Good morning friends. Today is the first day of our May Memories series at Ask God Today Ministries. I hope you will be encouraged by the messages you read this month. Today we have Jayna Coppedge with us. Let’s all show Jayna some love in the comments. Have a wonderful month!
by Jayna Coppedge
When I was in my early 20’s I remember scrutinizing some great grandmas at church. I did not know my grandmas well and did not know my greats at all, so I was watching to learn. Instead of finding an example, I prayed, “Lord, please keep me from becoming a complaining old woman.”
God spoke very directly to me: “Then you have got to change your ways. You are what you practice; start being more positive today.”
I continued to look for the model to follow. Eventually I found her in Luke 1—Elizabeth, righteous, blameless, and childless.
“Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. ‘The Lord has done this for me,’ she said. ‘In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.’” (Luke 1:6, 7, 25)
Elizabeth was obligated to provide Zechariah with a son to replace him as priest. Failing to provide an heir, she was scorned as a disgrace. Though humiliated, she walked blameless in the sight of the Lord. If she was angry with God because she was barren, the Bible would not have called her righteous. If she was still pining away for a child, the Bible would read bitter, not blameless. Had she not found peace in her status, she would have done something like Sarah and tried to get a child through “artificial means.”
I want to be like Elizabeth: My circumstances do not dictate my attitudes or obedience.
At the perfect time, God revealed His special plan for Zechariah and Elizabeth. God had prepared them to be the parents of John, Jesus’ forerunner. Jesus said, “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John.” (Luke 7:28a) What they had originally seen as shame was an honor. Being useful to God often involves suffering. I pray I am a useful tool in God’s hands.
Elizabeth was not jealous of Mary. She did not question God’s judgment in trusting His Son, the Messiah, to such a young girl. Read Elizabeth’s humble greeting to Mary.
“In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me.’” (Luke 2:42, 43)
Accepting God’s will without a question, I aspire to be a woman who enjoys God’s blessings without coveting someone else’s.
Mary spent three months with Elizabeth. (Luke 1:56) Doubtless, the older woman mentored Mary in all the skills she would need as a mother and a wife. Perhaps Mary often referred back to that time as beneficial while living in Bethlehem and Egypt. Most young women rely on their mother’s advice. Mary was far from home. Following Elizabeth’s pattern, I seek out younger women to influence. It is such a privilege to encourage them to trust God.
Once the baby arrived, Elizabeth was calm and confident. She did not react in anger when her guests did not believe the baby’s name was John. Rewarded with this miracle birth, her ego did not take over. She patiently watched as Zechariah confirmed the baby’s name. I must also learn not to be easily offended.
Of all the great qualities, I see in Elizabeth, the one that I most crave is not immediately apparent.
“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord…’” (Luke 1:46)
As soon as Mary saw Elizabeth, she began praising God. If you read all of Mary’s song (Luke 1:46-55), not once is Elizabeth mentioned. I yearn to be like Elizabeth; when I meet people, I want them to forget about me and praise God. Rather than talking about me at my funeral, I hope they praise the Savior.
Elizabeth trusted God. She did not get her self-worth from other people. She was “comfortable in her own skin.” Available to God, she raised a son who was sensitive to God’s voice. She did not seek attention but was content to serve behind the scenes. I am practicing walking blamelessly, so as not to become a grouchy old woman.
• How do you want to be remembered?
• What legacy are you leaving?
- Why Would Anyone Vacation in the Middle East? - July 15, 2016
- Utah Mission Trips Changed My Appreciation for the Power of Culture - July 6, 2016
- Mentoring Brings Satisfaction Knowing You Are Improving the Quality of Someone’s Life - June 1, 2016
- A Crying Baby Lack of Sleep Parental Insecurity Contradictory Advice = Overwhelmed New Parent - May 6, 2016
- Scientific Brain Research=Good News for Worriers - May 2, 2016
- What Do You Pray When You Don’t Know What To Say? - April 15, 2016
- Policing Your Thoughts Disarming Satan - April 8, 2016
- A Testimony: Spiritual Healing Replaced Fear With Love - April 4, 2016
- Mary’s View of THE CROSS - March 4, 2016
- Genuine Love Surpasses Superior Obedience - February 15, 2016