I’ve been reading in Luke this month. (There is a simple story as to why I jumped into this book mid-way through November, and I hope to share it soon.) These have been sweet mornings with my Jesus. Friends, please don’t ever downplay the amazing power in His Word alone. So many wonderful studies are out there to cause us to seek and find and dig into more of scripture so that we may love Him with our hearts, minds, and souls, but they almost all have this as their foundation – His Word! It all and always must begin there on the pages where His breath gave way to our very lives. Read it. Savor it. Ponder it. Love it!
I just wanted to share some quotes, scriptures, and comments from today – drawn from my date at dawn with Jesus.
Luke 18* Amplified Bible (AMP)
35 As He came near to Jericho, it occurred that a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he asked what it meant. 37 They told him, Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. 38 And he shouted, saying, Jesus, Son of David, take pity and have mercy on me! 39 But those who were in front reproved him, telling him to keep quiet; yet he screamed and shrieked so much the more, Son of David, take pity and have mercy on me! 40 Then Jesus stood still and ordered that he be led to Him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 What do you want Me to do for you? He said, Lord, let me receive my sight! 42 And Jesus said to him, Receive your sight! Your faith (your trust and confidence that spring from your faith in God) has healed you. 43 And instantly he received his sight and began to follow Jesus, [c]recognizing, praising, and honoring God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.
Luke 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
26 Now in the sixth month [after that], the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 To a girl never having been married and a virgin engaged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, Hail, O favored one [endued with grace]! The Lord is with you! Blessed (favored of God) are you before all other women! 29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled and disturbed and confused at what he said and kept revolving in her mind what such a greeting might mean. 30 And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace (free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving-kindness) with God. 31 And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David, 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end. 34 And Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I have no [intimacy with any man as a] husband? 35 Then the angel said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a shining cloud]; and so the holy (pure, sinless) Thing (Offspring) which shall be born of you will be called the Son of God. 36 And listen! Your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is now the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. 38 Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her.
Her first response was to humble herself. Mary knew her place, but even more she knew God’s place: all-powerful, all-seeking, all-knowing, and all-loving. Because of who he is, Mary was able to offer herself to him as a “bondslave”…”a female slave whose will was not her own” …Think of this young maiden ‘consciously and willingly joining with the purpose of God to bring salvation to the world.’ Only God could have provided the faith necessary to take such a huge leap. And leap she did. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Luke 1:38
~The Women of Christmas**
I know one event occurred after the other. I placed them in the order of how I read them this morning – of how Jesus served me His portion this day. Faith. I usually describe it to my children in this way: belief/trust with feet. Faith – Faithfulness: it is our response – the living of our lives – to the One Who has initiated love to us, Who has been in undeterred pursuit of us since His heart first thought us up. Faith is our “Yes!” to His invitation, and in the instance of the blind beggar, faith is our “Yes!” before the invitation even arrives!
Faith is no easy thing for those of us gazing only at the world, but for the “bondslave” of the Lord – the one whose gaze is fixed on her master, ready at His signal to do His will – Faith is our only response. And be assured of this, our steps of faith are not singular or secluded. They will always lead to more and lead for more.
Think of this young maiden ‘consciously and willingly joining with the purpose of God to bring salvation to the world. Oh, what a purpose! Father, everyday I want to join with you to bring salvation to the world. Lead on, Sweet Jesus!
**Join us over at Women of Prayer through December as we read and pray through The Women of Christmas.