Fill the Cart

LifeLink Devotional

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Luke 2:17 – 19  17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

For many people, like my wife, the thrill of Christmas continues today because the After Christmas Sales have begun. Stores once again have opened early in an attempt to close out all of their seasonal merchandise. People are getting up early to head to the stores and get a head start on what they will need for next Christmas. They will find their treasures at greatly reduced prices and store them up in their closets and basements so when the time comes for the next holiday they will be prepared. Just knowing what they bought and how great a bargain they got will sustain them through the shopping lulls caused by regular prices in the days ahead.

For me, the lull of being regular has already started. I awoke early this morning thinking “Now what?” Now that Christmas has come and gone for another year, it’s time to get back to normal. But routine sounds so boring. What treasures do I have to sustain me through the long winter months still ahead?

Then I thought of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her Baby has been born, the trip home has been completed, and routine has been established. People have stopped coming over to visit and to see the Baby. Relatives are finally settled down and are acting like they accept this “miraculous” birth. Joseph is back in his carpentry shop, and Mary struggles to fight off the depressing prospect of life in the regular lane.

But she is prepared to fight that battle, and how she fights it is a lesson for all of us. You see, she went After Christmas Shopping also; only she did it in her heart. She found lots of treasures, filling the shopping cart of her heart with eternally enduring truths and memories.

There were treasures like Gabriel’s announcement to her that she was highly favored by God; his explanation of the power of the Holy Spirit that would come upon her; the visit with Elizabeth and the sharing of a miraculous birth experience with her; the statement of the angel that “nothing is impossible with God;” the description by the shepherds of the glory of God in the sky and the announcement of good news for all the people; and the first time she held the Son of God in her arms and experienced the fullness of God’s grace and truth.

Mary filled her heart with all of these things and more, and they were able to sustain her for the next 12 years of regular life until another “holiday” occurred. Jesus was teaching in the temple, and once again Mary found some more treasures to store up in the closet of her heart.

She would need all of these treasures because life would be regular for the next 18 years, but when life stopped being routine she was ready. When Jesus was presented by His heavenly Father to the world as the people’s Savior, she was ready because she had done more than just put the treasures in a closet: she put them in a prominent place in the house of her heart where she could look at them every day and be reminded that life with Jesus is not regular. She was sustained because she had polished the art of meditation on God’s truth. The truths she experienced and treasured became her weapons with which she fought the battle of routine.

We have the same opportunity. We too must polish up the art of meditation: not meditation to escape life like the world teaches; but rather meditation on the truths of God to fulfill life.

When Joshua was preparing to lead the people of Israel into the battle for the Promised Land, God gave him these instructions – Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

King David says it this way in Psalm 1 – Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

It’s time to go spiritual shopping for treasures which are found in God’s Word – and they’re FREE! What a bargain – life-sustaining truth at no cost. Fill your cart today.

Pastor John

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