Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Merritt » James Merritt - Model Moms

James Merritt - Model Moms

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Donate
  • Shop
    James Merritt - Model Moms
TOPICS: Family Ties, Family, Parenting, Motherhood

Well, again, I wanna say good morning to those of you who are watching online or by television around the world. Those of you in our building today, thank you for being here so very much. We are in a series, if this is your first time here for chance, we're calling Family Ties, and we've been kind of studying the various parts of the traditional family. So we started off several weeks ago, and we talked to husbands, and we've talked to wives, and we've talked to fathers, and today, we're going to talk to and about mothers. Now, just see if you're awake. How many of you had at least one mother. Would you just hold your hand up? Okay, we've all had a mom. I am married to a mom, and I can tell you right now, dad may be the head of the home, but mother is the heart of the home. Everything revolves around the mom.

As a matter of fact, I read one time where someone said this, and it's so true: "A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take". I told you the other day that the hardest job in my life by far has been a dad. Now, I'd give anything if I could do my daddy days over again. I can't; I wish I could. But I'm also gonna be very frank and honest: dads, we have it a lot easier than moms. Moms have a harder job, and moms, I know you know this, but the reason why, mom, you have such a hard job, there's only one reason: kids. You get rid of kids, you'd have it made. But that's what makes the job of being a mom so hard. I read a story the other day I could really relate to because Theresa and I had three boys.

So there was this mother. You'll love this, Theresa. There was a mother that had three boys. They were young, and they were very rambunctious. They were into everything. They fought like cats all the time. They couldn't get along. They whined and they would cry, and it was just tough. I mean, just all the time. So it seems like the mom was either being a police officer or a probation officer. So one day, she was talking to her next door neighbor. She was just so exhausted. She'd been dealing with the kids all day. She was just worn out, and she was talking to this neighbor about just how tired she was. So this lady looked at her and she said, "Lemme ask you a question. If you had a do-over again, would you still have children"? She said, "Absolutely, but not the same ones".

Now, I want to say to all of you moms that are here and listening to me right now, my hat is off to you, not only for who you are, but what you do. I'm not overstating the case. In my opinion, I really mean this. I believe there is not a more powerful or influential force in the world than a godly mother. I think a godly mother has more power to do more good and change the world for better than the president of the United States. There is no substitute for a godly mother. I'm in the ministry today, I'm in the ministry, in fact, I'm a believer because of the prayers of a godly mother. I'm in the ministry today because of the prayers of her godly mother. So today, we're going to look at what I call a model mom. So if you'd like to take your Bible or your iPad or your iPhone or whatever, we're in a book in the Bible called I Samuel. It's in the Old Testament. If you say, "I don't know where I Samuel is," easy to find: right before II Samuel, okay? It's in the Old Testament.

If you don't know where that is, go to Genesis, turn right, go about eight or nine, 10 books. You'll find I Samuel. I'm gonna talk to you today about a woman named Hannah. Not very well known, one of the greatest women in the Bible. Matter of fact, if your name is Anne or Annie or Anna, you're actually named after this woman. Her name means grace or favor. You're gonna see today that this was a woman who, though it doesn't look like it at first when you hear the first part of her story, she had the favor of God on her. She had the grace of God within her. The reason why she was a model mom was this. Before I say anything else, if you are a mother, I'm gonna assume something. I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt. You're a mom, you want to be a model mom. If you're a mom, you want your kids one day when they leave home to look back at you and say, "I would not have traded my mom for anybody. I had the greatest mom in the world".

You say, absolutely, that's the kind of mom I wanna be. Well, lemme tell you what we're gonna learn today from a lady named Hannah: the secret to being a cut above the average mom. What is it that separates a run-of-the-mill mom from a model mom? One thing: model moms pursue prayer. Model moms pursue prayer. By the way, I know I may be talking to moms and about moms, but what I'm gonna say, it applies equally to dads and to brothers and to sisters and to moms and to kids, and by the way, whether you're single or married, it really doesn't matter. 'Cause lemme tell you why I know this applies to you: if you're like me, and I'm gonna be very open today and tell you, I got a lot on my mind. There's some things in life that frustrate me. Not everything in my life always turns up roses. I go through times just like you go through times. I don't like paying the price at the gas pump that you don't like paying as the gas pump. I get it, and we're all kind of in the same boat, because life is hard, and things get tough, and rainy days come. And I hate to tell you this.

Some of you younger people, I hate to break the news to you. When you're younger, you think at some time or another, you think, okay, when I get older, life gets easier. It doesn't. It gets harder. In some ways, it gets tougher. And the question is, how do you navigate through those times? How do you navigate those times when you lose your job, or you don't get the job? How do you navigate those times when, I just found out from a man just a minute ago in the lobby, he was in great health, felt good, went to his doctor, had stage four cancer. How do you navigate that? How do you navigate it? My marriage is not working out real well. I've got a kid that's an incorrigible child. How do you navigate those things? How do you go through it? How do you get through those tough times? How do you navigate them in such a way that the peace of God will comfort you, the joy of God will bless you, and the power of God will strengthen you? Well, we're gonna learn today from a lady, a mom, named Hannah.

So, if you're one of those people today and you'd say, "Could I could be honest with you? Yeah, I've got some frustration in my life," 'cause I'll tell you right now, there's some things in life I'm a little bit frustrated about right now. No need to go into it, but I'm frustrated. And you may say, "Yeah, there's some things in my life that I'm frustrated about". Step one: in your frustration, serve the Lord. In your frustration, serve the Lord. Now, if I were to ask all you moms today this question: is it tough being a mom, you would look at me like I've lost my mind. You would say, "Is that a serious question? Do you understand? Do you have any idea how tough it is today to be a mom? I can't even believe you're asking that question". Well, lemme tell you how difficult Hannah had it, because her home wasn't exactly an ideal home. We pick up the story in I Samuel one. "There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah, son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu".

Lemme just stop. You say, why do we have to know that? I have no clue why that's in the Bible. I don't know. As a matter of fact, the first time I read that, I thought it said Tofu. "The son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite". Now, here's what we're told about this man: "He had two wives. One was called Hannah, and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none". Now, right off the bat, we got two problems. First of all, you got Hannah, but she's got competition. She's not the only wife in the house. Now, we know something about Elkanah. He's not really talked about much in this story much anymore, but let me tell you something I know about this guy. When I read the story of the fact he had two wives, immediately, I say, okay, he had two wives, which means he wasn't too wise. But anyway, he's got two wives. But the problem was not just what Hannah did have. The problem was what she didn't have. She didn't have children.

Now, I'll tell you something interesting I read the other day. The Chinese language is a very difficult language, one of the toughest languages to learn. And the reason why it's not like the English or Hebrew or Greek language or any of those, French or German, like that, the Chinese language uses what's called ideograms. An ideogram is a symbol that's like a picture, and they're used to convey certain ideas. I'm gonna give you an example. The combination of the character for woman and the character for some thought associated with a woman gives a certain Chinese word. So the character for woman plus the character for child combine to form the word lovely. A mom and her child, lovely. The character for woman plus the character for roof combine to form the ideogram for peace. So a wonderful woman brings peace to a house.

Now, watch this. When you take one character of a woman and combine it with another character for a woman, you get the word quarrel. Wait a minute. When you take one word for woman and the other word for woman, combine it, and put the ideogram for roof over their head, you get the word "trouble". That's what you've got here. You've got two women in the same house, and they're quarreling, and you've got trouble. So we keep reading. "Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her 'til she wept and she would not eat".

Now, Hannah's got all this frustration going on in her life. Number one, she's got competition. She's not the only wife in the house. Number two, she could not have children. Her rival had a lot of children; she had no children. Number three, the husband did not hide it from the other wife that he loved the first wife more than the second wife. He didn't mind Peninnah knowing, "I love her more than I love you". Number four, Peninnah is rubbing the salt in her wound every single day. She tells her every day, "Well, I got kids, but you don't. I've got a son, but you don't. I've got a daughter, you don't". So what is Hannah doing? She's crying, she can't eat, she's depressed, she can't sleep. And you think you've got problems? She had problems.

Now, lemme just say before I go on, moms, all you moms or potential moms here, I thought about this when I was working on this message. There are some women here maybe perhaps, or you're listening to me right now, and you would love to have children, but you can't have children. That does not make you any less of a woman. God certainly knows your heart and the intent of your heart. I don't want you to sit here and think, "Well, if I'm to a mother, I must be a second-rate woman". Absolutely not. Not being a mother doesn't mean that you can't be fulfilled as a woman, because we now know, we know this, sometimes it's just God's will for a woman not to be able to bear children. It's even God's will sometimes for some women not to even get married. When you read the Bible, you do not find any requirement that you've gotta be a wife or a mother to be greatly used of the Lord.

So I wanna make that very, very plain. What I want you to see is this. This is a big thing. With all that's going on in her life, with every reason some people would say, "Why don't you just curse God? Why don't you just tell God to just take his presence and just leave you alone? Why don't you just say to God, you know what, if this is the best you can do for me, forget you. Just get out of my life". She doesn't do that. In the midst of all of her frustration, she worships the Lord regularly. Year after year, they go to the temple. They sacrifice to the Lord. Now, this is not the the only time they went. This was the yearly sacrifice. What I want you to see was this, though: even in the middle of her frustration, Hannah made up her mind: I'm gonna serve God. I'm gonna be a part of the family of God. I'm going to go to church. I'm gonna be where I know God wants me to be.

Now, we're not told why up to this point Hannah had closed her womb, but here's what we do know: there's a result. God knows what he's doing. God was using her barrenness, and God was using her rival to drive her to him. To drive her to him, to come into his presence, to remind her every day, you are totally dependent on me. And she realized, my hope is in God. My health is from God. My help is from God. I've got a heart for God. And lemme tell you why this is such a big deal. I've seen this happen over and over and over and over in my ministry. It breaks my heart. I cannot tell you the number of times I've pastored people, and they get the short end of the stick. One of their family members gets killed. They're in the prime of life, and they get cancer, or they have a deal go bad, and they lose everything they have, and you know what they do? They quit church, give up on God, get mad at God, get bitter at God, shake their fist to the face of God.

And what breaks my heart is, is I wanna tell them, though they won't listen, "You are doing exactly the opposite of what you oughta do". So if you're in a time right now of your life, I'm frustrated, I'm upset, it seems like God's not hearing my prayer, it seems like he has just gone silent and he has gone cold, if you wanna fall into the devil's trap, you run away from God. Tell me how that works out for you. The reason why God lets these things happen to us is so we'll run to him, not so we'll run from him. Not so you'll quit church, but you'll get even more involved in church. I just wanna encourage you right now, if you're going through one of those frustrating times in your life, I am begging you to do one thing: you keep serving the Lord. You keep coming to the house of God. You keep coming where you can get the encouragement of the truth of God's Word. So in your frustration, serve the Lord.

Now, some of you may be saying this. You may say, "I just wish I had frustration. I'm in desperation. I'm beyond frustration. I'm really at the end of my rope". Well, watch this. In your desperation, seek the Lord. In your desperation, seek the Lord. Do you know what desperation is? It's just frustration on steroids. That's all it is. Desperation is just frustration on steroids. Well, the situation's becoming increasingly unbearable. Lemme tell you why, 'cause there's a backdrop to this story. There's a backstory to the story. In Bible days, ladies, if you could not have a child, it wasn't just a sad thing. It was a shameful thing, 'cause if you couldn't have a child, here's what all the other women in your neighborhood said about you.

"I wonder what you did. I wonder how you messed up. I wonder how you got God mad at you. I wonder how you ticked God off. I wonder why God closed your womb. We must all be a lot better than you are, 'cause we can have kids, but you can't have kids. What in the world have you done"? I mean, it was an unbelievable shame, and every day, she would look at Peninnah, every single day, and there would be Peninnah laughing at her, mocking her, making fun, sneering, criticizing her, putting her down, making her feel as low as she possibly could. Every day, Peninnah would make it a point to take that knife and just drive it ever deeper into her heart, every single day. So what does this model mom do? In her deep anguish, she prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.

Hannah, you're a rockstar. You didn't waste your barrenness, did you? You didn't let the devil take your barrenness and turn it into bitterness and make a bad decision. Hannah, you understand something, don't you? God sometimes designed problems for us to drive us to him. To make us go to him, to make us seek him. So God, even this woman, she cannot even stand the sight of her, and yet, she knows, I know what God's doing with you. God's using you to drive me to you and to seek you. See, model moms pursue God. Model moms never quite on God, you know why? 'Cause they know God never quits on them. And so, she says, you know what, I am going to pray, and I love the next part of verse 12. Listen to this: "And she kept on praying". I love that: and she just kept on praying to the Lord.

You know, I'm gonna share with you a pet peeve I have. Not a big one, and most people, I can handle. I hope I don't make anybody mad. I hope I don't come across wrong. I'm just being honest with you. There's one type of person that just drives me nuts, nuts. It's the person, now, I don't mind a person that talks a good bit. That doesn't bother me. But it's the person that just is never quiet, never. You know some people like that, right? I mean, they talk in their sleep! They're just never quiet. Lemme tell you some good news. God never gets tired of you talking to him, never. He's always giving you his full attention. As a matter of fact, he wishes you would talk to him more. Because just remember, sometimes God, he delays giving us what we're asking for to teach us the discipline of continuing to ask for it. 'Cause I've told you before, God is more interested in doing something in you when you pray than doing something for you when you pray.

And so, she keeps on praying. You know, Winston Churchill said something I love. Listen to this. Winston Churchill said, "Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about". "Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about". For 41 years, I thought about a national championship. 41 years. Never give up on something that you can't go a day without thinking about. So here's what the point is. Unless and until you know God has said a final no to you, don't you ever say no to prayer. Now, I'm not trying to spoil the ending, but let's go ahead and let's see what God does. "So in the course of time," lemme stop right there, take a wild guess, who's time? Yeah, God's, not her time, God's time. In the course of time, God's never late, God's never early. God's always on what? "Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I asked the Lord for him.'"

Now, watch this. This story gets better and better. So she finally has this baby, and what does she name him? She names him Samuel. Did she just pull that out of a jar? Was her uncle or grandfather? No. Do you know what the name Samuel means? "Heard by God". Ask of God. Every time she called that boy's name, she remembered, God gave me that boy. Every time Samuel heard his name, he remembered, "Mom prayed for me. I'm the result of a mother's prayer". So we should all remember, when we go through desperate times, and we do, in desperation, we should seek the Lord. Now, the story gets so much cooler and so much better and really kinda surprising. So God answers her prayer. So she's gone from frustration and desperation to celebration. God has answered my prayer. God has given me what I want.

Now, watch this, 'cause this is gonna be the best lesson you'll learn in the message today. So when God finally comes through, when God finally hears your prayer, you finally got the job, you finally got your debt paid off, you finally got the disease cured, the son finally came home, your marriage finally got worked out, God answers your prayer, what do we do? Watch this. In celebration, you surrender to the Lord. In celebration, you surrender to the Lord. Now, there's an interesting verse in the Bible that says this: "Weeping may come for a night, but joy comes with the morning". "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning". I guarantee you, most of us, if not all of us listening right now, you've had this experience where God came through and God answered a big prayer for you. I mean, God, maybe you prayed a week, a month, a day, years, but God finally said yes. We've all had that experience. Oh, God, you finally, finally came through. You finally did what I asked.

You finally gave me the desires of my heart. We've all had those times, but listen carefully. This is what I want you to learn. That can be a great time, or that can be a dangerous time. What do you mean? Because I've seen it happen over and over and over and over and over. You pray, you fast, you cry, you weep, you agonize, and one day, God says yes, and the next day, we forget God. And we don't say it out loud. Here's what we say: "Okay, thank you. Now, you go back, mind your business. I'll let you know if I need you again". It can be a great time. It can be a dangerous time. Good example, I'll give you a great example. You finally get the job. You finally get the big bonus. You finally make the big sale, and what do you do? Ha, now I get to buy the car! Now I get to buy the boat! Now I get to buy the Rolex watch! Yeah, well, what about the tithe? What about the offering? I know I don't get an amen to that. You've been there. Now, we forget God. He gives us what we ask for. Then we just totally forget God.

Now, we know that Hannah's praying, but we've never really heard what she prayed. So watch what she prayed. Now watch this. "And she made a vow, saying, Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me and not forget your servant, but give her a son, then," lemme stop right there. How many of you, I'm guilty, so you better look at me guilty too, how many of you have ever prayed one of those if-then prayers? "I tell you what, God, if you'll do this, I'll do that". "Boy, I tell you what, you gimme that job, I'll give you 10% of my income the rest of my life. You do this for me, I'll start teaching kids. I'll start teaching children in Bible study. Boy, Lord, if you do this, I'm gonna clean my". We make all these deals with God, all these deals with God. I can't tell you how many times, "God, if you'll just give me a national championship, I'll give you my firstborn. Just give me that championship". We've all been there, we've all done it. But look what she does. "Then, I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head".

Now, lemme tell you something about this prayer. It's fascinating. First of all, little tidbit, first recorded prayer of any woman in the Bible, first one you ever hear a woman pray. No prayer from Genesis all the way up to I Samuel. Now we hear a woman pray. Amazingly, it's not just a prayer of supplication where she's asking God for something. It's a prayer of surrender, where she's giving God something. Here's what she said, and boy, is this a great lesson for us to learn. She said, "Lord, if you will give me a son, I will give him right back to you. If you gimme a son, I will give him right back to you".

Now, here's the lesson I want you to learn. This is the most important part of the lesson for me, so I want you to get it. Matter of fact, I don't tell you to write down things much. You might wanna write this one down and remember this one. Whatever you ask from God, you should be willing to give back to God. Whatever you ask from God, you should be willing to give back to God. Lemme tell you why that's so important. Because if you don't give back to God what God gives to you, what God gives to you will become your god. So God finally gives you that dream house you've always wanted, and you treat it like it's your house. It's not your house. God gives you that job you always wanted, but it's not your job; God gave you that job. God gives you the car, God gives you fill in the blank. God finally gave it to me, but it's not yours. God gave it to you.

And lemme tell you why you better always give back to God what God gives to you. You better, lemme tell you why. Because what you're telling God when you give it back to God is this: just want you to know, I love the giver more than I love the gift. I love the giver more than I love the gift. By the way, you know that's true of your own life? Did you know that? Do you know what Jesus said about your own life? Here's what Jesus said: "Whoever wants to save their life," you wanna save it, what do you have to do? You gotta lose it. "Whoever loses their life for me will find it". See, God doesn't work the way we work. Here's what we think. We think when we finally get something, the way we get to keep it is we lock it up, and we put guard dogs around it. We don't let anybody else have it, and we treat it like it all belongs to us. God doesn't work that way. Here's what God says. What you keep, you lose, but what you give to me, you keep. What you keep, you lose, but what you give to me, you keep.

By the way, moms, all you moms, you know when you should surrender your children to the Lord? Can I tell you the best time to do it? The moment they come out of your womb. Theresa and I did that with all three of our boys the moment they came out. We surrendered them to him, 'cause lemme tell you, lemme tell you a dirty little secret. This is for moms and dads, and I wish there were some moms and dads here to say what I'm about to tell you. I know some moms and dads, and they're real big on, "These are my kids. I'm gonna put boundaries around my kids, 'cause they're my kids. You'll do what you say with my kids". Time out, they're not your kids. They're his kids. Your kids, moms and dads, hate to break the news, at the end of the day, they're really not your kids. They're his kids. They belong to him. So you may as well go ahead and surrender what already belongs to him anyway.

See, they're not really your children. They're really God's children. But notice what she does. This just gets better. You oughta read your Bible sometime. There's some great stuff in here. Listen, she gives him to the Lord fully. Look what she says: she made a promise. "And no razor will ever be used on his head". That seems kinda strange. Well wait a minute, what do you mean, "no razor will ever be on his head"? What does that mean? Well, lemme just give you the background. This guy was gonna be a Nazarite. What's a Nazarite? A Nazarite was somebody, a person that had been given over to God in a special way for a special purpose. This was a tremendous promise that Hannah was making, 'cause when somebody became a Nazarite, that meant three things: they would never cut their hair, ever, for that period of time they made the vow; they never drank wine; and they were to never touch a dead body. In other words, everything about that person, his appearance, his appetite, even his affection was to be dedicated completely to God.

Now, here's the interesting thing about this. Normally, the normal period of time for a Nazarite to take a vow would be for 30 days. That'd be the normal time you'd take the vow. So for 30 years, I'm not gonna cut my hair, I won't drink wine, I won't touch a dead body. If you really, really wanted to get really dedicated, it would be 100 days. Very, very, very, very few mothers would do what she did. She says, "No, Lord, he's gonna be a Nazarite his entire life". There are only three lifelong Nazarites in the Bible. You know what they are? Samson, John the Baptist, and Samuel. See, a model mom doesn't just pursue prayer. Lemme tell you what a real model mom does. She doesn't just pursue prayer; she practices prayer. Lemme tell you what, I want you to watch this. If you ever think sometimes, well, you never can really mix science and the Bible. I've heard that 'til I'm sick of it, too. Yeah, science is over here, and the Bible's over here. Science is fact, and the Bible is faith; wrong. The Bible's fact.

Now, you watch this, you watch this. You tell me God doesn't know what he's doing, you ready? I'm gonna read something that you that if you've been reading your Bible by yourself, you wouldn't have thought a thing about it, but it's a big deal, and we now know scientifically why it's a big deal. Watch this. "When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, Hannah didn't go. She said to her husband, After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always".

Now, if you're reading your Bible, let's just be honest. You'd say, well, okay. I'd just kinda blow by that. That's not even a speed bump. Oh, no, it's a big deal. Normally, the weaning process was three years. So here's what we're told. Hannah has the boy, dedicated him to the Lord, and then for three years, she gives all of her attention and all of her affection to that little boy. Well, guess what we now know? Guess what we now know genetically? Guess what we now know scientifically? Guess what we now know psychologically? Guess what we now know intellectually? Buckle your seatbelt. We now know that the first three years of a child's life are the most important in that child's life, you know why? In the first year, babies develop 50% of their potential and positive attachment to the world. So in other words, at the end of the first year of their life, children have learned half of all they're ever gonna know about some of the most crucial issues about relating to other people: whether they are loved, whether or not they're special, who they can trust.

A half, one half of everything that child will learn is in the first year of his life. The second year, the child learns half as much as they learned in the first year. Third year, they learn half as much as they learned in the second year. In other words, you ready for this? In the first three years of a child's life, 87% of everything a child will learn about relating to himself and relating to others has been totally internalized before he turns four years of age. And you wanna tell me that Bible doesn't know what it's talking about? It knows exactly what it's talking about. She did exactly what she should have done. She gives all of her attention and all of her affection. She pours three years of her life into that little boy, telling him, "There's a God that gave you to me. There's a God that loves you. I want you to always live for him".

So here's the question, ladies. Did it work? Was it worth the effort? Was it worth the sacrifice? Well, let's just see the result. "After he was," what? So he's, what, four years old, just turns four. "After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord".

Keeps her word, did what she said she would do. And then there's this little sentence, and don't miss it. "And he," who's he? Say it out loud. Samuel, four years old, read it. "He worshiped the Lord there". Four years old. Are y'all tracking with me? Four years old, and that boy's doing something some adults can't even do for one hour a week on Sunday morning. Four years old! I'd love to have had a video of that deal. He worshiped the Lord,. Even at that young, tender, age, he worshiped the Lord. So Hannah leaves him. Must have been tough, leaving that boy, but she leaves him, kisses him goodbye, she goes back to her home.

Now, this is not the Bible. This is the Merritt version of the story. Moms, I think she walked into her house, tears running down her cheeks, she looked in the mirror, and she said two words: "Mission accomplished". Mission accomplished. I've got a four-year-old little boy that loves God and worships God and serves God and knows God. And I wanna say to every mother and dad here this morning, the number one thing you oughta pray for your children is not to be rich, not to be famous, not to be successful. The number one thing you oughta be praying for your children is they'd walk in the truth of God, have a passionate love for God, and live a life devoted to God. That's the number one thing you oughta pray. That's the number one thing.

I couldn't care less, and I mean this, I don't care, it doesn't matter to me if they've got a PhD, go to college, don't go to college, work manual labor. I don't care what you do. I want my boys to know God. I want my boys to love God. I want my boys to worship God. I want my boys to serve God, and let me tell you why. In fact, let me let a former president of the United States tell you why. His name was Theodore Roosevelt, and here's what he said: "It is the tasks connected with the home that are that fundamental tasks of humanity. After all, we can get along for the time being with an inferior quality of success and other lines, political or business, or of any such kinds, because if there are failings in such matters, we can make them good for the next generation. But if the mother does not do her duty, there will either be no next generation, or a next generation that is worse than none at all".

I didn't tell this at the first service, but I'm gonna say it just real quickly, 'cause we've got just a minute extra. I don't know if you read it in the paper or not. I just read it Thursday. There's a teacher that teachers in a high school in Gwinnett County, the teacher of the year. He's quitting. Anybody see that story? Okay, some of you saw the story. He's quitting, you know why? 'Cause he's sick and tired of seeing kids come to school and curse out their teachers and show up late and not do their work, and nobody does a thing about it. They need to hear this message, my man. Ladies, that's the message they need to hear. That's the problem. Broke my heart. This is a great young man, great teacher, gonna give his life to it. He said, "I've had enough, I'm done". So, what Theodore Roosevelt said was truth then, and it's truth today. More than ever in the history of America, we need model moms and faithful fathers and praying parents who will seek God for their children and seek to lead their children to God.

Would you pray with me right now, with heads bowed, with eyes closed? You're watching on computer or you're watching by TV right now, you're a mom or a dad, a son or a daughter, a brother or sister, I just wanna know one thing: do you know God? Do you know God? Do you not believe in God, not know about God; do you know God? You do not know God if you do not know Jesus, 'cause you can't get to God except through him. I just wonder how many dads out there and how many moms, or, you're a good dad, you're a good mom, I don't doubt it. That's not what your kids need. They need a godly dad, a godly mom. And you can't be godly 'til you know God. And if you right now would be one of those that would say, I wanna be that dad, I wanna be that mom, or I wanna be that son or that daughter, I wanna be godly, why don't you just tell God? Why don't you say:

Dear God, I'm a sinner, and you're holy. I can't get to you on my own. I need a Savior, and I believe your Son is that Savior. Lord Jesus, I believe you died for my sins. I believe God raised you from the dead. I believe you're alive right now, and I ask you to come into my heart, and I ask you to save me and forgive me. I repent of my sins and turn away from my sins, and I give all of my life to you.

Are you Human?:*