Daily D – Luke 1:28
Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” LUKE 1:28 (NLT)
That is an interesting word pair. It was a rare woman in that culture at that time who stood out in any way people would call favored. Women were vital, important, essential workers we might say. Few, however, held any positions of public standing.
When God wanted to redeem the world, however, he began with a woman whose heart he trusted. Mary trusted God and had both the capacity and desire to know and experience him more.
Favor is a word many use to indicate a benefit for themselves. One television preacher used the word to describe how he was blessed to move from coach to first-class on a particular flight. Another television preacher talked about his new and improved personal jet.
I double-dog dare you to read what we know about Mary from the pages of the Bible and see her claiming anything for herself. God’s favor meant she was empowered to accomplish something she could never do on her own.
Mary understood her role in God’s grand story of redemption. She accepted it, embraced it, and fulfilled that role with beauty and grace.
In the 2006 movie, _The Nativity Story_, the shepherds show up after Jesus is born. The woman who plays Mary says about Jesus, “He is for the whole world.”
That’s the way favor works. God’s favor does not make the recipient wealthier or more powerful. God’s favor flows through the recipient to bless the whole world.
Seek God’s favor not for your own personal benefit, but to benefit others. Who do you know who needs God’s favor? How could you join him in blessing that person or those people?
Mary lived a life God could bless. Her life became a blessing to all people everywhere.
May the Lord be with you as he was with Mary.
May the Lord use you to bless the whole world.
I will live a life God can bless so that I may be a blessing.
Our Father, thank you for Mary’s tender heart and how you used her to bless the whole world. In whatever way you see fit, bless me that I may be a blessing to others. Use me to enrich others. Use me to help others live lives of maximum expression for you. Use me to carry your light into the gathering darkness. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.