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by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of September 9, 2018

“[Anna] never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.”   -Luke 2:37

        The Bible tells us Anna was a prophet and that she was married for seven years before becoming a widow. At that point, she lived in the temple and invested the rest of her life worshipping the Lord with a pure diligence. She understood that her Maker was her spiritual husband and that she was created for intimate relationship with Him (Is. 54:5).

        Although most of us live lives that are not cloistered, we can still diligently worship the Lord everywhere God assigns us, even at work. All that’s required is to seek His face, ask Him what’s on His heart, and then carefully obey Him in excellence. 

        He will surely respond and guide us, because it's His loving desire to commune with us. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.

        Although, one can only ponder all the desires and burdens that were on Anna’s heart as she came before the Lord day and night, year after year the Bible reveals that the Messiah was dear to her. 

        The NIV note in Luke 2:36 tells us, “Anna praised God for the child Jesus as Hannah had praised God for the child Samuel.” 

        Anna waited a long time for this miracle child to be born, like Hannah waited for her son Samuel’s birth. Jesus was the answer to Anna’s prayers, just as Samuel was to the formerly barren Hannah. 

        When Anna approached Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus at the temple, the Bible says, “she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk. 2:38).

        Anna could never have done this if she didn't know what was on God’s heart.  The way Anna knew God’s heart was by spending lots of time seeking His heart. In turn, God rewarded Anna by choosing her to deliver a message that He wanted to share with those who would listen. God knew He could trust Anna with important revelations.

        Anna surely felt honored and humbled. Undoubtedly, seeing her deepest love come forth in manifest presence in the temple (also her home) gave her heart great joy. 

        Like Anna, do we exercise diligent faith to witness God’s greatest manifestations? Do we know His heart and His voice well enough to hear from Him? Like Anna, is God our first love?

        My prayer is that all of us would receive great revelations from the Lord as we diligently love on Him and that we would be able to share His heart with those who will listen.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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