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Cloud: Real joy in life comes in doing the will of God

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, woman, behold thy son. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother. And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (John 19:25-27).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered, bled and died for the sins of the world on the cross of Calvary. As Jesus hung on the cross, He spoke seven times. Before darkness descended upon the tragic scene, Jesus spoke three times: “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34); “Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43) and “Woman, behold thy son.” and “Behold thy mother.” (John 19:25-27).

From the miraculous darkness came the strangest of all the words, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Three more sentences were spoken in a relatively short period of time: “I thirst” (John 19:28); “It is finished” (John 19:30); and “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

Three heavy laden crosses stood upon the hill called Calvary. Jesus hangs on the middle cross, robed in blood, and crowned with thorns. The crowd jeers. The soldiers gamble for his garments. The religious leaders of that day rejoice.

Jesus looks down and sees his mother standing near the cross. By her side is the beloved disciple John. Jesus lifts his voice and says to his mother, “Woman, look at John. From now on he will be your son.” Then Jesus spoke to John, “John, from now on she is to be your mother.” Then, we are told, from that hour John took her to his own home.

Mary was chosen by God to be the human instrument through whom the Son of God would come into the world. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit of God to be the Savior of the world.

In his ministry, Mary saw Jesus despised, rejected and persecuted. Mary was the first to kiss the brow of Jesus. Now, his brow is crowned with thorns. Mary held his little hands. Now those hands are nailed to the cross. We see the commitment of a mother’s love. Disciples deserted Jesus. Friends forsook him. His enemies cried out, “Crucify Him!” In all of this Mary stood by the cross of Jesus. Oh, what faithfulness. What love. What courage. What devotion. What loyalty.

Mary was submissive to the will of God for her life. The great pastor, Dr. George W. Truett, used to say, “The greatest knowledge is knowing the will of God, and the greatest achievement is doing the will of God.” What an amazing truth. The safest place in all the world is in the center of the will of God. Finding and following God’s will is the only way to find real and lasting joy in life. It is the will of God for every person to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior (John 3:16) and live in obedience to the Word of God.

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