Psalm 11 is where we're going to begin, and in this psalm I'd like to read one verse. And I'll try not to ramble in my message this morning. My study this week has been a little here, a little there; and you pray for me as I preach, and I'd appreciate that. But I want to share a message or two the next few weeks on the subject of "Foundational Relationships," the foundational relationships of life.
Just before we get into the Christmas season I want to just build some foundational things with us from the Scriptures and I want to begin this miniseries by reading Psalm 11:3 which says, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" And many times we have concerns about the foundations of our nation, and we see the shifting sands. What are we supposed to do? And I want to speak to you about some of the really basic foundations that we can still be building no matter what's going on around us; and in particular I want to speak to you about your family this morning, and I want to speak to you next week about your relationship with the Lord himself, because these are things that no external pressures should ever change; but these are foundations that should always remain strong and steady in the Lord.
So turn now, if you would, to Psalm 127, Psalm 127, and we're going to read in this psalm verses 1 through 5, Psalm 127:1-5. And it says, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." Let's pray together.
Father, we ask that you would help us to strengthen the foundational relationships of our lives as we come to your Word these next few weeks. We pray that you would help us to apply these truths to our heart today and throughout this week as we live them out; and we ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. You may be seated.
Well obviously, this past week has allowed me to ponder some of the basic and important relationships of life; and I have to tell you that on the backdrop of a national election, to receive the news that I received about my mother, to grab Terrie and to run to be with family, suddenly all of the national news seems so much less important. Suddenly what really seemed to matter most was some of the basic foundational relationships of life. My relationship with the Lord and with my family, with my extended family, those things were put into focus. And while for some weeks we had focused on national items, suddenly very personal relationships were in focus.
You see, although the world really changes daily, God has given us three primary relationships that should be constant because they are surrounded by and supported by the Word of God, and that would be our relationship with Jesus Christ, our relationship with family, and our relationship with the local church that he has given to us, and that he, of course, loves so very much. And whatever your family structure may be this morning, each member of the family is God's gift to you. And when the foundations around us – economically or health or even politically – seem to be struggling or shifting, what can the righteous do? I believe the righteous can draw closer to Christ, the righteous can build the foundation of their own family, and the righteous can be faithful to the local New Testament church even in times like these.
Now as I have thought about these basic relationships of life, obviously my thoughts have focused much on my own mother throughout this week. I believe I have a picture of her here today. This is my mom 32 months ago, and quite frankly, with Alzheimer's you would not recognize her, of course, today. What a wonderful mother she has been to me. I would say that whatever compassion or servant-heartedness that I possess, it came from her from her example in my life. And the foundations, the good foundations that have been laid, God used her to lay them in so many ways.
I think of 2 Timothy 1:5 where Paul was thinking about Timothy's mother and grandmother, and he said, "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, how that it first dwelt in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that it is in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." And I think about the faith of a godly mother, the foundation of a Christian home, the solace of the prayers of a mother and of a father that would bring nurture and admonition into someone's life, so that whether it's Nero or Constantine, or Trump or Biden, or whatever the age, God says, "I'm going to be with you. Lo, I am with you always." And God says, "I'm going to provide nurturing environments for you through the family and through the church, so that no matter what else is going on in the world, you can know that the foundation that I build will never be destroyed."
This morning I would like to share with you three gifts that my mother imparted to me, three foundational principles that every family should provide for children that worry and wonder, that should be provided for teenagers that sometimes act indifferent. What are some of the foundations that we must continually develop in our families? My mother, first of all, imparted to me the teaching of the Scriptures, the teaching of the Scriptures. She read the Word of God to us very regularly. My father did as well; he traveled very, very much. And so, I'm so thankful today for a mother who read God's Word to me.
I want you to turn in your Bible to Deuteronomy for just a moment, chapter 6, Deuteronomy chapter 6, and here we find one of the great commandments of the Bible regarding family life. Deuteronomy chapter 6, beginning in verse 4: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: 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. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and upon thy gates."
Now here in Deuteronomy we read in verse 4 what is known as the Shema, the Jewish confession of faith. It reflects monotheism. It reflects the belief that there is one God: the Lord thy God. And as we read in this book of Deuteronomy we see the challenge that is given to parents, and it is, first of all, that they are to have a personal relationship with God, that it is to be personal to the parents, their own relationship. They themselves as parents must love the Lord God with all their heart, soul, and might. It's not enough to tell a child to do something that we are not doing, and so they are commanded in this area to have a personal love for the Lord: "Love the Lord with all of your heart." This speaks of the seat of emotions.
And children can sense what we really love. They can sense when we get excited about a football game, or a recipe, or a television show, or the Lord Jesus Christ himself. And God says to a parent that there's to be a love from our heart for himself: "with your heart," with your soul, speaking of your whole life; "with your might," speaking of all of your energies. I believe we express that in our attendance, in our giving, in our worship. Children can sense whether it's real, whether it's exciting, whether it's a drudgery.
And I think of my mother for 59 years of marriage, and for most of that 59 years married to a preacher and going to church; and I think of many times getting around ministry homes where the pastor's wives are reluctant or even absent; and yet she was joyfully there modeling her love for the Lord Jesus Christ, her desire to be a part of the work.
George Sweeney once wrote, "May God deliver us from a ho-hum attitude." Young people can read their parents, they can see right through their teachers, and they turn away in disgust from a make-believe faith. You see, before the law commands a parent to teach the children, it commands a parent to possess a true love themselves, that we would have a love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and not merely a love for the church itself or for the activities of the church, but for the God of the church, for the Lord God himself.
I have heard my mom's testimony several times as she shared it with me. And she was raised in an Irish Catholic home, and she was devout. In fact, my mom wanted to be a nun when she was a teenager. And one day through a series of events she was invited to the Ashburn Baptist Church in Chicagoland area, and a man there by the name of Pastor Lyons took the Bible and led my mom at the age of 16 to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And by the way, I couldn't tell you who the President was then, and I could care less who the President was then; I'm just glad my mom got saved.
You see, soul-winning is what matters. The biggest vote you'll ever place is when you tell someone about Jesus Christ. And my mom was saved at the age of 16, and she began to develop a personal love for Jesus. Prior to that, she had a relationship with the Roman Church; but after that, she began to develop a relationship with Jesus. She began to read the Bible and let him speak to her, and she began to learn how to pray to him. And if you're here this morning and you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, there's something much more important in life than having a relationship with a church, and that is having a relationship with the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must have a personal love for the Lord. And then we must have a personal walk with the Lord. This speaks of a walk from the heart. And we're to love the Lord God with all of our heart. Someone said, "You can con a con, you can fool a fool, but you can't kid a kid." Children are watching, they're looking. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Psalm 86:11, "Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name forever." So, a family foundation starts with leadership with parents who have a heart for God, who desire him, who want to walk closely with him. It must be personal to the parents. Then it must be presented to the children, this faith that you have, that you enjoy.
How many times have I seen men and women come to Lancaster Baptist Church kind of dutifully because they want their kids in the school, they want their kids in the Sunday School. They're just kind of doing it out of duty not from the heart; and then they wonder why the kids never catch on, they wonder why the kids get in trouble; because the parents are saying, "Do as I say, not as I do. You have a good attitude with the teacher, even though I don't have a real good attitude about coming to church." It will never work, parents. Your teaching will never be heard if your heart is not right yourself.
And so, first, it's personal to the parents, then it's presented to the children. And the Bible commands us in verse 7 that we are to teach the truth. We are to teach the children the truth. These families were to make the Scriptures the subject of communication in their home. And this is very challenging, and sometimes it takes strong leadership to say, "Look, I know there's all these channels, there's all these channels. There's all this sports, there's all this stuff, there's all this schedule. I get up early, mom comes home late, the schedules are weird. But we're going to find and make the time, and we're going to make a priority of opening the Bible as a family and learning what God's word says."
Now, for me, in the way our family life kind of went when I was a teenager, especially living in Korea. We got up very early, I caught a taxi, I went across the one bridge across the Han River to Seoul Foreign School. I played sports. It was a busy time. Teenagers are busy. But every night of the world my mom found time to sit at the foot of my bed and read the Scriptures to me, and pray with me. She made that happen, it was a priority to her. And though I always didn't act like it as a teenager, it was actually a priority to me. It was something that I looked forward to very, very much.
Joshua 24:15 says, "If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods of your fathers which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." That's the choice of parents, to determine that this will be a Christian home, that we will serve the Lord, that the Bible will be present. And grandparents and relatives, and as we have whatever kind of holidays we have together, whether it's smaller groups or outside groups or virtual group, finding a way to have God's Word in the middle of this, to remember, after all, that Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday. It's the most confusing holiday on the calendar for an atheist because they're not sure who to give thanks to. But we know who we're thanking: we're thanking the Lord himself.
Abraham Lincoln said of his mother's prayers, "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me; they have clung to me all my life." I think of Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
My brother's a little more musical than I, or at least I let him think he is. And so he was leading the singing this week around my mother's bed, and one of the songs we sang a few times was "In the Sweet By and By," and how that we're going to meet on that beautiful shore, and we sang, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. And when we've been there ten thousand years," Colossians 3:16; psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
I have little respect for churches that have completely thrown the hymns out of their repertoire. If for no other reason for people like my mother, how much comfort would some song that she's never heard have been to her this week? Young men and young preachers, you remember: you pastor more than just the young people in the church. Hymns have a generational tying together.
There's a place for new songs. I never heard the song we heard a moment ago: "Bless My Heart." But I'm going to tell you something: in someone's dying hour there's nothing like the hymns filled with Scripture and filled with comfort, and filled with the Word of God. And we must come back to the Word of God teaching the truth, whether it be in song, whether it be in reading, whether it be in our daily conversations, families must keep the truth of God's word central, and speaking of God and the greatness of God, and the sovereignty of God, and the workings of God. Teach the truth.
In fact, it even tells us here to post the truth. Did you see that in verse 9? Sometimes the truth was posted on the walls of a house. Sometimes the Jewish people literally had the phylacteries of Scriptures attached to their foreheads. And even if you were to visit the Holy Land today or go to the Western Wall and see the Jews praying there, this tradition continues today. Now I would say to you it doesn't matter how many family Bibles you own, it doesn't matter how many Scriptures you tie to your forehead, if it's not getting into your heart, it won't matter. But it won't get into your heart if it's not present around your family.
And so, think of it today. Sometimes I walk into Christian homes and I make visits, and sometimes I'll see in the garage maybe Budweiser, and sometimes I'll see racing cars, and sometimes I'll see all kinds of secular art in the house; and that's not always bad art, it's just secular art. But what I want to drill into our minds today is that there ought to be a Bible in the home, there ought to be some art that has Scripture on it, there ought to be some thought to the fact that something that your child sees every single day should reflect God to them. And, yes, it could be a beautiful painting of the Rocky Mountains, or it could be a Scripture verse; but my mom gave to me the teaching of the Scriptures. It was dominant. It was prevalent in our daily lives the teaching of the Scriptures.
The second thing that she gave, and my parents endeavored to give, was a testimony of their everyday life. They gave a testimony. Teaching the Scriptures is important, but the testimony. Ephesians 6:4 says it this way, it says, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Now I believe it is the fundamental responsibility of parents to raise children up. It is not the responsibility of government to raise children up.
Now we see an abdication of parenting in this day in which we live, and we see government taking more and more in the way of influence and rights over the children. But God has ordained parents to teach the children. I believe parents should determine when children learn about the birds and the bees, not the school system. And perhaps, while we complain about the trends of the day, some in this room should run for the school board and make sure that the right curriculum gets into the teachers' hands at the right times.
Children are to be trained and nurtured by their parents. The public educational system is threatened, for example, by charter schools. And, no doubt, the new administration will frown upon them, because charter schools take funds from the public education system, and charter schools many times are more faith-based and reject the sex education type curricula and such. And yet, Christian schools believe that parents should teach the basics to their children, and that we are merely an extension of a Christian home, but we are not the replacement of a Christian home, or any home for that matter.
The government is annually taking more authority in the way of forming children's values. A few years ago in California there was a bill passed that allows 12-year-olds to get the HPV vaccine without their parents' consent. It's a vaccine that would somehow limit cancer in the life of a young child that is sexually promiscuous. But there are some parents that think rather than a vaccination, perhaps teaching them what the Bible says about abstinence might be a better kind of medication. I know that sounds weird to the unsaved secular humanist medical or educational professional, but that would be the conviction of many parents, that the teaching of the Word of God still matters.
"The Christian religion," Noah Webster said, "is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed, the Christian religion." And Noah Webster is hated by the public educators of our day. Whenever he is mentioned in the movies or in curriculum he is often derided and degraded as ignorant. But Noah Webster was exactly right, that children need an instruction in the religion that is based upon the Word of God.
So, what does the Bible tell us about the parents' testimony? Well, Ephesians 6:4 says, "Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath." And so, our testimony, first of all, should be a testimony of moderation. Fathers are commanded not to provoke their children to wrath. The word "provoke" means to exasperate. It is the duty of the family to follow the leadership of the father, but the father must manifest such a character that this obedience would be rendered from the heart.
In other words, dads, we need to make it easy for our children to obey us by giving them a proper example. And if you are a single-parent family, you're a mom raising your children without a dad, then I encourage you as well to have that example. And what a blessing to have the local church, where children can see men who are leading and being faithful and consistent in their lives.
Colossians 3:21 says, "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Now this verse was quite contrary to the Roman customs. The Roman customs were very unkind toward children. The Roman law taught that a father had virtual life and death powers over his children, that he could cast any out of his house, sell them as slaves, trade them. By the way, that happens today in some countries such as Papua, New Guinea. Sometimes that's how business is done. Children are viewed as merchandise to be traded even in some countries today.
Seneca was a Roman statesman and historian, and Paul wrote the Ephesian letters. At the time that Paul wrote the Ephesian letters, Seneca was ruling. And Seneca once wrote these words. He said, "We slaughter a fierce ox, we strangle a mad dog, we plunge a knife into a sick cow, and children born weak or deformed were drowned." That's how he described the Roman culture. And by the way, America needs to be very careful, because from abortion we're moving now to infanticide, which means we're becoming more and more barbaric like the Romans of old. But what I want you to understand is that Christianity has always elevated life, elevated the sanctity of life, and elevated the need to raise up children; not to treat them like merchandise, but to treat them as they are: the heritage of the Lord.
Now, dads can provoke children to anger, and I'll just give four quick ways that moms and dads can do that. It can happen, first of all, through physical and verbal abuse. D. L. Moody said, "A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian; and most of all, his family ought to know." It's important that we understand the importance of living a moderation before our children. Rules without relationships will breed rebellion. A father that does nothing more than bark out rules and yelling all the time, but not loving and spending time, will only bring rebellion into the heart of his child. So, fathers must be careful about abusive behavior.
But on the other end, there are some parents that are very much overly protective of their children. These are the parents that every time there's a grade they didn't want, they're going to argue. Every time the boy doesn't play enough time on the sports team, they're going to argue. Every time there's a little altercation, the parents are going to argue about that. My mom never sided with me over authority, never. That doesn't mean she wouldn't talk to a teacher privately and try to find out what was going on, but she would not allow me to manipulate her. She would not side with me over the teacher, over the principal; she always stood with authority.
And I've seen many times parents that authority's always wrong, the school's always wrong, anyone against their kid is always wrong; and many times they raise up a rebellious child, a child that thinks they can always fight the system, that the world's out to get them. And so, on one hand, an abusive parent can bring rebellion; on another hand, an overly protective parent can raise a rebellious child. And so we must have great wisdom in these areas.
Sometimes just being passive as a parent can bring about even a lack of love and a lack of settledness in their heart. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 2:11, "As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children." And so there must be a testimony of moderation.
And then, secondly, there must be a testimony of admonition. There in Ephesians 6:4 it says, "Bring your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." "Nurture" is a positive instruction. "Admonition," more of a negative approach of showing sometimes what is wrong and curbing appetites. But God says, "I want you to bring your child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Now I want to think about this word "nurture" for a moment, this positive teaching and modeling: nurture. And how many of you would agree that nurture normally comes from a mom and admonition often comes from a dad. It doesn't have to be that way. I remember when I fell off my bike one time and scraped myself all over my arms and legs, and I went to my dad and I was crying, and I said, "Dad, I fell off my bike." He says, "Ah, brush off and get that bike back in the garage where it belongs." That's admonition. I realized quickly for nurture you go to your mother. "Aw, come here, son," and she'd clean it up, and she'd hug me. And nurture's an amazingly powerful tool, and children need that. They need discipline, but they need nurture: loving teaching.
My mother – and think about this. And many of you perhaps have relatives that are in rest homes or hospitals. My mother for six-and-a-half months never saw a relative until last Friday: not her husband, not her sons, not her daughter, not her grandchildren – no one. She laid there in that hospital with no one. And then at the very end of that six-and-a-half months was given no food, no water. Amazing. And what is even more amazing is that as we gathered around her and was told that she was unresponsive and to die at any moment, as we just put a little water to her lips, and as we just held her hand and sang to her, she looked up and she smiled. Nurture. Whether it's the little baby or the dying mother, nurture – everybody needs it. And most everybody will respond to it.
My mother had not connected two words together in the last two years. Now she tries; and if you've been with an Alzheimer's patient, she says stuff and you have no idea what she's saying. She just couldn't do it; she wanted to so badly. And my brother and sister-in-law, they were rubbing my mother's feet with lotion, and we were singing to her, and she sat up in that bed and she looked at my brother and she said, "I love you." And now, my dad, that was worth the whole trip over. The power of nurture. But I truly believe that there are family members that you're going to come across this next several weeks that need to hear those words from you, that we would love and nurture one another.
She loves my dad with such an unbelievable love. She had not seen my dad for six-and-a-half months. And after she got a little bit of water and a little bit of Ensure, like an ounce or two here and there, then a little rest, and then she looked up and she saw my dad next to her, and she got, I'm telling you, the brightest smile you could possibly imagine. Nurture. Everybody needs it.
And then admonition. Our children need nurture; our children need admonition. Proverbs chapter 4, "Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law."
Now my mom was one that constantly admonished. And I'm a big filer. I have filed so much over my lifetime. I have all of my school records by year, papers that I wrote, every note that Terrie ever wrote to me. Frankly, I have probably every note that anyone in this church has ever written to me. I just file stuff, and I started that years ago.
And I've been going through the file of my mother's letters some this week; and just amazing the advice that she would give. When I started dating Terrie, she started telling me more about dating and how that should go. And as I've been reading through some of that, I've been reminded of the fact that she looked constantly for teaching moments, not nagging, but constantly, "How can I teach him? How can I put something else into his heart?" I remember mom saying so often as a teenager, she said, "Now, son, you have a very discerning spirit; but the other side of that is a critical spirit. Don't be a critical person," just always helping me.
I remember when I was going to college, she took me to the Seoul Kimpo International Airport, and it seemed like no one was there but me and mom, and we walked all the way down that long lobby. And having never been up here, and I had no idea what she was experiencing, but she cried the whole way. And then she stopped and she hugged me, and she gave me that last minute advice, "Keep your eyes on the Lord. Make sure to read your Bible every day. Write me some letters, don't forget," always admonishing. Nurture and admonition, nurture and admonition. Loving and teaching, loving and teaching always; always loving and teaching.
The Bible says, "Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul." I remember one time my mom was giving me a spanking, and for some reason I just – she didn't know it then, but I could hardly feel her spankings. How many of you are thankful for a mother's spankings that you can hardly feel? For some reason I started laughing, and I just kind of got tickled about it because she was trying so hard and it wasn't working. And she just grabbed me and she started to weep, and she said, "I want you to just simply do what God wants you to do." Her spankings were not always that hard, but breaking her heart often taught me what I needed to know. Nurture and admonition.
Mom taught me the Scriptures. Mom gave me this testimony of nurture and admonition. And then I want to close with this. My mother had a great tenderness for the lost, a great tenderness for the lost. It really began with a realization of eternity. Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." And my mother was such an amazing soul-winner. She was a bus captain. No offense intended: you would not have had to ever tell my mother that Black lives mattered, because absolutely every life mattered to her, everybody's life. It would have seemed silly for you to tell her this group matters or that group matters.
My mom's bus route – which I helped on from about age seven to ten – my mom loved so many people from so many backgrounds that she would go out all day Saturday knocking on doors asking the children to come, moms to come. She was such a loving soul that for a ten-year period as a bus captain she required two buses on an average Sunday to bring the boys and girls in. My mother brought more people to church than the average paid staff member does in America today, and she never got paid, because she knew that it's appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.
She loved people from every background, every color. And it was amazing to me to watch this past week, because one of her nurses was an African lady from Nigeria named Tutu. She calls my mother mama. And when she left from her shift, she's a Christian woman, she would pray and she would weep with my mother. And another one of the nurses was a Filipino nurse. And I just, "You know, Mom, you poured your whole life into people of every race and every background, and these ladies are pouring their life into you." It was amazing to me.
The Bible says, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise." Everywhere mom went she carried gospel tracts. She wanted everyone to have eternal justice. She wanted them to know that the ground is level at the cross. She was a wonderful soul-winner. She didn't have time and probably didn't really understand social media. She once told me that Facebook discouraged her.
Spurgeon said, "I was cradled in the home of piety, nurtured with the tenderest of care, taught the gospel from my youth up with the holiest example of my parents, the best possible checks all around to prevent me from running into sin." There was this realization of the Scriptures from the time that my mom was saved at age 16, and even until the time that Alzheimer's set in, that people needed the Lord. She had this realization that all of us must have today. It's that foundational realization that everybody needs Christ. And she was about 5-foot-5 and kind of small of stature. But it didn't matter who it was; if she had a moment, she was going to tell them about Jesus Christ. She had a burden for souls.
I think about her burden and I'm often convicted as to how she desired to see people saved. I shared with you once, the last time that I was able to take my mom outside of her care facility I kind of negotiated with the head of the facility and I said, "I'd like to take my mom out to In-N-Out Burger." And so we went to In-N-Out Burger. But he said, "Now your mom is fast." At that time in her Alzheimer's she was known as a runner. She could get away from the staff very quickly.
So he said, "You keep an eye on her." And we sat down at In-N-Out Burger, and I got to enjoying that double-double animal style. How many of you are with me on that? I mean, boy, was that good. And I was really enjoying that and the fries. And suddenly I looked up and mom was gone, and boy, my heart dropped. And then I saw her going from table to table with tracts, and asking people if they were to die, would they spend eternity with Jesus? I mean, she had no purse. They had taken away her credit cards, they had taken away her driver's license. She had a purse, but nothing in it except gospel tracts. And when all she had was just a little bit of her memory left, the one thing she remembered was that everybody needs Christ.
When my dad said, "We're going to move to Korea," she gladly went. She mastered the Korean language, she led Korean people to Christ. She believed that, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"; and people need to hear about Christ. She understood, "For by grace are you saved through faith. It's not of yourself, it's the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast." She led hundreds of children to the Lord. She led my own mother-in-law to the Lord out soul-winning.
The pastor of one of the largest Spanish-speaking churches in America today, my mom brought to church on our bus. And one day when God calls her home, perhaps this week, we'll claim that verse: "She being dead, yet speaketh," because when you invest your life in helping someone else to know Christ, that's the greatest legacy you can ever live. Far greater than a monument or a building is helping someone else to know Christ. And I don't speak today from the standpoint of shaming anyone, but there are grown men in this building that haven't passed a gospel tract recently, or given a single presentation of the gospel, because we're worried about whatever: someone thinking of us, COVID. Put on five masks if you have to, but tell somebody about Jesus this week.
My mom gave me the teaching of the Scriptures, she gave me a testimony of nurture and admonition, and she taught me to be tender towards the lost, towards the lost. And it may not surprise you that despite the suffering and the pain that I've seen and heard this week, despite the heartache of that, I've actually seen in her a peace that passes all understanding, and I truly believe that the Spirit of the living God is still dwelling in my mother. Don't get me wrong, most of the time her eyes are closed. But I've seen those few times as we sung the hymns, and she's opened her eyes and she's tried to make a noise. And I believe that the Spirit within her is bearing witness.
And I believe that every single one of us need to realize, "What is life? It's but a vapor. It appears and then it vanisheth away." And while we may be concerned about the foundations all around us, let's keep the foundations underneath us strong. Let's keep our family foundations strong. Let's keep our love for Christ strong. Let's keep our church strong, even in the midst of this difficult time.
If the foundations be destroyed, what will the righteous do? We must maintain strong family relationships. And I believe there's some here today that need to make some changes about how you're treating your family; and you don't need to wait until the dying days of a loved one to make something right. And I believe there's some here today that need to have a greater compassion for lost people, and you ought to say, "I'm going to get some of those gospel tracts myself." Go to In-N-Out, I don't care. But tell somebody about Jesus, because somebody wants to know.
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