Day 1: Luke 1:28. The Christian church has sometimes stumbled when it comes to Mary. On one extreme, some worship Mary, pray to Mary, and even believe Mary is a redeemer or savior in her own right. On the other extreme, some completely ignore Mary, and kind of cast her off to the side. This is primarily in reaction to the other extreme. Both extremes are unbiblical, and both are wrong. Mary isn’t one we are called to worship, but she does have a faith we are called to follow her example. What do you learn for your life from Mary’s example of faith?
Day 2: Luke 1:37. The promise God made that a virgin would conceive in Isaiah 7:14 is about to be fulfilled. Though Mary’s in Nazareth now, her son Jesus will be born in Bethlehem as in Micah 5:2. The list could go on, but the promise is true for Mary – For no word from God will ever fail. That promise is true for you – For no word from God will ever fail. What promises have you seen God fulfill in your life?
Day 3: Luke 1:31-33. This is the promise the Jews had not only been waiting years for, but hundreds of years for, a thousand years for to be fulfilled. The response the angel seeks is not worship of the angel, but worship of the Savior who comes. The Savior that comes is better than anticipated but missed by many when He comes. The Jews wanted a Savior to get rid of the Romans. God has a bigger agenda to pay the price for our sin as our Savior. Take time to confess your sins to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness. Take time to worship Him today.
Day 4: Micah 5:4-5. How does Micah describe Jesus’ agenda for coming and leading? How do you see that same agenda working in and through your life?
Day 5: Luke 1:34-35. When Mary questions the angel it’s not to find a loophole for her doubt, but to clarify so she can understand and follow. There’s a hidden temptation when we start to lean into saying yes to God. We want to negotiate our yes. “Yes, God I will follow you but only if …?” What keeps you from saying yes to God? Where do you need to say, “Yes!” to God and move forward in faith.
Day 6: Luke 1:38. As we grow in our walk with God, we learn to pray like Mary did: Thy will be DONE instead of Thy will be CHANGED. All too often our prayer life leads us to question God's will for us, even when we know that it is His will. Mary prays the world's greatest prayer, the prayer her son will later pray in the garden of Gethsemane, "Not my will, but Thy will be done." How might you make Mary’s response, your automatic response as we walk through this Advent and Christmas season?
- “The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus” by Scot McKnight (Amazon Hardcover #ad)
- “Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence” by Ruth Haley Barton (Amazon Paperback #ad)
- "Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God" by Timothy Keller (Amazon Kindle #ad)