Saturday, March 31, 2012

What about Mary! - Part 1 of 2

by Chet Nowlen
The New Testament mentions Mary, the mother of Jesus, several times but does not give a whole lot of detail about her.  What we do know is that Mary must have had great faith because she found great favor with God.  I imagine God had to have just the right person to bear His Son as a mortal man.
For Mary to find favor with God she had to have something very special going on in her life.  Even though Mary was probably a teenager when the angel appeared to her I think Mary knew the scriptures very well and was anticipating the arrival of The Son.  She just  didn’t know when or how.  I suspect Mary spent a lot of time in prayer and her faith exceeded most all young women of her day.
When the angel told Mary that she would conceive a son she did not understand at first because she had ever had sex with a man.  When the angel told her she would conceive as stated in Luke1:34-38, “Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I do not know a man?’  And the angel answered and said to her, ‘ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, the Holy One, who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barre.  For with God nothing will be impossible.’  Then Mary said, Behold the maidservant of the Lord!  Let it be to me according to your word.”
Mary expressed exceptional faith by stating let it be to me according to what God said to  her through the angel, God’s messenger.  Mary could not see it yet, she could not feel it yet, but she took what God said and in her mind that settled it - she knew she would have a son just as God told her she would.  Notice she said, “Let it be to me according to Your word.”   
The lesson for us in Mary’s words is this; we have a book that has God’s words recorded in our Bibles and God expects us to exercise faith in His words just as Mary did.  Both the words of God and Jesus’s words are given to us so that we too will say   with our own words, “Let it be to me according to Your word.”  All of God’s promises are His words and His promises are ours by faith when we believe God’s promises are ours.  And, like Mary accept His promises are ours even though we may not see it, feel it, smell it, or taste it yet.  
Like Mary our faith words are  “let it be to me” just as His words says.  His words are like seeds planted in the soil of our hearts.  God’s word to Mary was a seed planted in her heart and her body by The Holy Spirit.  Did she see immediately?  She did not feel anything immediately either, but she accepted the fact by faith and in time what she said in faith came to be just as God told the angel to say to her.
Pray this with me: “Heavenly Father Let it be to me as I exercise my faith and believe every promise you made is for me and it will come to pass just as said it would, In Jesus name.” Amen

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Best Prayer I Have Heard In A Long Time

 "Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children..

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love." Amen
Working for God on earth may not always pay that much here on earth......but His retirement plan is out of this world!  "Heavenly Father may Your will be done through us on earth as it is in heaven" Amen
Thoughts for the day - "Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you -- not because they are nice, But because you are". 

"Build up your treasures in heaven by following Jesus' words and by being busy for the Kingdom until he comes again.  What are we supposed to be doing until Jesus comes again and how do we build treasures in heaven.  Jesus gave us the keys to know how we are to serve Him here on earth.  He told us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  How do we do that?  Jesus said, "I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was in prison and you visited me."  Jesus went on to say that when we have done this to others we have done it to Him.  When we have done this to our neighbor we have shown love to him, and at the same time we have shown our love for Jesus.  This is the secret to building treasures in heaven.  We love our neighbors not to get a reward, but we love our neighbors because He first loved us and when we love our neighbors we are loving Him.  Because we love Him God rewards us personally."