THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY MOTHER

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Evening, May 8, 2005
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2-3).


I learned all the important things about living from my mother. She had a little saying about nearly everything. Even though she's been gone eight years, I still repeat her sayings nearly every day. There were many more, but here are just a few of them.

"If you can't say something nice about a person, don't say anything at all."

"If you're right, don't back down. If you're wrong, don't be afraid to apologize."

"Mean what you say and say what you mean."

"If you want to have a friend, you have to be a friend."

"A dog that will bring a bone will carry a bone."

She meant that if a person backbites someone to you, they will also backbite you to someone else.

"Two wrongs don't make a right."

"As the old Indian said, Don't judge me 'til you've walked a mile in my moccasins."

Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Feel what he or she would be feeling.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

Don't give up on something until you try again and again to do it.

"A rolling stone gathers no moss."

A person that runs from one thing to another doesn't get ahead.

"Get up when you fall down."

"Live to fight another day."

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

You can lead people only so far. Then it's up to them whether they will listen to you.

"Thomas Edison made over a hundred light bulbs before he made one that worked."

You may have to struggle a long time before you see results from what you are doing. I'd say, "You know, Mother, it's really hard. I don't know if I can do it." And she would always say, "Well, you know Robert, Thomas Edison made over a hundred light bulbs before he made one that worked."

"Abraham Lincoln was our greatest President. You won't go wrong if you follow his example."

Need I say more? My mother often said,

"God made all men equal. That's what Lincoln taught us."

Another thing she often said to me was,

"Read books, Robert. Everything you need to know has already been written in some book."

Mother was a great reader. She was reading constantly, even in the hospital right before she died.

Another thing she often said to me was,

"When you get discouraged read something about Winston Churchill."

I did exactly that. The week after she died I read a small biography of Churchill's life, about his many hardships and recoveries - a truly remarkable life story from beginning to end.

Now that I am an old man, I look back at my life and realize how very much I owe to my mother. I can say with Abraham Lincoln,

"All I am or hope to be I owe to my mother."

Honor your mother. Pray for her. Love her. Be faithful to her all your life. No one can ever replace her. Cherish her in your heart forever,

"That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Ephesians 6:3).

And if you are not a Christian yet, the very best gift you could give your mother is to come to Christ. Nothing you ever do for her could please her more than that.

When President McKinley's mother grew ill, he had a special telegraph line hooked up to her home, far from Washington. And he sent her a telegram every day. Finally, when he heard that she was dying, he sent another telegram that simply said, "Tell Mother I'll be there." And he rushed to her bedside before she slipped away into eternity. Charles M. Fillmore took the words of the President's telegram and made it into a song. It has been said that this hymn was used to bring more people to Christ than any song that has ever been written. Mr. Griffith will now come to sing it for us.

When I was but a little child how well I recollect
How I would grieve my mother with my folly and neglect;
And now that she has gone to Heav'n I miss her tender care:
O Saviour, tell my mother, I'll be there!

Though I was often wayward, she was always kind and good;
So patient, gentle, loving when I acted rough and rude;
My childhood griefs and trials she would gladly with me share: 
O Saviour, tell my mother, I'll be there!

One day a message came to me, it bade me quickly come
If I would see my mother ere the Saviour took her home;
I promised her, before she died, for Heaven to prepare:
O Saviour, tell my mother, I'll be there!

Refrain:

Tell mother I'll be there, in answer to her prayer;
This message, blessed Saviour, to her bear!
Tell mother I'll be there, Heav'n's joys with her to share;
Yes, tell my darling mother I'll be there.
    ("Tell Mother I'll Be There" by Charles M. Fillmore, 1860-1952).

My mother had come to church for years, but she was not converted. Then one day, at the age of 80, she finally came to Christ. I baptized her on her favorite day, the 4th of July, in 1993. What a wonderful thing it is to know that my mother is now with Christ in Heaven because she came to Him and was converted. Oh, how we pray that every mother will come to Christ and be saved! Then each one of us could sing that song!

Tell mother I'll be there, in answer to her prayer;
This message, blessed Saviour, to her bear!
Tell mother I'll be there, Heav'n's joys with her to share;
Yes, tell my darling mother I'll be there.
(Click here to e-mail Dr. Hymers if you want him to 
  send you the music for this song. Be sure to include
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)


(END OF SERMON)
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