Friday, November 14, 2014

Testament Friday: All About Mary

Out of all the women in the Bible, we hear about Mary the most. With Christmas coming up and as we celebrate Jesus' birth, Mary also comes to mind. Because of these reasons, her story can often become redundant. For those times that Mary may seem mundane, it is good to remember that we can grow and learn from her and what God called her to do.

I think Mary's story is best expressed in the book of Luke. In chapter 1, the angel Gabriel visited Mary and told her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be the Son of the Most High" (v.30-31).

At first Mary is "greatly troubled" by what Gabriel was going to tell her, I know I would be (Luke 1:29). Have you ever been led by the Lord to do something and felt "greatly troubled" like Mary? Of course, it wouldn't be anything like Mary was called to do but when we diligently follow the Lord, sometimes we are called to step out of our comfort zone. Whether God is calling you to an area of ministry, a different job, or even to reach out to someone who needs Him, we can feel uncomfortable or scared. Just because we are scared, doesn't mean that what you're called to do won't be fruitful. It all comes down to trusting Him and having courage.

"Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will never fail you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:8

Mary shows her trust in the Lord and courage to carry out His will. She answered the angel, Gabriel and said, "I am the Lord's servant...May it be to me as you said" (Luke 1:38) I am encouraged by her willingness to serve the Lord and let His will be done. To be honest, if I were in this situation, my answer probably would not be as graceful as Mary's. (Please tell me I am not the only one!) I would also be worried and in a tizzy about the fact that, me being in this situation, am supposed to be a virgin to wed. In Biblical times, getting pregnant by someone other than my husband and not even married are grounds for death! Now I wasn't there with her so there may have been tears or she may have complained, who knows but her answer, no matter how she felt; Mary carried out the Lord's will with grace. Her song just says it all.

After Mary had Jesus in Bethlehem, angels visited shepherds and instructed them to go to Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus. Filled with awe, they spread the word of Jesus' arrival for all to know. Although, "Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). She had peace in her heart. God's will was done. Mary had the courage to trust God, walk in faith and our Savior born. What an amazing example faith!

Are there things that God had called you to do? Are you nervous or scared to step out in faith? I hope Mary's story encourages you to rise up to your calling! It certainly has for me.

LORD, you are so good! Thank you for your faithfulness. I pray that today you help each and every one of us to step out in courage. That your example of faith in Mary's life speaks to us and encourages us to follow the life you have set for us! In Your Wonderful Name, Amen!

Is there anything we can be praying for?
How does Mary's story speak to you?


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