Today we pray earnestly to God to protect Israel and the Jewish people from the wicked terrorists found in the countries that surround her and from within her own borders. We pray for Shalom peace in Jerusalem and an end to the seething violence of Arab Israelis incited by satanic hatred.
From John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Our Lord is with us and Our Lord is with Israel.
Last Sunday, we celebrated Mothers’ Day in the US. The holiday is celebrated in Mexico every May 10th. We remember to check in on our moms, especially those of us that are not in regular contact with them. Kind of like when the CEOs (Christmas and Easter Only Christians) remember to show up in church!
I sent texts to my mom and mother in law. I got calls from my Army sons. For the holiday this year I sent a text message to all moms in my contact list. Just a quick note letting each special lady know that I was thinking about her and wished her a beautiful day.
Last month, during morning prayer, I heard the LORD say to me “learn from My Mother”. He was quite insistent about this. Lately I have been discerning the difference in His messages such as “Hey this is a possibility for you to think about” from “Hey this is important and I want you to do it now”. Then He guided me to a book and told me to glean the main points of the first three chapters.
First chapter related to confidence and mercy. The second chapter was about pardon and forgiveness while the third chapter highlighted hope and perseverance. From these ideas, a picture began to emerge of sweetness, kindness, gentleness and love. Remember the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22? These are the same qualities!
Our Lord Jesus impressed upon me more insight into Mary’s example. She was first an Obedient Daughter and then a Merciful Mother.
Obedience is the quality of yielding or submitting to the instructions or will of an authority figure. Like little children, following the commands of their parents. At least, that is how it is supposed to be. Starting with easy requests like clean your room, do your homework, take out the trash and feed the cat. There is some action involved and perhaps the job actually gets done but with a negative attitude. In those instances, the original request is quickly forgotten in the long battle of words that follows when the current atmosphere is charged with the emotions of the previous battles of will. And they are not even teenagers yet…just wait for that fun!
If you have not experienced this, know that it’s coming!
Mary’s acceptance of God’s will for her life, at Gabriel’s announcement, was an act of obedience to the Heavenly Father. She also submitted to the method of being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit in order to conceive the Messiah. While not many details of her life are recorded in Scripture, Mary was a Jewish mother always concerned for her Son. When He hung on the cross and spoke His last words, she obeyed His decree said in John 19:26 “Woman, behold your son”. Jesus transferred His earthly relationship responsibility as her son to His friend, the Apostle John. The disciple that Jesus loved. Her obedience was an outward sign of the interior depth of her trust in God.
Trust is knowing with confident assurance that all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose. Read Romans 8:28. Remember Jesus said in Luke 9:62 that once you put your hand to the plow, do not look back or you become unfit for service in His kingdom. What could He mean by that statement? I believe He is stating a natural law, like the law of gravity. We must commit with focused attention to the action ahead of us and press forward in trust. There is to be no expression of fear or doubt, but full engagement in the task at hand. God does not use ineffective tools.
Mother Mary and the original disciples would have known the Scriptures related to trusting in God.
Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
Psalm 33:21-22 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 37:3-6 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. And Psalm 56:3-4 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
While many other Psalms speak of trust, here are a few verses from Proverbs and the Prophets.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’
Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.
There was a song released in 1988 by Bobby McFerrin titled Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Matthew 6:25-34 is the “Don’t Worry” sermon Jesus shared with His listeners. The message is understanding that we have value to our Heavenly Father, to trust in God’s provision and a new perspective of seeking His kingdom before the needs of our daily lives. Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you have received them and you will have them. 2 Cor 5:7 is the verse to walk by faith and not by sight.
As obedience is based on trust, from trust flows mercy. Mercy is described as compassion, benevolence, forbearance or pity. Merciful people provide help and support to those in need, especially when they don’t deserve it.
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to seek justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God? This is our duty. It sums up the Law and the Prophets. It is the Greatest Commandment in Deuteronomy 6:1-5. It is the Golden Rule to do right by others. Loving our neighbors as ourselves and loving God above all else.
Diving into the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, found in Chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel:
People exhibiting these traits are blessed and receive specific promises because of them
Poor in spirit and Pure in heart
Mourn and Meek
Merciful and Hunger & thirst for righteousness
Peacemakers and Persecuted
How can we know that we have the valuable traits of confident obedience, loving mercy and steadfast hope as well as the gift of faith? If trees are known by their fruit, then people’s actions and words reveal the depths of their heart. Their fruit becomes visible to all with eyes to see and ears to hear.
So honestly evaluate where you are at. Not based on other people but on yourself. Thorough examinations of conscience are necessary for each of us on a regular basis. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the areas in your life that need to be pruned. He is only too happy to help you get His temple in order.
Our dear Lord Jesus Himself asked in Luke 18:8 “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” And if you haven’t noticed, things are pretty bad all over the world right now. The signs of the times are upon us. He is coming soon. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!
The Joy of the Lord is our strength. Spend time with Him in His Word, through prayer and worship and in fellowship with other followers of Jesus. True followers of Jesus, honestly. Ask Him to show you what His plan is for your life. Then get in alignment with your assignment.
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