When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "M-O-T-H-E-R."

 A Mother who made a Difference

We’ll begin this morning with prayer:                

Dear Lord, Bless every mother, every grandmother and every great grandmother with the finest of your spiritual blessings today. Confirm in their heart and spirit the work of their hands and the love that they have so freely given to those children under Your care. Validate their worth daily, so they have no reason to doubt whether they are loved, valued, and cherished in the eyes of their Heavenly Father.

Create in them a deep sense of Your protection and trust, so that worry and fear will disappear as they place their loved ones into Your care. Let them know that every prayer they have prayed and every encouraging word they have spoken on behalf of their children/grandchildren has been transformed into sweet fragrant offerings before Your throne.

Whisper deep within their spirit the sweet words they long to hear from You—that nothing can ever separate them from Your love. Help them to nestle daily into the promises of Your Word, standing with faith on the things You declare are true. Let them know that You reward faithfulness, but that true success doesn’t lie in their accomplishments or accolades. Let them rest in the knowledge that they have done all they can—and that they and those they love—truly belong to you. Bless them with a servant spirit so they can teach their own the joy of hearing one day, “Well done!”

Let their joy be contagious; let their passion be pure; and let their life overflow with all the blessings they deserve today and on every day of their life. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

The very idea of Mother’s Day started in a small Virginia Methodist church back in the early 1900’s.  A woman by the name of Anna Javis convinces her church to set aside a Sunday to honor all mothers after her own mother had died in 1905. So, the idea of celebrating Mother’s Day originated within the church!!  

On May 9, 1914, nine years later, by an act of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day On behalf of her efforts. President Wilson established the day as a time for "public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

For me, Mother’s Day sermons are the hardest sermons to prepare. Whatever I say will not fit every mother. Today can be one of the happiest, but it can also bring a lot of pain. There are those who are childless and must endure another Mother’s Day celebration with all the mothers receiving attention. Then, there are those who have lost their mother. Today, the sadness of that loss returns. They hold back the tears, if they can, throughout the service. And, not all mothers have measured up to the well known, often preached Proverbs 31, although there are those who have. Then there are many broken relationships between mothers and children as well as mothers and fathers.

So today we will honor all our ladies by giving each one of you a gift. Sandy will pass them out, and our prayer is you will plant them in a conspicuous place to remind you of your worth and blessings every day of the year.

Now, most all Mothers are teachers. Mothers are disciplinarians. Mothers are cleaning ladies. Some mothers are gardeners. And most mothers understand that baking cookies is more important than washing windows.

Mothers are nurses and doctors and psychologists and counselors and chauffeurs and coaches. Mothers are developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies, and shapers of attitudes. 

Mothers are soft voices saying, "I love you." And mothers are a link to God, a child’s first impression of God’s love.

One of my favorite columns by Erma Bombeck tells of God in the act of creating mothers. She says that on the day God created mothers He had already worked long overtime hours. And an angel said to Him, "Lord, you sure are spending a lot of time on this one."

The Lord turned and said, "Have you read the specs on this model? She is supposed to be completely washable, but not plastic. She is to have 180 moving parts, all of them replaceable. She is to have a kiss that will heal everything from a broken leg to a broken heart. She is to have a lap that will hold almost anything. She is to be able to function on black coffee and leftovers. And she is supposed to have six pairs of hands."

"Six pairs of hands," said the angel, "that’s impossible." "It’s not the six pairs of hands that bother me" said the Lord, "It’s the three pairs of eyes. She is supposed to have one pair that sees through closed doors so that whenever she says, `What are you kids doing in there?’ she already knows what they’re doing in there."

"She has another pair in the back of her head to see all the things she is not supposed to see but must see. And then she has one pair right in front that can look at a child that just goofed and communicate love and understanding without saying a word."

"That’s too much." said the angel, "You can’t put that much in one model. Why don’t you rest for a while and resume your creating tomorrow?"

"No, I can’t," said the Lord. "I’m close to creating someone very much like myself. I’ve already come up with a model who can heal herself when she is sick - who can feed a family of six with one pound of hamburger - and who can persuade a nine-year-old to take a shower."

Then the angel looked at the model of motherhood a little more closely and said, "She’s too soft." "Oh, but she is tough," said the Lord. "You’d be surprised at how much this mother can do."

"Can she think?" asked the angel. "Not only can she think," Said the Lord, "but she can reason and compromise and persuade."

Then the angel reached over and touched her cheek. "This one has a leak," he said. "I told you that you couldn’t put that much in one model." "That’s not a leak," said the Lord. "That’s a tear."

"What’s a tear for?" asked the angel. "Well, it’s for joy, for sadness, for sorrow, for disappointment, for pride." "You’re a genius," said the angel. And the Lord said, "Oh, but I didn’t put that there."

Mothers’ feet stick to the kitchen floor.....and you don’t care. Your idea of a good day is making it through without a child leaking bodily fluids on you.

Your baby’s pacifier falls on the floor and you give it back to her, after you suck the dirt off it because you’re too busy to wash it off.

You’re so desperate for adult conversation that you spill your guts to the telemarketer that calls until HE hangs up on you!

Spit is your number one cleaning agent.
You automatically double-knot everything you tie.

You can never go to the bathroom without someone screaming outside the door.

You actually start to like the smell of strained carrots mixed with applesauce and the taste of those terrible mush peas.

You weep through the scene in Dumbo when his mom is taken away, not to mention what Bambi does to you.

You spend a half hour searching for your sunglasses only to have your teenager say, "Mom, why don’t you wear the ones you pushed up on your head?"

You are out for a nice romantic meal with your husband, enjoying some real adult conversation, when suddenly you realize that you’ve reached over and started to cut up his steak!

Mother’s Day, it’s a day to honor those women in our lives who have made an eternal difference. Maybe it was the woman who gave birth to you, but it also may be an aunt, a sister, grandmother or another dear woman who has changed your life for the better.

Eve was the mother of all living people who have been and who will be. Her name, “Eve,” means “living.” She was the first mother and the first woman to ever give birth to a child.

I wonder if she knew what to expect when it came time for Cain to be born?
I wonder if she was afraid of motherhood… no one had ever done it before?
I wonder if she knew what an important and influential job being a mother would be?

Since the time of Eve, it has fallen to mothers to raise their children for the Lord. Our mothers bring us into the world. They nurture us. They provide for us. They raised us up. They teach us. They discipline us. 

Mothers have a remarkable ability to change the world through their children. There are other mothers in the Bible that teach us about the influence that mothers have on all of us.

We’re going to be looking at one of those mothers that influenced history. 

Let me read Exodus 2:1-4:" Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him."

This morning, I want to talk to you about a mother’s faith. If there was a single defining element in the life of Moses, outside of the calling and providence of God that helped shape him into the great man that he became, that element was the faith of his mother.

Moses was born at a pivotal time in history. A Pharaoh had ascended to the throne that no longer remembered, or had any respect for, Joseph. That ancient leader surveyed his kingdom one day and saw something that struck fear in his heart. Living in the land of Goshen, as guests of Egypt, the Hebrews were mightily blessed of God. Everything they did prospered. Their homes were blessed, their families were blessed, their children were strong and healthy and taken together they were a mighty multitude. The Pharaoh was frightened because, in his own words, the Hebrews were “more and mightier” than the Egyptians.

What followed was a sordid tale. Pharaoh, in his effort to subdue and conquer the Hebrews, devised a plan to systematically entrap them in slavery. However, we quickly learn that his plot appeared to work against him. The more labor he placed on the Hebrews, the more they grew and prospered.

Finally, in desperation, he sought to curtail their growth by demanding the death of every Hebrew male child that was born. When the midwives rebelled and failed to carry out his orders, he revised the plan and demanded that every male child, born to a Hebrew woman, was to be thrown into the Nile River.

It is a passage of scripture that mirrors, in many ways, the birth of our savior. No doubt the same force is at work in Egypt, influencing the Pharaoh that influenced Herod in an attempt to destroy Jesus while he was yet a child.

Satan has spent much time and energy attempting to thwart the plans and purpose of God; however, his best efforts come to naught because God in His wonderful foresight, takes what Satan intended to be evil, and makes it work for His good. This was

the case in Egypt so many years ago.

Moses’ shadow falls across the pages of our Bible. He is mentioned in 261 verses in Exodus, 80 verses in Leviticus, 216 verses in Numbers, 35 verses in Deuteronomy, 51 verses in Joshua, and 47 verses in the other historical books. The book of Psalms and the Prophets also refer to him. He is mentioned in 37 verses in the Gospels, 19 verses in Acts, and 22 verses in the Epistles. The book of Revelation also refers to him. Altogether he is mentioned in 784 verses in the Bible; according to my research.

Those verses draw a picture of a mighty man of God that was mightily used by God. We see him, in the context of those verses, as the emancipator and lawgiver of Israel.

He was also a scholar, a soldier, and a statesman. He was one of the two men who stood with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration.

He wrote the first song that was recorded in scripture in Exodus 15:11, and, according to Revelation 15:3, they still sing the song of Moses in glory.

Moses was, undoubtedly, a great man of God, a hero of the faith and one of the most accomplished leaders this world has ever known. However, much of the credit for what Moses became must be given to his mother.

Moses was born to Amram and Jochebed, both of whom were Levites. The scripture isn’t entirely clear on how it was that Amram and Jochebed knew that there was something special about Moses, but the writers of both Hebrews and Acts, as well as the account of Genesis, let us know that they recognized that this child, Moses, was a child of promise, destined for great things in God.

So, in an act of faith, Amram and Jochebed hid their child, not fearing the commandment of Pharaoh. The wording of Hebrews is interesting because, the Genesis account really doesn’t mention the father but instead focuses on the mother.

What makes the account of Genesis even more interesting is the fact that it was written, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, by Moses. When Moses shared his tale for future generations to read, he placed the focus on the faith of his Mother.

Jochebed recognized that there was a Godly purpose upon the life of her child and determined to hide him for as long as she could. For three months she concealed her baby boy. You can just imagine how difficult that would have been.

When it was no longer possible to conceal the child, she reached the conclusion that, if this child is, indeed, destined to be used of God; God is going to have to make provision for him. It was an act of faith that compelled Jochebed to gather the bulrushes and begin to fashion an ark and coat it with slime and pitch.

Perhaps, as she crafted her floating treasure chest, she comforted herself by sharing with baby Moses, the only other story in her memory that involved an ark. I can just imagine the faith of that mother as she worked those reeds into an ark of safety, looking over to her precious baby son and sharing the story of Noah.

I can just hear her faith proclaiming that, just like God delivered Noah, even so, by His mighty power, He’s going to watch over this small ark.

You just can’t say enough about the faith and influence of Jochebed. Few women in history have had to raise a family under more difficult circumstances. Even among her peers, few of them produced children whose names are known to us today.

But Moses, Miriam, and Aaron were all raised in a slave’s hut in Goshen by a simple faith-filled mother named Jochebed. The legacy of her faith is declared by the heritage of her children. Jochebed was, indeed a great woman of faith.

She had more respect for God than she did for Pharaoh. She was more in tune with the will of heaven than she was with the royal edicts of Egypt. And, because of her great faith, God’s plan for deliverance was set in motion. The great exodus finds its roots in the faith of Jochebed.

That’s what made Moses so special. The hour had come. God had heard the cries of His people and a prophecy that was given to Abraham and confirmed by Joseph nearly four hundred years ago was about to be fulfilled.

The nation that Pharaoh was trying to destroy was on the verge of casting off the chains of bondage and marching to their promised land.

At that pivotal moment in history, God placed His entire plan into the hands of a faithful mother! That’s just the way my God works.

When it came to the saving of the entire world, it was just another chapter in the same story. God placed His entire plan into the hands of an innocent young virgin girl, named Mary, who proved to be a faithful mother!

Ladies, I can’t stress enough this morning, just how pivotal and important your faith is to the plan and purpose of God! There’s nothing quite like a mother’s faith.

Thankfully, the story doesn’t end there, “And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.” Here we see the faith of Jochebed in action.

Can you imagine what it must have taken for Jochebed to put her precious son in that ark and leave it in the reeds along the river’s brink? There was no way she could know for sure that he would be safe.

No doubt it was faith that compelled her, but her faith, just like ours, was a blind faith. She couldn’t tell what the next moment would hold; she only knew that she trusted her child to the hands of God.

As a parent I know that trusting God for our children’s safety is not always easy, especially in this day and age. However, you can take courage today from the example of Jochebed.

Faith compelled her to say to the Lord, I’ll trust you to keep my child where I cannot. I’ll trust you to watch over my child when my eyes can’t see him. God honors that kind of faith!

Psalm 78:12 contains an interesting passage that alludes to the scene where the deliverance of God met the faith of a mother. It says, “Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.”

Zoan was the site of one of the ancient palaces of Egypt that was situated on the eastern boundary of Goshen.

The scene is particularly interesting because it was situated on an arm of the Nile River which was historically reported to be the only portion of the Nile that was not infested by crocodiles, which made it a safe place for the royal princess to bathe.

Of all the "coincidences" that have changed the fortunes of this weary world, among the greatest are the events surrounding the discovery of the baby Moses in his ark.

One must wonder though, if coincidence had much to do with it at all. Whether by her own keen insight, or by the direction of God, Jochebed chose to place Moses at the mercy of the river in the precise location where the Egyptian Princess would soon come to bathe.

When the Princess came, she caught sight of the Ark among the reeds. What followed was a scene that is as true to nature as you can get. She sent her maid to fetch it, and just when it was opened, the baby cried out!

No woman's heart could have resisted the whimper of that lovely little boy. Perhaps he was hungry. Perhaps he was wet. Perhaps the sudden light startled him. Perhaps he was afraid of the strange hands that held him up for the princess to see.

In any case, the tears that trickled down the cheek of that baby melted the heart of Pharaoh's proud daughter and changed the destiny of an empire and the fate of the world. "This is a Hebrew boy," she said. In effect she was saying, "He should be thrown into the Nile, but I'll adopt him."

Moses’ sister Miriam was hidden in the rushes, watching over her baby brother and as soon as she saw what was happening, she came to the princess and said, "My lady, do you need a nurse for that 

The princess had not thought of that. Of course she needed a nurse. The baby was not yet weaned. I can picture her commanding Miriam: "Fetch a Hebrew slave to nurse this child for me. Tell the woman that I will pay her." So Jochebed, because of her faith, received wages for raising her own son! Make no mistake about it, ladies, God honors faith!

We do not know how long the princess allowed Jochebed to nurse Moses. Often in those days a child was not weaned for several years. But we do know that for a lengthy period of time Jochebed was given the opportunity to share her faith with her son.

No doubt this godly woman took full advantage of the few years she had. Before he went out into the world of the Pharaohs, she wanted to drill truth into his mind in a way that he would never forget. To find out what she taught him, we have only to look at the book of Genesis.

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible: Exodus through Deuteronomy are drawn from his life experiences. However, in Genesis he recorded the truths his mother passed down to him — truths that were confirmed by the unction and anointing of the Holy Ghost as Moses recorded the history of the people of God all the way back to the very beginning.

There is no doubt that Jochebed shared the stories of her faith with her child.

She taught him the truth about creation, about Cain and Abel, and about Enoch, Noah and the Flood. She would have taught him about the Tower of Babel, Abraham and the covenant, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his wife, Ishmael and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and the twelve patriarchs.

Then Jochebed told Moses why the Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt and taught him about the prophecy that after four hundred years they would be delivered.

Above all, she taught him about Joseph, another young man who lived for God in the same royal courts to which Moses would soon be taken.

She told him how Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt; how in spite of his very impressionable, youthful age, he took his stand against the impurity and immorality of Potiphar's wife; how he suffered for his godliness; how God raised him up at last to a place at the right hand of Pharaoh himself.

Jochebed’s emphasis here is almost sure — because Moses devoted one fourth of the book of Genesis to the story of Joseph.

Mothers, this is what I want you to see. Jochebed’s faith left an indelible impression on Moses. When the call finally came from the palace of Pharaoh to surrender the child to his destiny, he stepped into the court of Pharaoh with his mind full of the promises made to the Patriarchs, and his heart heavy with the sorrows of his brethren.

It is little wonder that the calling of God found fertile ground in his young faith-filled heart to give rise to the voice that would one day stand before Pharaoh and cry, “Let my people go!”

Mothers, many of our deepest purposes have their roots in our earliest childhood, and the lessons that we learn then, and the thoughts that we conceive then are carried out to the very end of our lives.

Today is Mother’s Day, and I know that your children and husbands have set this day aside to honor you and give you gifts. But if I may, I want to remind you of the most precious gift you can bestow upon your children. It is the gift of your faith.

No power in this world compares to a mother’s faith. On this Mother’s Day I simply want to encourage you to share your faith with your children. I don’t care how old they are. Let the generation that is coming behind us be molded by a Mother’s Faith.

Every parent in this place, mothers and fathers alike, surrender your children to the Lord’s care and leave them there. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!