Tuesday, December 21, 2021

My Story Matters (Women in the Lineage of Jesus): Mary, the mother of Jesus

A week ago, we dove into the life of Bathsheba... At that time, you were invited to explore the answer to the question: Are there certain character traits God looks for as He chooses His vessels of service?

We've noted: 

God doesn't always pick the qualified...rather, He does a work of Grace in each of us in order to qualify us.

He gives us second chances, as His vessels of honor, sanctified, and useful for His service.

He causes our stories to be redemptive, and restores them for the purpose of making them meaningful for His glory...and, to which others may relate.

Because of the stories in Scripture we are assured: 

our stories matter!

And, yet, in the case of Mary, we see a different kind of story entirely.

So, with that introduction, we begin to look at the mother of Jesus...and dig a little more into her character and her life.

To start, I invite you to go to Bible Gateway and read Matthew 1 & 2, as well as, Luke 1 & 2, for a Scriptural understanding of this amazing woman!

As evangelicals, I think we sometimes tend to shy away from discussing Mary.  

There is an underlying fear of being accused of incorrect theology; so, we avoid any conversation about her whatsoever.  

To this, I say we do Mary a great disservice!  There is much we can learn from our Savior’s mother.  

The question I have asked myself over and again is this:  what was it God the Father saw in this young woman to cause Him to choose her over any other young girl?  

In an attempt to find an answer, I have scoured the Scriptures that talk of her, and have come up with this one thought:  

Mary exhibited a healthy heart.  

I don’t know too many who can give us a straight forward glimpse of what "healthy" looks like, yet I believe Mary does. 

Oh, I know what unhealthy looks like.  That would be mine.  

My heart is often me-focused.  I react to people and life circumstances foolishly.  My pride often steps in the way.  My discontent with what I have, and my desire to gain more, crowds out gratitude and generosity.  

Not true with Mary.  As I’ve X-rayed her heart, I’ve listed eight traits that God reveals to us about her from His Word.  

That’s too many to list in a one-page devotional, so we’ll place her under our microscope this week and tomorrow....

Let me just say, my prayer this Christmas, is for the Lord to GIFT ME A MARY-HEART...

In fact, perhaps this is a worthy goal for 2022.

A Mary-Heart:

Pursues God – I know this, because I believe Mary fully understood what it meant to live a “with-God” life.  The Lord had specifically said in reference to the coming Messiah that a virgin would give birth to a son, and  He would be called “Immanuel” – which means God with us (Matt 1:23).  Mary was raised on passages like Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go;” or Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear for I am with you...,” and Isaiah 43:1-2, “Fear not...when you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”  So, when the angel reminded her to “Fear not,” Mary was reminded that the God she pursued was always with her.  Like her ancestor David, before her, Mary had inherited a heart that chased after God.

(is) Pure – Several times in Luke’s account, as well as in the Isaiah account, it is made clear that Mary was a virgin. The Greek word (parthenos) not only means one who had not had sexual intercourse, but it meant one who was chaste, pure in thought and life.  Proverbs 4:23-27 admonishes, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (meaning, it affects everything you do!).  Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly in front of you.  Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.  Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

(gives God) Permission as she develops Perspective – While Mary, like any of us, was at first troubled at the words of the angel, and questioned how what he told about her could even be, she processed it all rather quickly – this “thing” that happened to her was what it was...and God would be with her!  In spite of what she knew people might say, and do, her response still amazes me, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  Even Elizabeth’s response to Mary upon seeing her, spoke of the submissive heart Mary acquired when she said, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” Still not convinced?  Mary’s response to Elizabeth was nothing short of amazing, My soul boasts in the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.”

(is) Peaceful –  While we don’t read this specifically in the Scriptures, we can know this to be true about Mary, by virtue of the fact that Mary lived a With-God-life, pursuing Him with her entire being, granting Him permission to “do as He would” with her life, rejoicing in His will. These responses always result in the “peace of God which passes all understanding.”

As we enter into the Christmas season, may we learn to exemplify a Mary-heart... Let's seek:

A healthy heart that fervently looks forward, gives freely, suffers patiently, and submits reverently.

You are invited to come back tomorrow for the rest of Mary's story....


Wishing you a most Merry Christmas! Thank you for engaging with me weekly...you are a gift. 

No comments:

Post a Comment