Sing & Seek//Nita

Happy Summer everyone!  I hope you are having great times with the Lord, with family and with friends.  Perhaps you are like me and began the New Year determined to read through the whole Bible!  It is a good thing to pursue.  However if you are like me, there are places in the Old Testament where I just get bogged down in genealogies, blue print details for huge boats, the Tabernacle mega tent, and the Temple in Jerusalem.  Never mind, all those details and names of people represent real men and women who followed hard after God generation after generation and because they did, you and I get to know Him too.

This year I took a break just after finishing 2 Kings.  I went to the New Testament letters of Paul.  I had a grand time reading and studying Ephesians and9562cc1e1d8fc14bb4f4e93814a7d1f9 Galatians.  I needed that t
ime in the New Testament.  Last week I decided to go back and work on another section of the Old Testament.

Oh no, 1 Chronicles begins with more genealogies! Actually the first 8 chapters are lists of names!  But I determined to carry on reading – there are interesting passages about King Saul and King David and then more lists of names – like David’s mighty men of Valor!  As I prayed and continued reading the Lord caused me to “see” phrases that touch my heart still; “helped David with an undivided heart”  “perfect heart”  “of one mind” “joy indeed in Israel”

As I continued to read and pray I came to chapter 16.  Stop for a moment and read this amazing chapter.  King David knew how to worship God.  He appointed singers, writers, musicians to help the people worship.  He led his people in worship!  As you read 1 Chronicles 16 you will feel like you are reading the Psalms – and you are!  The writers of the worship in chapter 16 are some of the same who wrote many of the Psalms.  I would love to have been there, wouldn’t you?

Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples,

Sing to Him, sing praises to him; Speak of all His wonders.

Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.

Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.  (8-11)

Well, more chapters of details and names follow this wonderful worship chapter, but don’t give up.  This book ends with a prayer that will change your life – worth praying again and again.  Check it out!  And keep reading God’s Word this summer!

Mary Knew//Nita//Day Three

One of my favorite modern Christmas songs is “Mary Did You Know?” by Mark Lowry.  The words tumble around in my heart and mind as I wonder – what did Mary know, understand, wonder at when the angel proclaimed that she would bear the Son of God. 
In Luke 1:26 – 38 we understand that Mary knew that the angel was from God.  She knew she was a virgin, no matter what anyone else said or thought.  She knew she was engaged to a godly man.  An angel appeared to him too.  Soon after Mary heard all that the angel said to her about her own Baby, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also with child.  After Elizabeth greeted Mary and proclaimed that Mary was bearing her LORD, the Messiah, Mary responds with words like a prophetess of the Old Testament.  Mary was no simple minded, simple faith young woman.  She knew and believed the Old Testament Scriptures and what they said about the promised Messiah.
She knew.
What do we know about Mary?  She was young, a Hebrew girl, engaged.  We know she loved

God by her response to the angel sent to her.  Although girls were not formerly educated, we know Mary knew God’s Word.  She was obedient and humble and willing to do whatever God asked of her.  The angel called her “favored one” which means filled with grace.

As we read the Gospels we know that Mary wondered at and treasured many things about Jesus:  the visit of the shepherds, their proclamation of God’s glory, their worship.  Then the visit and gifts and worship of the kings from a foreign land.  We know too that two older godly people in the Temple recognized the Baby as their promised Messiah when He was just 8 days old.   It is written that Mary treasured these things in her heart.
Then 30+ years later, certainly Mary worried about her Son, a young man traveling around the countryside of Israel preaching and teaching and making disciples and making “religious” leaders very angry.  She knew He forgave sins, healed people, cast out demons, and children loved Him.  Did she remember the visit of the angel?  Did she hope and pray that Jesus would be kept safe? When did she really understand that Jesus was her Messiah?
In John 19:25 we find Mary is at the cross when her first born Son is being crucified.  Did she understand yet that He was choosing to die for her sins and for mine?  Very soon after His death and resurrection, we find Mary with the disciples in the upper room (Acts 1:14).  They were about to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God and go about changing the world forever!  Mary knew.
Listen to Mark Lowry’s song again and rejoice!
Spend some time this week reading Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2.  Thank the Lord for all you know about Jesus and thank the Lord that Mary was willing and faithful to do all that God asked of her.

Nita is a graduate of VA Tech, joined Cru staff in 1972, and has served with Cru in New England and several areas of the world as well as with Cru Military.  Presently she serves with Cru Valor as a part of the National Leader Team.  She loves family, reading, gardening and her dog Lucy.