The Ovation of Heaven

Luke 11:27–28 “And while Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.’ But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” ”

Observation: The verses leading to this passage depict Jesus doing what He always did so well: teaching crowds and confounding enemies. The woman in the crowd appeared to simply have blurted out her statement blessing the womb of Mary that had borne Him and her breasts at which He had nursed. But Jesus was quick to correct her, and He did it firmly with the phrase, “on the contrary.” The blessed ones are those who hear God and obey.

Application: Heaven is, apparently, not a place for one-time wonders, even if you happen to have been the one chosen as mother of our Lord. The context of Jesus’s remarks suggests that even Mary herself, if she did not walk out her life in daily, ongoing obedience to God, would find little benefit in having birthed and nursed the Savior of the world. Scripture is silent as to how Mary lived the balance of her days, but it fairly shouts to us the importance of our own decisions with regard to hearing and obeying.

How easy it is to once accomplish something important for the kingdom of God, but to coast thereafter in a life of ease and false security. I relish the ovation of heaven as the curtain lowers on some assignment successfully completed, and in my mind the applause continues long after lights have darkened and the house has emptied. The tricky part of the Christian walk is to be consistent, regularly growing in ways pleasing to Him, continually seeking His face.

There will surely be intermittent rapids that bring unique intensity, even adversity, to my days. The faithful man or woman, the one who hears a “well done” at the end of the age, is the one who perseveres in pursuit of Him even during times of calm when life’s intensity is not daily driving me to my knees. If I will remain passionate in pursuing Him even then, His applause will still rightly echo in my hearing. As He said, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

Prayer: Lord, I long for seasons of calm without realizing their danger. Keep me from complacency, Lord, from resting on Your past blessings. You are continually petitioning the Father in my behalf; You never falter. Stir in me the same passion for consistency in my pursuit of You.

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