God's Motherly Attributes
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

God's Motherly Attributes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

 Had it Not Been for our mothers...and Had it Not Been for a
God with perfect motherly characteristics...

Well, hey again, happy mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all of you. It is a special day to celebrate and honor our MOM's. Sometimes it's our biological mothers, other times it's our spiritual mother's, women that have made a huge difference in the world and in the church, and we just are appreciative and want to take a moment to honor them and thank them, although I think, and once you agree, that we should honor and celebrate our moms all the time. Right. We don't have to wait for one special Sunday to do it, but sometimes it takes a special Sunday to remind it that we probably probably should. So my mom is here with us today, which is cool. She's sitting over there from the great state of Delaware. So we're thankful that you are here today and I love you and thankful for you. And I'm married to an amazing woman who is the best mom in the whole world's or mom. Her name is Alicia, and I'm so thankful for her and love her very very much. But to all the MOMS, all the women that have made an impact in my life, we're just so thankful for them and God is used you in an incredible way to help me grow in my faith and be where I am today. But does anyone, anyone like look forward to Mother's Day? Like any moms that are like eating chocolate for the last couple weeks like you do for Christmas, you know, counting down the day this mother's Day. I can't wait. Then be ashamed. You know, you like getting gifts, you like getting whatever. Anybody like really looking forward to Mother's Day? Okay, good, I'm not alone. I'm not alone, because I'm like, I don't know what to do with this day, and for some reason it falls on a Sunday, which makes the church have to figure out what to do with Mother's Day. I have never preached a sermon on Mother's Day, so this is my first time, so pray for me. So what do you do? What do you do about Mother's Day? Well, you could spend the whole sermon talking about Moms, how great our moms are, and I could do that for the next forty minutes, telling stories about how much I love my mom and how much he's cared for me and how much I appreciate her. But we're not going to do that. I could just pretend like it's not mother's Day and continue on in our series and just keep going and then, you know, give a shout out to the MOMS and say, Oh hey, we have something for you, which we do. We have a car nation and a cookie for you. Before you leave today, make sure you take a car nation and a cookie. It's in the lobby. You can't miss it. It's right in the middle. It's just our way to say thank you. But you know, we could just continue and pretend like it's not mother's Day, which that doesn't sound right either. So we're going to try and do both. We're going to talk about moms and we're going to talk about our sermon series, which is interesting because our sermons series is a series about the attributes and characteristics of God, specifically God the father. So how in...

...the world does a mother mother's Day relate to God and God our father? But our series, had it not been is all about the attributes and characteristics of God. God is all powerful, all knowing, all present. He is wholly other, but yet he is with us, he is for us, he is on our side and we said that whatever we're facing in life, whatever holding us down and keeping us back and and locking us up, a pattern of thinking, a habit that we formed in life, that this all powerful God can show up in our life and this bird, this beautiful bird image comes from Psalm one hundred and twenty four, that we can be like a bird set free from its snare and and be free like God. Oftentimes that uses the very things that hold us back and lock us up to set us free. The thing that we feel powerless against. The life is too big. Right, had it not been for God and his Almighty power? Well, it is too big. We can never overcome it, we can never do anything about it. But God is all powerful, he is omnipotent, and so whatever is power, whatever we feel powerless in, he can get us through it, he can get us out of it. Whatever we feel anxious about. We don't know the future, what will happen, we don't know everything. God does, he is all knowing, he is omniscient, and so he can give us peace when we need at the most and when we feel alone, like it's all up to us. Who in the world cares about me? Who Even sees me? I just I just them alone. Right, had it not been for God's omnipresence, his all presence, he is with us in our loneliest moments and he can bring us into a awesome relationship with himself and with other people and connect us with other people. And so our series, had it not been, is all about that, all about some of these attributes that are incommunicable. That was the big word that described that God has certain things about him that make him God. He is all powerful, there's knowing. Nobody else is all powerful, he's all knowing, he's all present. There's nobody is like God in that way. But there's some things about God that we can emulate, that we kind of have their there the communicable attributes of God. They were passed on or given to us as humans. Like God is love and he loves perfectly, but we love in our own finite human sense. And so when we think about God and we try and understand who he is, is characteristics, we can look to our earthly relationships, the earthly people in our life and kind of get in better understanding of what it means that God is these things to us. And so when we think about the phrase had it not been, we can think about how it not been for our mother's? Had it...

...not been for our mother's we wouldn't be here right now, right like literally. That's the way the world works. That's the way God designed it, that's the way it happens. Like you aren't here without your mom. But when we say it that way, we don't really mean it that way. Right. We mean it in a figuratively, we mean it spiritually, we mean it emotionally, we mean it all these other Lee ways that had it not been for our mother's we wouldn't be where we are today. And her care and her love, her financial support when we needed it the most, the ability to run to her whenever we were facing hard things in life, the listening ear we always needed to talk to and share with, and the person that always cared for us, the one that would always pick up the phone and would always just shower us with love and and had it not been for our mother's, wow, and maybe that's your story, maybe that is you and your mom, or maybe it's not, and maybe it's like, I don't really know what that means. We've had a whole range of experiences of our mother's, because God loves US perfectly, but our mother's and the other people in our life, they don't, they can't. They're human, their sinful, they're finite. And so can a mom really help us understand God better? I mean she's not perfect. She gets it wrong sometimes, maybe a lot of times. Really God or our moms can help us understand God better? I think I think they can. Put on the surface. Again, it's kind of strange because God has revealed himself to us as father, as heavenly father. Jesus was a man. God became a man and he was born. He was a man. Jesus told us that we could pray to our heavenly father, we could call it to our Abba father, which means Daddy. And so can we really learn about God and his attributes, is, characteristics, as we look at our mother's? I think we can, and one of the reasons why I think we can is because God created human beings in his image in Genesis one twenty seven, in the image of God. He created them male and female. He created them. So both male and female are created in the image of God. And you are saying, what in the world does that mean? Well, does it mean? Does it mean that God is both male and female? Does it mean that God looks like a human being? Know to both of those things. What it means is is that when God created humans, He created US special,...

...unique. There's something different about being a human than it is with anything else in all creation, and it's this. It's we were created in the image of God, which means we have this divine in print, we have this divine ability that God has given us to have a relationship with God. And how we do that is because God has given us a mind. We think like God does, we have a will, we make decisions like God does, and we have emotions, we feel stuff like God does. And because of these things, because God has given us this thing, because we were created in the image of God, we can have a relationship with God in this makes us unique. And so both male and female are given this divine imprint, this image of God, and so when we look at males and females, we learn different aspects, different characteristics, of these communicable attributes of God that God has given us, that we can display, that we can reflect, and so I think we can learn a little bit about what it means to know God, of who God is, how he loves us, how he cares for us, by looking at our earthly human relationship, specifically our relationship with our women and our mothers in our life. And Isaiah forty nine. If you have your Bible, I encourage you to turn there with me. It's in the Old Testament. It's a big prophet book. If you don't, the words are on the screen behind me and we have a Free Bible for you in the lobby before you leave today. So I'd love for you to stop buy and get one of those if you want. Also taking notes. It's really cool when you listen to a sermon. It helps me think, it helps me keep track with what's going on. But I say of forty nine, in verse fourteen, we read some stuff here that says yet Jerusalem says the Lord has deserted us, the Lord has forgotten us. They were thinking maybe God's not here, maybe he's forgotten about us, and Isaiah tells them never and then he uses this image. Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if it were possible, right, because this not perfect. Mothers aren't perfect. Even if it were possible for a mom to forget, I would not forget you, says God. See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands and always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem, walls in ruins. See, Jerusalem was facing a hard time, a difficult time, and they were wondering, has God forgotten us? Foreign nations are coming in and they're like, I thought I was on our side. I got I thought God was going to fight for us. I thought God was going to defend us and protect us, and it...

...doesn't seem like he's doing that. Has God forgotten about me? And Isaiah, in his prophecy here, says no, okay, absolutely not. He has not forgotten you, and God may have brought you here today. Maybe you be tuned in today, listening to whenever you're listening it, to this to tell you that God has not forgotten you. No matter what you are facing in your life, no matter how far gone you might feel, no matter how dark you feel your life is, God has not forgotten you. God is all powerful and he wants to bring that power into your life. God is all knowing and when you just don't know what's going on, he wants to show up with wisdom and it. He wants to show up. You are not alone. He has not forgotten you. God has not forgotten you. Like Ken a mother forget her nursing child, to which everybody says No. Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? No, the Prophet is saying. Think about your mom. You think God's forgotten you think about your mom. Think about her love for you and the little baby I mean, and the miraculous thing that happens when a baby is made in a woman's body, like how does that work? And then a bay woman bursts a baby, okay, and then the woman's body, the bomb's body, produces nutrients to sustain and feed the baby so that it can grow. Like it is an incredible, amazing thing that God has designed MOMS to do. And let me just say, and I think you would agree with this, is that if men had to go through all of that, there'd be less babies in this world. I think right. The stuff that God has designed women to go through is incredible and it creates this amazing connection with the child in a special way. And it's in this way that God loves you and he cares for you. He's like that mom that that never forgets about you and he's gone thrown through so much for you. He feeds you, he loves you, and you could always run to him with its open arms. So can you refer to God like a mother? Absolute it's a metaphor, it's an image, it's a way we can help wrap our minds around who God is. But then you might ask the question, can you refer to God as a mother? And now you start to get into some interesting situations and into some interesting scenarios, because you have to put your thinking...

...caps on with me or on with me. There we go. Put your thing and kept on with me for a second. God is a spirit, which means he is neither male nor female, but he has created human beings in his image, both male and female. And so when we think of God's love for people, we not only think of a strong, protective and wise father, but we also bask in his tender, nurturing, comfort and care, seemed most beautifully, in a mother's love for her child. But we want to be careful, because God has only revealed himself to us as a man. So He is our heavenly father, and as a heavenly father, he then was that came to Earth, the second person of the Trinity, in Jesus Christ. and Jesus was born as a man and when Jesus got us how to pray to God, he said pray to your heavenly father, and he called them your Abba Father, which means Daddy, and the Holy Spirit, which you might think the Holy Spirit, what about him? When Jesus told us about the Holy Spirit in John Fourteen, he uses all of these masculine pronouns. He he he he he he he. The Holy Spirit is a person and he has revealed himself to us as a man. And I know that for some people it is hard to associate love, like God's love, with a man or their father, because you say, or they say, I had a dad or I have a dad, and that's that's the reason why I don't really know what that means right. I don't really understand what it means to have a heavenly father because I you know what. You know how that went in the same could be said about but women as well. But but for those that have had the bad dad experience, it's like, well, maybe if I just relate to God as my mother, then that'll all. You know, it'll be fine, it'll all work out. And, especially today in our world that's so focused on gender and sex, maybe it maybe it's fine, maybe maybe it's all all good. So here's my one word of hopefully helpful summary that kind of brings all of this tension into into focus. Is that God created human beings, male and female, in his image, which means that as we look at males and we kind of tend to understand and perceive that certain characteristics and attributes are more on a manly side of the scale. There's certain things that we just kind...

...of understand that fall over here, and then there's certain characteristics and attributes that maybe fall more on the female side of the scale or spectrum, whatever metaphor you want to use, and there they fall over here, and God, in his infinite perfectness, has all of those attributes right. He does all of them perfectly, and I think that US humans also can have attributes and characteristics that also go throughout the whole spectrum of attributes and characteristics. So like, for example, if you're a boy, if you're a man and you don't seem to align with everything that culture in the world tells you that a man should like and live like, that doesn't mean that you're not a man and you'd have to change who you are. And the same thing could be said about a woman, like if you don't necessarily fit along the lines of everything culture in the world says as you should be as a woman, doesn't mean that you're somehow not right or there was a mistake and you need to change. Like God has uniquely designed you. He's uniquely created you, male and female. So, if you're a boy and you like to wear pink, and you don't, and you play with dolls, like, who in the world said that a boy couldn't wear pink? Right? That's that's crazy. Or the same. Like as a woman, as a girl, and you like to play rough with the boys and you don't like the dress up all that often, whoever said that that's something a girl couldn't do? Like guys and girls, don't listen to what the world or our culture tells you. You have to be listen to who God created you to be, designed you to be like. You are unique. God has given you a specific purpose and a plan for your life and it might not align, and if it probably doesn't align with anything that we're being told from this world and our culture. And guess what, that's okay. You can be different. You should be different and embrace who God has designed you and uniquely created you to be male and female. We don't have to fit into the little boxes that our world just thinks that we give us sometimes, and a fun way of thinking about this that kind of ties into our little gift for today, for Mother's Day. It's like we have carnations and we have cookies, and you could be a mom or a woman out there today and you're like, I don't like flowers. Why do you give flowers on Mother's Day? Well, good for you. Whoever said that you needed to like flowers right. It's just a stereotypical cultural thing that we do. And maybe the same could be...

...with cookies. I mean you're a woman. You're like, I don't I stay away from the cookies. Oh, okay, like that's fine. You do you right, like, like it's it's okay, like just because it's a it's a thing, doesn't mean you have to embrace all of it. Right, God has uniquely and perfectly designed you, created you to do something I only you can do, and I encourage you to find your identity solely in who he says you are and not try and figure out all the crazy stuff that's happening in our world today about finding identity and all the other places, and so I realized that this is a very relevant topic. It's one that's being talked about and all over the place. So if you have questions, if you don't understand what I said, maybe you disagree with what I said, I'd love to talk with you more. I really would to keep the conversation going. You don't just have to listen to me, although that's what this format gives. So you could talk to me after the service, you could send me an email, whatever. I'd love to keep the conversation going and talk more about so all right. So so yes, God, the father, can love and care for you like a mother cares for her children. You Know Dad's they cared to, but there's something special and unique about a mom and her care for for her children, and it helps us get a picture of who God is. So what are some of those pictures? We God comforts his people like a mother comforts her child. Is something about the comfort of a mother. God is like a Mother Eagle Hovering over her young. The first helicopter parent. God seeks the lost like a woman trying to find her lost coin. The MOM is going to go after her kids that are going astray. They're going to go after them, they're going to search for them, they're gonna weep for them, they're gonna turn over every rock for them. And God's going to do that for you. He's searching after you, he's trying to find you, he's seeking you. God cares for his people like a midwife that cares for a child she just delivered, like being in the room and like a baby comes out and it's like there's an a living thing. Now you got to take care of it. God experiences the fury of a mother bear robbed of her cubs. You get in the way of a mom's kids, like watch out, you're seeing mama bear come out right the wrath of mom. Don't get in the way of a mom and her kids. Jesus longed for the people of Jerusalem like a mother hen longs to gather her chicks under her wings. There's this beautiful image of God, of Jesus, saying come be with me, I want you with me. So my question to you is, have you experienced God like...

...this? Have you experienced God as this perfectly loving tender? I'm going to fight for you, mom, because I think you can, and our ladies, to our ladies here today, listening into our ladies in our world, in our church, like you, have so much to show us about who God is. You help us understand the attributes in the characteristics of God. And Hey, lady, are you a believer in Jesus? If so, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. You are a royal priest. You have gifts and abilities that are unique to you and God wants you to use them to lead and to teach, to comfort and to care, to show mercy and help others. And guess what? Let me just say from a guy's perspective, and you already know this, but from a guy's perspective, we need you. We Really, really, really need you. We need you in our families, we need you in our church, we need you in our world. Women, we need you. We need you to use the gifts and abilities and step into everything that God has for you. God wants to use you in incredible ways. God's always used women in incredible ways all throughout history. You think of Moses and leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt. Who was with him? Aaron, his brother and Miriam, their sister Mary, and one of the leaders of the Hebrew nation the very beginning. And then there was a woman. Her name was Deborah. Just going through some biblical examples here. Deborah was in you can find her in the book of judges, which is one of the first books in the Bible, and it's like I made the you know reference a little earlier. Some people are flower ladies and other people make me cookie ladies, or maybe you're both whatever. You know, there's just the range of different women. Right. DEBRAH was a leader, she was a warrior and in Judges Chapter Four. You want to turn there with me, I want you to. I want to show you this real, real quick says one day, this is debrah. She sent for Barak, son of Abino him, who lived in Cadesh, in the land of nephtally. She said to him, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands. You call out tenzero warriors from the tribes of Nephtallei and Zeb Delon at Mount Tabor, and I will call out Cesarah, commander of Jaben's army. So to Sarah is an important name. He's the enemy. So she's going to call him out, along with his chariots warriors, to the Kishon River and there I will give you victory over him. So Brak told her, I will go, but only if you go with me. From the very beginning, the guys like...

I need you, I need you. So she said, very well, I will go with you, but you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord's victory over Cesarah will be at the hands of a woman. I love that. And judges, for this is a thousand years ago. The woman's like, it's my responsibility, it's not about you, I'm gonna do it is it's going to be at the hands of a woman. I just thought that was cool. So Debra went with Barak to Kedesh. So bonus points for the person that tells me how Cesarah dies. You have to tell me after the service and you probably don't want to write it in the comments if you're watching online, because you might get flagged. So I encourage you to check it out. So these women led in cult rs where women didn't do anything, they didn't have much to say. They they didn't have much equality at all. They had no trusted voice in court. Even in the New Testament, they weren't called as witnesses and when they counted attendance. Even in the New Testament time, twozero years ago, they weren't even included in the attendance as I found these notes. In Ancient Greece, the respectable woman was not allowed to leave the house unless she was accompanied by a trustworthy male escort. A wife was not permitted to eat or interact with male guests and her husband's home, she had to retire to her women's quarters. Men kept their wives under lock and key and women had the social status of a slave. Girls were not allowed to go to school and then when they grew up, they were not allowed to speak in public. Women were considered inferior the men. The Greek Poets Equated Women with evil. Remember Pandora and her box women was responsible for unleashing evil on the world. That was ancient Greece. Jesus change the world forever. Jesus sat next to a woman, he taught a woman, he his ministry actually was supported financially by women and he talked with them. And when when Lazarus died, jumping into a story in the gospels here in near the end of Jesus life, when Lazarus dies, Lazarus is want of Jesus's friends Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha, and of course they were heartbroken when their brother died, and we get to see the care and the love that a woman has for their sister, for their friend. But Jesus trusted and thought so highly of these two women that he gave them, out of all the people in the history of the world. He gave Martha, this woman, one of the most profound truths about God. He said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies, and whoever...

...lives and believes in me will never die. Jesus told that to a woman. He taught this amazing truth to a woman, and then he said this. Do you believe this? He wanted her to respond. He cared about her enough, valued her enough to actually care about what she would say. And when Jesus came back from the dead, remember me. Jesus died on the cross, he was buried and he came back from the dead right, Hallelujah, right when he came back from the dead, who was there and trusted with the message of the resurrection at the very beginning? The most important thing in the history of the world the woman. The women were there and the women were in trusted with the message. Go and tell the other disciples the value of the women. And you might think, or it's been said before, right, if they're making up the story of Jesus, if they were writ in the Gospels a hundred years later and they wanted to make Jesus this Messiah Guy, they wanted to paint him as God, they were making it all up, but they wanted to put Jesus and tell the story and have everyone believe in Jesus and, you know, trick the whole world for the next two thousand years. If that was their goal, they would have never written the women to be the ones to carry the message and the truth of the resurrection, because nobody believed women. They weren't called as witnesses in the court, nobody cared about what they had to say. Jesus did. Jesus did and he gave them the message that would change the entire world. And it's the only reason why it's written that way is because that's the way it actually happened. And so with these just couple examples, we see the love and the trustworthiness of women and with Debra's example, we see the leader and the fighter, the warrior, example, the attribute, the characteristics of women, and these attributes and characteristics they reflect the attributes of God and we should all seek to grow in these things, do a better job of displaying these characteristics and attributes to our world around us, so that others can see God better, so our children can see God better. And you might think that's a big responsibility. Right, when someone sees me, they get to know God a little better. Like, how does that possible? Do you know who I am? And you're like, may, how I want to do this, I want to do it better. I want to I want to live this way better, I want to love better, I want to care better, I want to lead better. Give me some tips. Well, my tip is to trust and rely on God. Like, yes, you can work on some things, you can pray, you can ask for people to hold you accountable and pray for Stoff, you can practice stuff and work on some stuff, but if you try and do it in your own power and your own strength, it's not going to go well. God is...

...the source. God is where it all comes from and he blesses us and he gives it to us and he's given it to us. He's gifted it to us and our responsibility is to reflect that out into the world. It all comes from him and the better we do is reflecting him, reflecting his love, reflecting his leadership, reflecting His grace, reflecting his forgiveness, the better we will do at that. And so, happy Mother's Day. We honor and celebrate our moms. We are and celebrate the women in our life and in our world and in our church, and I'm so glad that you chose to spend some of your mother's Day here with us and I hope that we all can live in the person and be the person, the unique person that God has created us to be, that we would trust and rely on him and that we were reflect his glory into our world. Let's pray. God, we thank you for who you are, we thank you for what you've done and forgiving us some amazing women over the course of history to learn from, to learn how you love us, to learn how you fight for us, to learn how you care for us. And Lord, help us to trust you and help us to live our life in your power and in your strength. Help us to find our identity in you. And Lord, we ask that your blessing would be upon us as we go and do our best to display who you are to the world around us. It's in Jesus name I pray. We're going to close.

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