12/23/12. Luke 1:39-66. BLESSED IS SHE WHO BELIEVED-my devotional

12/23/12. Luke 1:39-66. BLESSED IS SHE WHO BELIEVED-my devotional

Luke 1:39-66

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Key Verse: 1:45                                                                               Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Dear Lord, Jesus, thank you for blessing the worship at Triton UBF today. I learned that I must open my eyes to see you at work in the small things of this world. Open my eyes to your many acts of grace going on all around us. I also thank you for the love that you have shown us at the Triton UBF ministry. Please continue to use that ministry to reach out to the students of Triton College. Please plant your word in my heart through this passage. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1:  Mary Visits Elizabeth (39-45).

Verses 39-45, “At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Guided by the angel’s words, Mary visited Elizabeth. Elizabeth, by the Holy Spirit, recognized Mary as “the mother of my Lord” and called her child “blessed.” Even unborn John the Baptist leaped for joy in the womb! Elizabeth called Mary “blessed” for believing God’s word to her.

I can believe God’s word of promise to me. I can believe the promise to forgive my sins through faith in Christ. I can believe God’s promises that Jesus will come again and gather his Elect from the four corners of the earth, including me and all those who believe. I can believe that God will bear fruit in my life as long as I remain in Jesus. I can see this happening right now. God will answer all that he has promised me. Will he establish a 120 discipleship ministry at NIU? This is not an absolute promise. It was my prayer topic. But not the promise of God. I believe what I can believe from the Bible. When I do I am blessed.

Part 2:  Mary’s Song of Praise (46-56).

Verses 46-56, 46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” 56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.”

Mary burst into her “Magnificat” (Latin for “My soul magnifies”), a poem of praises to the Lord God her Savior. God is mindful, mighty, holy, and merciful. Mary’s song of praise went beyond her own personal blessing into the bigger picture of God remembering his covenant promises to Abraham and Israel.

I need to keep the bigger things of God in mind. I need to always have the history of God before. I need to see the big picture of what God is doing in this world. He is alive and doing many fantastic things. He is moving hearts. I even sat next to a girl at the church dinner today that converted to Christianity and her whole family did too. God’s work is happening. I rejoice in it.

I thank God for showing me that a life of faith is a life of bursting into songs of praise to Christ. I was a joyless Christian for so long. I was so focused on repenting and serving my mission that I was far from bursting into praise and joy. Far from it. Now God is releasing my heart and helping me to focus on things like joy and blessing and grace and freedom etc. I am beginning to smile and actually able to burst into songs of praise to Jesus for what he has done. Lord, grant me the same joy that you have granted Mary in her song. Help our family be a family who can promote the joy of the Lord.

Part 3: John the Baptist’s Birth (57-66).

Verses 57-66, “57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. 59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” 62 Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.”

Elizabeth had her baby, and her friends shared her joy over the Lord’s mercy. At the baby’s circumcision, relatives tried to name him Zech Jr., but Elizabeth said, “He is to be called John,” which broke tradition. It was based on the angel’s words (1:13). When Zechariah wrote the same name, he suddenly spoke again. It was not easy for Zechariah to change his mind about naming his son. But his inner decision to let go and let God revealed that they dedicated their son John fully to God as a godly, obedient couple. They were very thankful for what God has done.

I need to let go and let God with my kids. I was forcing them into a place where I wanted them and not where God wanted them. I needed to let go and let God and entrust their whole lives over to God. I need them to find their true identity in God. It is very hard of me to do this. I am disappointed that we don’t sing together and we don’t have anything to offer like we did, as a family. But God is working and in his time this whole situation will bear abundant fruit. I need to submit. I need to decide to dedicate my family to God and pray for them and let God do his work in their young hearts. He will bear abundant fruit in them and among them. And just as Zechariah and Elizabeth had no idea about what would happen to John, I have no idea what will happen to my kids. I just need to entrust them to the Lord and pray and set a godly example.

Prayer: Lord, all I am and have are yours. Help me to obey your word above my own feelings and ideas.

One Word: His name is John



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