Experiencing God - side track - Mother's Day 99

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Reading: Genesis 1:26-31
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

I.   Extending God’s Comfort (Isaiah 66:12-13)

     A.  God as a Mother?

           1.  Feminism’s sad legacy

                 a.  The discussion of what is unique to men and women is politicized.

                 b.  Even among evangelicals we have to be careful about what we say!

                 c.  Even femininity itself is suspect in some circles: inherently sinful unless it stays under masculine authority.

           2.  God isn’t ashamed to compare himself to a female!

                 a.  Of course not! Women share his image as much as men do.

                 b.  Eve, created in God’s image was good.

                 c.  There is something uniquely good about femininity.

     B.  God comforts His People

           1.  God comforts his people as a mother comforts hers.

                 a.  What a wonderful image!

                 b.  Is there a better way for us to understand God’s comfort?

           2.  When God comforts his people they are comforted!

                 a.  God gives comfort like a mother, and his comfort is received that way.

II.  Gathering and Protecting (Luke 13:31-35)

     A.  God like a mother Hen?

           1.  A hen, like many mothers in the animal kingdom can be very protective.

                 a.  Even a chicken imitates the protective love God has for his people.

           2.  Psalm 91:1-4

                 a.  Jesus equates himself with God in Luke 13.

                 b.  Jesus didn’t hesitate to use a feminine image to describe his fierce love

     B.  Jesus wants to Gather his people

           1.  He wants even the rebellious ones to come to him for protection

                 a.  Aren’t mom’s like this? Don’t they long for their rebel children to return?

                 b.  That’s the picture Jesus wants us to have of him.

           2.  He wants to bring us under himself.

                 a.  Under his wings. Under his embrace.

                 b.  He wants us as close to him as we can

     C.  Jesus wants to Protect his people

           1.  The hen says “If you want them you gotta go through me.”

                 a.  I guess it’s OK for moms to be protective!

                 b.  Jesus protects us like an old mother hen!

           2.  Jesus is the protector of all who come under his wings.

                 a.  It’s his nature and his role

                 b.  He says: And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. John 6:39 (NIV)

                 c.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

III. Teaching them to Fly (Deut. 32:10-12)

     A.  God like a mother Eagle?

           1.  The eagle was considered the king of all birds.

                 a.  Mother eagles are majestic birds.

                 b.  The description in Deut. 32 is accurate.

                 c.  An eagle’s nest is typically remote and in a good vantage point.

           2.  Again, God chooses a feminine image to tell us something about himself.

                 a.  It is the mother eagle in this case that drives the young out of the nest.

                 b.  Yet if the young eagle should falter the mother eagle will uphold it with it’s own wings.

     B.  God Teaches His people

           1.  The eagle teaches its young how to be an eagle.

                 a.  Would it be an eagle, if it couldn’t fly?

                 b.  Yes, but it would be a severely handicapped eagle.

                 c.  It is the task of parenting to equip our children for the duties God will give.

           2.  God teaches us how to be his people.

                 a.  Would we be human, if we were not becoming more like Him?

                 b.  We are supposed to be his people and live in relationship with him.

                 c.  He doesn’t do the flying for us, he teaches us and lets us try.

     C.  God Empowers His people

           1.  He entrusts us with the responsibility of flight.

                 a.  We don’t ride on his back, we use the wings he gave us.

                 b.  God gives gifts, abilities and experience to us and wants us to use them.

           2.  He encourages us to fly

                 a.  It is not more pious to pretend we are not capable when God has made us so.

                 b.  God kicks us out of the security of our isolated nests so we can be the people He intended us to be.

           3.  If we fall he keeps us safe

                 a.  But like the mother eagle, he protects us even from ourselves.

                 b.  In a wonder image of mothering, the eagle lets her eaglets fall and then supports them with her own wings until they can get their balance and try again.

                 c.  We are in His image and therefore one of our most sacred duties is to become more and more like him so that image can flourish.

The Bottom Line:

Let’s Bask in the love of God, Who loves His Children like a Mother loves hers.

Red#480, v.2 O to Be Like Thee

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