Luke 1:38 (NIV) "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
Throughout this week we have read each day all or a portion of Mary’s encounter with the Angel Gabriel. By the end of verse 37, Mary, the startled young woman, had received the message, knew she was favored by God, and was told how God would cause it all to happen. There was still one thing needed. Would Mary partner with God to carry out this most important assignment? Verse 38 gives us her answer, “I am the Lord’s servant…may it be to me as you have said.” It is important to understand that God did not force Mary to carry out his will. She willingly consented.
This passage is a reminder of our relationship with God. God wants us to willingly love him and willingly obey him. God probably chose Mary for this assignment because he already knew her heart. Yet He created her with free will and it was important for her to acknowledge her willful surrender to God’s call. Are we like Mary? Our willingness to surrender may have a significant impact on knowing what God has for us to do. The surrender to do God’s will often occurs before we receive our assignment.
If we are going to receive our assignment to bring Christ into our 2013 Christmas season our willingness to obey God beforehand may affect the reception of the message. If we have no desire to bring Christ into someone’s Christmas or we are half-hearted about it, will we hear the message of God and have the opportunity to walk in faith? What would have happened if Mary didn’t surrender? God’s plan would have gone forward, Mary would not be called blessed, and maybe the holy family would be known as Joseph, Tabitha and Jesus. However, Mary was blessed because she surrendered to God (see Luke 1:48).
Personalize Mary’s words in verse 38 and let God know of your willingness to carry out his will for you. How will you hear and know your assignment?
Think about your life and your willingness to do whatever God asks of you. Too often we focus on the big scary thing and miss the many opportunities in our daily walk to minister in many small ways. The smaller opportunities increase our faith to do the larger. Are you willing to do the Kingdom work today?
Heavenly Father, I consider it a privilege to serve you today and every day. I want to be like Mary and surrender my life to Your service. “I am the Lord’s servant …may it be to me as you have said.” I realize that I cannot do this on my own and therefore surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit. I am willing and I am Yours. Amen.
Luke 1:29-37; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; John 15:5-6
Luke 1:35 (NIV)
35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Today we continue to look at Mary the mother of Jesus and the unusual encounter she had with the Angel Gabriel. Put yourself in her place, as she tries to grasp what she was just told by Gabriel. (Read verses 31-33). Think about it! You are a young engaged woman who has had no intimate relationship with a man nor do you plan to have any outside of marriage. You are told you will be pregnant and the child you will carry is the Son of God, the long awaited Messiah. How would you respond to such news? Mary simply asked the question, “How will this be…since I am a virgin?” Sense the bewilderment in “How.” None of what was happening at the moment nor what she was told made a lot of sense.
It all sounded impossible then and still does today too many people. Mary quickly receives an answer. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you …For nothing is impossible with God.” Have you ever noticed when God is bringing about something new the Holy Spirit is involved? Gen 1:2 (Creation), Luke 1:35 (Jesus’ birth), Acts 2:4 (the birth of the church). The Holy Spirit is the breath of God and breathes life into what seems impossible.
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you.” What a great reminder to all of us that we are not alone! When God sends us a message or assignment that will bring Christ into our modern Christmas of 2013 we are not alone! We have the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace with us. That is quite a resume.
Continue to seek and listen for the instructions of God in 2013. Then act in faith realizing you have the favor of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide and help you.
Paraphrase Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Put it in your own words using the Holy Spirit and you as the main characters.
How are you partnering with the Holy Spirit to bring Christ into Christmas this year? Remember you are not alone. Submit to the Holy Spirit daily and seek His leadings and partnership in your Christmas project(s).
Come, Holy Spirit, I need You;
Come, sweet, Spirit, I pray.
Come in You strength and Your power;
Come in You own gentle way.
--- Gloria and William J. Gaither