More Blessed than Mary?

Luke 11:28   (NLT)   28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Luke 11.28 - More Blessed than Mary.jpgWe cannot overestimate the value of God’s Word—of listening to and obeying it. It brings an exceedingly great blessedness—greater blessedness than being a channel of our precious Lord’s incarnation.

Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus in His humanity without a doubt is extremely blessed. This is a truth recognized the world over. Others emphasize the wonders and value of this experience while at the same time neglecting the glories and importance of God’s word.

A lot of people have a tendency to do this or something similar to this. We have a tendency to elevate things and people above God and His Word. Our affection, our attention, our energy, our time, and our efforts are spent towards them; our focus on God, His Kingdom, our ministry, our callings, things eternal, things spiritual, our mission—all these infinitely more important things are lessened or diminished in our estimation. We get busy doing a lot of things we find very important and big; God’s word becomes a distraction.

So much is written about the wonders and the glories of the Word of God—so many admonitions for us to listen to it, read it, study, meditate on it, commit it to our minds and hearts, and live it out. That’s one of the obvious proofs that God really wants as blessed.

We thank You Lord for Your desire to bless us, and how You have made that possible, not just for a few but for all who would act and respond to Your clear directions appropriately and in humble, grateful, loving obedience. It’s so amazing living blessed. All this is from You, and we’re enjoying it immensely.

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Rebuking the Devil

Luke 4:36   (NLT)   Amazed, the people exclaimed, “What authority and power this man’s words possess! Even evil spirits obey him, and they flee at his command!”

There were people who noticed Jesus and had the observation, assessment, and statement about Him. Jesus’ Words possessed very noticeable authority that evil spirits obeyed the commands. Although evil spirits are against Jesus, they’re still under His absolute control.

People notice; not everybody does, but others do. They are open enough to see the reality of our precious Lord, His work, and yes, us, His people. Our relationship with Jesus is obvious. It translates to our lifestyles—the purity of our actions, and the authority of our words. We’re not intimidated; we don’t fear—not even them. We submit ourselves to God, we resist the devil, and the devil flees.

Our uniqueness as believers is beautiful. People who awaken to this reality can’t help but see the many blessings we have. Yes, we are humble: we’re meek, but this doesn’t mean we’re weak and powerless. The Holy Spirit resides in us. That’s the power able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all anyone is able to ask, think, or imagine. We don’t retaliate when insulted, but the words we speak—the oracles of God flowing from our mouths have authority to command a mountain to be uprooted and cast into the sea, to order the devil to get out and go, and they don’t have any recourse but to do what we say.

Speaking of Repentance

Luke 3:3   (KJV)   3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins

Luke 3.13 - Speaking of RepentanceOne act—repentance—causes such immeasurably great results: forgiveness of our sins, assurance of eternal destiny in the presence of our dear precious Lord. It’s a message everyone needs to hear.

We don’t cower or withdraw from preaching the message of repentance. Although it’s not a popular subject, we don’t turn our backs on it. It is an essential message for an indispensable experience: salvation.

Others don’t like to be told to repent; it suggests sin and sinfulness. Although it’s a common knowledge that all sin, that nobody’s perfect, others would rather not be told about it. But we’re not moved by people’s words or reactions. We’re moved by God’s Word and His Spirit. We do what God says we do.

Jesus: Baby—and a Lot More

Luke 2:16   (KJV)   16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2.16 - Baby - and a Lot MoreJesus was described in no spectacular way; in fact, unlike Joseph and Mary, He was not even called by His Name. He was just referred to as babe.  This doesn’t mean however that that’s all there is to Him. Jesus was way more than just an ordinary baby.

What we know about Jesus, and what others know about Jesus fail in comparison to who our precious Lord really is.  Just because he was born humbly in a manger, just because he lived as a human being, just because he died, it doesn’t mean He is just an ordinary man. He is the king who came down from heaven. He lived as a man but he lived a victorious sinless life through 33 years of Him being here on Earth. He died a sacrificial death and paid for the sins of the whole world of all generations. And he is right now seated at the right hand of God the Father. He will come back as the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords to judge both the living and the dead. He will rule and reign over every tribe, every language, every nation—forever.

That’s our Jesus—and a lot more.

The description doesn’t define the person or create the substance. Others may perceive Him very lowly or unfavorably, but He is still the great He is. Same with us: others may look down on us and say all manners of evil against us, but we are who we are. We are not affected by people’s demeaning words if we don’t let them.

Joyful Despite Tribulations

John 16:33   (KJV)   33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16.33 - Joyful Despite TribulationsJesus’ Words are to give us peace, no matter how scary the truth may sound. In Jesus can we find very interesting and comforting paradoxes. We have tribulations, but we have joy. This is not a self-assuring yet dangerous denial of trials and persecutions; they’re based on our Lord’s promises and accomplishments.

Praise God for revealing important truths to us. He doesn’t always divulge everything, but He doesn’t deprive us of truths we need. He’s a loving God Who wants us to have everything necessary for a full and meaningful life.

We’ve had experiences when others have pointed out how little we have and yet we’re filled with joy. We don’t take that as an insult. What can compare to such a life? Others try to accumulate as much wealth and resources as they can. But it’s not really the gold, fame, and number of people around us that matter the most; it’s what they’re supposed to bring to us: security, worth, significance, value, love, joy, peace, and so much more.

We have them—without the tiring pursuit for more stuff.

Great life.

Thank You Lord.

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

John 4:7   (KJV)   7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

John 4.7 - It's Okay to Ask for HelpAs believers, we’re more blessed giving than receiving; we’re more blessed helping than being helped. But clearly, it isn’t sinful to ask for help; it doesn’t necessarily make us less effective in our testimony and in proclaiming the Good News. In fact, the Lord can even use that exactly for the purpose of the Good News.

We can’t be too proud to ask for help. We’re not of this world but we’re still in this world. We need food, clothing, shelter, transportation. We don’t expect all of those to be coming from Christian-owned businesses; we will use items produced by non-Christian-owned businesses.

We’re not here to bless believers alone; we’re here to love our neighbors—which include the lost and unbelieving. We will use their products, and praise God, we help them succeed and prosper. That’s love. Asking for their help may be a way we can build relationship with them—a relationship that will give us opportunities to shine the light of Jesus through us to them. That’s good.

Today, We Prepare

Hebrews 3:13   (KJV)   13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

One glorious day, we will be meeting our long-awaited beloved Lord, beholding Him with our very eyes, to spend time with Him and with our God for eternity. That will be one day, and we pray, one day soon. Today, we prepare.

exhortPart of our proper preparation is urgently exhorting and warning each other daily to be passionate about our God and His Word; to be watchful and vigilant against the insidious tactics and hideous attacks of our enemy.

God has powerfully set us free; we live in freedom. We don’t unwisely subject ourselves again to the cruel sin overlord. In freedom; we’re repeatedly commanded to be careful, to guard our hearts, to make sure our hearts don’t get hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and cause us to turn away from God.

We aim to be faithful to our Lord, to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith, to trust Him as firmly as when we did at first—even more. We don’t make light of the admonition for us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to strive with the power of God’s Spirit that’s continually working in us to will and do what pleases Him. These we restfully do—in freedom, in His grace.