Devotional Week 12, 2018 Thursday
Week 12 Thursday
March 22, 2018
“The Lord shall count, when He registers their names in His book, that this man (and woman) was born there. Selah (pause, and calmly think of that!)”
Psalm 87: 6
“The Man Who Never Leaves Us” – Part 2
“The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.”
Is there a place where I don’t feel welcome?
Is there a place where, even when other individuals are around me, I still feel alone?
“Intimacy begins with oneself. It does not good to try to find intimacy with friends, love and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself.”
“I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God.”
Colossians 2: 2
The Message Bible
“Jesus Never Forgot Where Mary Came From”
This week, we are standing in a garden, by an empty tomb, with a weeping woman who truly believes she has just lost the best friend she ever had – Jesus. The woman is Mary Magdalene, and all this week we are going to look at how Jesus treated this lonely woman. Because, as we will find out, He treats you and me just like He treated Mary and that knowledge should bring great encouragement and hope into our lives.
As we study Mary Magdalene’s life this week, we are going to find out 5 things Jesus did to let Mary know He understood her, loved her, and would never, ever leave her.
Today, we age going to look at the fact that Jesus Never Forgot Where Mary Came From. This is important for you and me to understand because each of our lives are shaped by heredity, geography and a thousand other individual circumstances that impact how we develop and grow physically, socially, emotionally as well as spiritually.
Who our parents are, the country we were born in, the social and financial status of those who raised us, the existence or non-existence of religious instruction in our home, and even factors like physical appearance such as weight, height and skin color all combine to impact our lives from birth to death.
This is why I love the ext in Psalm 87: 6 where David tells us that when God writes your name and mine in His register, He never forget where we were born. Our life history is engraved in His memory. My father taught me this text many years ago. He took great comfort in knowing that a loving God considers all the facts when He looks at each of us. My dad grew up as an orphan and ended up having a tragic and lonely childhood. When he was around seven years old, he met my mom. She was the daughter of the town doctor. Her brother became friends with my dad - a strange combination. A poor boy and the doctor’s son. Then to everyone’s shock, the boy from the wrong side of the tracks grew up and fell in love with the doctor’s daughter. People were shocked, predicting doom for their marriage. How wrong they were, for two people were never better suited to one another. One day my dad and I were discussing my parents’ marriage and he made this observation, “You know Dorothy, no one could ever understand me like your mother. She watched me grow up. She saw what I went through. She knows where I came from and what shaped my life...and she loved me anyway” (There was a tear in daddy’s eye when he made this statement).
The same thing could be said about Jesus and Mary Magdalene. On the west coast of the Sea of Galilee was the village of Magdala. It is likely Jesus visited this village. Maybe He heard townsfolk talking about the “resident nut case.” A woman possessed by “seven demons.” I’m quite certain somebody gave Jesus the lowdown on Mary of Magdala. What they said wasn’t kind. It was most likely cruel – and hopeless. Mary Magdalene seemed like a hopeless case to everyone but Jesus. He understood what had driven her to the point of no return. He knew why she had been pushed over the edge of sanity. But instead of leaving her in a pit of despair, He healed her and brought her into the circle of His love. That’s what He does for girls and boys, men and women who need and long for His help.
No wonder, on an early Sunday morning, we find Mary Magdalene weeping her eyes out in a garden. She’s lost everything she leaned on for support. Worse yet, she’s lost the one person who never forgot her past and loved her anyway. She had never felt loneliness like this before. Jesus had given her back herself – and now He was gone.
All of a sudden someone appeared. Not an angel. Not a soldier. Not an apparition. No, it was someone who Mary Magdalene thought looked like the gardener. Someone who didn’t scare her. Someone who didn’t make her think she was losing her mind again.
This wasn’t someone who brought fear to her heart or frightened her to death. Jesus made certain,, when He came to comfort His friend that He had taken into consideration her past. He remembered where Mary was born and what had shaped her life. And then He came as a familiar gardener – a friendly face with a comforting message.
Maybe today, you feel alone. Keep watching!! Jesus has a familiar, friendly face to lift your heart and encourage you. Someone who doesn’t hold your past against you. Someone who understands that all of us have a history and that we all need to never forget that this person was born here and another there. That’s the message from Jesus today. “I will never forget where you came from! And I will love you anyway.”
“Today, O Lord, I feel the loneliness of anonymity. No one in this city knows me and no one cares. At least it seems that way. So I am left to myself and my own thoughts.
My loneliness, of course, is quite comfortable. It is not the loneliness of the truly abandoned. But perhaps it can help me enter more fully into their feelings of abandonment. O Lord, may my small experience of loneliness teach me to have fellowship with all those who are marginalized.
When I eat alone help me to pray for those who have nothing to eat;
When I walk the streets alone, help me remember those who do not have the strength to walk;
When I feel on the outside of every conversation, help me see the nameless people to whom no one pays attention;
When I speak and am ignored, help me hear those whose voices fall on deaf ears.
And whenever my circumstances are devoid of familiar voices may I always be able to hear the voice of the true Shepherd.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world. 100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.
Also, if you should happen to miss a devotional for some reason, you can go to www.transformationgarden.com and you will find archived devotionals. We also place the daily devotionals on Facebook so you can find them on that site also.
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com and www.Christianbook.com or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. Thank you so much for your support of Transformation Garden.