JOY OF A WORD FILLED FAMILY SERIES
The other day while standing in one of those endless lines at the super market my eyes caught the following headlines on a newspaper, “World’s most beautiful woman hospitalized”. Quickly whipping out my cell phone I called Bonnie and immediately knew it was a false story . . . actually, it was about Elizabeth Taylor married countless times, unhappy, overweight and in ill health. The world probably has no better candidate for that role. But God does.
The Most Beautiful Women in God’s Word
This morning may I introduce again the beautiful woman of God's Word?
Mary, the mother of James and Jesus!
- Who is presented as the most honored woman in the Bible? Mary
- Who was chosen out of all the women in the whole world to raise God's Son? Mary
- Who is the greatest living, breathing example of Proverbs 31 in ordinary everyday life? Mary
- Without exception who is probably the most beloved and best known woman in the world? Mary
Luke 3:23 gives us an unusual insight. It appears to some scholars that this is because Matthew traces the legal descent of the house of David using only heirs to the throne, while Luke traces the complete line of Joseph to David. A more likely explanation, however, is that Matthew follows the line of Joseph (Jesus' legal father), while Luke emphasizes that of Mary (Jesus' blood relative). Although tracing a genealogy through the mother's side was unusual, so was the virgin birth. Luke's explanation here that Jesus was the son of Joseph, "so it was thought" (v. 23), brings to mind his explicit virgin birth statement (1:34-35) and suggests the importance of the role of Mary in Jesus' genealogy.
God is very interested in your beauty this morning. Did you check to see if you were beautiful before you came? Beautiful to God is what I mean!
1. Beauty was required in those who were regulars in God's presence! Exodus 28:2 "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. 40 For Aaron's sons you shall make tunics, and you shall make sashes for them. And you shall make hats for them, for glory and beauty. (NKJV)
2. Beauty was expected in corporate (group) worship! 1 Chronicles 16:29 Give to the LORD the glory [due] His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! (NKJV)
3. Beauty was how God describes the praise He desires! 2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, For His mercy [endures] forever." (NKJV)
4. Beauty is a mark of pleasing personal worship times! Psalm 27:4 One [thing] I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. (NKJV)
5. Beauty is how God describes the holiness He desires for us! Psalm 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (NKJV) Psalm 96:9 Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. (NKJV)
6. God is Beautiful! Psalm 50:2 Out of
7. God wants to make
How Did Mary’s Father Raise Her?
So what are some of the ways Heli, father of Mary, may have directed his daughter?
I. Heli encouraged that Mary listened to God. (Luke 1:26-28). Like Samuel was told, come to God's Word and say, "Speak Lord, your servant hears." And every time we open this book, He does speak. It is only a question of are we listening!
II. Heli encouraged that Mary humbled herself before God said yes to God's Grace. (Luke 1:29 Who me?) No airs, no pride, just a humble troubled heart that anyone would even say such a thing. She knew her own heart, certainly God would to! She was Saved by God. (Luke 1:30 lit. ‘discovered grace of God ‘) Mary joined the countless multitude who are heirs of life eternal by God's grace. Her study of the Word led her to the open arms of “God my Savior”.
III. Heli encouraged that Mary surrendered to God's will (Luke 1:31-33) To produce within her body tiny hands that would some day touch lepers with a healing touch, to form a mouth within her womb that would speak the very Word of God, to feel the kick of feet that would walk the roads of Israel and spread the Gospel. What an incredible ministry opportunity.
IV. Heli encouraged that Mary experienced God (Luke 1:34-37) She wouldn’t even consider anything immoral. Instead she was surrounded by the Shekinah as God the Son entered her womb. God doing the impossible is what our life for Him is all about.
V. Heli encouraged that Mary served God joyfully (Luke 1:38-45) She was a Slave of God. Luke 1:38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her. (NIV) Wow, what a submissive and godly attitude. I’ll say yes Lord yes to your will and to your way! All I am all I have all I’ll ever be . . . And off she goes to be a blessing, starting with her cousin who hadn’t told her the big news yet!
VI. Heli encouraged that Mary immersed herself in the Scriptures. (Luke 1:46-55) She Sought God. Look at Have you paused to ask yourself how she did it? For starters, chew on this - In a world where Mary lived every drop of water was carried home by women from springs or wells in clay pots. Every ounce of flour was ground with a stone mill. Every bread loaf was baked in an oven with a wood fire burning to heat it. All dishes were washed (remember that well, the pot, the walk . . .) So time was at a premium, what’s new right? But also, women were not at a premium. Jesus was the first to elevate women to their proper place. In Mary’s time they were close to being furniture. So her knowledge of the Scriptures must have come from either her dad who Luke tells us was named Heli (Luke 3:23 traces Mary back to Adam to show Jesus was Savior of the world. Matthew 1 traces Joseph back to Abraham to show Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews.) Maybe Heli encouraged his daughter by exposing her deeply to the Scriptures. What a wonderful pursuit for any dad. Whatever the means Mary SOUGHT GOD!
Mary was a woman about whom all we know in a practical way is that she learned her manners from the Word of God. Sounds like a good idea. If we were to look over her shoulder as she read from the scrolls and listened to God's truth we might learn what made her tick! One thing we can be sure of, as a relative of David and Solomon, she would have read God's Word they were inspired to write. Look with me at Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. (NKJV)
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