In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Luke 1:42-45 (NIV)
Being a mother is truly amazing. We get to birth God’s creation into the Earth. Many women say, “What can I do? I’m a mom.” Well, we do great things everyday just by being a mom. Look at these two moms as they meet. Elizabeth knew Mary was carrying the coming Messiah because Elizabeth’s baby, who would prepare the way for the Messiah, leaped in her womb. Just by being pregnant these two women were bringing God’s promise to pass, but we are not just baby making factories. Woman can do so much more.
In these verses, we can see another important gift that God has given many women, the gift of gab. Yes, women tend to talk quite more than men. The words we speak can be used for God’s purposes or against God’s purposes. Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” My Pastor once explained to me that women build and tear down with our tongues. We can encourage others and build them up or gossip and tear them down. Our sensitivity can help us discern details that we can use to encourage someone or details that we can use against them. We truly do have a powerful weapon in our mouths.
Elizabeth could be trusted with her tongue. Her response was to encourage Mary. She affirmed what Mary already knew. They both believed that God’s promises would be fulfilled. Let us be the kind of people who believe God’s promises are true and encourage others who also believe.
These are two amazing women, but God made us all amazing. We birth His promises into the world. Some us birth His promises through the seed we carry in our wombs. Others birth His promises through other acts of obedience. We, also, speak His promises into the world. These amazing opportunities start by doing just what Mary did. She “believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.”
Tomorrow's reading is Luke 1:46-48
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1: 39-41
Now that Mary received her assignment, what does she do? The same thing many of us would do. She found someone to tell. Many of us get a word from God or sense a direction for our lives and run out to tell someone, but not all of us tell the right person. God knew Mary would tell the right person or He would have chosen someone else or shut her mouth like Zechariah. Mary probably had a track record of watching her mouth and only telling the appropriate people. She already knew who would be a safe place and only speak sound words of wisdom and faith over her situation.
Why did Mary go to Judea to tell Elizabeth? Elizabeth was an older relative. Mary may have consulted her for wisdom in the past or had family members who did. They had a right relationship. Elizabeth was “righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.” (Luke 1:6) She had right standing with God. Of course, there may have been a trusted relative who lived righteously closer to Mary. Why Elizabeth?
When I consult someone, I want to talk to someone who understands because they have been there. When my daughter died, I couldn’t take advice from just anyone. There were some things even my mother couldn’t tell me, but I could take advice from my Pastor because she had lost a baby. I knew that she knew how I was feeling. Mary had no one like that. Who could understand what it feels like to carry the Son of God? No one knew. However, Elizabeth did know what it was like to have a supernatural pregnancy.
When God has revealed a great assignment or direction for our lives, we need to go to the right people. Wisdom would say go to people in right relationship with us, people in right standing with God, and people with the right experiences to speak to our situation. God has big plans for each of us. Let’s not go to the closest person or anyone who will listen. Let’s remember to go to people who will help us to our destiny.
Tomorrow's reading is
34 “How will this be,”Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on 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. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Luke 1: 34-38
Questioning the angel? Is that appropriate behavior from the woman who birthed our Lord and Savior into this world? Well, she did. There was a piece of the puzzle missing, and she wanted to how this was going to work. She was blessed with further information and the assurance that God never fails.
I don’t think God minds when we asks questions. He wants us to his plans. When He was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, God said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” (Genesis 18:17) Mary was able to hear God’s plan. She was available. She responded to His messenger. She made herself a servant and submitted her will to God’s will.
We are the body of Christ. For God’s will to be done on the earth, He needs us. Let’s be in place ready to hear and obey God’s Word. He understands if we have questions. He knows His will seems impossible to man, but we can know that God never fails. If we know that, we submit ourselves to any assignment God has for us.
Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 1:39-41
30 But the angel said to her,“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s
descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:30-33 NIV
Yesterday, we explored the possibility that Mary was troubled by Gabriel’s sayings, because she knew God was about to ask her to do something great. The Gabriel must have noticed her troubled look, or God had told Gabriel that Mary would be troubled. Immediately, he said, “Do not be afraid, Mary.” Next, he encouraged her again and reminded her how important she was in God’s eyes. Really, we can face anything when we know God values us.
As we follow Gabriel’s message, we see that after this statement of encouragement, Mary received her assignment. What was that assignment? She would birth the King who would “reign over Jacob’s descendant’s forever.” Of course, we know the angel was talking about Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, God with us, etc. No wonder Gabriel told her, “Do not be afraid.”
God knows His assignments for us are difficult and often scary. That is why He encourages us so often in His word. Try going to www.biblegateway.com
and do a search for the phrase “fear not.” It is clear God does not want us to be afraid. He wants us to pursue the call He has placed on our lives, and He will be with us every step of the way.
If you miss yesterday’s reading, please check it out. December 1
Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 1:34-38
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to
Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named
Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to
her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and
wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Today, we started our Christmas adventure with the appearance of the angel Gabriel. I always thought that the appearance of an angel would be quite a startling experience. What would you do if suddenly an angel stood in front of you? I might run and hide right at that moment. Interestingly, this passage does not say that Mary was frightened or even startled at the angel’s appearance. It says she was “greatly troubled at his words.”
I have wondered why she would be troubled at his words. I might feel pretty good about myself, if an angel called me highly favored. “The Lord is with you,” sounds like encouragement to me. The angel of the Lord did tell Gideon, “The Lord is with you.” Then he told Gideon to take on the Midianite Army (Judges 6). Wow! Did Mary know God was going to use her to do something great from the way the angel greeted her? Could that be why she was troubled by seemingly positive words?
God calls each of us to do great things beyond our own ability. He knows we need encouragement to get the job done, so He makes sure we know that He thinks highly of us. Of course, we cannot fulfill God’s call on our own. He wants us to know that He is with us. If God is giving you encouragment today, He probably has a job for you tomorrow.
Consider yourself highly favored and ready to serve a King.
The reading for December 2 is Luke 1:30-33