April 3 - Encouragement to Be With God

Prayer Thoughts. 


Praise God. 

Praise God that he has eternally decreed everything that exists. Praise God that we do not live in a world that is randomly governed by chance or fate. Ephesians 1:11 and Acts 15:18.


Thank God.

Thank God that he is Sovereign (Absolute Ruler) over all that he has created. That there is nothing beyond his everyday control. Psalm 24:1,2 and Matthew 10:29-31.

  

Acknowledge sin.

Acknowledge and confess the sin of being anxious and worried. Pray that God would help you to trust him and the promises he has made. Matthew 6:25-34.



A Psalm to Sing.

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



Let's read Luke 1:39-45.

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


V39. See the blessing of fellowship.

What do we find Mary doing?  Note how both Mary and Elizabeth's hearts are filled with joy at being together. Because of Mary's visit, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and pronounces a blessing upon Mary, and Mary, for her part, as we shall see tomorrow, utters her song of praise.  


Interaction, communion with other believers, is always a blessing. It is something we enjoy because we are united in Christ, and share the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. One of the signs of true conversion is enjoyment at being in the company of other believers, regardless of whether one is gregarious or quiet. It is impossible to be a Christian and not delight in the fellowship of other Christians because of our union in Christ. The Old Testament prophet Malachi said this about how the Lord observes our times together, "Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name." (Malachi 3:16). That is interesting, isn't it? To think that our conversations with one another are taken note of by our Father in heaven. At the minute we can't be together, and we miss that, but why not pick up the phone today and call someone in the congregation, not one of the people you usually call and ask them how they are, not just physically but in the things of the Lord. Get your name and their name written in the Lord's book of remembrance.


V42. Note Elizabeth's spiritual awareness/knowledge.      

It is amazing to read that the baby in Elizabeth's womb reacted to the greeting of Mary and that Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit. How does Elizabeth greet Mary? She is excited. Although the words are in prose in our Bibles, they actually form a little poem that reflects a Hebrew statement meaning 'the most blessed of women.'  


V43. A beautiful expression of faith.

When Elizabeth says the words 'my Lord,' she is stating something genuinely remarkable, for this is the first human declaration that the child that would be born to Mary would be the long-promised Messiah, the Christ of God. What a beautiful expression of faith. One which stands side by side with that of the apostle Peter, who when Jesus asked the disciples, 'who do you say that I am?' replied 'You are the Christ the Son of the living God.' Matthew 16:15,16.  


What a blessing it is to be able to say 'my Lord.' These are words that only those who have been truly born again of the Holy Spirit can say. What a humble privilege to be able to do so. (1 Corinthians 12:3 and Philippians 2:11.)


V44. Sharing good news

Elizabeth now shares with Mary that her greeting caused the baby in her womb to leap for joy. A lovely window into an incredible few moments in the lives of these two women. It is good to share good news. Note also the complete absence of any awkward questions or jealousy on the part of the older woman Elizabeth towards Mary. She is just thrilled for her and, by the help of the Holy Spirit, accepts the Lord's hand in this pregnancy, astonishing as it is. Sometimes we just need to understand and accept that God really is in control. 


 V45. A humble sharing of faith.

What does Elizabeth say about Mary? Why does she call her 'blessed'? Evidently, in their conversation, and remember we only have a portion of it, Mary shared with Elizabeth her experience with Gabriel. That would have included her humble submission to the Lord. The humble sharing of our faith, our willingness to obey the Lord, is a healthy and good thing, and we should do it more often.


Memory Verse. 

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. 5. Are there more Gods than one? 

A. There is but one only, the living and true God.

Scripture proofs pdf


Take care in Christ

Andrew


Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley