Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 060 - Motherhood is Discipleship
Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast – Episode 60 – Motherhood is Discipleship
Have you ever pondered how Jesus gathered His disciples? Or how He decided who would become His apostles? When I first became a follower of Christ, I had so many questions. I wondered at how Jesus chose those who were closest to Him. Of course, now I understand more clearly that God has a plan and Jesus was close to the Father and sought the Father’s wisdom, insight, knowledge, and understanding. Jesus simply and immediately obeyed where the Father commanded. He was able to choose the men who would become apostles through deep prayer with, and direction from God.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a disciple of Christ?
Let’s pause and consider the definition of the word disciple: a disciple is a person who is a pupil of or adheres to the doctrines of another. As a mother, you certainly are His disciple. In fact, as a mother, you are a discipler. As such, your main goal should be three-fold: to worship Christ, serve Him, and witness to your children.
Luke 6:12-16 says, “In these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God. And when day came, He called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom He named apostles: Simon, whom He named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
As you study additional Scripture, you see how Jesus prepared his disciples to become apostles in four ways. In fact, these are the same methods you can use to prepare your children for a life of discipleship under Christ.
1. He shared truth - Jesus shared the truth of God – Jesus, the actual Source of the gospel, the provider of eternal life for each of us, shared God to everyone without excuses, without wavering, and without fear - just as you are to do with your husband, children, or grandchildren. No matter how old they might be, you have the holy privilege and responsibility of bringing your children to God through Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
2. He mentored discipleship - Jesus explained the way to get to God, He modeledthe way to live. Jesus mentored complete obedience and love. Just as we are expected to do with our children and others. God gives us the blessing of choice, but why would anyone choose not to share Jesus? The very act of living shows our beliefs and values under Christ. How are you modeling Jesus? John 8:31-32 says, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
1 John 2:4-6 says, “Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”
3. He modeled prayer – Jesus taught the disciples how to pray. The Lord’s Prayer clearly indicates an order in which to lift requests and recognition to God. Jesus began with praise. Petitions were made after worship had begun and glory given. Instead of reciting a shopping list of needs and desires, Jesus remembered Who He was addressing and gave due honor. When we pray in this way, our focus remains in the right frame of mind.
Luke 11:1-13 says, “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.” So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Did you notice the important aspects of prayer laid out by Jesus: content, persistence, faithfulness, and forgiveness of God? Jesus prayed because He understood His purpose was to be a discipleof God, to show Him to others, and to obey His will. Without prayer, and learning to know and be like the Father, Jesus would not be able to obey God’s will. Such is your life. So is my life. In order to share the truth of God with our children, they must witness Him in us. In order to be able to see Him within you, you must be in prayer.
So much is modeled in this prayer! Forgiveness of self, others, God, and realizing the forgiveness lavished on us by Jesus Himself. This beautiful prayer also modeled realization that God’s provisions are daily. Sure, we love surplus. We want assurance that everything is taken care of today, tomorrow, and forever. Yet, God’s ways are different. His desire is that we are satisfied with trusting Him moment by moment. “Give us this day our daily bread.” When you are worried, dissatisfied, grumpy, lonely, or depressed, are you relying on Him to give what you need in each moment? Are you living in His strength or faltering in your own?
Colossians 4:2 says, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
God’s Word says to be steadfast in prayer. You know I love looking at meanings of words. Steadfast means fixed in direction and unwavering. We are to remain unwavering in our ability to speak to God at any time. No matter the time of day, where you are, how you are feeling, or what is on your mind, take your heart and thoughts to God in prayer. Sometimes you’ll be in a quiet place, sometimes you’ll literally be on your knees or laying prostrate on the floor. At other times, you will lift a quick and quiet prayer from your spirit. Sometimes you’ll speak aloud as you go along your day. There is no required method to prayer, except that you speak from a place of belief, faith, and trust. God is ever-present and He hears. Steadfastness or persistence in prayer changes our heart and mind as we wait for God’s response. It helps us express the needs and desires of our heart and mind and transforms what we long and ask for as we wait. We recognize God’s work more readily as we are changed to desire what He desires and we acquire gratitude that springs from a changed heart.
God also tells us to be watchful with thanksgiving. I used to keep a prayer journal. When life became so busy it was difficult to keep it up, I stopped and put the journal away. Even many years later, I pull it out sometimes and read the prayers I spoke to God and I see the answers logged, as well as those that weren’t. I think all of them have now been answered. I highly recommend logging prayers, not only for your records and remembrances, but for family members who will see the log long after you are gone. What a beautiful way to showcase the faithfulness of God and the mother who longed to disciple her children for Him.
God’s Word commands us to be constant in prayer. I adore the definition for the word constant: continuing without pause or let-up. I believe speaking to God is also a lifestyle. Our communication with our Heavenly Father is like breathing. Our heart, mind, words, actions, reactions, and emotions should be so tied to His that we are in constant communication in the way we act and speak. This is constant prayer. Speaking to God, letting Him know our deepest desires, our weaknesses, relying on Him to carry us, and calling on Him to do so.
4. He equipped them – Jesus equipped His disciples. Jesus spent purposed time with His disciples. He mentored the way to live a life centered on three very important things: live with God-driven desires, focus on serving others above self, and be a godly leader.
Ephesians 4:11-16 says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
Can you see how in the same way Jesus prepared His apostles, Jesus prepares you to disciple His children for Him through the holy Word of God? God has set the knowledge of His moral standards within each of us and our children, but we need His Holy Spirit inside to guide and guard us, to equip us to do live according to the holy standards He has set for us. His Holy Spirit living within your children mentors the way to live a life of morals and values from our Heavenly Father. They need you to teach them the way to Him.
Christ sits at the right hand of God interceding with groans when your words are inadequate and your heart longs for understanding, wisdom, direction, and peace. He has equipped you with a perfect template of how to pray to the Father and how to grow your walk moment by moment so you can reflect Him in thoughts, words, actions, reactions, and deeds.
Jesus taught men to fish. He didn’t just give them fish. Don’t attempt to walk with Jesus. Let yourself be carried by Christ. Then show your children how to abide in His arms so they will never need to be hand-fed. They will be able to fish and become the generation showing others the way to life through Christ.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your goodness is unfathomable. Try as we might, it is difficult to imagine the glory You deserve. Help us each day to grasp Your holiness and mercy in new ways that drive us to our knees before You. Enable us to be the godly women You desire so that our children and grandchildren will carry the knowledge of You into each area of their life, invite You in, and rely on You for all their needs. Father, Jesus chose ordinary apostles with mixtures of backgrounds and personalities, talents and desires. Yet He showed each of them how to use those unique qualities for You. Help us to parent in the same way. May we see our children with Your eyes of love, wisdom, and understanding, and have the patience to show them the way to eternal life with You. Prepare our hearts as You prepare theirs. Lord, we know Jesus prayed before every important event. He took time to abide in You. Help us to seek that time with You and find it. In the midst of hectic days and short nights, our spirit cries out for You without relief. Help us find the Way, the Truth, and the Life and reflect You to our children because we make the time to rest in You. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
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Remember, if you’re not purposed in knowing Jesus and showing Him to the next generation, the world will likely sway your children away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast enables you to stop being a good mom and focus on being a godly parent. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to parent with eternal purpose and connection.