A Willing Heart

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Everyone tends to think a little bit more about the Christmas account the closer they get to December. However, there is so much to learn from the story any time of the year. The entire story is incredible.  We see angels heralding heavenly messages to men below.  We read of wealthy wise men and their elaborate gifts as they “follow yonder star.” Humble shepherds appear, excited to behold the promised Child.  All these events are marvelous to read about, but how often do we consider Mary?

 At such a time, girls were married very young – around 14 or 15 years old. They were considered women by that age, and held far more responsibilities than the young females of today.  They washed clothes by hand, mended garments, watched the younger siblings, and assisted with the livestock and gardens.  She was a busy young Jewish woman, faithfully serving God and preparing for marriage. With all these tasks already on her plate, Mary had her hands full without a supernatural pregnancy to think about.

The arrival of the angel must have been one of the most earth-shattering moments of Mary’s life.  I could imagine her dutifully making her bed, expecting nothing out of the ordinary, when suddenly: “And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’” (Luke 1:28) Her response to such an announcement was probably much like ours would have been: “But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.” (verse 29)

As if that wasn’t enough, the angel continued: “Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.” (verse 30-31) I could imagine her brain working overtime after such an announcement. Why would He choose me? How on earth does someone conceive by the Holy Spirit? What am I going to tell Joseph . . . and my parents . . . and my friends? How do you take care of the Son of God . . .? What came from her mouth was logical: “Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’” (verse 35)

The angel, of course, had a ready answer: “‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.’” (verses 35-37)

Despite all the questions her finite mind might have come up with, her response came from a heart dedicated to God: “Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’” (verse 38).  By her reply, we know God has chosen accurately. He knew her heart and the willingness in it to do whatever He asked her to do. She, in turn, knew His heart, His ways, and His love – so faith and obedience was a natural response.

We’re grateful that Mary’s response was so faith-filled, but consider what might have happened if Mary had said, “There’s no way a woman could get pregnant like that – with the Son of God or otherwise! I just can’t believe it!”  Would God’s plan to bring the Savior into the world be suddenly shut down? No, God’s plans don’t end because of someone’s unbelief. He’ll find someone else! Consider, though, how sad to it would be to forego being used in a supernatural event just because it seems so unthinkable.

Mary was an “average” girl in the world’s point of view. What set her apart from the rest in God’s eyes was her virtuous, God-seeking heart. We don’t have to be born into a high-status family to be chosen by God. We don’t have to be famous, known by more than just the handful of people in our tiny town. There’s no rule that says we have to be multi-talented and witty. The only ingredient needed is faith and willingness. Together, they open the door to the supernatural working of God – an incredible plan that only He can design.

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

 

God Is Greater

We need to get it clear in our minds that God is greater than the devil. God passed judgement and threw the devil out of heaven because of pride. God caught the devil off guard by defeating him on the Cross. Whether devil likes it or not, God is going to the throw him into the Lake of Fire after Jesus returns. The devil ultimately doesn’t have a choice in his demise.  The glorious part for us is that all defeats declare our victory!

This Life

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On April 5th, 2017, my dear mother, Theresa Heider, went home to be with Jesus.  I wrote the following song ten years ago, never realizing that I would one day dedicate it to my mother.  But as with any Christian, death does not have the final victory.  Be encouraged: If you have lost a loved one, you will one day see them again! (I Thessalonians 4)

“So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ” I Corinthians 15:54
 
This Life
© 2007 Lyrics and Music by Christa Heider Madrid
 
A beautiful life born with destiny, brought life into her world.
A wonderful life passed to eternity, brought sadness untold.
The sorrow lasts for a moment, ’cause joy comes in the end
 
The Lord of all life wants you to know,
“Death has not won; it’s day is done,”
What seems to be lost has only begun,
And this life will rise again.
 
A beautiful life bound for serving, lived only for her world,
A wonderful life made for giving, lives on forever.
The sorrow lasts for a moment, ’cause joy comes in the end.
 
This hope lives, this hope remains,
This hope will calm all our fears,
This hope lives, this hope remains,
This hope will dry all our tears.