December 9, 2015
Here is a copy of the devotion I gave for a Ladies’ Christmas Tea at Landmark Baptist Church in Red Oak, TX.
This year it seems as though we are living in more troubled times than previous years. With all that we see happening in our world, we might begin to think that times have never been this bad.
Let’s consider the world in which Mary lived. At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Romans had established a two part system of government in which Roman overseers and Jewish leaders exercised control over the people. Most Jewish people hated this kind of rule because of its tyrannical rulers, and also many Jews saw their heritage falling apart.
Mary could have been stoned to death for being engaged to one man and then showing up pregnant with another man’s child. She could also have been charged with blasphemy for telling people that the child was conceived of the Holy Ghost. She definitely had reasons to feel fearful and unhappy…yet we see in Luke 1:47-55, her focus was not on her circumstances, but it was centered on praising the LORD.
Luke 1:46 Mary says, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” Her heart must have been saturated with God’s word. She must have known many Old Testament verses such as Psalms 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
Her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. Her words showed that her whole soul was filled with the LORD’S influence.
Think of the many people around us who are fearful because they don’t know our Savior…but praise the LORD…we don’t have to experience that same fear, because we, like Mary, have Jesus as our Savior.
Notice Mary’s humility in vs 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
God still seeks the humble. He imparts his rich blessings to those who feel that they need Him.
Psalms 138:6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
Look at the order in Mary’s attitude: Surrender, worship, and joy. Instead of saying, “How am I going to handle this pregnancy?” She had a God-centered focus.”
1. She surrendered: vs 38 Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Mary said, “Lord, I am the Your servant..whatever Your will, I will accept. She said, “I’m not worthy of the honor You are bestowing on me… I don’t deserve it… But I’m thankful, and I rejoice in it. This should be our prayer today. Whatever Your will, Lord! I am Your servant. I give myself for Your purposes. Here’s my body…I want to be Your instrument. Use me in whatever way You want in order that Your will and purposes can be fulfilled on this earth.”
It is only after we experience repentance, surrender, and humility can we go into the presence of the LORD to worship Him.
2. She worshiped and praised the Lord : vs 46 My soul doth magnify the Lord,
How did she worship Him…by praising Him in verses 48 and 49 for things He had done for her.
verses 50–55, She not only praised God for what He had done for her, but also what He had done for others. She then praises Him for His saving work in her life and for all of mankind.
He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
Mary knew that God keeps His Word and fulfills His promises. She was now experiencing the fulfillment of His promises that He had made two thousand years earlier to Abraham. Notice how Mary praises God’s attributes:
His Mercy: And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
His Power: He hath shewed strength with his arm;
His Sovereignty: He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
Although it looks like evil is triumphing, remember God has the final word. He is sovereign over the wicked and the righteous.
His Compassion and Justice: He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Mary was saying, “Since God provided for past generations, I know that He will be faithful and provide for me and my generation.”
3. After her worship…she experienced joy. It was surrender, praise, and then joy!
vs 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Her surrender led to her worship…then her worship led to her joy. Worship and joy were inseparable.
Ladies, we should be telling others what God has done for us? Sometimes we get so focused on our problems, our pressures, and our burdens that we fail to magnify the Lord and rejoice in our Savior for the great things He has done for us.
Praise the Lord…He is always faithful. We must constantly remind each other of His promises and His faithfulness. We should share with others what He has done for us and remind each other of His attributes:
• He is holy.
• He is merciful.
• He is unchanging.
• He is all-powerful.
• He is sovereign.
• He is compassionate.
• He is just.
• He is always, always, always faithful.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let’s also celebrate God’s faithfulness. There is coming a day when He will right all of the wrongs we see around us. He will bring down those who are proud against Him and His people.
As we focus our hearts and minds on who the LORD really is, let’s be like Mary and say, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in the God who is my Savior.”