Words from the Heart for Thursday December 8th, 2016
He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.
Luke 1:54 (NLT)
Remembering the Merciful
God’s people were to be His servant, bringing light to the nations. God had been patient and merciful to His people so that they might be merciful to others. As a child of God, who do you know that needs to know of the good news of Jesus Christ? How can you be a light to the nations?
In late September, 1915, as troops from Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the British Empire were dying by the thousands in the trenches of Gallipoli – one of the great slaughterhouses of the First World War – Jessie B. Jaggard, a matron nurse from Nova Scotia, fell ill but carried on with her duties. She soon developed dysentery and shortly after passed away. Eighteen days before she died, her colleague Mary Frances Elizabeth Munro, from Wardsville in Southwestern Ontario, had also succumbed to dysentery. They were the only nurses to die on the Greek island of Lemnos during the Gallipoli campaign and the first women to die in wartime while serving in the Canadian army. Known to the soldiers as angels of mercy they were buried with full military honours in crude wooden coffins on Lemnos.
God had every reason to be angry and vengeful. He had chosen the people of Israel as His own and had given them amazing promises of His love and care for them. He told them that through them He would provide a Messiah who would be their Redeemer and He would take their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. He promised them His abiding presence and that He would meet their needs. In return He simply asked them to be faithful and to keep their hearts focused on Him. Instead they turned their backs on Him time after time and turned to other gods. In spite of this, God continued to love them and provide for them. He called them back to Him and when they returned in faith He forgave them in mercy. He never gave up on them and He never removed His promise to send the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Saviour. Then He chose a young woman named Mary to be the mother of the Messiah, who recognized that God continued to be faithful and in her song of praise she sang, in Luke 1:54: “He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful.” For 400 hundred years God had been silent. There was no new revelation, no voice of God. Then God spoke, through this humble servant girl. He had not forgotten Israel and the Messiah was on His way. God’s mercy was evident again.
These have been words from the heart.