Greg King

Five Stones

Through the Eyes of Mary Part #5

istock_000007349205smallIt’s hard to grasp that God would use the obedience of a teenage girl to fulfill the Old Testament Prophecy about the Messiah.

He would be born of a virgin, He would be of the House of David, He would be born in Bethlehem, He would be preceded by a messenger, He would preach the good news, He would be anointed by the Spirit, He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey, He would be betrayed by a friend, He would be rejected by the Jews, He would be forsaken by his disciples, He would be accused by false witnesses, He would be beaten and spit upon, He would have his hands and feet pierced, He would cry out my God why has thou forsaken me, and He would be executed between two thieves.

It must have been such an honor to be chosen but it must have also have been so painful. For the one who gave birth to the child in the manger now ends up at the foot of the Cross watching her first born die for the sins of the world. There had been a time when this child had followed Mary wherever she went and now she would spend the remainder of her life following in the steps of the Savior for the World…Her Son.

He would also rise from the dead, He would ascend into heaven and sit at the right hand of God, and He is coming again.

Our worship becomes a sweet aroma to God when it is lived out in daily obedience. We can learn so much from the life of Mary. While her life was not perfect she was determined to make God the center of her life. It makes you wonder what God is waiting to do through your obedience. He has a habit of using ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

When I make God the center of my life I can’t help but worship.

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December 24, 2008 Posted by | Worship | Leave a comment

Through the Eyes of Mary Part #4

istock_000006782942xsmall2Even in our most unfamiliar times and places God is present. So if you are in an unfamiliar place or having to deal with some unfamiliar experiences take a breath and remember that God is with you during those moments. Take heart that God sees the bigger picture just as He did on this special day in the life of Mary. God would have His son to be born in a messy place because His plan was for Him to save a messy world.

When you step back just a little, where else would a shepherd be born? God sent His son the Great Shepherd for His sheep. He would sleep where his sheep slept, eat where they ate, and live where they lived.  The shepherd had come to care for His sheep. The book of John tells us that the Word became flesh and blood and moved into our neighborhood. Nothing else would ever be the same. Not only that but the manger also sends the message that Jesus is accessible to everyone. That he came for the sick and the poor, the hurting and the needy. He came for me. He came to get messy. He came to serve and he would never have a place to lay His head. So where else but a manger. So if things are not going according to your plan, remember our plans our flawed and His plans are perfect.

When I make God the center of my life I can’t help but worship.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Worship | Leave a comment

Through the Eyes of Mary Part #3

istock_000007254404small1Do you ever feel a little like Charlie Brown at this time of the year, depressed over the amount of commercialism that takes places during the Christmas Season? Through the years we have even commercialized the nativity scene. If you think about it we have made the nativity into a beautiful After School Hallmark Special. The problem is that we have made the Nativity too perfect and lovely. The fact is everything about this so called silent night was anything but silent or calm. I think if we could ask Mary she would say things were far from a perfect situation that night. However, you would never know that by looking at the nativities that we have in our homes. Just think about some of these things and compare them to what we see on our mantles: Read Luke 2:1-7.

Mary has just traveled some 70 miles on a donkey. Stop right there…a pregnant woman riding on a donkey lets us know that this was not an ideal situation.

After traveling 70 miles on the donkey Mary learns that there is not a place for them to stay. In fact she is led to a stable where she is going to have to give birth to her first child. You can almost hear Mary say of all the places please not here.

In most nativity scenes Mary has not even broken a sweat.  The animals are all lined up perfectly. Some even look they have even been recently groomed. There is no dirt, insects, mud, manure or other things found in a stable full of animals. There is also no evidence that a baby has just been born in that very manger.; what I’m alluding to is that there is no blood.

The most noticeable thing missing in my opinion that night is actually the absence of a few people. There was no doctor, midwife or nurse, or even her own mother to help her through her first birth. Mary and Joseph would have to do this on their own without help from others.

Do you think this is how Mary dreamed of giving birth to God’s child? Do you think this was the picture she had in her mind of how she would deliver God’s only child? Now let me ask you this, if you were to ask Mary several years down the road if she would have changed anything about that night what do you think she would say.

I personally believe that Mary had learned a great truth about God and her circumstances:

When I make God the center of my life I can’t help but worship.

December 21, 2008 Posted by | Worship | 1 Comment

Through the Eyes of Mary Part #2

istock_000004655563small1While Mary’s response is one of true worship it would be naive for us to think that she wasn’t struggling with her emotions. She must have been torn with two conflicting emotions: excitement and fear. In some sense we’ve all been there, excited about what God is asking us to do and at the same time scared about the ramifications that it will cause around us and maybe even in us. It’s hard not be to scared when the unexpected enters into our  life, whether that be a loss of a loved one, a loss of a job, a loss of control, or a loss of our expectations/desires. While the scriptures do not go into  detail, I believe Mary must have dealt with some type of fear. The fear of how her family would respond, the fear of losing Joseph, and the fear of losing her reputation. However, Mary did not give into fear but instead she worshiped.

Look at her famous song/response in Luke 1:47-50.

Fear is one of the biggest enemies to what God wants to do in our life. We have to unlearn the fears that have attack us throughout the years, fear of uncertainty, fear of risk, the fear of looking foolish, and the countless other fears that hold us back from worshiping God with our life. The only way I know how to unlearn the fears that I have acquired throughout my life is to download scripture into my heart and mind. By doing so I am reminded of all the promises that God has set into motion for my life. I am reminded of how Big My God is. Don’t let your mental fears keep you from experiencing all that God wants to do in your life. Mary experienced the same type of fear that all of us would have encountered but she chose to face it. Maybe what God wants for you is hiding right now in your biggest problem or in your greatest fear. So when the tough times come into your life (and they will) will you choose worship or will you choose fear and worry?

The Bottom Line is that when I make God the center of my life I can’t help but worship.

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Worship | Leave a comment

Through the Eyes of Mary Part #1

istock_000000584335small1How do you respond when the unexpected crashes into your life? The book of James tells us that it is in these moments, the moments when we are under pressure, that our faith-filled life is forced into the open and our true colors emerge. In Luke 1:26-35 we get the opportunity to see a beautiful work of art that God is putting on display for us to learn how to worship when life crashes into our lives.

Some background on this text is that God’s voice has been silent now for nearly four hundred years. God in His perfect timing has chosen to break the silence between Him and Man by sending the angel Gabriel to the Galilean Village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married. I love how the Message says that she was thoroughly shaken by this unexpected visit from God’s messenger. Can you imagine if she is completely shaken by the greeting of the angel how much more would she be shaken by the rest of the message? That she would become pregnant without ever being with a man. That this birth would save mankind and fulfill the long awaited prophecy.

Its interesting that in the eyes of the world Mary was just an ordinary 14 year old girl but to God she was extraordinary. God loves to use ordinary people for extraordinary things. The Message also says that the angel declared that she was beautiful with God’s beauty both on the inside and out. When we worship God with our life we become radiant with His glory. Mary’s doubt must have been huge but her faith was bigger. Mary’s response to the unexpected in her life is one of the most glorious worship services ever held.

“I am the Lord’s servant.” May it be to me as you have said. -Luke 1:38

The greatest lesson that I learn from Mary’s unexpected worship is that,

“When I make God the center of my life I can’t help but worship.”

So if the unexpected has crashed into your life this season may you take courage and worship.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Worship | 1 Comment