April 2 - Encouragement to Be With God

Thoughts to lead you into prayer. 


Praise God. 

Praise God that the heavens declare his glory and the skies display his handiwork. That his eternal power and divine essence can be clearly seen and understood through creation, leaving no man without excuse. Psalm 19:1-6, Romans 1:18-23,


Thank God. 

Thank God that you can praise him. That he has revealed himself in creation and his Word, and that your opened eyes have been opened to see the truth. 2 Timothy 3:16,17, Ephesians 1:18


Acknowledge sin.

Acknowledge the sin of not delighting in God's creation and Word as often as you could. Ask him to open your eyes to behold the truth in his Law and then walk in it. Psalm 119:18, Ephesians 5:18



A Psalm to Sing.

Sing Psalm 25A with joy in your heart to God, for he loves and cares for you. Here is a link to the words, and here is a link to it being sung. 



Let's read Luke 1:34-38.

Please pray for the Holy Spirit's help to receive God's Word.


Reading these verses, you'd hardly believe they are written about the world's most momentous event, such is their lack of fanfare. The lowkey way in which the angel Gabriel speaks of the incredible mystery of Christ's incarnation is astonishing.


V34. What does Mary ask Gabriel? How does her question differ from that of Zechariah's, i.e., verse 18? It is an important question to consider because it's evident from Gabriel's response that he doesn't see Mary's question as coming from a doubting heart. Which in itself is remarkable given who Mary is in comparison with Zechariah and the office he held. It shows that faith is not about office or role; it is about what you believe.


V35. In his reply, Gabriel's words are breathtaking, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." It's probably best that we do not speculate about this, but accept it with the reverence it demands. In this verse, we also have the second reference to Jesus being the 'Son of'. In v32, he is named the Son of the Most High, and now he is called the 'Son of God'. Gabriel is leaving Mary in no doubt as to who this child is that she will be mother to. It's remarkable, isn't it, that that this young woman, a teenage girl, was not only given this information but that she was able to absorb it. 


V36. Gabriel tells Mary that her formerly barren relative, Elizabeth, is going to have a son also. Do you think knowing this would have been a help to Mary and, if so, in what way?


V37. The statement' nothing will be impossible with God' is one that we can pass over without a thought. It's one of those 'yes of course' comments that we think little of, but consider the value of these words to this young woman in the months that lay ahead.  


v38. Mary's response seems straightforward and like much of this passage remarkably lowkey. And yet, there is so much tied up in it. 

She's offering submissive obedience, but what would her parents think? What about her betrothal to Joseph? For Mary to betrothed was as good as being married without the intimacy of marriage. People in small town Nazareth would talk and, although young, she would have been fully aware of that. Yet Mary doesn't ask another question. She doesn't raise one objection. There is no statement of; just let me go and tell this person and get their advice; nothing. She accepts the honour laid upon her with all the unknown inconveniences and character comments that will come from it. "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And that's when Gabriel departs, and the most astonishing announcement declared on the earth is over.


What can we take from Mary's reaction and response, and consider for our lives? How often do we respond like Zechariah – that's not possible! Is it not the case that often we want to buy time to weigh up the options, to think through what people might or might not think, let alone say?


Ryle quotes Bishop Hall, who writes, "All disputations with God after His will is known, arise from infidelity. There is not a more noble proof of faith than to captivate all the powers of our understanding and will to our Creator, and without any questionings to go blindfold where He will lead us." Something to ponder!



Memory Verse. 

I'm going to make a change to the memory verse. When it is a Psalm, I am going to use words from the Psalter. Sorry to mess with your head, but I think it will make memorization easier and more useful.

Psalm 121C:1-2, "Unto the hills I lift my longing eyes; whence comes my aid? The Lord's my help the heavens and earth by him were made.



Doctrine to think about – Shorter Catechism.

Q. 4. What is God? 

A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

Scripture proofs pdf 


Take care in Christ

Andrew


Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley


Ps If you find I have mistyped a bible reference, please let me know so that I can correct it.