Mary, a woman of great faith and courage: part three

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The moment Mary and the world had been waiting for had finally arrived, Jesus, the savior was born. All of heaven was rejoicing and the angels came to deliver the good news to the shepherds….

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  Luke 2:10-14

What a sight that would have been to behold, a great company of angels singing praises to God. It would have been incredible. The shepherds then spread the word and told their incredible story…

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:17-19

Everyone was amazed and astonished by the story that the Shepard’s told, but it is said that Mary treasured them and pondered them.

It was like she had already been let in on a secret. God had already spoken things to her and now she was seeing them come to pass. I can just imagine a smile falling across her face as she began to see Gods promises unfolding before her eyes. She was seeing Gods goodness and faithfulness come to life.

She pondered the scene often. How Gods word and His faithfulness never fails. Mary would need to hold tightly to these words as Jesus grew and his life and destiny unfolded before her eyes. As He endured the cross Mary would need to dig out those treasured memories and hold firmly to them. Jesus, her son is the rescuer so she would need to let Him go and do the things He was sent to this world to do.

Mary teaches us that we need to build history with God and ponder the things He has done in our lives often. They are treasured scenes and memories that point to the glory of God and His promises to us. God is good and faithful and His word never fails but sometimes we forget. We get lost in the waiting and the weariness of it all. Treasure the Lord in your heart and ponder His ways, His words and His promises always.

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Mary, a woman of great faith and courage : part two

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After Mary has been visited by the angel Gabriel she goes to her cousin Elizabeths house. I imagine that Mary would have been frightened. Here she is, a young girl who is not yet married and she now finds herself to be pregnant. But when she arrives at Elizabeths house, Elizabeth greets her with joy and welcomes her in. There is no shame or wondering, just pure joy shared between the two women and together they rejoice.

⁴⁶ And Mary sang this song, My soul is ecstatic, overflowing with praises to God! ⁴⁷ My spirit bursts with joy over my Life-Giving-God! ⁴⁸ For He set His tender gaze upon me, His lowly servant girl. And from here on, everyone will know That I have been favored and blessed! ⁴⁹ The Mighty One has worked a mighty miracle for me; Holy is His name! ⁵⁰ Mercy kisses all His godly lovers, From one generation to the next! ⁵¹ Mighty power flows from Him To scatter all those who walk in pride! ⁵² Powerful princes He tears from their thrones And He lifts up the lowly to take their place! ⁵³ Those who hunger for Him will always be filled,But the smug and self-satisfied, He will send away empty! ⁵⁴ Because He can never forget to show mercy, He has helped His chosen servant, Israel, ⁵⁵ Keeping His promises to Abraham And to his descendants forever!” Luke 1:46-55 TPT

Amidst the crazy set of circumstances that Mary finds herself, she chooses to rejoice. She looks outside of herself and chooses to focus on the Lord and the amazing thing that He is up to.

She could have been moaning and groaning over the fact that it was going to be a difficult thing for her to face, how was she going to tell her soon to be husband, her family and everybody else and I bet that there were so many unanswered questions that she had. But still,  Mary chose to have joy and rejoice.

It made me stop and think, am I choosing to rejoice amidst my difficult circumstances? Am I choosing to focus on what the Lord is doing in and around me rather then on all of the obstacles that lie in my way?

It really challenged me to make sure that my thoughts are always on the fact that God is a good God and He is faithful and always keeps His promises. Even when times seem difficult that fact remans true, He is good and for that I will rejoice.

I need to focus on the silver linings, the small victories and small mercies that I encounter along my way. Otherwise everything becomes too difficult, too overwhelming and too hard and then I may just give up and give in all together.

Mary has taught me to have joy and rejoice. Even if I am unsure of where I am going or what I am doing, I need to grab a hold of God and take Him at His word. His promises are always yes and amen and His word never fails.

Mary, a woman of great faith and courage : part one

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In the lead up to Christmas I have been reading the recount of Jesus birth which is written in the gospels. I have read the story many times and this time Mary really captured my heart.

We first meet Mary when the angel Gabriel visits her with a message from God…

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Grace to you, young woman, for you are anointed with great favor, and our Master is with you! ” ²⁹ Mary was shocked over the words of the angel and perplexed over what this may mean for her. ³⁰ But the angel reassured her saying, “Don’t yield to your fear, Mary, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. ³¹ You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name Him, ‘Jesus’! ³² He will be Supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest! And the Lord God will enthrone Him as King on His ancestor David’s throne. ³³ He will reign as King of Israel forever and His reign will have no limit!” ³⁴ Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!” ³⁵ Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and the Almighty God will spread His shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God! ³⁶ What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also became pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month! ³⁷ No promise from God is empty of power, for with God there is no such thing as impossibility!” ³⁸ Then Mary responded, saying, “This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord! As His servant, I accept whatever He has for me! May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her. Luke 1:28-38 TPT

What Mary has just been told is wild and totally out of the box. I would imagine that people would have thought that what she was told by Gabriel was totally crazy, but yet I love her response. Mary responds with “As His servant I accept whatever He has for me”. In that moment Mary laid everything down, all her fears, anxieties, worries and what ifs were laid down and instead she picked up her calling handed to her by God.

And because she let go of her fears and laid everything down at the Lords feet, Mary was able to pick up great faith, favor, blessings, joy and to be a part of a great miracle of God. She was a woman with great faith and great courage.

Mary teaches us that we need to put things down and let go of things in order to pick up what the Lord has for us. What is it that you are holding on to that may be standing in the way of you stepping in to your destiny?

Gabriel said to Mary “Don’t yield to your fear, Mary” . Do not hold tightly to fear when the Lord is offering you His strength. Why would we not just hand over our fears to God and listen to His voice guiding us, encouraging us and strengthening us. What we receive from the Lord is far greater than anything we were holding on to in the first place.

Like Mary, we need to trust God and believe that everything God says will come to pass. Let go and let God guide you. Just imagine what the year ahead could look like if we let go and fully trusted in God.

2017 is the year of letting go. Lord, I am your servant and I accept whatever You have for me and may everything You promise to me come to pass. Amen

Merry Christmas

The Nativity Story from Kerith Community Church on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas!

I just love this sweet rendition of the Christmas story, it made me smile, it made me laugh and it made me cry. I love the little star jumping up and down. I imagine that little star calling out saying “here I am, here I am, come follow me, come see the new born king!”

I always get lost in the imagery of that night so long ago. I picture the angels appearing and filling the sky, rejoicing together in song. What a glorious sight and sound that must have been. The sweet little baby that came in the still of night, so precious, so tinny yet he would grow to be so mighty, so powerful, so loving. The three wise men who journeyed so long and so far to come before the new born king. Laying everything they have out for him, a king who at the time could do nothing for them yet they came to worship and adore him. So amazing, so wonderful. Thank you God for sending your son for us. That you loved and adored us so much to give us the gift of this precious baby.

Jesus came so that there would be peace on earth so that is also my prayer this Christmas, peace, love and comfort to all.

Merry Christmas, all our love The Blessed Family xxxx