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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Inspired by . . . the Hope of His Coming Vol. 6

 

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Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. Isaiah 7:14-15

 

I was reminded the other day that most people, even many who call themselves Christians, do not share my desire for Christ to hasten His return.

A group of us were enjoying dinner together, discussing the {evil} days in which we are living. The last days, perhaps? Those of us at the table, having lived longer than we will likely yet live, expressed our desire for Jesus to return. For those present such desire was motivated by various things; a longing to be free from pain, a longing to enter His rest,  a desire to simply lay on His bosom and worship.

In my naïveté, and perhaps piety, I assumed everyone at the table {being Christians} would agree and also be desirous of His coming. Not so. One young lady, in her early twenties, does not wish for a hastened return.

Her reason?  She wants to get married and have a family. She longs to experience the joys of being a mother. Who can blame her for that?

While I am saddened by the fact that she desires a family more than she desires Jesus, I do not judge her. I believe it is natural for her to desire these things, and there is no evidence that her desire for a family is a denial of Christ. I pray that her relationship with God will grow until she desires Jesus about all else.

Our word of hope today is from the prophet Isaiah. Over 700 years before the birth of Christ, he brings a word of hope to the people of God. He speaks of a young virgin who will bear a son. Immanuel.

God with us.

But what if Mary had said no? What if she had chosen her reputation, her love for Joseph, their plan for a life together – what if she had chosen her own desires over obedience to God’s plan?

I am amazed anew every time I read Mary’s response to Gabriel.

 

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

 

The term handmaid can refer to a female slave who has been given their freedom but has chosen to stay with their master. I believe Mary used this term on purpose. She was acknowledging that she had a choice. The fact that God knew what her response would be does not change this fact, and it doesn’t change the reality of that choice for Mary.

Choosing to obey God does not always mean suffering, or giving up something we want and desire. But obeying God does, always, bring a blessing.

The Savior would have come regardless of Mary’s response, but her obedience brought about a far greater blessing than she could have ever imagined.

 

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How about you, do you long for Jesus to return?

Is He asking you to do something you can’t understand or something you never imagined?

If so, remember what Gabriel told Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

 

Blessings,

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6 comments:

  1. Very good and encouraging post, June! Yes, I hope the Lord returns quickly; this world is full of pain, trouble, and injustice. He will make everything right. My dad once knew a man who was hoping the Lord wouldn't come till after he retired because he wanted to go fishing! I think that man was a good Christian like the young lady you mentioned. But what was really sad was another story my dad told me. When he was a young man he was at a nursing home and asked an elderly lady if she'd like to accept Jesus into her heart. She told him, "No, I need to clean my dresser drawers first!" She had put off accepting Jesus all her life, and even in her old age her dresser drawers were more important to her than her soul.

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  2. What a great lesson, June! You know, I am very eager for the Lord's return. Sometimes when I read the headlines, I feel a sort of thrill in my heart. Certainly not at the evil ways or the pain and suffering. But, a thrill that maybe I am seeing "labor pains" and might live to see Him come back.

    I can understand wanting things in this life, for I have some things I'm looking forward to. But, what I remember is that every longing I have here is just an echo, a shadow, of my true longing. Jesus will fulfill every heart desire...forever.

    In the meantime, feet to the ground and eyes to the sky. I just want to serve and glorify Him, whether in this life or the next.

    And may it be so to me.

    GOD BLESS!

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  3. Mary's response always amazes me too, June. "Be it unto me." I want that to be the words on my lips. Sometimes it is; many times it is not, unfortunately.

    The older I get, the more I long for release from this physical body and to be in the more direct presence of God.... Nothing here will ever compare to that!

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  4. June. I hear you....I am awaiting His coming with eager anticipation, but when I talk to my friends about it they can be so ho-hum....He deserves a passionate bride !!!! He is so passionate for us He died for us....how can people not be eager to see Him face to face ?
    A mystery
    Mary, New Zealand

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  5. People are like flowers in a garden; They bloom in different seasons. We love those who are in the same season as we are, the way others loved us as we mature in Christ. Merry Christmas June. You blog is beautiful.

    I'm stopping by from Jennifer's place today.

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  6. This week I saw pictures of persecuted Christians and beheadings, I cried and pleaded: Maranatha, come back Lord jesus. Please come back. But I also I understand the woman you write about. She not desire to Jesus' second coming. It can be a real struggle. When I look at my 'unsaved' two adult children, I beg for more time for them.

    Beautiful blog!

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June