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Mother’s Day

By Pastor Rick Bezet

Table of Contents

Happy Mother’s Day!


This is Mother’s Day, and this is a new building, I know if you are a visitor, there’s a lot of tension visiting a new place. I get that! I do not mind speaking to a crowd of people, but if Michelle and I are on vacation and we go to a church, I’m scared to death. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know if it’s a cult. I don’t know where the bathrooms are. Same here today! I walked into a closet. I thought I could pee in there. 


But I do want to let you know that we’re going to aim this at learning the word of God. Do you love the word of God? Does anybody like the word of God? If there’s anything I know about West Little Rock, is that a story that is familiar around here happened sometime around Mother’s Day 23 years ago.


When we started the church, Tanner was around six years of age at that time. Michelle found out that Tanner was going around telling everybody that he was the pastor’s son, so he could get extra cookies in kids ministry.


And if you know Michelle, she’s just not going to put up with that. So she went up to him and she said, “Are you telling people you’re the pastor’s kid for extra animal crackers?” And he said, “Yes, ma’am, and it’s working. I got like seven of them last weekend.” And so she said, “No. That’s not how we do it. And, you just go around and tell people you’re Tanner. That’s it.”


And he didn’t like that much. So the next weekend, now you gotta remember, we started our church, we’re trying to have a good name and a good reputation. So a lady went up to him the next weekend. He was trying to remember the strategy. And she said to him, she said, are you the pastor’s son? And he said, “Well, I thought I was, but my mom said I’m not.”

So we didn’t grow much that first year! 


Michelle is getting the best mother’s day gift ever this weekend, because Grace and Kyle, my youngest daughter and her husband, just moved back to Little Rock today! They came back from Dallas, and I’m thankful for that! 


I want to talk to you, ladies, about the inheritance of a godly woman. The problem with this is that is that all women, even if they’re godly, just remember their mistakes more than they remember what they have done right, and they’re trying so hard! 


So, ladies, I’m going to ask you to resist that temptation. I’m going to ask all the kids here to resist the temptation to think, “Well, mom was good at this and not good at that.” We’re just not going to go there because the Bible says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Can I have an amen? There sometimes is, but it’s illegally involved in your life, and you have to accept condemnation. But you don’t have to accept it. You can reject it! So, I want to talk to you from the Word, but inheritance is a keyword in this. 


Since my kids were little, when we would go on vacation, I would always say, “I just want to thank y’all,” now all these little kids are looking around, “I just want to thank y’all for paying for this vacation.” And they’d all go, “We’re not paying for this vacation.” And I’d say, “No you are! It’s coming out of your inheritance!: Ha ha. I still say it, but they don’t like it. They don’t even listen anymore. 


The truth is, we all have a chance to invest in our families. There’s a legacy involved in that. There’s an inheritance in that. The scripture talks about an inheritance. To give a clear picture of inheritance, Warren Buffet invested in his first stock at 11 years of age. 


The biggest stock he ever invested in is Berkshire Hathaway, though he actually had some regrets about that. But he found a system, a way of investing, and he’s done pretty well. He’s worth over a hundred billion dollars right now. 


What I don’t talk about much is that Michelle and I, 32 years ago, decided to invest in that, that investment. (a family picture is shown) It’s actually done well. I don’t like to talk about it much, but it’s done really well. It’s going to help my family for a long time. In fact, long after I’m gone, they’re going to. I have dividends in this; this is my investment. It’s actually my mom’s family. 


The truth is that I don’t do it right all the time. Raise your hand, as a family member, a child or a dad or a mom, you’ve made mistakes, alright? We have, too. I think it’s important that you understand, but we still have to get it together, and put a balance in this thing. 


How do we do it? Let me give you the picture. I moved to West Little Rock recently. It took me three minutes to get to church this morning! I’m not used to that. In my back yard, we have a 30-something year old home with two ceiling fans on the back porch. I don’t understand why they’re there, and they rotate. And when you move into a new home, you don’t know where the switches are. So sometimes they’re on, sometimes they’re off, and it’s that kind of deal. 


Well, some blue jays started eyeing it for a nest. They’re hard workers!. A lot like the Bates family. Give it up for Harry and Sherlyn and how hard they work. So these blue jays just started eyeing this fan, and they were bringing in sticks when the fan wasn’t on.


But then we’d turn it on, and the sticks would fly all over the place.I didn’t like that much, so I just left the fan on all the time. But then sometimes we’d forget and turn it off, and they were always eyeing, they would like elbow each other, “The fan’s off. Let’s go!” And they’d bring in the sticks. And then we’d turn it off, it was kind of mean, you know, but it was better than building it, and then we turn it on, and you have a problem.


So we left it off when we went out of town for a little bit, and we came back. Not only was the nest built, but it was perfect. And there were eggs in it. And so you just don’t mess with the eggs. So, now they have a home, but I noticed Wednesday that the nest had tilted a little. 


And after all this work, the nest tilted a little, and for some reason, whether it’s this brown bird that keeps coming in or what, I don’t know. I really don’t care to know, but I do know that one of the eggs fell out of the nest, and so I boiled it. They don’t taste so bad. No, I’m kidding.


So Michelle says, “Clean that up.” I don’t want to see it. So I cleaned it up and I didn’t get it very well. 


Here’s the thing. They built a great nest, but they did it in the wrong place, and they built it on the wrong thing. 


So I want to talk to you about this whole thing on, “What is the right thing? What does a godly woman aim at?” 


Remember, we know you don’t get it right all the time, so I’m not going to give you a recipe today. I’m going to give you the ingredients. It’s like a good gumbo. You don’t just get a recipe for a good gumbo. It’s about the ingredients.


  1. A godly woman doesn’t look back when things fall apart or when God says no.


This is huge because in Philippians chapter three, it says, 


“Oone thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”


Paul is saying, “If you want to know, I get a lot of things wrong, but the one thing I get right is I know not to look back.” That word “look back” is not glancing over. I’ll explain what that means in a minute. 


In another passage of scripture, it’s saying if you’re trying to go for the things of God, if you’re looking back, you’re not going to fit that well around the Word or around the Spirit of God. Looking back is just not going to work well in your family.


When we first got married, Michelle has always been a good driver, but at first he didn’t use the mirrors. And, I would get in the car and you couldn’t see. Maybe it was the car she had; I don’t know. I have a car right now that I can’t see well out of these mirrors, and so as I was merging in, I almost hit several members of our church! 


But I said, “Michelle, you ought to look at these! You ought to use the mirrors. It’ll help you!” She goes, “No, I’m not driving that way (points backward); I’m driving this way (points forward). It doesn’t matter!” 


That’s a bad driving strategy, but a great kingdom strategy!


And some of you, you have a better view behind you. 


And in front of you, a lot to do with what I’m saying now. But let me make it clear. In the Word, the Bible talks about a lot of women. There’s a plethora of different types. A lot of brilliant women. Some shared the gospel for the first time. Major leaders in churches. Extremely kind. There are nursery rhymes written after Mary. But then you have some really messed up ladies in the Bible, too. There aren’t a lot of nursery rhymes written about Jezebel. 


But there’s only one woman where the Scripture says that to look at this woman and take note. In fact, one of the shortest verses in the Bible. Well, the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” That was when he was looking at something that hurt him. 


Outside of that, one of the shortest verses is only three words, in Luke 17:32. It says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” You must understand that Jesus was talking about the latter days. Difficult days. He was saying, “Hey, a lot of people are going to get off track. They’re going to stop counting the cost. They’re going to call things right that are not right, and they’re going to call things twrong that are right, and they’re not going to know when to jump in or what’s the truth.” And then he just pauses and says, “Hey, remember Lot’s wife.” 


Okay, well, there’s not a lot to know about Lot’s wife because she’s only mentioned once. We don’t even know her name. Where it’s mentioned is in the Old Testament, and God was burning down Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Spirit of God told that family, “Don’t look back.” We know that she looked back, and she was vaporized. She was a pillar of salt. That’s all we know about her. 


So what I’ve noticed is that God is saying, look, in difficult times, like in the end times, don’t look back. But what does it mean? The scripture even says in Proverbs that a godly woman smiles at the future.


Like, they’re not looking back at regret. They’re just like, man, this is going to work out. A smile. I’ve never met a man yet that said, I just want to marry some lady someday who never smiles and is mad at everybody. Okay, but. How do you do that? Well, this word looking back is huge because it’s not the word looking back like she looked over.


There’s no one in this room who wouldn’t look at a burning city. You just want to look at it. But that’s not what she did. The Scripture says in the Hebrew that she looked over at it. It’s not like you saying, “Wow, look at that.” She looked over at it with a longing to go there. 


What I’ve noticed is that a godly woman, when she sees something God is trying to tear away and break down, she doesn’t have a longing to go back there. An illustration of that is vacation. Have you ever been on a vacation that just did not go well? 


It’s like El Diablo playing the whole thing. In every it’s way too hot. The family’s fighting. You’re trying to eat right, but you still gain 20 pounds. It’s horrible. The place is breaking. The rental car is not available. It’s horrible. 


Have you ever been on a vacation where just everything works? The family’s getting along. Things are cheaper than you thought. That hasn’t happened in a while. You eat like a pig, and you still lose weight. Like what’s going on? Okay. That vacation. That’s the one you always want to recreate. That’s what this word “looking back” means, like you long for that. This is the same thing that happened to Adam and Eve. Not only did Eve and Adam ultimately look at it, but they participated in it because at some point they thought, “Maybe I can’t be fulfilled unless I have what God said ‘No’ to.” 


I just want to let you know that the world that we live in, because Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife!” He’s saying, “Pay attention!” He was talking about it when, when we would be in a season where everything is burning down. You look at it right now. Things are burning down. Our culture is burning down.


I’m not a negative person, but have you noticed that colleges are having some difficulties? How about our government? Is it burning down? How well is it going? How about our education system? Sports, Hollywood? And the Lord is just saying, “I don’t want you looking over there going, wow, I just wish I could be back in the world again.”


It’s burning down. So God is asking for us just to build here. 


  1. A godly woman is centered in the Word. 


They take a deep look at the word. I just want to honor you, Michelle. You’re in the word every morning. I don’t know what you’re doing over there, but you’re in the Bible, maybe you’re listening to Led Zeppelin, I don’t know, but she does the Bible recap. She’s done the One Year Bible for years, reading through the entire Bible.


She switched to the Bible Recap because she likes the lady and how she teaches, but it’s also in chronological order. So I asked her one day, “Babe, do you read the genealogy too?” “Yeah.” “Do you read the book of Leviticus?” Leviticus has shut down more one-year Bible readings than any of them. 


I only have one friend who’s ever read and liked Leviticus, and that was an imaginary friend. So, Michelle reads it. And I asked her, “Why do you read it?” She goes, “Because I learn so much. When I read it, I’m reminded of how much man had to do to get to God without Jesus.” Bam! Godly women just find truth in the word. 


Some of you, where you get a little off track, and I do it too, is when we read the word to find truth, but we then forget about grace towards others. Or, we read the word to find grace, and then we have no more truth. A godly woman, if one of their kids has gotten off track, they’re not looking through the Scripture on “What do I need to dilute in the words so my kids will feel more comfortable around it.”


No, because that’s not love. They have unmovable convictions, but shocking love. You cannot have truth without grace. But listen, you can’t have grace without truth. A godly woman is looking for both. Jesus did not accept people in every situation.


Heaven is not all-inclusive. And this is what I like. Jesus bumped it up. Some of you are like, “Jesus, love, love.” Read the Beatitudes. Jesus would take an Old Testament truth and bump it up, not down. Old Testament” “Thou shall not commit adultery.” Jesus said, “Yeah. And if you lust after someone in your heart, you’re there already.”


Old Testament. “Thou shall not murder.” New Testament. “Yeah, but if you have anger in your heart, this is where you are.” So he was always speaking truth, like to a woman caught in adultery: “I will not condemn you, but go and sin no more.” So grace and truth. 


This is huge for me beause I grew up in a church that was very legalistic, and they were always yelling, “Repent, repent, repent.” I thought repentance was a bad word. They were all truth, with no grace. So I never knew God loved me. I never knew He wanted me to pray. I just thought He was mad at me. 


We can also get it wrong when it’s just about grace. We just love people and that’s all. We do love people, but we have to get a balance in the Word. 


  1. A godly woman works hard. 


Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously.” 


I have so many people in my family now, I don’t even know all their names.


But I’ve noticed that the women on vacation work like dogs. Whereas with the men it’s watch TV, lay down, take a nap, and eat some jello. Okay, maybe not jello. We have some weak men in my family. Some of you men can bench press 300 pounds, but if you carry a baby for two hours, you’re sore for a week. That’s what I’m talking about. Work ethic. 


One of the strongest things you can do for your family is to show your kids that you work hard. I’m not talking about being out of balance. Some of you are working way too much, “I’ll work 80 hours! God blessed me with a job with 80 hours a week.” I don’t think God gave you that. Maybe for a season as you catch up, but some of you’ve been doing it for 32 years. 


But one of the strongest things you can pass down to your kids is work ethic. Cleaning their room, waking up in the morning, doing things. When my kids said, “I’m bored,” I’d say, “Great! We’ve got a lot of work we need to do around here.” They stopped saying that a second time. It’s just a good light, but you can’t do it verbally. You can’t prove work ethic verbally. You have to show it and model it. Proverbs 14:23 says, “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”


A family needs discipline, toughness and grit. Sweat equity. If your family has this, they’re gonna shine in the world. Like, there’s a traffic jam on Easy Street, but there’s no one on Grit Street. Not right now. So today, on Mother’s Day, I know some of you ladies have already changed two or three diapers.


For some of you ladies, somebody made breakfast for you, but you still had to clean it up. It’s just the work of a mom. Colossians 3 says, “Whatever you do, work heartedly, as for the Lord, not for others, knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as your reward.” You are serving the Lord Jesus.


By the way, you can’t tell someone who’s balancing this whether they’re working or playing because they just love it all. It’s like a pastor. Sometimes people say, “Rick, how many hours a week do you work?” I don’t really know because I don’t know when I’m at work. If I’m hanging out with somebody in the church, is that work? If I’m on a date night, is that because I’m a pastor? I just love it!


James A. Mishner said, “The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows, (or she hardly knows), whoever it is, which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing because to him, he’s always doing both.”


  1. A godly woman radiates peace. 


The scripture says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” In Isaiah it says, “I will extend peace to her like a river.” This verse is referring to Israel.


Have you ever heard that term, “peace like a river”? Men, I just want to talk to you. When you hear the fruits of the Spirit in the Bible, like love and kindness, goodness, self control, or peace, a lot of times it looks like wimpy, hippy type of talk. But when the Word says to “Guard your heart,” (see Proverbs 4:23), it’s a military term, like a marine. Like a real marine. 


My dad fussed at me for not calling him on Veterans Day, “Why didn’t you call me on Veterans Day?” I said, “Dad, you’re not a veteran.” He said, “I know, but I was a security guard at Old Navy.” And I was like, “Dad, that doesn’t count. I’m talking about a marine. That counts.”


This word, “peace.” You don’t just get it because it’s there. You fight for it, and you protect it, and you work on it, and you’re always trying to keep it. You’re on guard for it. 


Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart of peace gives life to the body.” That’s what a mom does. When you can see a football player on the field with a camera in front of him, and he looks at the camera and says…What does he say almost every time? “Hi, Mom!”


No dad. No, the dad is the one who threw 50,000 baseballs to them. The dad is popping ibuprofen like M&M’s because of the pain in his shoulder. Why is he saying hello to mom? Because of the peace that a mom gives. No one can replace that. Whoever fears the Lord has deep strength, and his children have a place of refuge and security.


  1. A godly woman is a good forgiver. 


Now, I know a lot of you are not married. Fifty-one percent of all adults who live in West Little Rock are not married. But if you are married, and you’re going to have a good marriage, It means you’re going to have two good forgivers. But it also means you’re going to have two good apologizers. 


Have you ever given a bad apology? Like, if I do something to hurt Michelle, and I say “Michelle, so sorry I hurt you yesterday. I didn’t know that you were that vulnerable and weak.” Can you imagine that? That’s going to be horrible that day. 


In Nazi Germany, their favorite torture was to have the POWs dig a hole, carry the dirt all day long, and put it 100 yards down on the ground. They’d go back, get more dirt, move it 100 yards, and then go to bed. The next day, they would get back up and take that same dirt, bring it back to the hole, and fill it back up. And then sod over it. The next day they’d pick up the sod, dig again, and then bring it back to the hole, day after day. After a while they started losing their mind. Why? Because there was a lot of work, but no production. Nothing advancing. 


And if you want to know, a bitter heart, though Jesus said the same forgiveness that you extend to one another, that’s what I’m going to give to you.


I need a lot of forgiveness. Do you need a lot of forgiveness? That’s why it’s great to be a good apologizer and a good person to forgive. The scripture says in Romans, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18). 


Okay, last one. And this one I threw in late because I knew that some of the ladies at this point would start thinking about how I’m just not doing good on a lot of these, so here’s a blessing. 


  1. A godly woman is not perfect. 


I’m going to say it to you ladies again, a godly woman is not perfect. Romans 10:11 says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” As the scripture says, “Run with perseverance.” The Lord went to the cross with joy in his heart to destroy shame.


The reason why I hate shame so much is because shame never promotes prayer. It always promotes retreat. Prayers are so important! Ladies, one day you won’t be here anymore, but your prayers will keep living. Some of you are sad today because you lost a mom in the last year or maybe in the last ten years, but their prayers are still moving. 


But with shame, you won’t do that. To close out, Michelle, after her mom died, there was a whole year where she was very upset, and I was just starting to get discouraged. I remember even whispering to my kids, “Something’s wrong with your mom.” Then one night I said to her, “Michelle, are you okay?”


She goes, “It’s funny that you’re asking me tonight.” I said, “Why?” She said, “Because it was a year ago today that my mom died.” I replied, “What does that mean?” She said, “Rick, it hurts. When I used to have something great, I would be able to call my mom. And I can’t call her now, and then when I was worried about something, she would pray with me.” 


I thought, “God, how did I miss this?” Butt that’s the spirit of a godly mom. They’re not perfect, but they’re available for prayer requests and for praise moments, and I’m thankful for that. So ladies don’t go home and try to be perfect. Just go home and try to be a godly woman who prays, and the Lord will chase you down. Amen. 


Can we bow our heads? Lord, I thank you for this first service with people coming in from the community. The first time we ever had two services on a normal weekend. But Lord, I know there’s some people that have gotten off track here. And Lord, we just pray for them. 


If you’re here and you know that you’re just not settled, you’re not in that pocket with the Lord that you want to be. And so without pointing you out, I just want to pray for you. If you don’t mind, if that’s you, like, “Hey, I know something’s wrong. I have to settle this account with the Lord. I slipped away, or I’ve never known him. I need to rededicate.” If that’s you. You don’t have to stand or come to the altar, but if you don’t mind around this room, just look up at me until I see you. Got it. Alright, gosh, there’s a lot of people. Come on, West Little Rock. This community needs you. I see you. I got it. 


Could you stand all across this room, everybody? If you have a family member with you, just put your arm around them. Let’s say this prayer. Say, “Lord God, we love you. Forgive us of our sins. We’ve made a lot of mistakes. But we want a home that represents you. We invite you into our lives, and into our homes. And we know it takes a lot of work. We know it takes a lot of peace. We know it takes your word. We don’t want the world. We want you. So we invite you in, help us to be good forgivers, good apologizers. And we start right now, apologizing to you. We invite you back into our home.”

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