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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.