Tag Archives: Mother

In Praise of Godly Mothers

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Daily reading assignment – Proverbs 31

Our scripture reading in the Book of Proverbs concludes with one of the most beloved chapters in the book, Proverbs 31.  The identification of the author has been the subject of debate; however, I believe the author was King Solomon.  We read in the opening salutation, “The words [discourse; law] of king Lemuel, the prophecy [burden; tribute] that his mother taught him [instructed; discipline; chasten] (Proverbs 31:1).

Perhaps Bathsheba gave her son a nick name that held deep meaning for her.  Having sorrowed the loss of her firstborn son, Lemuel’s name held deep meaning for his mother.  The literal meaning of Lemuel is “unto God”, meaning dedicated to God, and no doubt expressed her heart’s desire.

I suggest two sections or divisions of Proverbs 31.  The first, Proverbs 31:1-9, contains a Queen mother’s instructions to her son who would one day serve the nation as king.

The second division, Proverbs 31:10-31, is perhaps the most beautiful tribute ever written by a son in praise of his mother.  Countless books and innumerable quotes exist in praise of motherhood; however, I know of no other source that paints the blessed picture of motherhood more perfect than Proverbs 31.  Alas, my task is a brief devotional commentary and to that end I suggest one from a devotional I first penned March 31, 2015.

Proverbs 31:29-30 – 29 Many daughters have done virtuously [served with strength; courage; excellence], but thou excellest [ascend; go beyond] them all. 30 Favour [charm; grace] is deceitful [lies; unreliable], and beauty is vain [temporal; passing]: but a woman that feareth [reverences] the LORD, she shall be praised.”

One of the great tragedies of our 21st century society is the void of godly, virtuous daughters, wives and mothers.  The strength of femininity has served mankind well and the influence of daughters, wives and mothers on society is immeasurable.  Like salt seasons and flavors, women have the power to season their homes, communities and society with feminine, preserving grace.

Historically, mothers served not only as the womb of life, but also as the moral compass for a family, community and nation.  Make no mistake, the influence of organizations like NOW, and the rise to leadership of women who crusade for and encourage the slaughter of the unborn infant in a mother’s womb has dethroned America’s daughters, wives and mothers.

Proverbs 31:31 – Give [Deliver; yield; recompense; pay; apportion] her of the fruit [reward; results] of her hands [labor; consecration]; and let her own works [labor; deeds; achievements; behavior] praise [boast; glory] her in the gates [gates of the city where the elders sat and exercised judgment].”

A husband, son and daughter of a virtuous wife and mother can never compliment or praise a woman of virtue too much!   In his letter to the scattered and persecuted Christians of the 1st century church the apostle Peter challenged husbands: Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them [wife] according to knowledge [understanding], giving honour [cherish; treat as priceless] unto the wife…” (1 Peter 3:7).

It is my prayer this brief devotional has inspired daughters, wives and mothers to love the Lord and know, in spite of what this godless society might tell you, your influence is beyond your comprehension.  Many have said, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”

I close with an illustration and am at a lost to cite its origin.

Illust. – A man stopped at the flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived 200 miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied: “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother, but I only have 75 cents and a rose cost $2.00.”

The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I will buy you a rose for your mother.”  He placed his FTD order of flowers to his mother and bought a rose for the girl.  As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride.

She responded, “Yes, please, if you could. Take me to my mother,” and she directed him to a cemetery where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up the flowers and drove the 200 miles to his mother’s home.

Wives and mother’s long for their family’s affection and nothing will compare to the praise of her family.   By the way, to my wife, daughters and mothers in my life…I love you!

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith

“Behold thy Mother!”

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Luke 1-2

We continue our “Read-thru the Bible” scripture reading today focusing on the Gospel of Luke chapters 1-2.  Written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the human author of the Gospel of Luke is “Luke, the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14).  Luke’s occupation was that of a medical doctor; however, his writings in the Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts reveal he was a historian and travel companion of the apostle Paul on his missionary journeys (Acts 16:10).  The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts are historical letters penned by Luke to a friend named Theophilus (Luke 1:1-3; Acts 1:1) and the opening verses of each reflect the passion of a historian who was a well-educated man.

Given the length and historical character of Luke 1-2, I will limit this devotional commentary to an overview of the chapters and close with a brief focus on Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Luke 1 introduces us to the miraculous conception of John the Baptist, the long-awaited forerunner of the Messiah (Luke 1:5-25).   Destined for greatness from his conception; however, it was not the greatness men thrust upon one because of his lineage (John’s father Zacharias was a priest who lived in relative obscurity).   It was prophesied of John he would be “great in the sight of the LORD” (Luke 1:15) because of his mission.  He would be the messenger of the LORD dedicated to heralding the coming of Jesus Christ, the “Lamb of God”.

Luke 1:26-38 is the record of the miraculous incarnation of Jesus Christ, conceived in the womb of the virgin named Mary of Nazareth, a child of the Holy Ghost, the only begotten Son of God (Luke 1:35-37).

Luke 1:39-56 is the record of the expecting Mary’s retreat from Nazareth to the home of her elder cousin Elisabeth whom Mary found great with child as the angel Gabriel had told her (Luke 1:36).  Luke 1:57-80 records the birth of John the Baptist and his divine mission.

The historical events surrounding the birth of Jesus and the angelic announcement of His birth are found in Luke 2:1-20.  The circumcision of Jesus (2:21-24), the prophesies of Simeon and Anna (2:25-38), and a brief insight into Jesus’ childhood are found in Luke 2:39-52.

I am taking my sermon for this Mother’s Day,  Sunday, May 14, 2017 from the dramatic moment Jesus’ gaze fell upon his mother who was standing near the cross.  When Mary visited the Temple with her eight-day-old Son (Luke 2:25-35), she received a prophecy from the elder Simeon who, taking Jesus up into his arms said to Mary, “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul” (Luke 2:35).  I believe those words haunted Mary’s thoughts throughout the years Jesus was growing from a child to a man in her home.  Standing at the foot of His cross, untold sorrows pierced Mary’s soul as she watched her sinless Son become the object of curses and scorn.

Through her tears, Mary understood Jesus was the Son of His Heavenly Father and the suffering He endured on the cross was as much for her sins as the sins of those who crucified Him (note Luke 1:46-47).   The cross severed all human ties with this physical world; however, Jesus, bearing the burden and penalty of the sins of the world, did not forget his mother.  Gazing through swollen eyes nearly closed from abuses He has suffered, His lips bruised and bleeding, Jesus speaks to His mother, “Woman, Behold thy son!” (John 19:26).  Jesus was not referring to Himself, but to John who stood at her side.  Turning His gaze to John, Jesus said, “Behold thy mother!” (John 19:27).  We read concerning John, “from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:27b).

On this Mother’s Day eve, contemplate Jesus’ example.  He remembered to provide for His mother by doing the one thing He could do…He entrusted her to the care of the one disciple who stood near the cross.   Jesus knew John shared Mary’s zeal for the LORD and would care and provide for her as though she were his mother.

In the hour of His greatest agony; He did not forget His mother!   What a wonderful lesson for us all who have mothers and grandmothers!

Friend, whether you are a mother or not, you are blessed if there are men and women in your life who love and care for you!

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith