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Elizabeth Confirmed It

Elizabeth Confirmed It

41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. – Luke 1: 41-45

Up to now, only God, Gabriel and Mary knew what was about to happen in Bethlehem. It must have been an overwhelming experience and heavy load for a teenage girl like Mary to bear. Was she mad? Had she been hallucinating? Who could she trust to tell? Who would believe her? How would she know that it was not all some cosmic joke being played on her? The answer to all of these questions was summed up in a word – Elisabeth.

Elisabeth was the cousin of Mary, who had her own miraculous birth going on. In her old age, she had conceived and was already six months pregnant by the time Mary got her news. God then placed Elisabeth in the life of Mary at the right time for these reasons:

1. To let Mary know that she was not the first or only one who God was doing miracles for. That Elisabeth was having a child at her age was proof to Mary that God could do anything and that He routinely worked miracles for people she knew. This was not a miracle she had to read the scriptures to learn about. All she had to do was ask her cousin.

2. To let Mary know that somebody else could confirm what He had told her. When Mary went to visit her cousin Elisabeth, before she even breathed a word about what she had experienced, the baby inside of Elisabeth (who later became John the Baptist) leaped at the sound of her voice. Elisabeth received the Holy Ghost and confirmed Mary’s role with these words: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.”

3. To let Mary know that it was not only confirmed, but that it would come to pass. In Luke 1: 45, Elisabeth goes on to say: “for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” “Don’t worry Mary.” said Elisabeth in so many words. “I can confirm that what you thought happened to you really did happen and that what God said is going to happen to you really will.” Thank God for the Elisabeths in our lives who provide examples for us, encourage us and empower us to keep walking until God brings His word and will to pass in us. That is miraculous!

Declaration of Dependence

Declaration of Dependence

I will lift up my eyes to the hills — From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. – Psalm 121: 1-2

The fireworks of the Fourth of July and the hoopla of this perennial national holiday can be traced to July 4, 1776. It was then that the American colonists declared their independence from King George and English tyranny. They no longer needed England. They no longer wanted England. They no longer loved England. They no longer looked to England. They were breaking all ties and prepared to stand on their own, even at the risk of war.

It is interesting to note, though, that when it comes to those of us who know and love God, the last thing we would do is declare our independence from Him. If anything, on the day that our nation celebrates its declaration of independence, we must make a declaration of dependence.

The psalmist got it right in Psalm 121. According to him, we are dependent upon God:

1. To help us. (vs. 1-2)
I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

2. To keep us. (vs. 3-5)

3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper;

3. To shade us. (v. 6)
The Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.

4. To preserve us. (vs. 7-8) v7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. v8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

On a national holiday like The Fourth of July, millions look to government, but every day we look to and depend upon God.

The Petition of a Father

The Petition of a Father

“21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet…” – Mark 5: 21-22

Ordinarily, a man like this would have never initiated a conversation with Christ. This man was a ruler, unlike the beggars and lepers who were apt to approach Him. This man was a ruler of the Jewish synagogue, unlike a Zacchaeus who was a ruler in the Roman tax collecting hierarchy. This man was identified, unlike the certain rich man who eventually walked away from Jesus. This man came to Him publicly in broad daylight unlike, Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night. Ordinarily, this conversation would have never happened except for the fact that this was not a conversation. This was a petition.

This man, Jairus, did not come to Jesus in his capacity as a ruler of the synagogue. He came as a father petitioning the help of the Lord. It is interesting to note how unlikely people are drawn or driven to Christ. Consider these factors which may have moved this man towards Jesus.

Pain. Jairus had a daughter who was in pain and, therefore, so was he. Perhaps, in compliance with HIPAA, the scriptures do not release the child’s precise diagnosis. However, we have here all that we need to know. She was sick and in pain. Remember, that the Jews had passed a law that anyone who acknowledged or made contact with Jesus would be put out of the synagogue. Still, this ruler of the synagogue’s child and his family were in so much pain that they overcame peer pressure and pride to come to Jesus.

Powerlessness. Jairus was not simply a member of the congregation. He was a ruler of it. As such, he must have been used to having and wielding power. People would move at his command. Servants would jump at his request. Yet, in the face of his daughter’s sickness, he was powerless. That powerlessness drove him to Jesus. Here again, almost as a last resort (instead of as the first option) people tend to run to Jesus when they have done all that they can do.

Promise. Somehow, Jairus heard about Jesus. Whether out of frustration or desperation, he gathered enough courage to violate the cultural and religious norms to come to Jesus. That is because Jesus represented a hope that his daughter might be healed. It is often not faith which brings us to Christ. Rather, it is hope. The hope that what He has promised He can do and will do, even for us.

A Praise for a Miracle

A Praise for a Miracle

And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. – (Luke 17: 15-16)

The Bible tells us that as these ten men went to show themselves to the priests, they were cleansed. This was, indeed, a miracle on the way. Now, after the miracle was over, there are some things here that we cannot over look. Notice…

Percentage: Jesus cleansed ten lepers, but only one of them returned to give thanks. That’s a ten percent return on a one hundred percent result. Jesus had twelve disciples and one of them was a devil. This should prepare us for the fact that we will seldom have a one hundred percent positive response from our efforts.

Publicly: Just as he had lifted up his voice in public and asked for mercy, this man lifted up his voice in public and gave Jesus thanks and praise. It is interesting how some people can be so loud and boisterous when it comes to asking for help and then, be so silent when it comes time for giving credit, thanks and praise.

Posture: This man was not only loud, he was on his knees at the feet of Jesus when he praised Him. He placed himself at the feet of Jesus as a sign of humility and as a sign of utter dependence upon Him. Many want to see His face, but few are willing to first bow at His feet.

Person: The man we are talking about was a Samaritan. Jesus makes this remark because the people to whom He was talking would have disdained Samaritans as immoral heathens with false faith and crooked religion. Yet, it was such a person that made sure He gave Jesus praise. It was a miracle that this man was cleansed and that even this kind of man would give Jesus the praise.

Giving us a miracle is not the most Jesus can do, but giving Him the praise for it is the least we can do.