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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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.