March 22, 2020 AM – Mother’s Day
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (2Timothy 1:1-5)
A. Happy Mother’s Day here in Ireland!
B. I have to say, Thank God for Moms
1. Moms are women courageous enough to press on with a pregnancy and carry their child to birth, and then to school, and then through the troublesome teen years, and then through college, all the way to their own marriage and family!
2. Thank God for Moms
3. In the very least, they are usually rewarded with grandchildren – what a great name, GRAND-children!
C. God thinks so highly of Moms, that he commanded all people, everywhere, and in every age to honour their parents – not just Dad, but Mom too! (Exodus 20:12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
D. Honour her – praise her – thank her! For being Mom!
1. Because Motherhood is a high calling – just as high as that of a Gospel Preacher, President, and Prime Minister
2. Because there are a lot of demands on you as a Mom – almost constant
3. Because Motherhood has weathered a lot of storms over the years
a. To more and more people, being a Mother is just a “biological inconvenience”
b. It isn’t what so many women expect it to be – no glamour carrying around a sick child
c. The FEAR of pregnancy usually outweighs the joy of it today
d. And no longer do only married people get pregnant - grieves God the most I think
E. This morning I would like to show you why Christian Moms are desperately needed, because their unappreciated faith in Christ can actually affect the whole world !
II. Background (1Timothy 1:1-5)
A. The Apostle Paul is concerned about a young man named Timothy
B. Paul has previously written a powerful letter to him that we call 1st Timothy – it was his FIRST letter he wrote to Timothy – that’s why it is called 1st Timothy!
C. It explained how to be a faithful man of God, how to pastor God’s people, and preach
D. But there is so much more that Timothy needed to know to be a godly man
E. Because in the day and age that Timothy lived, there was intense persecution against Christianity, hardships, and obstacles, and there was a tendency for Christians to quit
F. But Paul at least was greatly comforted about one thing he knew about Timothy…
G. …His Mom Louis
H. She, and HER Mom are described as having a kind of faith that is rare – unfeigned faith
I. And their unfeigned faith, forged a great young man, that would end up pastoring a great church in Ephesus, and reach his generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ
A. What is Unfeigned Faith?
1. Unfeigned is an older word – not all old words are bad – this one is a good one!
2. To feign is to fake something – to pretend, disguise, live a lie
a. Luke 20:19,20 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just [OR GOOD] men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.
b. 2Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words [LYING WORDS] make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
c. Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. They were PRETENDERS
d. MOST of religion and religious people are FAKE
3. To say that faith is UN-feigned means it is NOT faked
4. It means it is REAL faith – authentic – solid
a. Not airy-fairy, pie-in-the-sky, hope-for-the-best-guess
b. But, an I know so faith, a confident faith, an absolute solid rock faith
c. It does not panic, quit, freak-out, or worry by life’s storms
d. It is at rest in the storm – at peace during troubles (Isaiah 26:3) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
5. Because of Jesus, the Son of God
6. A Gambler places his/her “bet” on a dog, or a horse
a. Has a gut feeling – an intuition – they “really believe they will win this time”
b. But the Gambler usually is the loser
c. Because they put their hard earned money on a “chance”, on “luck”
7. Godly, Christian Moms do not believe the media, or some church, or some preacher, or some modern day prophet
8. Not when God invites them to rest upon “Thus saith the Lord” in this Bible!
B. So Let’s Meet Two Women: Louis and her Mom, Eunice
1. They lived in modern day Turkey, near enough to the southern coast
2. In a city called Lystra
3. A pagan city
4. But there was a church there – a Gospel preaching, Bible believing church
5. Where someone had preached the Gospel first to Eunice, and then to Louis
6. And their faith was the real deal
C. What Did Louis’ Faith Look Like? (2Timothy 1:5)
1. It looked like Timothy!
a. HE was the fruit of their faith – their walk with God
b. Their prayer life
c. They worship
d. Do you want to know what your faith looks like? Look at your children, Moms!
e. 1Corinthians 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
1) A beloved Christian
2) A faithful young man – full of faith, and dependable as a Christian
3) A Bible teacher and preacher
4) Not just a spectator like too many men are today!
2. It was Visible – It Could be Seen
a. Paul remembers SEEING Timothy’s faith, and his Mom’s faith, and his Grandmother’s faith
b. That’s a lot of faith!
c. And what was best about it was that it was lived out, right out in the open
1) God expects us to live our faith – not just have faith
2) Other Christians need to see us trust in the Lord
3) But our children need to see it most of all – like Timothy saw in his Mom
4) More about that in a minute…
d. Did you know that FAITH is the only thing God notices in our lives?
1) Not our wallet
2) Not our house size, or size of our car
3) Or the size of our brains
4) But our FAITH – HOW we believe, not just WHAT we believe
5) Luke 5:18-20 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in [TO JESUS], and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he [JESUS] saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
6) Everyone else saw the crippled man, his friends, and the hole in the roof
7) Jesus saw their faith!
e. If you asked someone what they see in you… Would they see you living:
1) By faith, or by frustration?
2) By faith, or mainly by your finances? And your credit cards?
Money in your bank usually convinces you that do not need God
3) Do people see you living by faith and trust, or by your friends opinions?
4) What do people see in you?
f. Louis’ faith was clearly visible – like it should be
g. Especially if you are a Mom
1) Your children watch you, and want to know if God is really real
2) You can prove it to them!
3. It was Effective
b. Who wants to take a pain killer than does nothing?
c. Well, who wants to have a “faith” that does nothing as well?
d. Louis’ faith, and Eunice’s faith was very powerful in their lives – effective at getting their family through the hard times, and raising a family, and serving the Lord!
e. How was it effective?
1) It worked
2) THREE generations proved that Grandma’s Biblical faith was enough
a) Evidently started with Eunice, when she became a born again Christian
b) It was enough to change her life and make a godly woman out of her
c) Passed onto her daughter Louis
d) It was enough for her generation to follow God and know God and serve God
e) And was now Timothy’s way of life
f) Isn’t that interesting? The faith didn’t change – it changes US!
g) The faith of a Mom does not change – does not need to change, when it comes from this one Book (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
3) Evidently, what had been enough for Eunice, and Louis to get through the troublesome valleys, was enough for Timothy too
a) Even though the world constantly changes
b) Even though troubles pile up
c) A Mom who actually starts believing what God SAYS, can trust it, and can pass it onto the next generation, and the next one after that!
f. Dear Mom… does YOUR faith work at all?
1) Do your prayers get answered?
2) Does your time with Jesus in private worship make you a better Mom?
3) Do you trust God MORE today than you did this time last year?
g. Now don’t be too hard on yourself
h. Thankfully, when your faith is failing, God’s FAITHFULNESS remains strong
1) 1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
a) We are tempted, and we fall
b) But God remains faithful – dependable – strong enough to hold onto us
2) Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
3) John 10:27,28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
4) He will not fail thee
5) Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6) Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
4. It was Respectful Faith
a. Acts 16:1-3 Then came he [PAUL] to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed [SHE WAS A BELIEVER IN JESUS]; but his father was a Greek [NOT A BELIEVER]: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
b. The Mom and Grandmother are praised, but not the Dad – sad.
c. So, Timothy grew up in an imperfect home
1) It is best for BOTH parents to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and live for HIM together
2) But Louis was married to an unsaved man – he is not even named
3) Louis was married to a stubborn husband who didn’t care about God, Jesus, or the Bible
4) Maybe she married him before she got saved – we don’t know
d. Yet Paul never mocks him.
e. And more importantly, Louis stayed married to him and Loved him.
1) Because this man was Timothy’s father – and that made him VERY important
2) Because marriage is more than love – it is for life
3) Because being a godly Mom means doing right – especially when it is hard
g. What did Louis’ faith do for her then?
1) It caused her to have great respect for her husband – even though he was not godly
a) 1Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation [THE LIFESTYLE] of the wives;
b) 1Peter 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation [CAREFULLY LIVED LIFE] coupled with fear.
c) 1Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
d) 1Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit [TOWARDS HER HUSBAND], which is in the sight of God of great price.
e) DID YOU NOTICE WHAT GOD LOOKS FOR?
f) Something invisible – a meek and quiet spirit
2) She didn’t have to agree with everything her husband said or did, but God said the way to win him over is to honour him
a) Even though his heart is on different things than yours, Mom
b) Louis honoured her husband like she ought
3) Even though he never taught his children about God, Louis went right ahead and taught her son the Scriptures herself (2Timothy 3:15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
4) And it paid off - Timothy was living proof that a busy Momma could change the world
5) Example of a woman named Suzanna Wesley (lived in early 1700’s):
a) Susanna and her husband Samuel Wesley had 19 children. Nine of her children died as infants. Her husband was poor, and undependable, and often away from home. Made life very difficult for Suzanna and her ten remaining children.
b) Yet she raised her children for God.
c) It is said, "…although she never preached a sermon or published a book or founded a church, (she) is known as the Mother of Methodism. Why? Because two of her sons, John and Charles Wesley, as children consciously or unconsciously will, applied the example and teachings and circumstances of their Mother’s godly life while at home."
h. Moms… do you want a Timothy? Don’t fight your husband. Don’t mock him and argue. Honour your husband – for your children’s sake!
Review - What Did Louis’ Faith Look Like? (2Timothy 1:5)
It looked like Timothy! It was Visible! It was Effective! It was Respectful
5. It was Tested Faith
a. Untested faith is no good
1) Just like an untested car, or an untested airplane is not worth risking your life on
2) Louis’ faith had been tested and found true – unfeigned – real
3) Timothy was the result of a mother’s faith that was strong enough to keep going
4) And THAT was why Paul wanted Timothy with him
b. Not everybody met Paul’s standards for the ministry
1) A young man named John Mark was no good to Paul until his own faith matured
2) Demas was a fraud, loving only this present world, and not the world to come
c. But Timothy was tried and tested when Paul found him (Act 16:1-3) Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him... [PAUL NEEDED TIMOTHY WITH HIM]
d. Whatever Eunice, Louis and Timothy had gone through, had only strengthened their faith
e. Moms, if you ever try to live by faith - live by trusting and obeying Jesus, your attempts will always be hindered, blocked, thwarted, attacked, and examined by the devil to see if it is real
f. But that is okay – that is normal
1) 1Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you – IT IS NORMAL
2) 1Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
6. Lastly, It was Good Faith
a. Faith that makes you arrogant, and proud and superior is NOT faith at all
b. But, a faith that makes you a blessing, and a servant, and a help, and humble, and grateful… gives you JOY… THAT is real faith – that is proof you are TRUSTING GOD
c. And that is what a godly Mom’s faith is like
D. Paul Loved Remembering the Faith of Timothy’s Mom and Grandmother “when I call to remembrance… all of your unfeigned faith”
1. Their faith was such an encouragement to him
2. It had such an impact on Timothy
3. I think young men NEED that kind of influence again
4. YES, we need DADS – so desperately – to be godly men in our families
5. But we need a kind of Mom that says “I want to have a faith worth passing onto my children, that will reach all the way to my grandchildren and beyond!”
6. Even if I have to do it alone!
A. Moms… I hope you never forget those two words ever again! Unfeigned Faith!
B. So, Where Do You Start?
C. At Zero – as a nothing
1. Ladies – we men know you are awesome!
2. But Jesus Christ Jesus came into the world to save SINNERS
3. THAT is where you start with God – as lost, in sin, and in trouble with God
4. Anything more and you are digging your own grave with the shovel of pride
5. Start at the bottom
D. Look to Jesus
1. He did absolutely everything necessary to forgive you - To make you right with God
2. So, Trust Him
a. Like you trust a doctor with a knife – afraid, but yielded
b. Like you trust a mechanic with a wrench
c. Like you trust a pilot with the plane you are taking on a trip!
3. Trust Jesus
a. Not Mary, or a priest, or a candle, or a prayer
b. Trust means to believe whatever Jesus says, and do whatever He commands
c. Trusting that He is God, and he knows what to do
d. He knew what it took to save you – HIM dying in your place as a Lamb for every sinner, and then being buried, and then rising again three days later!
e. You can ask right now for Jesus to save you, forgive you, pardon you
4. That’s when faith starts – when all bets, all the risks are placed on Jesus only
E. And from there, you only have to look to the pages of this Bible, to find plenty of examples of how to live by faith. Plenty of Godly Moms throughout Scripture to learn from, warts and all:
1. Like Sarah, the wife of Abraham – she has a lot to teach
2. Ruth, the G-G-G-Grandmother of kind David – an entire Book in your Bible to learn from
3. Mary, the mother of Jesus
4. Eve, the mother of us all
F. Moms… You are needed, more than ever today!
1. Is your faith Visible – Can it be seen?
2. Is it Effective Faith – Something that actually WORKS?
3. Do you have Respectful Faith in your home? It matters to God and to your Timothy’s
4. Don’t Worry that it is constantly being Tested – that is normal – it will stand!
5. Just make sure it is Good Faith that makes you a blessing, and a servant, and a help, and humble, and grateful
G. Mom – whatever you do – be that kind of a Mom – that kind of a Grandmother!
H. Because it will make all the difference to your children, or your grandchildren one day
I. When THEY become a Timothy
J. Hey Young Man
1. Your Mom’s faith is certainly not perfect
2. But if it is anchored in this Bible, then it is good enough for you
a. It will work for you, like it has for every Christian throughout time
b. It doesn’t need to change – WE DO!
3. There is a Paul out there, looking for a young man, who had a godly Mom, who prepared him to do something GREAT
4. Are you that young man?
5. Will YOU be ready for God’s call to reach THIS crazy world, in new ways with the same Gospel that saved you?