Day 3 Christmas Devotional

By December 21, 2016Daily Devotional

Pray:  

Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read: 

Luke 1:39-56

“39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’ 46 And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is His name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and His descendants forever, just as He promised our ancestors.’ 56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.”

Understand: 

We don’t know why Mary went to see Elizabeth. Maybe she was trying to avoid the scandal of being pregnant? There is no doubt she would have become the object of suspicion and slander. The trip would have taken Mary three to five days. Traveling was always risky, especially for a young woman. Leaving the safety of the city would put a person in danger of being confronted by bandits so it’s likely that Mary traveled with a caravan; otherwise, her family might not have let her go.

When Mary finally made it to Elizabeth, John leapt inside of her womb as it had been predicted in Luke 1:15-17. Scripture says, “…he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.”

With all the amazing things going on, Mary still had to face those who would not believe her story. She knew she would be talked about and wrongly judged by those around her, yet she understood that it was God who would vindicate her.

We see her confidence in God’s faithfulness in verses 46-56. These verses emphasize the exaltation of the poor and humble. They are known as Mary’s hymn, sometimes called the Magnificat. Mary poured her soul out in these verses, rejoicing in the LORD as she reflected on what He had done.

Apply: 

As Mary finally saw Elizabeth, John leapt in the womb. As she pondered all that God had done, she was moved to humble reverence and praise for the Lord. I can’t help but think about humility as a natural product of reflecting on God. Beginning with her willingness to take God at His word, His involvement in the details of her life moved her to glorify the Lord and rejoice in His name.

You know, God owes us nothing, yet we who have nothing owe Him everything. I believe Mary understood this; it is evident in her praise.

The same is true for you and me as we think about God’s involvement in our lives. We’ve got to take Him at His word and be amazed at all He is doing in and around us. The problem with doing this is the mundaneness of life. We go through the motions and fail to see how God is moving in the small details of life. We look to what we think are bigger things than staring at a spreadsheet, changing a diaper, wiping a runny nose, cutting the grass, going to church, or attending a small group meeting. We think “If I could just do ‘this’ things would be different.”

God wants us to trust Him in the midst of the mundane. When we do this, we see the mundane become the miraculous. It is God who gives meaning to all that we do. It’s in these types of circumstances that we come to know that God does what He says…and He has said much on behalf of the believer! This is what the New Testament is all about; this is the Good News of Jesus.

Now take a moment and think about this: You may not have had the honor of giving birth to the Savior of the world as Mary did, but you do have the blessing of becoming one of His children.

Offer Him your praise today!

Live:  

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.

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