Tag Archives: Mary

Mary and Elizabeth

Taken from https://media.freebibleimages.org/stories/FB_GNPI_004_Mary_Elizabeth

Luke 1:28 NKJV — And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

No imagination can truly grasp what Mary must have felt at this moment.

Understandably, she felt confused on how.

Luke 1:34 NKJV — Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Luke 1:35 NKJV — And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

But her faithfulness to God are evident in her humble response.

Luke 1:38 NKJV — Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The scriptures tell the next thing she does is go to stay with Elizabeth, whom the angel had told her was with child after being barren all her life.

Upon the meeting, Elizabeth speaks such beautiful words of encouragement.

Luke 1:42-44 NKJV — Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luke 1:45 NKJV — “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

And then Mary breaks into song.

Luke 1:46-55 NKJV — And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

What blessed joy these two women shared!

How great is the gift of encouragement!

These two ladies were family members, but their relationship is tied to their individual love and service to God.

They were very different in age.

Elizabeth had been a wife for many years.

Luke 1:7 NKJV — But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

Mary was a young woman betrothed to her husband. (Luke 1:27)

History tells us, she was most likely in her teens.

Elizabeth lives in the hill country of Judah and Mary was from Nazareth.

Their common bond was God.

For us, who are called by His name, we can gather an important truth.

We need to be encouraging and lifting up one another.

We need godly people who will speak into our lives.

We also need to be those who are godly, speaking words of encouragement.

This relationship between these two Jewish mothers is something worth repeating.

An individual love and devotion to God which comes alongside one another in love and support.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for all Your wonderous works! How encouraging Your Word is. What beautiful life and truth are to be found! Lord, thank You for these two women and their examples of life lived in service to God. Thank You for those who You have used to speak words of truth and encouragement to me. Please help me to speak words of truth and encouragement to others. Thank You for Your unending love. Amen.

Ten Days before

Christmas!

Last year, the Lord impressed upon my heart to take each day of the 10 before Christmas and focus on a part of the Nativity story.

As I looked at the calendar this morning, I realized.

It’s ten days before Christmas.

So, beginning today, I’ll be focusing on a different part of the Nativity.

Matthew 1:23 KJV — Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Matthew is quoting the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:14 NKJV — “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Truly, the prophecy is incredible, roughly 700 years before Jesus was born of a virgin.

In the book of Luke we get a close-up of what this young woman felt and experienced.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
Luke 1:26‭-‬27 NKJV

I love that it is clearly recorded the name of the angel and makes careful to note, “was sent by God”.

This was not a chance encounter, it was a special moment in history.

And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one,  the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
Luke 1:28 NKJV

God was announcing the coming of the Messiah!

But when she saw him,  she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Luke 1:29‭-‬33 NKJV

No matter how familiar this story, let’s not miss the incredible news related here.

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “ The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Luke 1:34‭-‬37 NKJV

It’s understandable.

Mary is struggling to see how this can be when she’s unable to be a mother in her current circumstances.

(How often does God hear from us ‘But I can’t?’)

He wasn’t saying she should do something.

His message was letting her know what He was doing.

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

Her response is wonderful.

(And should be our example.)

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:38 NKJV

Mary was a young Jewish woman, living in a village, in a country under the foreign rulers from Rome.

The Bible doesn’t record her education, nor her physical description, but it does show us the beauty of a life surrendered to God.

As we look at the mother of Jesus, we can praise the Lord for His grace and mercy.

He chose the humble to be the ones He worked through.

God still uses the humble.

A life surrendered to Him is truly beautiful.

Today, the 10th day before Christmas, let us hold the truth and love of Christ Jesus close to our hearts and surrender our lives before Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for working through those whose hearts are Yours. Lord, thank You for the example in this young woman who said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord!’ Jesus, please help me to be Your servant. To live for the joy of You each day. Lord, to walk in Your ways and speak Your truths. Lord Jesus, thank You for coming as a tiny babe. Thank You for walking among us, teaching us about Yourself and the Father. Lord, thank You for dieing and raising again. Thank You for eternal life. Amen.

Three days till Christmas

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Psalm 23:5a NKJV

Can you picture it?

A wooden table with bowls and perhaps a wine flask.

The mother of many children bringing in food and setting everything for the meal.

Finally, she calls to the workshop that all is ready.

The Bible doesn’t tell us what an average day in Jesus’s childhood looked like. However, preparing food and serving the table is often part of a mother’s daily routine.

Today, we are adding Mary to our Nativity.

As the mother of Jesus, she would have been able to prepare many a meal for her son.

However, these verses in Psalms lean towards a much more important table than the every day one.

The line, …”in the presence of my enemies”…, points to a specific table in Jesus’s life.

During the Last Supper, the Passover celebration, Jesus was in the presence of an enemy. He was there with intent to lead more enemies to Jesus.

Matthew 26:25 NKJV — Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”

Even in this Jesus understood all that the Father was allowing and why.

Scripture doesn’t mention Mary, Jesus’s mother at the Last Supper.

She was there at the cross. (John 19:25)

Did she stand there and recall the words?

Luke 2:34 NKJV — Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Even in the presence of so many enemies, Jesus knew this was not the end.

The table prepared before His enemies would be the last He would be at before His crucifixion.

Jesus knew that although this table was a stepping stone to His suffering at the cross, He also understood that same suffering would be a step towards a different table.

Revelation 19:7-9 NKJV — Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

One day Jesus, the Lamb of God, will be at the marriage supper.

Every believer in Jesus is invited.

Not a single enemy will be present.

How difficult it is for us to see suffering as a benefit, yet through the cross and Jesus’s suffering we are made new, clean, and eternal guests at the table of the marriage of the Lamb.

May our hearts praise and thank our Lord Jesus for His suffering and let us rejoice and be glad for the table yet to come!

The song of Mary

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“My soul magnifies the Lord,  And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:47

I felt the same way after the birth of each of our children.

Although they were healthy and born without complications I knew it was God Who had helped me deliver each one.

Yet Mary spoke these words before she ever felt the first flutter, the first hiccup, the first twinge of pain.

She was a young woman, not yet married.

She had just been greeted by Elizabeth, who prophesies over Mary and her coming son.

I believe her song reflects her faith in the Lord, despite her circumstances.

What an amazing example Mary is.

To sing instead of complaining or worrying.

To trust without knowing how it would all turn out.

To be able to walk into motherhood as no other woman has ever done or will ever do, because Mary’s son was Jesus, Savior of the World.

As I bake cookies and arrange our schedules and wrap gifts I want to remain humble and thankful.

To look to God and thank Him for every blessing.

To trust Him for the future.

To sing His praises and look to His salvation!

Thank You, Lord for Christmas and the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ!