to share w/ 3 encouragements for all of you ladies. I know I may not be the most qualified to give advice to women. But let’s let the Scriptures here speak & let the Lord Jesus speak into our hearts. I recognize that this passage is not dealing specifically w/ mothers, but it certainly has some principles that touch moms, & other women, & men, too.

From Martha we learn: Be hospitable & busy – v. 38, 40a – Jesus had a special friendship w/ Mary & Martha, & their brother, Lazarus, whom Jesus would raise from the dead. So it’s not surprising that Mary & Martha would open their home to Him as He came through their village. It was a privilege & honor for them. And it was a needed restful pleasure for Jesus since He was about 6 months away from going to the cross, & the opposition & persecution against Him was growing. He rarely got to stay in a home, & probably rarely got a home-cooked meal. So this was a blessing for Him at this point in His life & earthly ministry.

So, Martha kicked it into high gear, working her fingers to the bone to show Him some great hospitality. Hospitality in biblical times was extremely important & much different that in our day. Today, hospitality means having a few friends over for a ballgame & throwing something on the grill. Jesus & His disciples depended entirely upon the hospitality of others as they moved from town to town in ministry. Early Christians depended on the hospitality of others, too, when they traveled. It meant safety as the roads were dangerous. It meant comfort b/c there were very few inns for them to stay in, & poor Christians couldn’t afford to stay in them anyhow. Hospitality was commanded, commended, & was a much-needed ministry.

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