The bible includes many women who were loved and blessed by God, however one poor young girl, Scripture tells us, was highly favoured. The angel Gabriel was sent to her to say:
“Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you! … Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God” (Luke 1:28, 30).
God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus. We read in the Gospels that her greatest desire was to glorify the Lord (Luke 1:38). Despite being bewildered by what she saw and heard, she trusted God and had a strong faith, learning the scriptures in the synagogue services. She submitted to the Lord for whatever He’d chosen for her to do.
We read that Mary thought very seriously about significant events in her life. These thoughts were not only intellectually in her mind, but emotionally in the depth of her heart. She pondered the visitation of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:28), and mulled over her conversation with her pregnant cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:42). She contemplated what it meant when Jesus, aged twelve, after being lost by his parents, was found in the temple with the scholars, and how amazed they were at His understanding and wisdom (Luke 2:46-50). In John’s Gospel we read that Mary was with Jesus when He turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11), and she was there at the foot of the cross still pondering over and over again when Jesus, her first born was beaten and crucified at Calvary.
As Christmas approaches, I urge you to carve out some time in this busy season to ponder afresh the promises of God. What treasure has God deposited in your heart to ponder on today? What is He asking only you to do? Obeying the will of God can sometimes be challenging and painful. However it’s the expression of God’s love for us personally (Psalm 33:11).
As Mary heard the word of God and obeyed it, may we also incline our ear and pray with confidence ‘Your will be done’ (Matthew 6:10). Then we’ll discover and be able to work out His individual plans and purposes for us. Let’s remain obedient to the will of God from our hearts, that He may be glorified (Ephesians 6:6).
Prayer: Father God, as I read the Christmas story again this year, please help me to ponder the things that are important for me to understand, just as Mary did. Help me to make space in the hectic schedule of the Christmas holidays to allow Your Holy Spirit to guide me, as I mull over what You’re saying to me personally through Your word, Amen.
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