Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Week Fifty - Blessed is She That Believed

In the days of Herod, the King of Judea, two unsuspecting women were getting on with life. One attends her duties as the wife of a priest, while the other lives in joyful anticipation of her wedding day. Little did either know God was about to step into their lives in an unalterable fashion.

As you read Luke 1, you cannot help but be impressed with their faith. The elder, Elizabeth, receives long-awaited news - she will have a God-given son whose sole purpose is to prepare the way for the Messiah. No doubt her heart rejoiced, for she had longed for a child, and the Jews had waited generations for this promised Messiah.

While her husband remains speechless, a child develops in her womb, and not just any child, a child filled with the Holy Ghost - John the Baptist, the one ordained by God to prepare the way of the Lord.

Then comes a gentle knock on the door as Mary comes to visit. Elizabeth's baby leaps in her womb as Mary tells about the visit of an angel and the promise of the Messiah - a baby boy to be named Jesus. God is at work, and Elizabeth exclaims, "Blessed is she that believed." Luke 1:45

And indeed, Mary is blessed. Her willingness to risk all and cast herself on the Lord is a beautiful part of the Christmas story. In Luke 1:38, she says, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word." Blessed is she that believes, for through her obedience, we have a Saviour.

Blessed are we when we believe.

I've been meditating and thinking about what it looks like to be a person of belief. I've come to see it as calmness in the face of uncertainty, a resolve with confidence, and an indwelling power that gives wisdom and discernment. Walking by faith - believing - is not a blind walk. Instead, it is a confident, assured stride based on the knowledge of God's word, character, and promises.

And what is the blessing of belief? Answered prayer, inner assurance, and hope are three things that come to my mind. Several Scriptures attest to the blessing of belief. Have a look at just these few.

Matthew 21:22 read, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believe, ye shall receive.

Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

Romans 9:33, "Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

1 Corinthians 13:7 tells us love "believeth all things."

And 1 John 5:5 says, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God."

Truly, we must believe, not only for salvation but also for service and Christian growth.

So, with Mary as our example, let's ask ourselves a few questions. Do we readily believe and accept God's word as truth, or do we try to bring our own reason to bear? Are we standing ready to obey and serve or do we hesitate and question? Would we cast our lives into God's hands as Mary did or do we hide behind self-made boundaries?

Let me show you just two words that assure us of Mary's attitude and words that could be ours if we believe.

In Luke 1:46, Mary uses the word magnify. Her heart was full of praise. Believing unto obedience does that! It reveals God's greatness and awe rises in our hearts.

In Luke 1:47, she says her spirit rejoices. Praise and thankfulness reign because those who believe discover the blessing is on the other side of obedience.

So, where do you stand? Are you a person who believes? Not just in the Christmas story but also in the Saviour? Have you experienced the blessing of obedience by believing? Is your heart full of awe and rejoicing in God's activity in your life?

Dear friend,

Because this idea of believing has caught my attention, I will stay on this subject through the coming two blogs, and I am also recording video lessons on this theme.  You can find them on YouTube by searching for my name. I hope they are a blessing to you. I know I have been very encouraged looking at the believing of Mary and Joseph. I pray your Christmas is one of believing.

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