Today you should read: Luke 1:39-56
We covered a lot of these passages a few weeks ago during our Advent series at CPC so I will try not to repeat the prominent themes of hope, joy, peace & love that we covered in those messages. Instead I’d love for us to focus on 1 verse that is commonly missed in the midst of the great incarnation passages in this chapter.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. Luke 1:45
This verse says that Mary was blessed for her belief or faith in God fulfilling His word. There are plenty of other passages in Scripture that says this same thing. Many Christians know that God speaks and makes promises. But many of us forget that we receive them by faith. Pastor Ray Ortlund of Immanuel Church in Nashville once said this about this faith in God’s promises:
Receive God’s promises by faith. Do not test them by sight. Do not take a “wait and see” stand-off-ish position. Embrace the promises as yours in Christ. Just believe God. And ask yourself, “Okay, how should I live right now as someone destined to inherit blessings only Almighty God could think up? Look for the beginnings of fulfillment in this life. His promises are way too big for our little existence here. But you can expect previews of coming attractions. He will encourage you along the way.
We see the truth of Ray’s comments in Luke 1:45. Mary instantly believed God’s promise and Elizabeth recognized this. Living out faith in that promise was everything from Mary going to Elizabeth with this crazy, unbelievable, risky good news, and eventually going on a road trip to Bethlehem and then living as refugees in Egypt. They had tons of previews of this coming attraction with the angels, wise men and everything else in between that caused Mary to ponder with joy. God fulfills His promises but we receive them by faith. Do you have faith in what He has promised you through Jesus?
Share in the comments below of a time you received a promise by faith.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor
4 thoughts on “January 3, 2018”
Thanks for the good word today Erik. If you’re a regular reader of Jumpstart commentaries you may recall that I shared some of this story years ago but it bears repeating this morning. Thirty years ago in 1988, Tina and I were 27 years old and had been married about 4 years when we began trying to have a baby. Little did we know at the time the three year journey of faith & trust that God had ahead for us. We struggled with infertility for over two years and then lost our first baby in the early months of Tina’s pregnancy. It seemed as though every young couple we knew was having a baby during our time of infertility. We begged and pleaded with God to bless us with a baby if it was in His will and lived with the possibility that perhaps it was not in God’s plan. We began exploring adoption and earnestly praying for God to open doors if that was His plan for us! Finally in March of 1991 we received the joyful news that Tina was pregnant and due between Thanksgiving & Christmas.
We just celebrated our “baby boy’s” 26th birthday on December 10th. He is now married to a young woman who loves the Lord and Christ is the cornerstone of their marriage. God blessed us with a second child in 1995 when we had become convinced that having a second child might be highly unlikely. God is SO GOOD and He stretched our faith significantly during that 3 years from the beginning of infertility to the birth of our boy.
If you are struggling today with something that only God can do, take comfort in knowing that God is GOOD & FAITHFUL. He may not give you what your heart desires but you can TRUST His plan for you. As always, pray for His will and whatever change your heart may need to accept it for His purposes.
Thanks for sharing Mike. Great story of our faith & God’s faithfulness.
Thanks Erik for showing us the steps of faith Mary took. We too often look at the giant in our life and fail to see it is one step of faith at a time that we need to take. And through the steps of faith we take God does something either for us, with us or in us. I needed to be reminded by faith to take the first step which will lead to the next step.
I often fail to remember that God is over ALL things. I pray to God only over the big things in life, but God keeps reminding me that he takes care of even the smallest prayers and desires. One that comes to mind was how I received my current job. I dreaded thinking about the job hunt process: applying for many jobs, not hearing back from them, going into lots of interviews and so on. I had prayed about me getting a good job in the HR field. But God not only answered my prayer, but we answered my thoughts. I got the first job I applied to! And it was a good offer. I’ve been there for over 2 years now. God is good!