We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Nate Hemphill.
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Are you willing to be used by God? Most of us reading today’s devotion would answer, “100% yes! What is the task at hand, Lord? Just point me in the direction you want me to go and I’ll be on my way!”
Now stop and think for a moment to a time when God has called you to something really hard; like letting go of a dream to move in a different direction, walking away from a relationship, or accepting an assignment that felt overwhelming. Is it just me or does God sometimes call us to really difficult things?
As we draw near to the Christmas holiday, and think about the task that Mary, the mother of Jesus was presented with, we’re given an amazing example of the kind of response that God seeks from his people. Remember that Mary was encountered by an angel and told that she would conceive and give birth to the Messiah despite being a virgin, engaged to a man. The public shame and humiliation that she was sure to endure when Joseph found out! How would anyone believe her story?
Mary set aside all of her fears and doubts, and reflected on the bigger story and the trustworthiness of God. She envisioned her role in the greater story of the promised Messiah, and joyfully said, “Yes.” Mary’s attitude shows why God was willing to trust her for this assignment. Her song of praise is also a word of encouragement to every believer who places their trust in God. Her calling was heavy to say the least – not only for the immediate worries that she could perceive, but for the burdens yet to come. We should all strive to be ready and willing to be used by God in such a manner.
Lord Jesus, grant me a spirit of praise like Mary. Help me to trust you so deeply that I’m ready and willing to be used in any circumstance. I desire to be spent up by you. In your name I pray, amen.
Spend some time journaling the answers to these questions:
- Has God ever called you to a difficult task?
- Have you ever felt at the end of your rope and completely dependent on the grace of God to pull you through?
- Did he?
Now, take some time to sing a song of praise to God! Thank him for never abandoning you – for sustaining you by his grace.
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