Being a super mum is the most underrated, underpaid and overtaxing job on the planet, and so today I do not want to just celebrate motherhood, I want to crown each of you mums as what you are… a Super-mum!
Mums become super-mums not by being born on the planet krypton, not by being able to leap tall buildings at a single bound. They become super-mums by the things they say and the things they do. So to start today’s super proceedings, let’s hear some of our mum’s super wisdom…
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM A SUPER MUM
Silence is golden, unless you have kids, then it’s suspicious!
Phyllis Dilla: I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford… then I want to move in with them!
Erma Bombeck: when your mother asks if you want a piece of advice, it's a formality. Whatever you answer, you're going to get it.
One mum said, My kids call it yelling when I raise my voice. I call it motivational speaking for selective listeners.
Another said, My nickname is mum. My real name is mum, mum, mum, mum!
Behind every mum is a basket of dirty laundry
My house isn’t messy, it’s custom designed by a 2 year old
By the time a woman realises her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she’s wrong.
Another quote I found which is what you have to put up with as a mum sometimes… Benjamin Spock: there are only 2 things a child will share willingly. Communicable diseases and their mother's age.
So that's mother's wisdom, let's zero in now on a mother's faith.
A SUPER MUM SUPER POWER
Everybody knows that a super mum has a super power is love, her undying, unconditional love. And this love generates a second super power… faith. If you look at Hebrews 11, the great chapter listing the heroes of the Bible, they are heroes because of their faith. Faith fuelled by love causes a super mum to do extraordinary things, to believe in you even when you fail, and to never stop believing in or wanting the best for you.
Scripture has many examples of faithful mums, mums who made a difference in the lives of their children and even the world in which they lived. Moses’ mum is one example, placing him in the little basket in the bulrushes, then becoming his nanny when Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him. Rahab, saved her family by her faith. Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah even Deborah, who was described as the mother of Israel and led her troops to a great victory over Sisera.
But today I want to show you one mother’s super power, recorded in Matthew 15, where the faith of a Canaanite woman saved and set her daughter free from demonic oppression.
The background to this passage is that Jews hated gentiles, and actually called them dogs! If you think right back to Joshua and Judges, these gentiles were the remnant of the evil nations that the conquering Israelites failed to dislodge. Jews considered them lower than a wombat’s basement.
And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Today, for you as a super mum’ I want to concentrate on developing this superpower of faith for the salvation of your children. I want to talk about developing your super power to reach a wayward husband, or child, or someone else you care about, with the love of God and the faith of a super mum.
We see in this story that the woman had plenty of obstacles, but she stood in the gap for her child. As I share around this passage, take a moment to think about someone you know in your family that isn't walking with the Lord…
- A MOTHER’S FAITH MADE HER TAKE A CHANCE
The Canaanite woman knew everything was against her, especially racially. She knew the social stigmas. Certainly her race was against her: She was a Gentile. Her sex was against her, because most Jewish rabbis paid little attention to women. It seemed that the disciples were against her, and even Christ’s words might have led her to believe that He was against her.
She could have stopped, she could have said, “ok, fair enough, I’m a dog,” she could have given up even before she started… oh, it's all too hard!
But hey, it was her daughter we're talking about here. She decided not to give up on her child, and neither should you! She decided to take a chance, a chance to set her beloved child free!
And sometimes we look at people we love who are not walking with the Lord and it all seems too hard! They're doing things we don't approve of, they're making bad decisions, and we can see the consequences of their decisions barrelling down the line towards them, but they won’t listen. They’re breaking our hearts. They might even been attacking us or pulling away from us!
Listen mums, this super mum took a chance, and I want to encourage you to do the same. Sure, our wayward kids may seem distant from us now, they may be ignoring our advice or rebelling, but the faith of a mother is worth much! This super mum’s faith won the day, so maybe today you need to take a chance and trust God for your kid’s salvation!
- A MOTHER’S FAITH ASKED THE TOUGH QUESTIONS
This mother's faith drove her to ask the question. Others may accuse you of being pushy or overbearing, but sometimes asking a simple question can make people think.
Sometimes even just a look will suffice. I remember being caught doing things as a kid, and mum didn't even have to say anything, she'd just look, and I'd know she knew. Mums do that! Maybe the evil eye is another superpower… she can stop evil or curdle milk with just one look!
Trust me, guys, you can't fool mum. Mother's know, they have wider fields of view and eyes in the back of their heads. They see everything, hear everything and read between the lines well. And trust me. I'm married to a mother who is a psychotherapist, sometimes more psycho than therapist.
So this Canaanite mum called out to God and asked the question…
And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.”
Speaking to Jesus, she addressed Him as the Lord, the Son of David, a title which only the Jews used in speaking of the Messiah. Although Jesus was the Son of David, a Gentile had no right to approach Him on that basis. That is why He did not answer her at first.
So she had no right to approach, but she did it anyway. And that's the thing: a mother's faith will push through and ask the tough questions, so mums, step up and ask God for your wayward children… you'll be surprised at what God wants to do for you!
- A MOTHER’S FAITH SUFFERED ATTACK
Listen ladies, if you step out and ask God, expect opposition. You might get it from your kids, you might get it from their dad, their partner, their friends, somebody. You will find your own feelings being attacked, times when you even doubt that God hears you. It might even come from people in the church who don't believe with you. This super mum faced opposition…
But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
The disciples didn't want her around, and she may have even thought Jesus wanted her gone. But she stayed! How many of you have a mother who stays long and doesn’t go. They love us, so they often stick around, despite opposition.
Super mum’s, when you face attack, react like this mother of faith did! He came and she said…
But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”
And mums, I encourage you to just get real and honest with the Lord this morning. Today is Mother's Day, and I sense the heart of God for faithful super mums right now. So get real, get honest and say with all your heart, “Lord help me.” I believe that the prayer of a mother's faithfulness for her kids and grandkids is going to be answered by God.
And remember, motherhood is a tough job, and you face opposition all the time. If you want to be great, if you want to influence others, get ready for somebody to attack you!
- A MOTHER’S FAITH WAS TESTED WITHOUT OFFENCE
Jesus then decided to probe her faith. Mums, your faith will be tested!
And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.”
Now it might sound a bit nasty, but in context Jesus wasn't having a shot at her at all. A little bit of Hebrew understanding comes in handy here…
You have to remember, this super mum wasn't a Jew, she was a gentile. The Jews looked upon the Gentiles as scavenging dogs, prowling the streets for scraps of food. However, Jesus here doesn't use that particular word when He says dogs. Instead, He used the word for little pet puppies. He didn't call her a rabid street dog or mangy mongrel, He called her a little puppy. Jesus tasted her faith, but in a kind and gentle way.
The question was, “Would she take offence or acknowledge her unworthiness to receive the least of His mercies?”
One of the great tragedies I see over and over again is mum’s being hurt and taking offence. Super mum, listen to me, you need to not take offence at anything your kids say or do, even if you hate what they do! Use your superpowers to love them, pray for them, believe for them and claim them for Jesus. I'd rather be offended and see my kids saved than feel justified and have them silent and distant!
So often we believe things so strongly, so vehemently, that we drive away and offend others. As I often say, if you love people more than you love your pet doctrine, opinion of belief we will have unity. But if you value your opinion over people, we will have disunity, conflict and separation!
If they do something you don’t approve of, you need to love them unconditionally. If you stand so aggressively for what you believe and drive them away, you may never get them back. We’ve said to our kids, we may not approve of the decision you’ve made, but we will never stop loving and accepting you. We will never stop praying and believing for you… that’s our super power!
- A MOTHER’S FAITH PERSISTED
This super mum could have taken offence, and crawled away insulted that Jesus spoke that way. But because her superpower was faith, she saw the big picture, she saw eternity rather than what was going on around her, and she decided to persist!
She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.”
In these few words this super mum was humbling herself for the sake of her daughter. She persisted and believe the best because she loved her child more than her pet beliefs, her doctrine, her reputation or her own personal interests. This super mum wanted to see her child set free at any cost!
She said, in effect, “You are right! I am just st a little puppy under the table. But I notice that crumbs sometimes fall from the table to the floor. Won’t You let me have some crumbs? I am not worthy that You should heal my daughter, but I beg You to do it for one of Your undeserving creatures.”
Some of you mums here have prayed for years for your kids, and seen little result. Sometimes it seems so discouraging because they never seem to change, even into adulthood. Maybe they're lost in a bad relationship or substance abuse, maybe they are good people but they've crowded God out of their lives and have no time for Him. Whatever they’ve done, whatever they are doing, don’t give up on them, don’t give in to despair, because your super power is Holy Spirit powered faith!
You can’t ultimately win someone to Jesus, no matter how strong or persistent you are. The Holy Spirit wins their hearts, not you. You can’t nag a wayward child or husband or friend or anyone else into the Kingdom. But, you can pray, and trust the Lord to use your super powered faith to bring your kids to Him!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast
Christian mums here today, you know that it’s the anointing that breaks the yoke (Isaiah 10:27), and for many of you this truth leads you to pray for your wayward kids or spouses, whether they are successful corporate CEOs or cellar dwelling drug addicts. I want to urge you today to keep praying.
Your super power is the faith God stirs up in your heart, and the closer you are to God, the greater this faith within you. So read His Word, pray, come to church, to Bible study, listen to worship music, and never, never give up on your kids, grandkids and even husbands or exes. I can't change them, you can't change them, but God can. You must persist, and have super mum faith.
- A MOTHER’S FAITH WAS REWARDED
Jesus was so delighted with this super mum faith when she persisted, He commended her!
Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Jesus commended her for her great faith. While the unbelieving children, the Jews, had no hunger for the bread, here was a self-confessed “doggie” crying out for it. This super mum and her super faith was rewarded; her daughter was healed instantly. Interestingly Jesus never complimented the religious leaders or the disciples saying “Great is your faith”, only a gentile, despised woman.
And that, mums, is my challenge to you today. Whatever you are believing for with your family, partners, children or grandchildren, I believe that today is the day when you can stand and believe, and we want to stand with you. Today is your day, super mum!
On Mother’s Day, we are going to pray for your children and grandchildren. If you are a in church today just to make your mum happy, why not really make her dreams come true and her prayers be answered by asking Jesus into your heart right now.
THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL
Mum’s, today you might have got breakfast in bed, or lovely presents, something cute or special. Those gifts are precious, but they don’t last into eternity.
The greatest gift you could give your mum this Mother’s Day is to give your life to Jesus. She’s been praying for you, she’s been using her superpowers of faith and love because she wants you to join her in heaven. God gave us the greatest gift of His Son to bring us back to Him. This gift is free, it’s a gift, and it is here for you today, and will bless her on this special day.
In a moment, I'm going to ask all the mums to stand and come forward and let us pray for your wayward children, grandchildren or even husbands. Let's join our faith together and believe for God to reward your super power of faith today! We’ve been praying a lot for our nation at this time, but it’s time we prayed for our children and families.
You may have been fighting for them in prayer for years, but I'm going to ask you to stand for them in faith, right here and right now, so let us stand together as a church and fight! If you as a mum have a child or grandchild on your heart and you are praying specifically for their salvation, I'm going to ask you to stand, come to the front and our elders will pray and believe with you for the greatest Mother's Day gift of all… your kids coming to Jesus.
If you have other loved ones, husbands, wives, parents, let’s pray for their salvation too.