Friday, December 4, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Treasures

Treasures of the Heart
A devotional by Mirachelle Canada

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

Every December is the joyous season of giving and receiving. Both actions show our remembrance of and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

So significant was His birth that a bright star illuminated the stable where he was born, and an angelic host proclaimed His glorious arrival to some humble shepherds. The news was so great that they went in search of the child and, once they had seen him, they told everyone they could find.

When something amazing happens to a person the first thing most want to do is go tell someone about it. When your heart is bursting with such joy it is hard to hold the excitement inside. But sometimes a gift and our reaction to its true meaning are meant for God alone.

In Luke 2:19 after Mary, who had just given birth to Jesus then heard the glorious retelling of the shepherds’ angelic encounter that finally proclaimed what she already knew, there is the word but. Mary took a pause. Instead of joining in the excitement and perhaps invite all of Bethlehem to come and see her amazing child, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "ponder" means to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply. So why did Mary take such a deep appraisal of things?

Experience. She’d already had an angelic visit of her own and was miraculously with child though a virgin, making what she heard easy to believe, but it also weighed on her heart as a new mother who had proven faithful to wait and listen to God before acting on impulse.

How often, after we open all the gifts from under the Christmas tree, do we take pause to give thanks to God? Or even personally reflect on what it means that He sent His Son Jesus to be the Hope and Light of the world? 

Mary understood the significance of her actions as well as her reactions to the events of Jesus’s life. Few others in The Holy Bible are a better example of patience and endurance considering Mary found out early on about her and her son’s fate through a blessing in Luke 2:34-35 (NIV):

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

Whoa. Wait. What? “A sword will pierce through your own soul also so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” What does that mean? 

Simeon’s blessing was referring to what Mary was already doing – waiting and storing up God’s treasures in her heart. All the thoughts she had pondered and not acted upon. Promises. Hopes. Dreams. For what mother could so gracefully endure knowing a sword would one day pierce her own soul because of what her son was meant to do?

Mary’s example of such endurance paved the way for us to learn to have patience and show humility in every season. As the mother of the proclaimed Messiah, she had every right to be proud and tell everyone about it, but she didn’t. Instead, her faithful act of storing up the treasures of God in her heart throughout Jesus’s life ultimately provided the opportunity for us to follow her example and store up our treasures there too. Like Mary, God promises to honor and reveal all the treasures we ponder in our hearts, as the book of Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) reminds us:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Let’s pray:
Dear God, We thank you for the gifts and blessings in every season and rejoice that as we ponder these things and store them up in our heart, You are also storing up treasures for us in Heaven. Give us the strength each day to take captive every thought and reaction and give us wisdom to know when to act or to ponder events in our hearts in accordance with your will. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Mirachelle Canada is a writer, playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director/producer from Northern Virginia, where she teaches television production at her high school alma mater.

She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Script & Screenwriting from Regent University and is an alumnus of Act One: Hollywood Film & Television Writing Program.

Mirachelle is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Fiction Writers Virginia Chapter, The Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, and Your Novel Blueprint.

She is currently working on her first historical fiction novel set during WWII.

Connect with Mirachelle:

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