April 6 - Encouragement to Be With God

Prayer Thoughts. 
 

Praise God. 
Praise God for his life-changing mercy and grace. Praise God for the hope of new life in Jesus Christ for all eternity. Ephesians 2:1-10 
 
Thank God.
Thank God for his Word and the blessing it is to our lives. Thank God for the opportunity to rest our mind and body, and worship him yesterday. Psalm 19:7-14, Exodus 20:8-11, Psalm 27:1-6
  
Acknowledge sin.
Acknowledge and confess the sin of sometimes being complacent in our interaction with God through his Word. Ask God to give us a daily hunger for him and his Word. Psalm 63:1-3, Matthew 5:6.

 
 
A Psalm to Sing.
Sing Psalm 78B 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 1:46-56.
Please pray for the Holy Spirit's help to receive God's Word.
 
Mary's knowledge of the Bible.
These verses contain Mary's famous song of praise at the prospect of becoming the "mother of our Lord".  It is a song is full of expressions from the book of Psalms. In one sense, not a surprise because the Psalms provide us with precisely the language we need to express ourselves both in times of need and of joyous thanksgiving. What is remarkable though is that Mary has these Psalms in her memory and is able to draw on them so easily. It says something about what she was putting into her mind and heart each day as a child and young woman. But it wasn't just her knowledge of the Psalms that she was drawing on because as you read the song, you see that there are definite overtones of the song of Hannah. (1 Samuel 2).
 
That is a challenge isn't it? I don't know about you, but this teenage girl living in a nondescript town, who had probably received no formal education, certainly shines a light on my gaping ignorance of God's Word, and I don't say that for effect. I wonder, is it because we have the Word of God so easy at hand that we are complacent, almost ambivalent, about investing it in our minds. My prayer is that these Daily Encouragements are helping you, if even only a little, to do what Paul encourages us to do with God's Word. That is, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." (Colossians 3:16.) 
 
v46,47. Mary's genuine humility
Even though Mary has just been chosen by God to become the mother of the Messiah, she speaks of her own 'humble estate', and acknowledges her need of a 'Saviour.' The Word of God was not merely in her head as memorized knowledge. It was in her heart by God's grace. 
 
As you learn God's Word continuously, ask him to apply it to your heart. That is where it must take affect, otherwise it is useless. It will only lead to a puffing up of your heart, and that is an unmitigated disaster because it will damage both you and those around you. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:9. Please adorn your life with humility.
 
v48,49. Mary’s thankfulness.
Go through the song and see where and how Mary expresses her thankfulness. How she sings that her "soul magnifies the Lord" and that her "spirit rejoices in God my Saviour." How she says that "all generations will call me blessed," and that the "mighty one has done great things for me." What do these repeated expressions of praise tell us about Mary?
 
It is good to thank people for their acts of kindness to us, and we do, but maybe we need to think about cultivating a greater attitude of thankfulness to God. Again, our lack of daily gratitude to God may be due to our 'reach out our hand, and it is there' culture. We seldom read much in the writings, for example, of David in the Old Testament, and Paul in the New Testament, without finding them blessing and praising God. This season of relative deprivation gives us an opportunity to reflect on, and be increasingly thankful for, what we do have from the merciful hand of God; family, food, health, friends, communion with him, and fellowship each other.
 
v50-55. Mary's awareness of God's mercy and promises.
See how Mary sings of God's mercy to those who fear him and cites examples from her recollection of Old Testament history. She remembers how God had brought down Pharaoh, the Canaanites, the Philistines, and exalted men and women like Joseph, Moses, David, Esther, and Daniel. In humility, Mary sees herself in this line of those who have received mercy and grace from our covenant-keeping God. It is this knowledge that enables her to give expression to her firm belief in the promises of God. 
 
It's essential, especially in these days, when people are at a loss as to what is happening in the world, that we remember and pay close attention to Biblical history. God does not change, and his dealings with the world don't change. Understanding God and his ways will help us speak wisely to those around at this time. Let us not be slow to do so. Let us be careful to lay hold of the promises God has made to us as his people. Those wonderful promises of new life and hope in Jesus Christ, and provision of both material and spiritual blessing if we fear him and genuinely strive to walk in his ways. 
 
 
Memory Verse. 
Psalm 121C:1,2,3, "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. Your foot from stumbling He will always keep; the One who guards your life will never sleep."
 
 
Doctrine to think about – Shorter Catechism.
Q. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead? 
A. There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory
 Scripture proofs pdf 
 
Take care in Christ
Andrew
 
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley