“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” – Job 23:10-12 (NASB)
Again we look to garner from the Book of Job a promise of God’s. Having been severely tested by Satan, who had God’s permission with limits, Job has become convinced that the trials which took everything he owned and his family – except his wife – were a test and not a punishment for evil or wickedness on his part. Job sensed that God was evading him. But Job believed that were God to show up He would, knowing the way of godliness Job followed, have to declare him not guilty. Yet the Job perceived that when God finished testing him he would come forth “shining like gold. Even though Job could not sense the presence of God, he believed God was present and Job affirmed his commitment to God’s purpose in this test and his continued obedience to what God has commanded – which were the most important issues in his life. From this real-life example Job gives us, we too can be assured that when our trials become more than we think we can bear, if God is our hope and salvation, we will emerge through His graces and for His glory.
“ And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” – Luke 2:51-52 (ESV)
The Bible gives us a good amount of detail about the birth of Jesus and who witnessed the Son of God coming to earth. Angels, shepherds, VIP’s from far East, and others became aware of the birth of Jesus. However, we have very little detail of his life between His parents’ presentation of him at the temple and the beginning of his ministry thirty years later. But we have one account when Jesus was twelve years old. His parents brought him to Jerusalem for Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus is not in the caravan back to Nazareth and it is discovered he is missing after the first day’s travel. Returning to Jerusalem Joseph and Mary find him in the temple with the teachers of the Law. It was logical to Jesus that He would be where He was for it was His Father’s house and He knew who He was. Other than today’s verses, nothing is said of His life until John the Baptizer announces him and Jesus is baptized by John. We know that Jesus was submissive to his parents and in favor with God and man.
“Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.” – Psalm 119:11 (NASB)
Today’s verse affirms the value of internalizing the Word to defend against encroaching sin. We might ask how do we internalize God’s word? The Authorized version renders the verse; “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” There is a blessing to absorbing the Word of God because it is the truth and given to us as a guide to God’s will. (Psalm 37:21) God’s Word teaches us and shows us the path He wants us to walk on and when we do, receive abundant blessings. Knowing what is God’s will from His Word keeps our feet steady and guards us from slipping when we might (Psalm 73:2). How do we hide God’s Word in our heart? Well, remember that in Scripture the word ‘heart’ was used for the mind. Memorizations of God’s Word is how we hide and treasure it. Don’t we already know about treasures? Another version renders this as “stored up your word.” We store up what we treasure for future use. Perhaps this verse is a good one to commit to memory right now? It can only help us to do so.
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 (NIV)
Jesus taught us to store up treasures in heaven. Today we read how Mary, the mother of Jesus, reacted after hearing the words and testimony of the shepherds the night Jesus was born. Mary and Joseph were interrupted by them in the middle of the night, just a short time after Mary gave birth to the Son of God. We have been hearing and talking about the events of the Christmas story and now today is the day we focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus our Savior. The shepherds had some marvelous things to report of what they had seen and what the angel had told them. When Mary heard all this she received and believed it and she made the news her very own. It became part of her life story. It became very precious to her like a rich treasure. We are told that Mary gave much thought to what she had heard for it was very meaningful. How about us? Let’s give much thought to the promise of a savior whose birth we celebrate today and let’s also treasure it in our hearts as we ponder on what it means for us.