Sunday, December 28, 2014

A devotional spirit

"But Mary kept all these things and 
pondered them in her heart" - by Alice Havers

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 2:15-21

TO CHEW ON: "But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:51

I have always loved this little aside about Mary's reaction to the events of the Christmas story. It makes her seem so human, while directing our attention toward God as we ask with her, what do all these things mean?

Bible writers speak of many women whose hearts are tuned to God. The Thompson Chain Bible lists these examples under the heading: Women - Crowning Qualities - Devotional Spirit. What are some areas of life into which Bible women brought this devotional spirit?

1. Their attitude toward their mates:
  • The ideal wife of Proverbs is  "virtuous" - Proverbs 31:10.
  • Peter characterizes a godly wife as having a beauty of the heart—"… a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God" - 1 Peter 3:1-6.

2. Their motherhood:
  • Hannah prays for a son, makes a promise to God, and keeps it - 1 Samuel 1:15,26.
  • Rebekah "inquires of the Lord" when she senses there is something unusual about her pregnancy - Genesis 25:22.
  • Mary willingly gives her body to carry Jesus and after He is born, ponders all the unusual phenomenon that accompany His birth - Luke 1:38; 2:19 (our focus verse).

3. Their role as singles:
  • Philip's four daughters are single prophetesses - Acts 21:9.

4. Their position as leaders:
  • Miriam leads the women of Israel in worship with her tambourine, singing, and dancing - Exodus 15:20.
  • Huldah is a prophetess who even the priest consults - 2 Kings 22:14.
  • Queen Esther's first thought is to pray and fast before attempting to approach the king - Esther 4:16.

5. Their personal devotion and worship:

  • Eighty-four-year-old Anna spends all her time in the temple, fasting and praying - Luke 2:36-37.
  • Mary of Bethany sits at Jesus feet to listen to Him teach instead of getting caught up in her sister's fussing and worrying - Luke 10:38-42.
  • Jesus' women disciples, follow Him, minister to Him and stick with him to the cross (and beyond) - Mark 15:40.

6. Let's not get the idea, though, that a devotional spirit is seen only in women who listen to teaching, fast, and pray. A devotional spirit can be seen too in Their busyness and business:
  • Dorcas is full of very practical good works - Acts 9:36.
  • Lydia is a businesswoman, a seller of purple who worships God and "opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul" - Acts 16:14.
  • "Leading women" join Paul and Silas in Thessalonica - Acts 17:4.
  • Paul asks his readers in Rome to help Phoebe in her business - Romans 16:1.

I love how these women demonstrate a devotional spirit in so many roles and activities of life. Let's bring their attitude of alertness to God into whatever our today brings of meditation, worship and prayer; singleness, marriage and parenting; leading and following; business and crafts; play and leisure.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be aware of and acknowledge You in every aspect of my life. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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