by Duane Maust
Church Family Sunday
May 8, 2005
1 Peter 5: 5-11
Mother’s Day was first officially observed in the United States in 1914. I think it is good to stop and thank our mothers or our wives that are mothers for the many things they do for us and the many ways they have helped us out.
I would like to look at some of the values that we all need to cultivate in our lives. I may talk to the mothers today but this all applies to all of us. Peter was talking about casting all our anxiety on God. Bring your worries to Jesus. That is for all of us to practice.
My mother likes to know when we each take trips. She has 7 boys and one girl to worry about, not that we ever did anything for her to worry about. I hope she is praying for us when she knows we are on trips or when she sees tornadoes are coming through Mississippi. I know she does get anxious at times about what her kids are into. That is a caring mother. She wants to know what her kids are up to.
I know what being anxious is, too. I have a customer that is planning to move into their new home this coming weekend and I don’t have their kitchen built yet. I need to give it to the Lord and He will help me through it. But it is easy for me to get myself tied up in knots about work.
The next thing I know, I am worrying that we don’t have even work. It is times like this that I have to give it back to God to take care of.
There was a study done that found that 40% of worries are about things that never happen. 30% of worries are about past things or things that cannot be changed. 22% were over petty and needless things. Only 8%were legitimate concerns. Satan likes to get us to waste our time on worry.
Read Matthew 6: 25-34.
A poem by Elizabeth Cheyney:
Said the Robin to the Sparrow
I should really like to know
Why these humans beings
Rush about, and worry so?
Said the Sparrow to the Robin
Friend, I think that it must be
They have no heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.
Read 1 Peter 5: 6-7.
Motherhood requires humility. It demands it. If nine months of pregnancy and the ordeal of childbirth were not enough to convince you of that, then caring for an infant will make it painfully obvious. It is difficult to maintain a sense of great self-importance when you are cleaning up the food you prepared off the floor. Pride can’t survive long in the face of a two-year-old’s defiance to whatever you ask. Your inflated ego collapses as you confront this tiny creature that you far exceed in size and power. The child should be doing what the adult has asked. But instead this child has just struck down your authority. Maybe this humility is forced on us.
Humility is a great gift. It is not something to run from. It is something to welcome. Because humility is the path to grace and blessing for all that follow Christ, not just mothers.
Peter says to humble yourself even if kids force you. Psalm 25:9 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Read Peter 5: 5-6 again.
Do you want to receive God’s grace? Do you want God to lift you up and exalt you? Do you want God to teach you and give you wisdom? Then choose humility. When you do this, you won’t just be fulfilling your calling as a mother; you’ll also be honoring your calling as a disciple of Jesus Christ, who said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11: 29
Jesus was a real model of humility. He was the perfect example. Not just for mothers, but for all of us to follow. Jesus had a chance to make a big show for himself, but he gave his life for us. He loved us the most anyone could have ever loved us. I’m not saying that humility is easy or natural, not even for mothers who love their children. Humility is difficult, because it requires denial of self. It requires us to put the welfare of someone else ahead of our own needs and desires. But in motherhood, we have a living picture of humility that will help all of us to better understand what it means to follow Christ. As we observe the humility that mothers exhibit in caring for their children, we gain a glimpse into the humility that God requires of each of us.
Mark 10: 45 says, “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Humility brings suffering with it. Humility means that we don’t consider ourselves exempt from pain and sorrow. It means that we are willing to suffer for the sake of someone else. Mothers know what it is to suffer because of their children; and also for the sake of their children. And in doing this, they are following the example of Christ, who willingly suffered because of us and also for us.
1 Peter 2: 21 says, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps.”
Read 1 Peter 5: 8-9. These two verses remind us that there is a force working against us. When I read this verse about the devil prowling like a lion, I think about watching our cat catching a bird. Our cat will lie there still and tense. She will creep very slowly. You can hardly see her move. Then when the bird gets close enough, bang, she’s got it. The bird is not too lucky. Peter put these verses in here to remind us to keep our guard up for that enemy that will try to snag us.
Then Peter brings it back to the positive.
Read Peter 5: 10-11. The Layman Commentary summarizes verses 10 and 11 this way. “The cross is for a little while, but the crown is forever. Persecution may destroy us, but God will “restore” us. Suffering may shake us, but God will “establish” us. Trouble may shatter us, but God will “strengthen” us. Triumphantly, God’s persevering people shout together, “To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” Verse 11.