Archives for May 2014

MAMA, ARE YOU SAVED?

Introduction: II Timothy 1:1-5 

Our text shows that Paul prayed for his young helper, Timothy, young Jewish boy whose mama was a good Christian believer, but his father was not (Ac. 16:1). Timothy became a real help to Paul, later he lived and served as a pastor or assistant to the Apostle in Ephesus. He had been brought up to know the Lord for he had a good Mama.

Today is Mother’s Day so I want to brag about mothers. Millions of ladies are good mothers, even before Christ comes into their lives. 

Mamas take mothering naturally. They start early. When a little girl gets a doll for a present she picks it up tenderly in her arms and immediately cuddles it very near her. She even coos and woos the pretend little baby. She is so gentle and kind to her new pride and joy– her doll baby.

Not boys. When boys pick up a doll baby it is usually to hide it from their sister. They grab the little thing by an arm or a leg and sling it into a corner. Then they unceremoniously pitch some big ol’ object over it to hide it. 

Have you noticed, boys and girls are different from each other?

I. MANY LADIES ARE GOOD MOTHERS EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT SAVED! 

I am sure this is so. My mother did not know the Lord when my brother, my sister and I were growing up. When, at age six I asked her what was going to happen to me when I died, she said she didn’t know. I was really scared by that!

She knew about cooking. We had good inexpensive meals. It was the Great Depression but my dad landed a good job at Owens Corning in Newark, Ohio, my birthplace. It was 1933 and he received .40 an hour. Mama said, they were able to save a little from his checks!

She knew about keeping clothes cleaned. She worked on the dirt floor of our basement with two wash tubs and a scrub-board and she scrubbed! We had an automatic dryer too. It was about 40 feet long and was strung along the middle of the back yard. Mama worked hard keeping our clothes clean.

Mama knew about fighting fires too. I set ’em and she put ’em out. I liked burning things — combs in our bathroom stove, papers in the kitchen wastebasket, leaves and wood in Dad’s trailer, finally stuff in the basement window wells– along side of the house — Talk about stupid! I liked setting fires. 

When Dad got home from work he set a fire too, every time– on the seat of my pants! I kept setting fires though, until Dad raised the price too high and then I quit! But, Mama was good at putting them out! I’m not sure I was a good example to my little brother and sister! Mama was good about doctoring too. When I was just six weeks old I was desperately sick in my throat and ears. The doctor said, “When he sleeps you stay awake and watch him.” Babies sleep a lot. But she stayed awake and saved my life. She didn’t know then that I would one day set many fires — good thing!

Mama could make a great mustard plaster too. When I got it in the chest she made up a mustard plaster. Just the thought of wearing the stinkin’ thing made me get  better.

If I had my way about it every 21st century spoiled brat would have to have at least one mustard plaster as a kid. That would make him or her appreciate everything else in life for at least a year. Only thing, Mama couldn’t take pills very well. So she always insisted we take our pills, for whatever, with a spoon of jelly. I could take them best with water but she couldn’t so we always used jelly. What a waste — I kind of gagged on the stuff!

Mama was good with Dad too. He loved her and showed it. One day he came home from work early and tippy-toed into the house. Our house was too rich to have doors between the various rooms. We had curtains instead. Dad sneaked into the house and stuck his head into the room Mama was in from the kitchen. He wanted to give her a kiss. But first he yelled “Boo”- It got Mama’s attention. She thought he was an intruder so she swung her small fist as hard as she could. It caught Dad on the end of the nose. He never sneaked in again that I can remember.

Mama was a wonderful cigarette maker too. She bought Dad “Buglar” tobacco and with our little rolling machine she made him many cigarettes. Often at night she’d press me into service and we rolled and twisted the ends closed and put them back into the pack so Dad sort of had plenty of packs of cigarettes. Mama didn’t smoke. I think she hated smoking but Dad smoked for 39 years regularly and started much earlier than that sneaking around as a child.

I never used any of Dad’s — afraid I might get caught. I got mine from the gutter in front of our house — there were plenty and they were shorter but more round than Dad’s. I don’t remember giving Bill or Ann any though!

Mama was really good as Santa’s helper too. When I was five I got up early in the night just before Christmas and there under our little leaning Christmas tree were presents and stuff. I pretended I was sick and started looking for mama. I went outside and looks down to the garage — decided she wasn’t there. I went out to the front porch and looked around — callings several times for her.

Finally, I ran through the trace of snow with my bare feet on and went up on the neighbor’s porch. I got something in my eye so Mama thought I was crying when the neighbor lady opened the door and brought me into their fine living  room.

Was I surprised. Mama had a little glass in her hand, really small. So did the neighbor man and lady. There was something brown in the glass and a funny smell about it. Mama seemed very embarrassed and I got the idea it was a brand new thing to her. Later, I  learned it was. She was taking a drink to fit in. I wonder if any good mothers still do things like that! 

Mama picked me up and made a bee-line for the door. Now that I think of it, I believe God woke me up that night and sent me to the neighbors’ house to speak to Mama! If so, it is a case of a pint-sized bare-foot boy in his pjs. witnessing   to  his Mama  before HE was saved! She never did that again — never in her whole life that I can remember. Like I was to become, she became a strong  enemy of  rot gut  alcohol when we realized the terrible things it does to everybody involved! 

Yes, Mama was a wonderful woman, even in her lost condition. After I got saved I wrote letters home from my Navy station imploring her to get saved too. She saw a new interest, in religious things in me, so she would write back and congratulate me on my new religion. She thought I had gotten religion. I knew I had gotten Jesus into my life and I tried hard to explain! 

About that time a couple of young men came to her door at home. They began to explain about their religion. They talked to her about one Joseph Smith. They gave her a Book of Mormon. complete with little hand-drawn diagrams of how great he was. Later she gave it to me and I have used it many times over the years to point out the silly things taught therein that formed the Mormon false religion. 

II. BUT MAMA GOT SAVED 

Mama kept reading the tracts about Christ and the plan of salvation as I sent them home in my letters. Finally she opened her heart to Christ, and signed the plan of salvation at the end of one of the tracts and sent it to Chicago for further help. 

 When she got saved she got a Bible. Oh, we always had a Bible at home while we kids were growing up. Grandma and Mama used it to press flowers into when anybody in the family died. Grandma had her own Bible and sometimes she read it but just the easy parts like Mark and John because she got only to the fourth grade when her mama died so she stayed home and ran the house for my great grandpa and her siblings. But Mama started bringing her Bible to church. She wrote to me more explaining that she felt funny taking her Bible as she was the only one in church with one, well, except the minister. She began to realize no-body in our church cared about the Bible or didn’t seem to know anything about it. That helped me convince her she was in the wrong church.

If you go to a church and the Bible is not evident in many hands of those coming to church, you are probably in the wrong church. Over the centuries the established church forbid folks to have a Bible, to bring it to church and discouraged them from reading it. “Only established scholars can understand the Bible,” they said. “So, don’t bother reading it.”

Now in our day, we’ve heard a lot of blabber about “Why can’t we read the Bible in school.” Parents suck up their chests and complain — “We need to get the Bible back into the schools.” Well, my answer to that is, “They haven’t taken the Bibles out of your house yet have they! Do you read your Bible in your home?” Maybe you ought to start there. When you had children at home, did you read the Bible with them? Do YOU even read your Bible at home now? I’m not talking about the “Daily Bread.” The few Scriptures in the Daily Bread are fine but if that is all the Bible you are getting, you’re going to starve spiritually! As fine as the Daily Bread is, I think even the publishers would tell you that is the kindergarten of the Christian faith. If that’s all the Bible you get, no wonder you don’t know much about the Lord! Do you think your body would thrive if all you ate every day was one small carrot?

III. WHEN MAMA GOT SAVED HER LIFE CHANGED 

When you got saved, did your life change? My mama’s did. Soon she was ready to listen to my suggestions to find a good Bible-preaching church. In the meantime my dad got his heart right with Christ after never admitting to any of us that he had gotten saved in his old-time Methodist church at age 12. 

Together Mama and Dad set off to get established in a good church. They started learning the Bible. Dad began substituting in teaching Sunday school Then he prayed for more Sundays off from his job. God heard him!

At work Dad played cards at lunch time with the gang in his shop. He smoked and heard the dirty stories others told, stories not unlike the ones he had been telling up to then.

One day, just as Dad was leaving for work, he said to Mama, “Pray for me, Honey, I left my cigarettes upstairs, I’m going to try to quit.” 

Mama went into action the moment he left. She buzzed up the stairs, gathered all Dad’s cartons of cigarettes, his lighters, his ash trays– the whole works and took them out to the burn barrel. Yep, Mama was changing.. So was Dad. He later said to me, years later, “Two weeks after I quit smoking the smell of cigarette smoke nauseated me.” He said, “I quit playing euchre because I couldn’t gamble any more. I quit smoking because I got tired of witnessing to guys and blowing cigarette smoke in their faces.” Yep, Mama changed, and Dad changed. Have you changed since you confessed Christ? 

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Co. 5:17). If you are in Christ you are changing to be more like the Lord. If you are not changing to be more like the Lord, you’re still stuck in your old hell-bound self! Not good! God never intended His plan of salvation to be something to breeze into and be done with. Mama, Papa, Younger, God is not in the business of making temporary half-way changes in your life. He wants you all!! Once He has your soul, now He wants your body too: “What, know ye not that your body in the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which he have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” ( I Co 6:19-20).

The Apostle Paul said about this new life we have in Christ: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”(II Co. 3:18).

So, what is supposed to happen after we are saved? Grow man grow! Grow Ma’m grow! Grow “younger,” grow!

MAMA, ARE YOU SAVED? 

Nowadays, when someone confesses Christ and his or life doesn’t change, somebody else gets the blame for their failure. That is unbiblical. When you got saved, I mean really saved, no obstacle is too great to overcome with Christ. That is because “We are more than conquerors, through him that loved us” (Ro. 8:37). Christ didn’t die to be a pee-wee in your life. He died to be your Lord and Saviour. It’s about time we started playing the role of conqueror, just like He outlined for us! 

Friday night we had our Mother’s and Daughters celebration for Mother’s Day. I am glad we did. Our ladies deserve our planning, our attention, and a good time in the Lord. But more than that, we want each one to understand, “I need to be saved.” Every mama needs to be saved. Mama, are you saved today?

Today is Mother’s Day. Guys and gals, do something nice for Mama today. Mama started taking care of you when there were only three things in the world you could do and all three of them were a problem for her. If you are not saved or have a friend who is not saved, help them to come to Christ, and make all Mama’s work for you worthwhile. 

Mama did many wonderful things for me in my life right up to the last years she lived. I didn’t quite realize it at the time, but the two greatest things I ever did for Mama was, first, to stop being a drifting, average lost soul, and secondly to become the instrument by which she found the mighty Christ. God did that in my life! Wow!

I don’t have to ask the question any more, “Mama, are you saved?” Yep, Mama i you are saved and you’ve been in the presence of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ for eleven years, six months and eleven days! Hallelujah! 

Conclusion

Before Mama died, she said to me one day, “Ken, I just wish I had been saved while you kids were growing up. Things would have been a lot different!” Yes, Mama, you bet your Toosie Rolls they’d be different!

Yep, Mama, we wouldn’t have had to roll all those cigarettes, and you wouldn’t have been embarrassed with a glass of whiskey in your hand, and you wouldn’t have had to correct my cussin’ and fussin so much. We’d have been reading our Bibles and studying our Sunday school lessons and would have been working on our neighbors to be saved, wouldn’t we Mama?

In December of last year when I always put out Bible reading plans for you folks to get started in a Bible reading plan, one person called me over to the table during those weeks and asked about one booklet. To my knowledge, I picked up every one of those I had put out those weeks and put them back into my files except that one! So, what am I supposed to think as your pastor: “Everybody in my church is busy on their own daily Bible reading plan; they don’t need me?” Or, are there quite a few in our church who can get along okay without reading their Bibles?” I wonder! 

I can’t help but feel, I better ask my question again: “Mama, are you saved today?” And Papa, are you saved today. And “Younger,” are you saved today.

You may feel it won’t make any difference. Friend, if you are saved or you are not it will make all the difference in this world. And it sure will make all the difference in the next. Come and be saved today.

Mama, Are You Saved? DAY-80