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We would do well, therefore, to understand clearly how to receive from God so that we are not among those who miss out on the best gift of all.

The virgin Mary was one who received God’s blessings.

But Scripture pointedly states, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jer. To trust in yourself is to turn away from trusting in the Lord!

Trusting in God does not mean that we sit around and do nothing. She recognized God as her Savior (), implying that she was a sinner.

Commenting on “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this.

If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture you can be quite certain you are a Christian; if it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount [Eerdmans], ).

A couple who attended the church I pastored in California professed to be Christians. When I heard that they were going to a Science of Mind “healer,” I talked to the husband about the spiritual danger. They just wanted relief wherever they could find it.

1:2, 4), but Hannah was barren because God had closed her womb (1:5).Closing Hannah’s womb may seem like a strange way for God to provide her with a son. He promised Abraham and Sarah a son, but He waited until after they were well past childbearing years to give them Isaac. Jesus taught the same truth in the Beatitudes, where He said that the mourners would be comforted, the hungry filled, and the meek would inherit the earth (Matt. Paul expressed the same principle when he said that when he was weak, then he was strong, because his weakness forced him to rely on the Lord (2 Cor. The reason I emphasize this principle so much at the outset is that it runs counter to what most people think, that “God helps those who help themselves.” That familiar “verse” is not in the Bible.The principle is that God brings us to the end of ourselves, where we have lost our proud trust in our own ability. It shows four vignettes of people whom God put in impossible situations so that they would come to the end of themselves, call out to God, and then praise Him for His lovingkindness when He delivered them [read vss. It is based on human pride and runs counter to the biblical principle that God helps those who come to the end of themselves and cast themselves upon Him.In reference to her being chosen to be the mother of our Lord, she exclaimed, “For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.For the Mighty One has done great things for me” (Luke -49).

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