Believe and Ponder

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

“When God reveals truth to you, by whatever means, that is a divine encounter.” Henry Blackaby
  • Good morning! Grab your Bible, a pen, and your journal, and find a cozy place to sit. It’s time to meet with your Savior!
  • Read Luke 2:8-20. Write verse 19 in your journal. If you haven’t done so this December, I encourage you to take some time to read all of Luke 1 and 2.

Believe and Ponder

I love the Christmas song, “Mary Did You Know?” by Mark Lowry. This song asks powerful questions of young Mary, chosen by God to carry His Son. Did she realize that when she kissed her little baby, she was kissing the face of God? Or that the sleeping child she was holding was the great I Am?

I want to learn to be more like Mary. She was quick to believe God, and she quietly pondered the things of God in her heart.

In Luke chapter one, we first read about Zechariah doubting the angel who told him his barren wife would bear a child. Then, we read about Mary. An angel appears to her and tells her she will conceive by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God. Amazingly, Mary believes God right away. She says, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38 NLT).

Don’t you want to be like Mary and take God at His word? When we read the Bible, God speaks to us. He tells us we are His and He guides us into all truth.

All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped
for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

What is He saying to you today during this Christmas season? Above all, I hope you hear that you are dearly loved. He sent His only begotten Son so you may live with Him forever.

In Luke chapter two, the angel of the Lord returns, appearing to shepherds and announcing the birth of the promised Savior. After the shepherds find Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, they tell everyone they know what they have seen and heard. In contrast, the Bible says, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Incredible things were happening before her very eyes, yet she did not run around telling everyone she knew. Rather, she tucked them away—even the things she didn’t understand—and pondered them in her heart.

I want to be more introspective like Mary and meditate on the things of God. As I witness answered prayers and blessings all around me, I want to remember them, pondering God’s goodness and treasuring them in my heart. It is my prayer that these thoughts will spill over into what I say and do. All too often, my words can be harsh, and I say things I regret. I need the power of God operating in my life so I can be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

Please pray with me this Christmas season:

Jesus, help me to be more like Mary and believe in God’s Word and His promises. Help me to treasure the things of God in my heart.

Blessings and Love,

Jennifer

Questions to Ponder

  • Take some time to remember some of the amazing things God did in your life this year and write them in your journal. How did God answer your prayers?
  • Are you believing God for something specific? Find a promise in Scripture to which you can cling. Write the Scripture on an index card and place it where you will see it throughout the day. Focus on believing God and taking Him at His Word.

Faith-Filled Ideas

Teach your children the joy of generosity by giving gifts to those less fortunate.

Our favorite Christmas activity is packing shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse delivers the gift-filled shoeboxes to children around the world who would
otherwise never receive a gift. These gifts have the power to transform the lives of children and their families through the Good News of Jesus Christ! Our love for this ministry and the children grows each year!

How to Pack a Shoebox:

Start with an average-sized shoebox. Decide if you will pack for a boy or a girl. Choose from three age categories ranging from 2 to 14 years old. Fill the box with gifts! Start with something the child will love like a stuffed animal, doll, toy truck, or ball with a pump. Next, fill it with school supplies, non-liquid hygiene items, and accessories like underwear or socks. These items we take for granted may be the most exciting part of the gift!

I shop for items to pack throughout the year. I look for sweet stuffed animals and other fun toys on sale after the holidays. I shop with coupons for toothbrushes, and I buy all the school supplies when they are marked down during the back to school sales. You can also make your dollar stretch by buying large packages of socks, underwear, washcloths, combs, bar soap, etc., and dividing them amongst the boxes you pack.

I love the impact Operation Christmas Child has on my children. My daughter tells me over and over, “It makes me feel so good to pack OCC shoeboxes. It makes me feel good to help kids who don’t have anything.” We live an hour away from an Operation Christmas Child Distribution Center. Now that my children are old enough, we have started volunteering to inspect the shoeboxes. It is an incredible way to encourage and teach our children to serve!

Go to www.samaritanspurse.org for more information on how to send a shoebox for a child in need.

 

Jennifer Valdois
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