Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Think On These Wondrous Things!

"But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)

Mary Had a Mindset Beyond Her Difficulties
Regardless of the stigma society placed on Mary for having been pregnant out of wedlock, and the shame that others connected to her as the babe grew within her, regardless of the scorn she received from onlookers, she choose not to think on those things. 

Rather Mary treasured in her heart what was true - she had given birth to Messiah and was now seeing God confirm for her, through the shepherds, that it was indeed so. She was thrilled at what God was bringing to pass. She thought on these miraculous and marvelous happenings which were unfolding before her very eyes.

What About Me?
Should it be any different in my own life? Should I not ponder and treasure how God is at work within me to sanctify me, to change me daily into the image of His Beloved Son? Every day, every moment, Christ is abiding in me. The Holy Spirit teaches me the things of God and comforts me in any affliction. Every day, my Triune God speaks truth into my life. Everyday He walks with me and tells me that I am His own. He is actually my Father; Jesus is my friend, brother, Savior and Lord; the Holy Spirit dwells in me and reveals these glorious details to me. Every day He is proving Himself to be more than I ever dreamed or imagined.
A Mindset That Leads to Worship
These are the things that I should be thinking on and when they are, worship just happens. With every thought that Mary treasured, her mind was taken upward to behold her amazing God. This is worship. This is adoration. This is pure delight in the Lord's presence!

A Mindset That Reveres Scripture
And this treasuring of the things of God as they unfold in my life is exactly what I am commanded to think on in Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."

Certainly, we can say, "God is truth (John 14:6). He is just, Who died for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18). He is right and righteous altogether (1 John 3:7). He is pure and holy without any taint of sin (Habakkuk 1:13), (1Peter 1:15-16). He is the loveliest of ten thousand and more (Psalm 135:3). He is of the most glorious repute, having been bestowed with the Name which is above every name (Philippians 2:9). He is excellent in greatness (Psalm 150:2) and in name (Hebrews 1:4). And is there anyone or anything more worthy of praise than our gracious and kind God (Psalm 146:1)? Absolutely not!

A Mindset That Becomes a Way of Life
The command in Philippians tells us to dwell on these things, to let our minds be governed by what is true, etc. So when are we to think in this way? Is it to be just at Christmas time? We see Mary dwelling on these things at her Son and Savior's birth, but did that mindset change once Jesus was walking, growing older, becoming a man? 

In Luke 2:51-52 we see Jesus at the age of 12. He had grown and was now considered a man by Jewish culture. He had gone with His parents to Jerusalem for Passover. When they left to go back home to Nazareth, He stayed behind at the temple, unbeknownst to them. Luke 2:46 tells us, "...after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions." 

After finding their Son, they left with Him to travel back home. Once more in Luke we read, "And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."

Twelve years after His birth, we find Mary still pondering on the wonderful workings of her God as they unfolded in her life. This mindset had become her habit. 

This mindset would be the very thing that would enable Mary to face the crucifixion of her Son and continue to trust God when her life would otherwise have fallen apart.

A Mindset That Speaks of the Very Heart Of Christmas
And so it should be for me and anyone else who knows the Savior. He is so very personal to His beloved ones, to those who trust and revere Him. How can we fail to let our minds think on those things He shows us? And then how can we not worship this precious One who came, as a lowly babe in human flesh, the Just One, Who died for the unjust so that we might know and love Him and be loved by Him?

Surely this is the true meaning, the very heart and essence of Christmas!

"Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth." (Colossians 3:2)

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