Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 23, 2017
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.” Luke 1:28-30
From time to time I fear I am not up to the task of the Lord’s call on my life. I put pressure on myself to produce—though God’s Spirit reminds me to remain in His strength and not depend on my own energy. I feel the tug to tell the Lord I am tired and that it’s hard to trust Him during a time of transition. Thankfully, His sweet Spirit settles my soul with reassurance. He says, “Boyd, it’s not about your ability, but about Me and my favor. Be available, for I am able.”
Mary faced a similar circumstance in her crisis of faith. When the angel declared her to be highly favored by the Lord, she was troubled. Maybe she didn’t like being the center of attention. The thought of being a vessel of God’s blessing felt overwhelming. Perhaps she feared failure. She did not want to let down the Lord. She thought her modest background disqualified her, but in reality, it qualified her. The Lord highly favors the humble hearted for the glory of His son Jesus.
“If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you” (Exodus 33:13).
What is the Lord asking you to do that might move you out of your comfort zone? Pregnancy, job change, increased giving, missions, lead a Bible study or volunteer at your church? Be thankful, not afraid of the Lord’s favor on your life. Where He calls you, He will equip you. Where He leads you, He will love you through the process. Like grace, God’s favor is a gift to be managed well. Be grateful for any season of success by giving God the glory for His blessings.
False humility may cause us to say, “Why me, Lord?” But true humility bows in grateful praise to God and confesses, “Why not me, Lord?” Like an eager athlete sits on the bench next to the coach awaiting an opportunity to get into the game, so we anticipate our heavenly Father’s instructions to selflessly serve with Him. We steward well the favor of our Lord when we point people to Jesus through our words and deeds. During this Christmas season praise God for the gift of His son Jesus Christ. We testify of His saving faith in our lives. In Christ, we are highly favored!
“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I am available for You and I trust You to use me for Your glory.
ApplicationHow can I better manage the opportunities I have been blessed with by God?
Related ReadingGenesis 6:8; Exodus 33:12; Psalm 90:17; Luke 2:14, 52; James 4:6
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