Tag: Mary

Dead man walking!

Scripture reading for November 3rd: John 9-12

My son Marshal and I visited Bethany as a part of a study class that spent three weeks in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.  At Bethany one morning, we visited a place that might have been the tomb that Lazarus was laid in.  We went down a narrow passageway carved out of the rock and entered the musty cave where there were some niches carved in the wall as places to lay the bodies.  The tomb was illuminated by an electric light.  After reading the Scriptures, I left first, took my camera and called out, “Marshal, come out!”  I got a great picture and a real visual of what those with Jesus witnessed that day when Lazarus came out!

Jesus often stayed at Lazarus’ home in Bethany, less than two miles from the Temple in Jerusalem.  (John 11:18)   Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha, who also loved Jesus.  They had sent word to Jesus that their brother was deathly sick, but Jesus purposely delayed coming.  (John 11:3-6)  When Jesus arrived, Lazarus was already dead and entombed for four days.  Martha came to meet Jesus and told Him that if He had been there, Lazarus would not have died.  She also made another key statement, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:22)  Martha had faith in Jesus and His prayers!

Jesus gave her a Word of knowledge: “Your brother will rise again.” (John 11:23)  Martha’s understanding of the resurrection had come from studying the Old Testament Scriptures.  (Possibly Daniel 12:1-3, 13)  Jesus spoke again to her prophetically, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.  Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)  This time Martha confessed that she believed that Jesus was the Christ, Son of God!

Jesus went to the tomb and wept! (John 11:35)  What compassion Jesus showed for this man that He loved!  Jesus was deeply moved a second time and ordered the stone taken away.   After thanking His Father, Jesus called, “Lazarus, come out!”  Lazarus came out, grave clothes and all!   The dead man walked back into life!

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Mary, the Lord’s Mother!

Scripture reading for October 21st: Luke 1-2

Godly mothers are a gift from the Lord to their children and to the world.  I have a godly mother and am so thankful and blessed!  My mother has a close walk with the Lord.  She was saved when she was young and sought to live out that faith every day.  She was faithful to read her Bible and teach her children.  She was the Sunday School superintendent in our church as I grew up.  Now 91 years young, she still joyfully serves her family.  She faithfully calls each of her many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren on their birthdays and sings to them!  What a blessing now and to future generations!

Luke tells the story of two godly women who are key players in God’s work of salvation.  Elizabeth was older and beyond the time of having children when God spoke into her life.  An angel came to Zechariah, her husband, and he was told that his wife would have a son and his name was to be “John”.  This son would go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah and turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and prepare the people for the Lord.  (Luke 1:13-17)   Elizabeth became pregnant but her husband was unable to speak because he had doubted the angel’s prediction.

The second mother-to-be was Mary.  She was a virgin, engaged to be married.   Gabriel, an angel sent to her by God, announced her favor with God and told her that she would bear a child who would be called the “Son of the Most High.”  Mary humbly asked how this could be since she was a virgin.  The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the child who would be the “Son of God”.  “I am the Lord’s servant,”  Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)

These women had the privilege of working with God to bring about His plan of salvation.  Their faith and obedience was a blessing to their children and families.  Their faith has impacted each of us and countless millions around the world!  Let’s say with Mary, the mother of Jesus, “I am the Lord’s servant.”   God wants to do great things through each person who will yield to His Word!

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Mary, the Lord’s servant!

Scripture reading for March 14th: Luke 1:26-56, Psalms 57:1-11, Proverbs 11:9-11

Angels were busy when God was preparing to bring His Son into the world!  Zechariah, had a visit from Gabriel and was told about the birth of his son, John.   Zechariah questioned the angel about how this might be since he and his wife were old.  Zechariah was unable to speak for the whole pregnancy because of his unbelief.  Now Gabriel was sent again six months later to a young virgin named Mary.   “The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)  This greeting troubled Mary and she was afraid.

“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.  You 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.  The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over He house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33)  For a young girl who was engaged to be married, this announcement must have brought all kinds of questions.  These promises concerning the child were amazing! “Jesus”--the Lord Saves–was to be His name.  He would be great, taking the throne of David!  His kingdom would never end!  “How will this be?” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel Gabriel explained how she would be overshadowed with the power of the Most High and pregnant with the Son of God.  Nothing would be impossible with God!  Mary did not waver or hesitate at the angel’s explanation.  “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)  Mary’s faith response is a beautiful example of how we should all respond to God’s will and direction.

Mary was blessed to carry in her body the Son of God and to nurse Him and raise him.  There are no menial tasks in God’s economy!  Whatever He has asked you to do is important to Him.  Many wait for an angel to deliver instructions, but this is not God’s normal way of directing His people.  His people hear His voice through His word and obey it.  Are you responding to God’s directions through His word?

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Jesus appears alive!

Scripture reading for June 1st:  John 20:1-31

After witnessing the mockery of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion the disciples were filled with grief.  I can imagine how they felt.  They had left everything to follow Jesus and had been so full of joy at what they learned in His presence.  They had heard Him tell them about going away and then they would see Him again, but they really did not understand.  Now they felt hopeless, not knowing what to do next.  But they had not seen the last of Jesus!  He was not dead, but alive!

The women who were close to Jesus were the first to see Jesus alive.  John tells about Mary Magdalene who had gone to the garden tomb while it was still dark. (Luke mentions “women”.)  When she arrived, the stone was rolled away from the tomb.  Mary Magdalene ran and told Peter and John, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!” (John 20:2)   John records that he outran Peter, but Peter arrived and went in first to examine the tomb.  There were the strips of cloth that had been used to wrap the body lying there.  The burial cloth that had covered His head was neatly folded, separate from the linen. The body was gone.  John records that he saw and believed.  (John 20:8-9)  They did not understand from Scripture about the resurrection, however.  Jesus would later show them this!

After the disciples went back home, Mary stood there by the tomb, weeping.  She looked back into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had laid.  They asked her, “Woman why are you crying?”  “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put Him.”  At this she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.” Jesus spoke to her and she thought it was the gardener until He spoke her name, “Mary”.  She was told to go and tell “My brothers” that Jesus was alive!  (John 20:15-18)

Finally, Jesus showed Himself to the brothers, coming into a locked room without assistance.  He showed them his hands and side.  He spoke peace to their troubled souls and gave them a gift, breathing on them! “Receive the Holy Spirit!” (John 20:22)  The second Adam was a life-giving Spirit!

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Mary, the Mother of Jesus!

Scripture reading for October 21st: Luke 1-2

Godly mothers are a gift from the Lord to their children and to the world.  I have a godly mother and am so thankful and blessed!  My mother has a close walk with the Lord.  She was saved when she was young and sought to live out that faith every day.  She was faithful to read her Bible and teach her children.  She was the Sunday School superintendent in our church as I grew up.  Now  86 years young, she still joyfully serves her family and others by cooking and encouraging.  She faithfully calls each of her many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren on their birthdays and sings to them!  What a blessing now and to future generations!

In our reading today, Luke tells the story of two godly women who are key players in God’s work of salvation.  Elizabeth is older and beyond the time of having children when God breaks into her life with a word from an Angel.  This angel came to Zechariah, her husband, as he was offering incense before the Lord.  He was told that his wife would have a son and his name was to be “John”.  (A great name!)  This son would go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah. He would turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and prepare the people for the Lord.  (Luke 1:13-17)  As the angel predicted, Elizabeth became pregnant and remained in seclusion for five months.  Her husband was unable to speak because he had doubted the angel’s prediction.

The second mother-to-be was Mary.  She was a virgin, engaged to be married.   Gabriel, an angel sent to her by God, announced her favor with God and told her that she would bear a child who would be called the “Son of the Most High.”  Mary humbly asked how this could be since she was a virgin.  The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive the child who would be the “Son of God”.  Mary’s response was a picture of faith for all of us. “I am the Lord’s servant,”  Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)

This new mother had the joy of carrying Jesus Christ from conception to birth and then raising Him in her home.  I can imagine her joy and excitement, mixed with holy fear at all that had transpired.  These women had the privilege of working with God to bring about His plan of salvation.  Their faith and obedience was a blessing to their children and families, I am sure.  But now that faith has impacted each of us and countless millions around the world!  If we could get a grasp of the significance of our faith, it would motivate us to serve with joy in the small things the Lord asks of us.  Let’s say with Mary, the mother of Jesus, “I am the Lord’s servant.”

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