“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 10:12 (NKJV)
Have you ever tied a ribbon on your finger, taped a note to your purse or written something to remember on your hand. In Isaiah it says “Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands” – Isaiah 49:16 He is never going to forget you and he wants you to know and remember that. It doesn’t matter your age, economic situation, or education, but what does matter is that you are ready for God to move in your life.
At this time of year when we are looking towards Christmas let’s look at Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Mary was not an adult that had gone through life’s experiences rather she was a young teen when God called on her. In fact, there was nothing particularly special about her, she was not a princess or a socialite’s daughter; actually, she was just an ordinary small-town girl. She would have spent her day like any other girl in her village; taking care of the younger children, washing, cooking and going for water.
Yet, this is not what God saw when he looked down on her. No, he saw someone who was soon to be married but very much loved and trusted her God. He saw someone who was willing to serve him in any way she could but there is no way that she could have ever seen what was going to transpire.
Luke 1:28 says “and coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you” (MSG). He went on to tell her God’s plan for her future of how she would not just be any mom but the mom to the messiah.
Being so unsuspecting of this occurrence Mary must have been so shocked but because she loved God so much she had to say yes to him. Her direct and confident “Yes” made her one of the first modern disciples. She never said, “Oh, let me go and discuss it with my family or with Joseph.” Instead, she immediately responded, choosing obedience and simply answering, “Yes.”
What do you think you would have done in this situation? Would you have answered like Mary with a resounding and quick yes or would you have stuttered and given the angels reasons (excuses) why it should be someone else and not you. Don’t get down on yourself if you are the second one because I think most of us would be there. I know I probably would have. I can hear myself now, If it were me, the thoughts as I left would be what have I done? I am not qualified or worthy to do this. Have you ever been in that situation where you are asked to do something and before you know it you have said a resounding YES.
Most of us skip nine months down the road to the birth of Jesus but since we are looking at Mary, let’s take a look at what happened when she announced she was pregnant. Remember, she was unwed and promised to Joseph as a virgin. Mary would have had to spend time in her village as a unmarried pregnant woman and in many people's eyes she would have been considered soiled, even though this one decision of obedience would change her life forever. People would have shunned her, pointed fingers at her, labelled her as a person all should avoid. Joseph tried to protect her as much as he could and wanted to very quietly and privately break off their engagement. He must have been very confused and did not understand this entire situation until after an angel of God appeared to him in a dream telling him not to be afraid to marry her and not to wait.
With this the time of celebration of the birth of Jesus, let’s remember how Mary responded to God’s request with that strong resounding YES. As we enter 2019 and people look to make resolutions let ours be to let God use us as he wills.
One of my favorite verses tells us so clearly that he has a plan for us. I really like it as found in the message. "Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing." Ephesians 2:7-10