I have been thinking a lot about Mary and her decision to accept God’s invitation to become the mother of The Messiah. She didn’t make that kind of choice in a moment, it had to be as the result of preparation throughout her short life.
What an awesome choice with consequences she could never have imagined at that moment. She not only accepted the invitation, she lived out the joy and the grief that followed. How did Mary get there?
When I read Julie Breuninger’s post on Velvet Ashes, it resonated for me. She does a wonderful job of giving expression to how ‘dwelling’ in the Word happens.
You may read Julie’s entire post on Velvet Ashes. Here are excerpts.
“As I have been thinking about Mary this Christmas, my question has been, how on earth was she able to respond as she did?
“I would like to propose that Mary’s response to the angel came from a heart which had treasured God and pondered his ways as a regular practice in her life.
“Scripture reminds us that our hearts and our responses reflect the things we treasure most (Matthew 6:21; 12:34).
“I wonder about my responses? Would I respond with “Lord, I am your servant, you may do with me as you wish?” I want to be like that.
“But quite honestly, that is usually not my first response. My responses are more often consumed with my understanding of the situation, my comfort and my security; all of which are loud proclamations of what I treasure.
“How does one cultivate a heart attitude like Mary? Mary’s heart attitude required an intentional desire to know and follow God. She could look back at how God was faithful to her people and looked ahead, believing the promise of the coming Messiah.
Treasuring and Pondering the Word
“We are blessed today to have the living, active, complete Word of God through which we can know God, his ways, and how to live in this world as we wait for his promised return.
“Nancy Leigh DeMoss describes how we are to read and ponder God’s Word in her book, A Place of Quiet Rest
As you read, pause frequently to meditate on the meaning of what you are reading. Absorb the Word into your system by dwelling on it, pondering it, going over it again and again in your mind, considering it from many different angles, until it becomes part of you.
“I want to be intentional in pondering God. To pause frequently, to absorb and understand the Word. To dwell on it. To consider it from many different angles. To have it become a part of me. To have my eyes opened to see how God is at work in me and in the lives of those around me.
Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them,” (Psalm 111:2).
Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord,” (Psalm 107:43).
“I want to have a heart that treasures and ponders God, His Word, and His deeds. I want my response to events in my life, to be more like Mary’s, reflecting a heart that truly treasures God and gives Him glory.” – Julie Breuninger
I would like to make two more suggestions about how to ponder and dwell in the Word.
- Try reading the passage in different translations. Sometimes the shades of meaning become clear as we read different words for the same passage.
- Also, listen to the passage being read. If you don’t have a favorite audio Bible, try listening to the NIVUK version. You may listen for free using the YouBible app on your phone or tablet.
Let’s take up Julie’s challenge to “dwell” in the Bible this year. Let’s ponder and treasure God’s Word – Diane Constantine