Sunday, September 5, 2010

HUMILIATION or HONOR

An incident occurred yesterday that I am not free to mention here but would like to ask you to pray about. In the wee hours of the morning when sleep failed me, the Lord gave me the following lesson that I taught in my Ladies' Sunday School class this morning. This is an abbreviated version.

Luke 1:49 “For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.” How could Mary say this? She had just received word that she was expecting a child although she was unwed. Because of this condition, she could have been stoned (Leviticus 20:10). No doubt, many of her friends shunned her. Perhaps mothers even prohibited their children from speaking to her.

Why would God bring such “humiliation” on someone who was in His favor? God had a gift of honor hidden beneath the wrapping paper of scorn and embarrassment. Honor that would last for centuries.

Mary looked upon this as a “great thing.” Great things come in different forms:
* To the street child, a meal & bed
* To the young girl, a new dress
* To the young married couple, a baby
* To a baby, a toy
* To a family, a new home
* To parents, seeing their children walk in truth
* To a Christian, the salvation of another

And each gift comes in a different wrapping:
* A new dress or toy may come wrapped in beautiful paper with ribbons and bows
* A baby comes after 9 months of discomfort and hours of pain
* The building of a new home may come after years of hard work & saving
* Children following after God comes from parents willing to choose what is best and right for them and what is not always popular
* But the salvation of others comes at a great price and in many layers. It’s package is wrapped in persecution & death (Jesus & others); the giving up of personal wants (missionaries & soulwinners); the humbling of the giver; the enlisting in God’s army (battle against the devil)

Yesterday ten souls were rescued from the clutches of hell on Kalangala Island and 1,200 John/Romans were distributed with the potential of many more getting saved. But then the devil attacked. This beautiful day of soul winning was wrapped under painful, battle-scarred wrapping paper. Do we serve a cruel God or are we focusing more on the wrapping paper than on the gift? Did Mary mention the humiliation she would suffer or the honor of mothering the Savior? She focused on the gift and not the wrapping. What is our response to what God desires to give us? The pretty wrapping paper covers those things that are just temporal. Don't cast away the gift because it's wrapping isn't as glamorous as the gifts of the world. Embrace what God offers, and focus on the honor He desires to bless you with.

2 comments:

  1. What a powerful truth, Sally. Thank you for sharing this. You and Keith, your family - both immediate and extended, your ministry is in our prayers. Praying for God to be glorified, His will to be done, and His grace to be sufficient. We love you!

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  2. Thank you, Sally, for keeping your eyes focused on the Lord and His will through difficult times. You are an inspiration to me. I am just catching up on reading through my Inbox, and today I read your letters and shared them with our church here in Ukraine. Our congregation prayed for you, and our family is personally praying for you as well. Your family is deep on my heart, and I want you to know that you are loved and bathed in our loving prayers!

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