What is it to me? Just a piece of paper. That’s lovely, but in my opinion, autographs are only good for selling on E-bay when I need to pay for my college textbooks.
When I truly admire a person (musician, actor, public figure, etc.), I don’t want a piece of paper with their name on it. I want to…
I feel the same way but I marvel at the strong intensity behind my desire to tell them thanks and tell them how they have changed my life. I think it is kind of weird too that I’m such a stranger to them but they seem so familiar to me. Maybe that’s why.
“For your own sake, for my sake, for the public sake, I shall pray for the success of the attempt you mention; that you may have it in your power to act with us. But if you should be disappointed, bear it like a man; and have recourse neither to the dagger, nor to the poisoned bowl, nor to the rope.”—
Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, September 16, 1780. In 1780, after Charleston fell to the British, Laurens had been captured and made a prisoner of war in Pennsylvania. He was waiting to hear back about a prospect of prisoner exchange from Benjamin Lincoln, and if it should flounder made threats of “rash resolutions”. (via publius-reporter)
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”—Romans 13:11-14 (via conformingtotheson)
“For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives
People grow a lot when they are faced with their own…
These scriptures helped remind me of how easy it is to think I’ve cleaned up after I see how God has overwhelmed my desire for my familiar sins with a growing love for Him. But if I was aware of the ton of sin deep down inside me, unfamiliar and familiar, then I would never come across to others as stuck up, or imagine myself presentable. But I do come across as stuck up to others and I do often use people rather than love them, sometimes unwittingly and sometimes not. I am filthier than I could ever imagine. Thank you Jesus for loving me so much that you washed me in your blood. Thank you for giving me your cleanliness and bringing me into you.
Proverbs 13:12-14 (CEV)
12 Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable when you haven’t had a bath in weeks.
13 Don’t be stuck-up and think you’re better than everyone else.
14 Don’t be greedy, merciless and cruel as wolves, Tearing into the poor and feasting on them, shredding the needy to pieces only to discard them.
“The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.”
-Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
These scriptures reminded me of how dangerous trusting in possessions and wealth to make me happy; and how dangerous it is to serve my own comfort and self-satisfaction while ignoring the needs of others. I can trust in God and lovingly serve Him by lovingly serving other people; or trust in money and lovingly serve ourselves. Jesus later talks about having two masters: God or money. I watch my children celebrate their possessions as their identity and delight when others envy them; while resenting those childhood friends that they envy. While I know this greedy behavior of my children is natural and normal in humans of all ages, I have been reassessing how our family principles/rules and play principles/rules encourage a competitive love for possessions rather than a cooperative love for God and one another. Also helpful is Luke 6:27-36 :http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%206:27-36&version=MSG
Luke 3:7-14 (CEV)
7Crowds of people came out to be baptized, but John said to them, “You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? 8Do something to show that you really have given up your sins. Don’t start saying that you belong to Abraham’s family. God can turn these stones into children for Abraham. [a]9An ax is ready to cut the trees down at their roots. Any tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into a fire.” 10The crowds asked John, “What should we do?”
11John told them, “If you have two coats, give one to someone who doesn’t have any. If you have food, share it with someone else.”
12When tax collectors [b] came to be baptized, they asked John, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13John told them, “Don’t make people pay more than they owe.”
14Some soldiers asked him, “And what about us? What do we have to do?”
John told them, “Don’t force people to pay money to make you leave them alone. Be satisfied with your pay.”
Luke 3:7-14 (The Message)
7-9When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life that must change, not your skin. And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as ‘father.’ Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there—children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.”
10The crowd asked him, “Then what are we supposed to do?”
11"If you have two coats, give one away," he said. "Do the same with your food."
12Tax men also came to be baptized and said, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13He told them, “No more extortion—collect only what is required by law.”
14Soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He told them, “No shakedowns, no blackmail—and be content with your rations.”
1 Blessed Psalm is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Most cultures put a lot of stock in ancient traditions and believed that wisdom is something that is accumulated over the years. However, the modern age is modeled by a scorn of the past. Modern mindset: human reason and empirical investigation gives us the tools to solve the problems and mysteries of life. Has this modern approach really made progress when it comes to solving the problems and mysteries of life? There have been improvements in safety; and gross inequities like slavery have been reduced. However, though our ancestors had fewer vacations, job opportunities, and life expectancy, are we actually happier than them? Journals and diaries from ancestors do not show more accounts of despair and self-pity than today. We are not happier than people in the past. Empirical investigation, sociology, urban planning, biochemistry psychology, etc do not sufficiently address happiness even though they help make the world a better place. The issues that make people happy, profoundly happy, are cosmic and have been unchanged throughout the millennia. Psalm 1 is an ancient text that addresses the issue of happiness.
Ask yourself: Am I a fundamentally and consistently happy person? And if not, then why? If you know what the bible teaches about happiness, then why not?
Psalm 1 is a gateway and summary psalm for the whole book and its principles are basic for the whole bible. This text tells us four things.
1. Happiness is possible. “Blessedness” means happy fulfillment. The statement that happiness is possible is a staggering assertion. Almost all of us start out thinking that happiness is natural but end life thinking happiness is unachievable. Happiness is nowhere near as easy as we thought. Most of us are migrating between these two ends. Even many of the most successful people are the most cynical about happiness. Is life really like “Much to do about nothing” or is life more like “Hamlet”, everybody dying disappointed in the last scene?
The bible says that happiness is neither natural nor unachievable. The bible says happiness is possible. It is possible to be consistently and fundamentally happy. The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
2. Why do so few people have it? Because people seek it wrongly.
A. 1st mistake is seeking happiness in circumstances. Happiness is fundamental, not external. The tree in psalm 1 is planted by the stream and digs deeper down into the stream during seasons and times of trouble. If you seek your happiness in the circumstances than you will screw up because happiness is found deep within you. Happiness is not from what happens to you but what is within you. The Christian is not just a religious nice person who is doing good things, the Christian is someone who is planted into something besides him/herself. Something has been planted into us, the divine nature, and we are planted into the divine nature. This power and understanding is what we draw on for happiness as Christians. The tree in the psalm hurts and bears affliction but its leaf never withers. From somewhere in 1st or 2nd Peter:“you rejoice in him though you are now in great heaviness” Heaviness in this scripture means great pain and turmoil. You are in deep joy even though you are in deep distress. Don’t listen to Christians who say “smile and praise God, don’t let it get to you” when you go through tragedy. This is unbiblical and unhealthy because that is not God’s peace, but it is brainwashing. Christians should be falling on the ground in tears and in turmoil, but they should be consequently putting their roots deeper down into the divine nature of Christ and draw deeper on Him. There is something about the drought and the fruitlessness of your life that makes you put yourself deeper into Him. Christian happiness is not a fun and frolicking thing, but a joy that is deep and real. You don’t know anything about the joy of following Christ without suffering. This joy is permanent and is stimulated by suffering. Suddenly, as you understand this, you experience an overwhelming joy in His glory. Happiness is not based on circumstances or controlling your environment, but by controlling your allegiances.
B. 2nd mistake is seeking happiness directly. Happiness can never be found directly. Happiness is only a byproduct of seeking something else other than happiness. Blessed is he who seeks in something other than blessedness. Seek happiness or seek righteousness. If you seek happiness you get neither, but if you seek righteousness you get both. What are you really living for? Jesus says stop worrying but “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. If happiness is not your focus, than why do you make exceptions to your moral principles? If you seek happiness, it will always elude you. If you go to God to make you happy, then you are coming to a false god. Do not treat God like a butler. Either He exists or He doesn’t. If He does exist than you come to Him because He made you and He owns you. So to not come to Him and obey Him is an injustice. The only way to come to God rightly is to come with no preconditions and say “you owe me nothing, I owe you everything”. Do not use God to get to happiness. Instead, serve God as your number one priority and to the degree that it makes you happy than be thankful. The less concerned you are with your happiness, the happier you get.
C. 3rd mistake: making happiness nonnegotiable. Don’t make happiness the nonnegotiable. The happiness has to be the byproduct of making something else your focus.
3. Blessed is the man who does not does not does not…. You have to look at what you are thinking and doing wrong and readjust where you are sitting your thinking. You have to change your allegiance. If you want to be happy, negatively, you got to find out who you belong to. Where you sit means where you belong in the bible. Everybody has to be converted which means that at some point you have to see that something else besides God owns you. When Paul says that he is struck down but not perplexed or despairing, he is saying he is like the tree. Be down when disappointed is normal, but there is a difference between wanting something and having it own you. What owns you? What are the fundamental allegiances of your life? You can’t be happy until you turn away from things that have you by the heart and mind. You got to cut out the old ways and if you are not fundamentally happy then you are still sitting in allegiance other than God. If you are not just in sorrow, but despairing, than you can recognize you have a misplaced allegiances.
4. Positively to be happy, you need delight in the law of the Lord. This doesn’t mean the laws of the old bible, but the central message of the bible: that great powerful God sent his son to die for you so that great god can be your father. Look to the parable of the prodigal son . the prodigal son does not ask for happiness, but asks to serve because he owes his father. He asks his father to just simply be his king, and this great king became his father and put his robe on him. Delight in this message of the gospel of Christ. Do you know how to do that? Play the gospel to you and rehearse its beauties? Do you know how to delight in it so that it makes your heart sing. And then you will be like Jesus, often crying but in joy at the same time. Unless you have this consolation of the gospel in your life, than you have to repress how hard life is. But when you joy in the consolation that your sins are pardoned and that you will live with God in a new heaven and a new earth, then you will be happy and sad at the same time.
You can be happy , it is possible, don’t seek it in the circumstances, instead, find your wrong allegiances and then delight in message of the gospel.
These scriptures plus this sermon http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/reason-living by Tim Keller helped me remember that I am created by God and I belong to Him. I owe Him everything and He owes me nothing. But He came to me and in grace and mercy, He asked me to follow Him and gave me His Spirit so I can really do so. Jesus is God with us. God with us makes life joyful regardless of the circumstances and the seemingly meaninglessness of it all because He is our joy. Loving Him and loving others is our purpose.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-22 (CEV)
9What do we gain by all of our hard work? 10I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. 11God makes everything happen at the right time. Yet none of us can ever fully understand all he has done, and he puts questions in our minds about the past and the future. 12I know the best thing we can do is to always enjoy life, 13because God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do. 14Everything God has done will last forever; nothing he does can ever be changed. God has done all this, so that we will worship him.
16Everywhere on earth I saw violence and injustice instead of fairness and justice. 17So I told myself that God has set a time and a place for everything. He will judge everyone, both the wicked and the good. 18I know that God is testing us to show us that we are merely animals. 19Like animals we breathe and die, and we are no better off than they are. It just doesn’t make sense. 20All living creatures go to the same place. We are made from earth, and we return to the earth. 21Who really knows if our spirits go up and the spirits of animals go down into the earth? 22We were meant to enjoy our work, and that’s the best thing we can do. We can never know the future.
“But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.”—C.S. Lewis (via redeemedheart)
These scriptures illustrated to me the common hatred toward Jesus as well as the minimizing of Jesus to a good teacher. People hate Jesus when He tells them that they do evil things. We all do evil things and Jesus shows us how evil we are by demonstrating to us the way we should have lived: perfectly good and perfectly loving. He shows us how evil we are by having to die on the cross in order to make us clean in His goodness.
John 7:1-18 (CEV)
1Jesus decided to leave Judea and to start going through Galilee because the Jewish leaders of the people wanted to kill him. 2It was almost time for the Festival of Shelters, 3and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Why don’t you go to Judea? Then your disciples can see what you are doing. 4No one does anything in secret, if they want others to know about them. So let the world know what you are doing!” 5Even Jesus’ own brothers had not yet become his followers.
6Jesus answered, “My time hasn’t yet come, [a] but your time is always here. 7The people of this world cannot hate you. They hate me, because I tell them that they do evil things. 8Go on to the festival. My time hasn’t yet come, and I am not going.” 9Jesus said this and stayed on in Galilee.
Jesus at the Festival of Shelters
10After Jesus’ brothers had gone to the festival, he went secretly, without telling anyone.
11During the festival the Jewish leaders looked for Jesus and asked, “Where is he?” 12The crowds even got into an argument about him. Some were saying, “Jesus is a good man,” while others were saying, “He is lying to everyone.” 13But the people were afraid of their leaders, and none of them talked in public about him.
14When the festival was about half over, Jesus went into the temple and started teaching. 15The leaders were surprised and said, “How does this man know so much? He has never been taught!”
I am not teaching something that I thought up. What I teach comes from the one who sent me. 17If you really want to obey God, you will know if what I teach comes from God or from me. 18If I wanted to bring honor to myself, I would speak for myself. But I want to honor the one who sent me. That is why I tell the truth and not a lie.
“Advent celebrates the coming of the King, but the Christian tradition has always recognized that the Son’s first Advent heightens our longing for his coming again. In this respect, Augustine’s politics are a double-sided politics of Advent. On one hand, it leaves us with an anti-utopian skepticism and a radical dissatisfaction with every existent or conceivable human society. On the other, it fills us with hope that the good of human society, which is the end of human life, will be realized–not here, not now, but in another city, after yet another Advent.”—Peter Leithart (via wesleyhill)
These scriptures below helped me think about the truths that Jesus Christ is God and Jesus Christ was crucified, and that God did this to save people. Thinking about these truths corrects my perspectives on power and helped me as I reflected on discussions with my Korean students about power relations and respect related to what they describe as “high cultured” and “low cultured” peoples. “High culture” and high power people and people groups are mistakenly understood to have better character by default when compared to “low culture” and low power people and people groups. The gospel of Jesus Christ insults this assumption by declaring all high and low cultured people groups to have hopelessly terrible character by default. Yet, they are all so highly valued and regarded in Christ and so loved by His grace regardless of each individuals or groups power and culture background. Here’s a link to a related sermon that Dr. Tim Keller gave at Redeemer http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/man-king-delights-honor
James 1:9-11 (CEV)
9Any of God’s people who are poor should be glad that he thinks so highly of them. 10But any who are rich should be glad when God makes them humble. Rich people will disappear like wild flowers 11scorched by the burning heat of the sun. The flowers lose their blossoms, and their beauty is destroyed. That is how the rich will disappear, as they go about their business.
James 1:9-11 (ESV)
9Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass[a] he will pass away. 11For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 (ESV)
24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment[a] in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25for apart from him[b] who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.
Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 (the message)
24-26 The best you can do with your life is have a good time and get by the best you can. The way I see it, that’s it—divine fate. Whether we feast or fast, it’s up to God. God may give wisdom and knowledge and joy to his favorites, but sinners are assigned a life of hard labor, and end up turning their wages over to God’s favorites. Nothing but smoke—and spitting into the wind.
This basic extension of empathy is one of the great barriers in understanding race in this country. I do not mean a soft, flattering, hand-holding empathy. I mean a muscular empathy rooted in curiosity. If you really want to understand slaves, slave masters, poor black kids, poor white kids, rich people of colors, whoever, it is essential that you first come to grips with the disturbing facts of your own mediocrity. The first rule is this—You are not extraordinary. It’s all fine and good to declare that you would have freed your slaves. But it’s much more interesting to assume that you wouldn’t and then ask “Why?”
This is not an impossible task. But often we find that we have something invested in not asking “Why?” The fact that we — and I mean all of us, black and white — are, in our bones, no better than slave masters is chilling. The upshot of all my black nationalist study was terrifying — give us the guns and boats and we would do the same thing. There is nothing particularly noble about black skin. And to our present business it is equally chilling to understand that the obstacles facing poor black kids can’t be surmounted by an advice column.
Becoming a teacher isn’t as simple as going to college and taking the right courses. It isn’t as easy as standing up in front of a group of learners and saying the right things. It isn’t enough to know your subject and be passionate about it.
Becoming a teacher–one who make a difference in children’s lives–is a lifelong endeavor to be the best you can be, to understand yourself, to understand the people you are working with, to think and reflect and wonder and ask questions constantly, and to almost always work harder than any other friend you have in any other profession. Becoming a teacher is a lifelong endeavor to connect… to communicate… to encourage… to support… to challenge set ways of thinking… to scaffold learners to become smarter, more efficient and effective at learning in every way they can–while you, yourself, are doing the same.
By any normal standards, Obama should be extremely vulnerable. Not only is the economy in bad shape, he has proved to be a much more hesitant, less commanding White House presence than his supporters longed for. And yet, most surveys put him comfortably ahead of his would-be rivals. That’s not a positive judgment on the president – whose approval rating stands at a meagre 44% – but an indictment of the dire quality of a Republican field almost comically packed with the scandal-plagued, gaffe-prone and downright flaky. And the finger of blame for this state of affairs points squarely at the studios of Fox News.
“In that atmosphere, you need talk-show hosts as president, not governors or legislators.” Oh, good.
Here are four sermon links that tied together to really help me realize how often I and other followers and worshipers of Jesus often become followers and worshipers of the bible and Christian religiousness instead. Emphasized in all of them is the good news that I am saved by faith in Christ-I am in the perfect righteousness of Christ through belief in His name.
This belief is a gift to me that I receive through faith in Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross (victory over death, sin, and evil). This belief also produces a life-changing desire for Him because He is pleased with me since I am in Christ. I can’t please God without this belief, apart from this belief, or in addition to this belief. The Bible points people toward this belief in Christ. Any other use of the Bible is dangerous. For example: 1. reading the bible everyday to please God is silly because if you are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, then God is already pleased with you. 2. Using and following rules found in the Bible in order to please God is also silly because if you are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, then God is already pleased with you. This is also dangerous because it takes our eyes off of Christ and onto ourselves resulting in religiousness and a forgetting of the good news of salvation thru faith in Christ that is proclaimed throughout the Bible.
Scriptures focused on were: the end of Luke, the first five chapters of John, and Galatians.
Scriptures that had the greatest impact on me were
John chapter 1:1-18 (ESV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15( John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God,[d] who is at the Father’s side,[e] he has made him known.
John chapter 3 (CEV)
1There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. 2One night he went to Jesus and said, “Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not work these miracles, unless God were with you.”
3Jesus replied, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God’s kingdom!”
4Nicodemus asked, “How can a grown man ever be born a second time?”
I tell you for certain that before you can get into God’s kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. 6Humans give life to their children. Yet only God’s Spirit can change you into a child of God. 7Don’t be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. 8Only God’s Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going.
9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? 11I tell you for certain that we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. 12If you don’t believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?
13No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. 14And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. [a]15Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. 16God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. 17God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! 18No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son.
19The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. 20People who do evil hate the light and won’t come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. 21But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.
These scriptures about Mary’s conversation with God through the angel Gabriel helped me as I thought about Mary’s responses. Mary responded with confusion and a curiosity to the good news about the Lord’s birth through her body. However, what stood out to me was Mary’s response towards the end of the conversation in which she announced that she was willing to accept the Lord’s will for her because she is a servant of the Lord. What does the Lord will for me? I have nothing to give Him, yet he chose me to follow Him and He is glorifying Himself through Christ in me.
Luke 1:26-38 (CEV)
26One month later God sent the angel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth in Galilee 27with a message for a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to Joseph from the family of King David. 28The angel greeted Mary and said, “You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was confused by the angel’s words and wondered what they meant. 30Then the angel told Mary, “Don’t be afraid! God is pleased with you, 31and you will have a son. His name will be Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. The Lord God will make him king, as his ancestor David was. 33He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
34Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen? I am not married!”
35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God. 36Your relative Elizabeth is also going to have a son, even though she is old. No one thought she could ever have a baby, but in three months she will have a son. 37Nothing is impossible for God!”
38Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant! Let it happen as you have said.” And the angel left her.
Luke 1:26-38 (the message)
26-28In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:
Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.
29-33She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.
He will be great, be called ‘Son of the Highest.’ The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; He will rule Jacob’s house forever— no end, ever, to his kingdom.”
34Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”
35The angel answered,
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you; Therefore, the child you bring to birth will be called Holy, Son of God.
36-38"And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God."
And Mary said,
Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.
Then the angel left her.
Note: For the few people outside of my family that actually read this, the reason I haven’t been posting as much of the “help from scripture” or “help from a book”, or “ help from a sermon” is that I have been sleeping more. There is much help that I receive from the Lord through scriptures and sermons everyday that I don’t post because of a lack of time. One reason that I was posting much more frequently in the past was to make good use of my time while I was frequently waking up in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep for two or three hours. So please thank God for blessing me with some more sleep these days.
“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”—Aristotle (via myquotelibrary)