Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Countdown to Christmas Part 6 – Life Lessons


Luke 1
39 ¶  Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
40  and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.
41  And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42  Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43  "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44  "For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Life Lesson #1

Some things can only be done now
·       Would not have worked to have waited
·       The Word to Zacharias was that the baby would be filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb … that has a limited time frame.
·       Opportunities may abound but they are only opportunities – we can meet them or mess them up.
·       Jesus told Judas, that which you are going to do, do now!
·       There is a time for everything and God makes all things beautiful in His time.

45  "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord."
46  And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47  And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Life Lesson#2

We may not be able to embrace the blessing unless we are willing accept the burden
·       Mary was blessed indeed but also
o   pregnant out of wedlock
o   inspired to take a 200 mile round trip walk during the first three months
o   forced to take another 100 mile trip at 7 to 9 months pregnant
o   left out in the cold to bear her baby in a stable cave
o   made her escape to save her child by way of a long journey to a foreign country
o   ponder/wonder with concern in her heart for over 30 years about what had happened and was happening in her life
o   watch her firstborn be accused of blasphemy in a national trial and endure his torture, sentencing and execution
o   all before getting to the resurrection and Pentecost after which began the growth along with the persecution of the Church
·       Mary was blessed – truly blessed to be a part of the plan of God, and so are we.
o   I feel certain that if you ask her today that she wouldn’t change a thing … that might not have been the story had asked her in the middle of her moment

Life Lesson #3

48  For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49  For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
50  And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.
51  He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52  He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.
53  He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.

God loves the humble heart
·       Those who refuse to feel
o   better than their parents
o   brighter than their teachers
o   bigger than their God
o   a superiority complex
·       Proverbs 6:16ff puts a proud look at the top of the list of abominations in the eyes of God
·       Philippians 2:5  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
·       Self righteous superiority complex with delusions of grandeur

Luke 18
10  "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11  "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ’God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
12  ’I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’
13  "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ’God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
14  "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Life Lesson #4

Luke 1
54  He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy,
55  As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."

Have patience with God – His job might not be so easy
·       He will get it done but He may need a little cooperation from you
·       Jonah’s resistance to helping God made the job more difficult for the both of them
·       God told Moses that the Children of Israel had aggravated Him ten times and that He was fed up with trying to gain their cooperation.
·       Numbers 23:19 …

56  And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.