by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2010
“And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” Luke 2:18-20 NKJV
Each group of people who heard the Good News filtered the information through their own mind and heart to the level of their understanding. In Matthew 13, we see similarities in the parable of the sower and seed.
Those who heard the shepherds’ testimony “marveled” (in awe, amazed, astonished) at the overwhelming divine revelation. Can’t you picture them shaking their heads unable to believe what they were hearing? “While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.” Matthew 13:19 AMP
Mary “kept & pondered” (contemplated, meditated, mused) the shepherds’ words in her heart. I don’t believe Mary ever waivered in her understanding of God’s Word and the divinity of Jesus. Not unlike us, I think she may have faced a moment when the world influenced her judgment as in the case of tasking Jesus to solve the wine shortage at the wedding in Cana. “…this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy…but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit.” Matthew 13:20a; Matthew 13:22b AMP
The shepherds themselves “glorified & praised God” never being sidetracked in giving honor to the One who revealed His salvation plan to them. And out of their expression of praise, the shepherds influenced all whom they encountered. “…this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:23 AMP
Now that you are home and settled into in your normal schedule, what “level of understanding” will you embrace from your mission trip experience?
Will you remember the marvelous miracles and blessings (given or received) on your mission trip as another unbelievable story that your mind cannot fathom?
Will you treasure your faith journey in your heart but fail to return to the source of strength needed to face your next life challenge?
Will you continue to give God the glory for the revelation(s) He showed you on the mission trip? How will your outward expression of love and gratitude be implemented into your circle of influence or local church so that your experience will be fruitful and multiply?
KESHER TIP: And the beat goes on…
“Write in a book what you see…” Rev. 1:11 NASB It’s so easy to forget what you saw and experienced on your mission trip after you have returned home and returned to your routine. Ideally, you chronicled daily during your journey. If you didn’t, then take time now to write down some highlights of your trip making sure to include both the blessings and the challenges. Years later when you read your journal, you will see how God worked through each opportunity to mold your character and grow your faith.
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