Friday, December 7, 2012

What a Mother Taught Her Child

What a MotherTaught Her Child
Proverbs 31 
The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him (Proverbs 31:1.)

Luke 1:46-50
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.   For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.   And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Introduction: As we look at Proverbs 31 and gather some principles about what a mother, must teach her child; we must remember it is the Lord who gives clear direction and discernment to a mother concerning where to place emphasis in instructing her children. A mother must seek the Lord and follow Him closely in order to instruct her children properly.

We see in the very first verse King Lemuel repeating what his mother taught him through the next verses. She took the responsibility to teach him about very important issues of life.  It is not any one else’s (school, church, etc.) to teach your children the ways of life, it is your God-given blessing, so take the responsibility and cherish every moment. Society today will try to impress many false ideas about where your children come from or that they really aren’t special, just a lump of tissue in the womb. It is very important that you teach your child that God created them very special, and created them just for you. Teach them the truth about where they came from.

Psalm 139: 13-14 ~ For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Mary, the soon to be mother of Jesus, a young teen-aged girl, knew the God of Scripture, the God of Israel in a deep personal way. She knew His Word. She understood it. She had studied it. She had laid hold of its promises and its covenants. Those promises filled her thoughts and filled her heart. When she says in Luke 1:48, "All generations shall call me blessed," she is speaking of herself as the recipient, not the giver of blessing. She doesn't say all generations will look to me to bless them. They'll consider me blessed because of what I received.  It is the Lord to whom her soul magnifies in verse 46. It is God my Savior whom her spirit exalts in verse 47. She sings of the great things that God has done, verse 49, on her behalf. She rejoices in the great mercy God has shown her in becoming the mother of the Christ Child.

The key to understanding Mary's praise is in the expression of her great faith. It is an expression of her love for God, her worship of God, her understanding of Scripture and the promises of God.  A young woman in incredible circumstances with immense challenges and difficulties who was nevertheless pouring out worship to the God she knew and the God she believed.

In Proverbs 31, King Lemuel’s training as a child was much like Mary’s. She was an example of a model believer. Mary, only a child herself, magnifies the Lord with her pure life as one who loves God down deep in her heart and who knows the truth about God and who knows her God well. King Lemuel was taught, Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10.)  The king was being taught moral purity. Mary’s moral purity for sure played a  huge part in her being chosen as the mother of Jesus. She was taught the importance of having good character, integrity, and decency. These are key traits in a person’s life and of utmost importance. King Lemuel was taught to live a life honoring to the Lord. Proverbs 31:25 says, Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. He was taught that who you are is more important than what you are or what you possess.  A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold (Proverbs 22:1.)

To know Christ as Savior is by far the most important thing we could ever teach our children. We must preach and teach to them the gospel. If we do not teach this to our children, then nothing else we could possible teach them, in all of eternity, really matters. King Lemuel speaks about the Proverbs 31 woman that fears the LORD. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised ( Proverbs 31:30.)  If there is anything in life that we should be passionate about, it is the gospel. We must not only be passionate about sharing the gospel with our children, but we must be passionate about thinking about it, rejoicing in it and living the it before them.

Thought: What an example Mary was to the world.  Yes, she was to be the mother of Jesus, but still one of us, a sinner saved by grace and mercy, overwhelmed with her unworthiness, and willing to obey the Word of God in overflowing praise. Mary teaches us to praise the God of Heaven in humility and in doing so, she was lifted up and blessed beyond measure. Proverbs 31 gives practical, moral and spiritual teaching and Mary knowing Scripture, followed the teaching of Scripture––––may we follow her example. In conclusion, what should a mother teach her children? And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuternomy 6:5-7.) Teach your children to love God and then live the gospel every day before them that they may see whom Christ gave His all for, a sinner like mom.

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