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Friday, May 11
, 2012

Mesa Arch Canyonlands National Park, Utah (Howard Blichfeldt)
Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah
(photo by Howard Blichfeldt)

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"A Time To Honor"

"Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12). "Her children arise and call her blessed" (Proverbs 31:28).

Someone has described motherhood like this: "It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." There’s much truth to this statement as mothers will testify that their hearts are enlarged far beyond their own personal needs to those of their children, not just in their formative years but for the rest of their lives.

Mother's Day will be celebrated here in the United States on Sunday. This is a day which acknowledges the sacrificial contributions mothers make in the lives of their children. The theme of honoring our mothers will also resonate in the pulpits on Sunday as many ministers preach on the topic of the family, highlighting the theme of honoring mothers. Wherever you live, today's message is pertinent. I hope each mother reading this will be honored by the expression of the daily verses as her children rise up and call her "blessed." 

On Mother’s Day Pastor Bob got everyone's attention by introducing his sermon with this simple question, "Will everyone who is the son or daughter of a mother, please raise your hand?" Slowly but surely everyone rose their hand as they caught onto the question. I could ask the same question today of each reader, although I can't see your hands. No matter how much our childhood backgrounds differ, this is one truth we all have in common. 

My mom was gloriously promoted to heaven in November 2005 and Brooksyne's in October 2002, so we both write from that perspective. Today in this message we rise up and call our mothers "blessed".

The command to honor our father and mother goes back to the Fifth Commandment: "Honor your father and your mother." It is certainly applicable all through childhood. A favorite memory verse we taught Ester during her childhood years was Ephesians 6:1, "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." But the honor is applicable after we reach adulthood as well and the attitude of this command still pertains though both our parents are now with the Lord.

Today I urge each reader to rise up and call your mother blessed. Express honor toward her in your words and in your actions. For most of our readers this comes very naturally out of your gratitude for a loving and caring mother.

But some of you have lasting pain from your upbringing and your relationship is far less than God's ideal even now. Just this morning we heard the testimony of a man who had been abandoned by his mother. Perhaps even now there is an underlying heartache in your present relationship with your mother.

But God's command to honor our father and mother, like the command in Hebrews 13:4 to honor marriage, has no exclusionary clause. I'm confident that He will give you the necessary grace to convey that honor, starting with the very fact that God breathed life into you as your mother brought you into this world.

If your parents are living be sure to express your love and appreciation to them. That is something we both really miss doing but are so glad we did it regularly while they were alive. The honor of our parents serves as a foundational base for all human honor.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, each spring as we observe tiny featherless fledglings pressed against their mothers in the hollow of their parents' nest, we're reminded of the human love children experience from their parents' safekeeping. We thank You for the loving care You extend to us through the preordained parents who've provided for us from birth to independence.  Thank You for their model of love, sacrifice, duty, protection, and other virtuous qualities needed to properly raise a family.  It has greatly influenced the way we raise our own children.

We also pray for those whose relationship with their parent is a role reversal where they must act as the parent when their own parent behaves as a needy or defiant child.  May Your multiplied mercies sustain these caregivers in their ongoing difficult role so that, above all, You are honored and they find deep peace in the midst of the turmoil.  Thank You, Father, for our human family, our spiritual family, and for our heavenly family that awaits our arrival on Your appointed day.  In the name of Christ Jesus Your Son we pray, amen.

Additional study:
In the course of study for a message earlier this week on honoring marriage I used the foundation verse for marriage and the family in the Bible as established at Creation: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). This is the very first reference to father and mother in the Bible as well as marriage. We tend to read it with our knowledge and experience in mind. But consider Adam and Eve, who had no personal experience or knowledge of being raised by a father and mother, and at this point no knowledge of children either. In addition the notion of marriage and sexual union was not an experience they personally knew at this point in history; that is, being united and becoming one flesh.

This is a powerful lesson regarding the establishment of God’s pattern for the basic social unit in humanity. Of course this is consistently affirmed in the remainder of the Bible and has been understood by the human race right up to the current time. However in our own time and in recent days we have seen a blasphemous attempt to, as one commentator puts it, radically redefine marriage, subverting society’s most central institution.

The true church of Jesus Christ has been consistent on this matter. For instance The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) states “Marriage is to be between one man and one woman”. This has been consistently held in all confessions, doctrinal statements and position papers of all churches and denominations. Churches and denominations have had many issues they differed on but on this matter there was unity in understanding.

That is...right up to the last ten or fifteen years when some have abandoned the clear teaching of the Bible on this issue (as well as many others!!!). We are seeing a prophetic statement by Peter come true before our very eyes: "Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute" (2 Peter 2:2). The ESV translates this, “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”

We again call on our readers, in the the midst of the approaching apostasy, to stay faithful to God and the Holy Scriptures. Contend for the Faith once for all entrusted.

John Heisey
This morning we went to a pastor's breakfast sponsored by the Gideons, an organization committed to the distribution of the Scriptures. Afterwards I visited with John Heisey, a former neighbor when we first moved to Lancaster County 11 years ago. John is a soft-spoken man who admitted to being rather shy as a child. He likened his involvement in the Gideons to being like the pit crew in a NASCAR race. They may not get the attention if the race is won but the winning driver sure knows how important their role is. We appreciate dedicated servants of Christ like John and the ministry of the Gideons who have impacted countless lives from all tribes and nations.
The Gideons
Gideon video testimonies

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Here are several songs appropriate for Mother's Day:

"Family Prayer Song"  Video  Maranatha Singers

"Handful Of Weeds"  Video  Sheri Easter

"Mama's Bible"  Video  Jeff and Sherri Easter

"When You Come Home"  Video  Mark Shultz

Today's lead photo of the Mesa Arch was taken by our friend Howard Blichfeldt and is part of his Utah collection.

For many years we regularly make this appeal and suggestion: Write your parents a written tribute of your love and appreciation for them! See here.  You'll be so glad you did and your parents will be thrilled with your heartfelt, personal gift to them.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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