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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Humble Beginnings

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To recap the story of Christ's beginning as told by Luke, it allows us to see inside the true heart of Mary. While she was at Elizabeth said, "Blessed among women", she in no way was intended to be held in a position of being prayed to or worshiped as a god. Mary, was a woman of flesh and blood, an upright and righteous young woman who came down from the bloodline of David. She was chosen from the foundation of the world to fulfill prophecy.



Mary was not chosen because of her sinless nature, or for the fact that she was in any way divine. No, Mary was a regular person, not free from capabilities to sin. Mary was human, and being human means to fall short of God's glory. She was used as the vessel to bring the only sinless One to save us all from Satan's power into the world. Let's see what made Mary "Highly favored." "And coming in, he said to her, 'Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you'." Luke 1:28


God found favor with Mary, just as He does with all His children to this day. He did not bestow favor upon her for anything she had done. No one can earn God's grace. God freely bestows or gives each of us this gift of grace through Jesus His greatly Beloved Son. This is the only way that we today can receive salvation. So it was with Mary. She was not a dispenser of grace, but rather a recipient of grace. And what a recipient she was! Up until now, God's Holy Spirit only dwelled from the outside. Now His Holy Spirit indwelled in Mary, thus causing her to become pregnant. This of course symbolizes God's purpose and plan for us today. We are to become 'pregnant' with the faith and hope that Christ deposits inside us as well. This "pregnancy" if you will, also requires an act of humbleness in which to first receive it. 


Humbleness is what fertilizes the soil of our heart in which to prepare a home for Christ to live. This humility is not to be confused with being humiliated. Once Christ comes to live in us, we are therefore no longer condemned by this world. We are given a spirit of boldness. And like Mary, we should be willing to die for Christ in order to live!


Since Mary was a good Jewish girl, she abides by the laws of her day. She was betrothed to young Joseph through a ceremony that would bind them together in marriage. Unlike couples today, she and Joseph had to remain celibate. Becoming pregnant before marriage could result in death by stoning. Putting all this aside, Mary inquired of Gabriel, the angel was how could she become pregnant when she was still a virgin? She asked out of wonder, not out of doubt nor even disbelief. Gabriel did not rebuke her because she did believe. This is the same hope we carry in us. We can't always understand God's ways, but we know He will get the job done.


In spite of her awkward and compromising position, Mary willingly and graciously submitted to the will of God. "And Mary said, 'Behold, the bond slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her." Luke 1:38






Soon after, Mary went to Judah to visit Elizabeth a relative of her mother's. Elizabeth who was up in years was carrying John the Baptist. She up until this time, had not felt movement. But when the two women greeted each other, the baby in Elizabeth's womb leaped for the first time. Wherever the Spirit of Christ is, it will bring life into our dead wombs as well. He brings hope for all who receive Him. This caused Elizabeth to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The words she said to Mary were guided by this divine presence. As it is with those today filled with the Holy Spirit, we are given discernment and wisdom to speak that which is true.


"And she cried out with a loud voice and said, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!' And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?" Luke 1:42,43


Elizabeth was not expressing praise of Mary, but rather in praise of the Child she carried. How did she know this Child was the coming Messiah? She grasped this as an extraordinary experience. She beheld the wonderment of God's glory. It is unlikely that she knew to expect Mary's arrival since phones weren't invented. And it's also unlikely that she even knew Mary was pregnant. This knowledge could only come through the Holy Spirit. She also understood the whole concept when her own baby leaped in her womb. This was none other than a divine revelation through the Holy Spirit. God will illuminate His Truth to us through the power of this same Holy Spirit! Can you imagine that?


After Elizabeth recognizes this, Mary then continues to exalt the Lord. She understood the fact that God chose her because of her humbleness, not that she was sinless. She called God "Savior" because she saw her own need of a Savior and also that God was her Savior. Mary did not see herself as a perfect, sinless person. It's just the opposite. She expresses the hope she has for salvation, which is through God's divine saving grace.


"And Mary said: My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bond slave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed." Luke 1:46-48













Mary did not assume that she was anyone deserving of God's blessings. She understood it was His mercy and not her good works. She expressed her deep sense of humility and gratitude for what God had done in her life. It's this "Attitude of Gratitude" that God is still looking to and fro throughout the world for. And like Mary, are we showing God our thankfulness for His gift of salvation?  "For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His Name." Luke 1:49


This Christmas, may God's Spirit come alive and leap for joy in you. May you understand the great things that He has done for you. It's with a humble and repentant heart that the true meaning of Christmas will illuminate through you. Let your light shine this Christmas season in a world that is growing darker every day through unbelief.





Do you possess this great gift? If not, ask God to forgive your sins. Admit to Him that you need a Savior. Confess that Jesus died and rose again to pay for your penalty of death. Freely express how you feel. If your confession was sincere, you now are the home for the Holy Spirit. Thank the Lord for this free gift of eternal life. Share your good news with other Christians in order to learn how to grow spiritually. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change the people of God.


All Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible. - About Author: Vivian Gordon writes inspirational and spiritual articles in which to help strengthen the Believer's walk in Christ. They are often taken from today's point of view and used in conjunction with what God says about certain situations and how we are to handle them. There is always an answer for every problem. These articles are not all about asking God "why?" but in finding the answers. Supporting Christian Communication Online http://www.churchwebsitedesign.org.uk - A Christian based organization that seeks to encourage clergy and church leaders to identify the potential in developing an online church community. This project provides support and advise on ways that the internet can enhance the work of your church and also provides the tools to meet your needs. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Vivian_Gordon











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