Heart Treasures

Heart Treasures

By Patricia Knight

Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Mary was an ordinary person who accomplished the extraordinary. As a young teenager, a mere twelve to fourteen years of age, Mary possessed a quiet faith, one that conveyed submission, humility, and inner strength of character. The angel assured her, “Do not be afraid. You have found favor with GodYou will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1: 30-32).

Mary was initially overwhelmed and perplexed by the announcement, but she asked only one question of the angel, Gabriel: “How will this be since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). Once Gabriel responded that the Holy Spirit had overcome her to create her pregnancy, Mary replied, “I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

Her next response was to sing a song of praise and glory to God, rejoicing in His mercy lavished upon her. Mary’s song ends with conviction that God is faithful to His promises. She felt honored that she had been chosen to participate in a miracle that would fulfill God’s sacred word made centuries ago to bring the prophesied Savior to the world.

Mary didn’t attempt to live in the future, avoiding futile “what if” questions. She relied upon her Lord to meet all of her needs on a daily basis. Whenever she was reminded of a new aspect of Jesus’ future predicted by a prophet or an angel, “Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). God recognized Mary’s superlative heart value. He chose her as the mother of Jesus by examining her heart and found it overflowing with goodness.  To hold the Son of God in her arms, to cuddle Him, to nurture and instruct Him, must have been a tremendous privilege and responsibility, not so different from the devotion and love all mothers feel toward their children. However, a sense of wonder must have constantly permeated Mary’s emotions.

As Jesus matured, He gradually developed an awareness of His unique relationship to God. He was also perfectly obedient to His earthly parents. Mary and Joseph must have yearned for their firstborn to experience every aspect of life, but Jesus was unable to fall in love, have a family, or experience any permanent status on earth. Jesus Christ was God in the flesh.  He was focused on the work with eternal consequences that He must perform during his brief time on earth.

Jesus’ parents had no forewarning that their adult son would walk on water, cure the blind, or heal the lame. But they believed unreservedly in His mission. At a wedding feast where the wine supply was exhausted much too early in the celebration, Mary asked Jesus to help in some way to prevent embarrassment to the bridegroom. Then she instructed the servants, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Though Jesus had never performed a miracle before, Mary trusted His abilities and judgment explicitly. She was likely as surprised as the servants that Jesus converted gallons of plain water into elegant wine.

Jesus was born on earth not to constantly perform fantastic miracles, as needed as they were, but to bring redemption of sin to the multitudes. 

Soon the prediction the prophet Simeon uttered when Jesus was an infant, was proving true: Mary as well as Jesus would suffer deep anguish in the future. When Jesus claimed to be the son of God, storm clouds of opposition and rejection gathered over His life. Mary must have felt personally attacked when she viewed mob hatred escalating toward her son. Jesus was the subject of intolerance and shame; scorn and disbelief.  Mary paid a tremendous price to bring the Savior into the world; she paid an exorbitant price to stand beneath the cross, witnessing the physical and emotional torment of Jesus’ during his heinous crucifixion. Mary’s heart must have completely shattered, spilling forth all the treasures she’d pondered over the past thirty-three years of her son’s life.

As He hung from the cross, Jesus assigned His beloved disciple, John, to care for His mother for the rest of her earthly life. Then Mary retreated into seclusion with Jesus’ committed followers, where they hid from the Roman authorities, praying for protection and guidance. Three days later, news arrived that Jesus had risen from the dead. How Mary rejoiced!  Her son, the Son of God, was alive!  Thanksgiving filled the air.

Are we willing to cling to our beliefs, as Mary did, even when the rising tide of public opposition threatens to chip away at our spiritual commitment, like granite eroding from the constant battering of surging tides? Just as plans for the incarnation of our Savior were flawlessly choreographed in heaven, God loves us so much that His purposes for each of our lives are also perfect. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas season, let us follow Mary’s example, learning to treasure all the Words of God and ponder them in our hearts.

Sunday Praise and Worship: Psalm 8

sunday-praise-worship-amp

Today we praise and worship our Lord Jesus with a song that’s been around awhile but will always be pertinent because it is straight out of the Bible. How Majestic is Your Name is based on Psalm 8, which is a messianic psalm emphasizing the humanity of Jesus Christ and His ultimate victory as Man.

As you listen to this praise song, ponder the worshipful words of David exalting the Lord as our majestic and glorious Redeemer!

Psalm 8

The Lord’s Glory and Man’s Dignity. 
A Psalm of David.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

New American Standard Bible (NASB). Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Sunday Praise and Worship: Glory

SundayPraiseAndWorship-50--AMP

This praise song is so appropriate considering that Resurrection Day was celebrated and commemorated one week ago. I don’t think you can sing “Glory” by  Phil Wickham without being filled with the JOY of the Lord Jesus for what He suffered on our behalf. This chorus is my favorite part:

Blessing honor
Glory power
All our praises
Yours forever

Holy, holy
Holy is the Lord
Almighty, Worthy
All the earth is filled
With Your glory, glory
We give You glory, glory

 

Beloved, please join me in praising our Lord through this portion of Psalm 86:

I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
For great is Your mercy toward me,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
—Psalm 86:12-13

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

BlogSL2-smallest

Sunday Praise and Worship: My Story

SundayPraiseAndWorship--AMP

If you are anything like me, you are often overwhelmed by the thought “of the grace that is greater than all my sin, of when justice was served and where mercy wins.”

Grace and mercy: two of the most amazing things that Jesus Christ lavishes on us sinners, for whom He died and took upon Himself the punishment for our sins so that we can live with Him forever. And all we need to do is confess and be sorry for our sins, and believe that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). The Word made flesh, just for us.

Beloved, do these thoughts move you to tears?

Every time I hear Big Daddy Weave sing “My Story,” I am once again amazed and humbled by so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3).

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

 

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins.
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

 

Beloved, if you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, please go here to find out how easy it is. If you have any questions about this, please write to me at  faithlhj777 at gmail dot com.

BlogSL2-smallest

Sunday Praise and Worship: He Shall Reign Forevermore

SundayPraiseAndWorship--AMP

What a glorious occasion we recently celebrated: the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. He Shall Reign Forevermore, by Chris Tomlin, is a wonderful way to sing and declare the truth that Jesus shall reign forever! Please join me in continuing the celebration by singing these praises of worship to our awesome King of kings and Lord of lords!

And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore
Unto us a child is born
The King of kings and Lord of lords
And He shall reign forevermore, forevermore

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

BlogSL2-smallest

Sunday Praise and Worship: Mary, Did You Know? (Pentatonix)

SundayPraiseAndWorship--AMP

I love the Pentatonix version of one of my favorite Christmas songs, “Mary, Did You Know?” It often plays through my mind this time of year. 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

BlogSL2-smallest

Sunday Praise and Worship: To Your Name be the Glory

SundayPraiseAndWorship--AMP

Please join me this morning in praising our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Chris Tomlin’s “Not to Us” is a wonderful song of praise that reminds us that it’s not about any of us: it’s all about Him!

Not to us, Lord, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
—Psalm 115:1

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

BlogSL2-smallest