Day 18. Treasures in Heaven

This entry is part 18 of 23 in the series A Christmas Story Devotional

18.heart

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

The Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-21

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

The Complete Word Study of the New Testament defines ‘heart’ as;

The Scriptures attributed to the heart: thoughts, reasonings, understanding, will, judgement, designs, affections, love, hatred, fear, joy, sorrow, and anger; these things can actually affect a man’s physical heart. Therefore “heart” is used a s a metonym for the mind in general. p.925

Heart also encompasses the moral or emotional part of being human;

  • A leader with heart is said to be compassionate.
  • If you’ve won someone’s heart it means you’ve won their affection or love.
  • If someone never loses heart they are said to have courage.

Or, heart can mean your innermost feelings and inclinations;

  • If you know something by heart, you’ve memorized it and it’s a part of you.
  • If like David, you’re a man after God’s own heart, your character is being defined.

Mary did not run around trying to clear her name when the angels told her she would be expecting.  When the birth of Jesus was foretold she says, “may it be fulfilled”.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,  and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38

When Mary and Elizabeth came together there was joy in believing the fulfillment of the promise, even from Elizabeth’s baby.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!  But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Luke 1:39-45

Mary quietly and personally wondered what it was that God was doing.  She kept the the joy within her to herself and waited for God to further reveal the truth that was coming. She protected her treasure, as her body protected her baby, in her heart where it was safe.  With quiet confidence she carried her baby and her treasure in faith.

In Matthew’s gospel, we learn;

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For were your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 

At this time of wonder right before we celebrate Christmas, can we remember what His coming means? Can we leave todays cares unattended and come to wonder and ponder in our hearts the promise made so long ago? Can we treasure the Word which became flesh?  Can we let our hearts be filled by the love of God? And lastly, can we share this fulfillment with those who do not yet know?

 

 

Print this post by clicking on the green ‘printer friendly’ bar below, and write your answers to these questions.

Question (feel free to journal your answer here) Where is your hearts’ treasure? Is it in things? Or is it in Christ?  What would you like to ponder in your heart today?

 

 

Your prayer (feel free to write your prayer here)

 

 

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