★ Day 06 – Reason for the Season – Christmas Should Change Us ★

#Daily Dependence - Reason for the Season - 25 Days of Thankfulness 1Luke 1:39-45 (NLT) tells of Mary’s trip to visit her cousin Elizabeth just a few days after Gabriel’s proclamation that she would be the mother of the Son of God fulfilling the long-awaited prophesy of the coming of the Messiah and how Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when Mary entered the house.  Verses 39-41 recalls,

“A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth.  At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”

“When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.”  My wife sent me this image and I thought it was so profound.

06 - First Person to Recognize Jesus

Obviously I have no idea what it feels to be pregnant but I have to think it would be an unbelievable feeling for your child to “leap” within your womb!!  I also think it is amazing how God gave signs to Elizabeth and Mary confirming everything that Gabriel had spoken to Zachariah and Mary.  Elizabeth was indeed pregnant when Mary walked in the room and if you recall in Luke 1:14-15, the Angel said the baby would “be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth.”  As we looked at in yesterday’s ★ Day 05 – Reason for the Season – Faith Like Mary ★, God is so gracious when we open our hearts to believe in His Word.

Picking back up on the story in Luke 1, verses 42-45 says,

“Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has ble06 - Daily Dependence - Mary and Elizabethssed you above all women, and your child is blessed.  Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?  When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.  You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

The question, “Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?” from Elizabeth has always amazed me because it shows how becoming pregnant so late in life changed her…Not only did Elizabeth receive a miracle, but she also developed a reverence for her young cousin and recognized that she was carrying the Son of God!!  This Christmas I pray that the faith that Elizabeth and Mary are modeling for us, would penetrate our hearts.  Regardless of whether we are just starting out in life or reaching the end, their example shows that you are never too young or too old to experience God’s promises!  John Piper said in his “Good News of Great Joy | Daily Readings for Advent Devotional,”

“The only people whose soul can truly magnify the Lord are people like Elizabeth and Mary—people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the condescension of the magnificent God.”

Humility is key and I love Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s question that is recorded in Luke 1:46-56 (NLT), which is known as “The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise,”

Mary responded,

‘Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
    How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!

For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
    and from now on all generations will call me blessed.

For the Mighty One is holy,
    and he has done great things for me.

He shows mercy from generation to generation
    to all who fear him.

His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
    He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.

He has brought down princes from their thrones
    and exalted the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things
    and sent the rich away with empty hands.

He has helped his servant Israel
    and remembered to be merciful.

For he made this promise to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and his children forever.’

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.”

John Piper also made this powerful point in the devotional,

“Mary sees clearly a most remarkable thing about God: He is about to change the course of all human history.  The most important three decades in all of time are about to begin.”

Love, love, love that!  “The most important three decades in all of time are about to begin.”  Have you ever thought about that?  We have been talking about the Advent Season, and how we look back to the events leading up to the birth of Christ but for the Israelites, they have been waiting for thousands of years for the coming of the Messiah which was about to be fulfilled!  The Advent Season should be filled with expectation and excitement as we recognize that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the Savior of the world!  Have you accepted that truth or do you just think all these Christmas stories are just part of a religion?  My 14 year old daughter wrote this on her Instagram page that I wanted to share with you…

“Do you have a religion or a relationship with Christ?  Do you love Him because you have to, or do you choose to live for Him?  The goal is to have a RELATIONSHIP with your Savior, where you are constantly praying and worshiping Him.  Jesus chose me so I choose Jesus.  Stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone.”

06 - Daily Dependence - Jesus is My Savior Nor My ReligionJesus is My Savior Not My Religion and His coming over 2,000 years ago truly did “change the course of all human history!”  It did for me!!  I will close with this from Lysa TerKeurst,

“When the Messiah touches our mess it becomes our message to the world.”  

Now the choice is yours, will you let Christmas Change You?  Nothing changes if nothing changes!

Here is a beautiful version of “Mary Did You Know?” from Jordan Smith (performed at the Finale of the “The Voice” music competition that delves into what Mary may have felt.  Powerful!

 

If you would like to see the next installment of our “25 Days of Thankfulness” series go here…★ Day 07 – Reason for the Season – Unwavering Acceptance ★

Or you can start from the beginning by ★ Clicking Here ★

#Daily Dependence - Reason for the Season - 25 Days of Thankfulness

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