Christmas: Trusting God Fully and Having The Devotion of Mary
"Six months after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee. The angel went to a virgin promised in marriage to a descendant of David named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”
She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant. The angel told her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary asked the angel, “How can this be? I’m a virgin.”
The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy child developing inside you will be called the Son of God. “Elizabeth, your relative, is six months pregnant with a son in her old age. People said she couldn’t have a child. But nothing is impossible for God.” Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:26-38, God’s Word Translation)
In this season, we celebrate Jesus, our Savior being born in a manger in Bethlehem. Our God needed to come to this world to save us– His people– and He decided to come in the form of a baby through the virgin Mary. In this season of family and holiday excitement, it can be very easy to forget what we are truly celebrating and that is one of the most beautiful of miracles the world has ever seen.
A miracle that took place 2000 years ago still lays the foundation of who we are and still shakes the foundation of many who encounter God, experiencing His truth. The amazing thing is that to God, this was just a very small part of the plan compared to all that Jesus did in His life on earth and the plans that God has for each and everyone of us. Today, remember that you have a God that came down to this earth in the most innocent and powerless form possible: a baby. From that point, He rescued you from your own sin and imperfection, calling you His perfect, treasured, and prized possession. Let us never forget this beautiful story that defines us as the Church.
In the story of the birth of Jesus, He was born of a virgin named Mary. As we see in our key verse, Mary was just beginning a new season of her life. She was engaged to Joseph and very excited for what this next chapter would be. She was preparing for married life, and probably felt like she was in a place of clarity. She would soon be wed, after all… What could be more blissful than that?
But then, something happened.
Does that happen to you often? You are just going through life– everything is going great and then God introduces something that throws you into whirlwind? I’ll be honest, it happens to me all the time, and it’s sort of a relief to me that even Mary wasn’t impervious to a God throwing a wrench into her plans.
Mary was preparing for her wedding and basking in her engagement. She probably felt settled and ready until the angel Gabriel came and gave her the most unbelievable news in all of history. She was told that even though she was a virgin, God was going to give her His son to carry. She was going to give birth to the son of God, and be pregnant during her engagement to Joseph!
Now this is more than me or you could ever relate to. The backlash or disrespect Mary would receive from her community to seemingly given up her virginity before marriage would be brutal, and also she could not be sure that Joseph would believe this baby is from the Lord.
Mary’s life went from simple to quite complicated in a literal second.
The response that Mary gives to the angel and the heart of willingness she has is truly incredible. She answers Gabriel by saying “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” (Luke 1:38, GW)
This reaction is everything, and this is how I want to respond to God daily. Mary was in a situation that none of us could truly imagine, and she did not ask for a second to think, she didn't start freaking out, but she responded in love and trust in her Heavenly Father. This season that we are in is all about the beautiful birth of our Savior into this world that he had rescued us from, but looking at Mary– someone just like us, human– and her response to the Lord is inspiring.
She had no preconceptions and motivations to take care of herself and her reputation, she knew that she was in the hands of almighty God and she was not going to get in the way of his plan. Little did she know then, her yes to God and her obedience has lead to millions being saved in the name of her son Jesus.
We all say we want to be more like Jesus and sometimes look like we are spinning in circles as we attempt that. It’s actually quite funny when we try to do things in our own power because, well there is not much to work with there when we are on our own. We think there is something we specifically need to do or an equation but all we have to do is have the response that Mary had. God is calling out to you daily, molding you, and hvaing you encounter new situations. Let you response reflect the trust you long to have in the Lord and you will begin to resemble Jesus more and more.
From this we can learn so much but first is, trusting in the Lord unconditionally will only mold your character and strengthen your heart. We are people of emotion that often want to lead our own lives, but the truth is the only one who can lead is God, and when we follow and trust Him, we experience growth and wisdom we never thought possible.
The only opinion that matters at the end of the day is that of your Father in Heaven. Mary could have been worried about what the people in her community would think, how this pregnancy could affect her life, or any other thing in the world, but she did not even let her mind go there. She responded with trust in what God is doing in her.
Most of us are people who love to have it all together; to be in control and can have a hard time when things all of a sudden change. This is why what we practice is called faith because we always have to have the faith to give God over our hearts and let Him lead. Today let God lead, trust Him and give Him control. Do not question, do not grunt, just praise Him even when it may be confusing because He is doing a great work in you.e sand, but build your house and your faith on strong words filled with the purpose the Lord your God has designed for you.
Mary submitted herself completely as a servant of the Lord. Jesus went to the cross even in his deep fear of the pain. Let our response reflect those of Jesus and Mary, in full surrender to the will of God. If you want to be closer to God, trust Him. That is our message today, in this season, trust your savior and let your response be one you can stand firmly on. Do not build your house on responses with no true promise or substance like sand, but build your house and your faith on strong words filled with the purpose the Lord your God has designed for you.