Mar 18

BECOMING LIKE MARY: Part 15

Mary-meme cropped

As Christians, we strive to become more like Jesus. We can also learn lessons from Jesus’ mother Mary about our own character and circumstances and how they might be like hers.

Here is last month’s post on Becoming Like Mary.

I am Promised in Marriage

One of the things we know about Mary is that she was a virgin. She had never been with a man sexually before she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we first meet her in Scripture, Mary was engaged to Joseph, a righteous man. In those days, it is unlikely that Mary would have been engaged to a righteous man if she had not been physically pure.

One wonderful thing about Mary’s circumstance was that, although she was pregnant, Joseph followed the Lord’s guidance and ultimately married Mary anyway. As a result, Jesus was raised in a God-fearing and God-honoring home. Mary had been promised to Joseph in marriage and therefore, Jesus became part of the family that resulted from that marriage. We read about the beginning of this family unit in the very first book of our New Testament (see Matthew 1:24).

In the very last book of our New Testament, the Apostle John writes about the revelation given him. There we learn that when Jesus returns to reign over the New Heaven and the New Earth, His Church–the body of believers in Christ–will be joined in marriage to Jesus. We believers will be His bride (Revelation 21:9-10).

In ancient Hebrew times, during a betrothal period, the bride and groom were kept apart from each other to prepare for marriage and, in part, to prove their faithfulness to each other. The time meant complete faithfulness between the couple. At the end of the betrothal, the groom would come for the bride and take her with him, uniting together.

In a similar manner, when Jesus died for us, He claimed us as His own. Now is a time when we are to remain faithful to Him and to prepare for His return. Then He will take us with him and we will be with Him forever.

Individually and as part of Jesus’ Church, we are now symbolically betrothed to Jesus in preparation for uniting with Him eternally. We, like Mary, have been promised in marriage.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you faithful to Jesus as you await His return? In what ways are you preparing to be His bride?

 

♥♥♥

If you would like to study more about how our character and circumstances might be similar to those of Jesus’ mother, Mary, please check out my daily devotional study, I am Mary, part of the With Faith Like Hers series.

MARY FRONT COVER

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I am Mary is available in print or on Kindle through Amazon. Proceeds from the sale of the books in the With Faith Like Hers series benefit Hope’s Door, a local Idaho shelter for women and children victims of domestic violence.

Mar 11

WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT

sunset purple tree

I sing it wrong. Usually on purpose. To be clever. To be funny. To make a point. To laugh at myself.

To mourn over myself; how I think, react. Live.

It’s all about me, I sing.

I love “that” song while I hate the song I sing. But when I sing to mourn—not to be clever, but to recognize my lowly state and how far I need to climb out of my pit—I love even the hated song.

It’s all about me, I sing.

So I imagine reaching toward the light shining above my pit. A form breaks the stream of light without darkening my vision.

It’s all about me, I sing.

No, that’s the song I hate when I’m being clever. Or mourning.

I reach again and grasp hold of the strong and tender hands reaching down to pull me into the light. The strong and tender hands—each with a wound—healed yet ever fresh. I sing again.

It’s all about you, Jesus.

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I wrote the above the other evening in response to a writing prompt at a local meet-up with other writers. I often sing this song wrongly on purpose to remind myself that really, it isn’t about me; or shouldn’t be.

To listen to this song sung properly and beautifully, here is Shelley Nirider singing Jesus, Lover of My Soul. Enjoy.

Above image used with permission from Pixabay.com, with words added and photo adjusted.

Mar 04

SHINE YOUR LIGHT (BULB)

Eccl 8-1

I love the Book of James for James’ thoughts on living out your faith and the ever-painful but necessary thoughts about watching your tongue. But I’d never considered that the Book of James was especially big on wisdom. Then I read this again.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere
(James 3:17 NIV).

There are street smarts, world smarts, brainiacs and smarty-pants. Then there are those people who are wise and whose wisdom comes from God.

I always figured wisdom came from experience and experience wasn’t always God-given. Sometimes experience meant you made mistakes and learned from them. The learning grew into wisdom. In other words, that wisdom came as a result of your own actions.

But perhaps it is God-given after all. Perhaps we are unable to learn from our mistakes at all until our minds and hearts are first softened from above in a way God made us in the first place—whether we recognize it or not.

It’s not surprising then, that with wisdom on my mind this past week, when I was praying over what thoughts to share about my 2019 focus word, shine, Ecclesiastes hopped about excitedly.

Who is like the wise? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man’s
wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed

(Ecclesiastes 8:1 ESV).

When I read this verse, I imagine the coming on of wisdom as if a light bulb has gone on over my head. “I get it!” I would say. “That new nugget of wisdom makes sense!”

And that new understanding would change the hardness of my face and makes me shine all over.

Life is better with the new wisdom. Life will be better from now on, because I understand something I didn’t understand before.

Then, I can take that new wisdom and apply it in a pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere manner that reflects my love of God and His command to love others in His name.

Aha!

WHAT ABOUT YOU? When was the last time, a bit of wisdom gave you an aha moment that bettered your life?

 

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