May It Be
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her (Luke 1:38).
Have you ever had a boss come to you and give you an assignment which had rules never before used? Not only were the rules different, he was asking you to agree to them not knowing the outcome or impact it would have on your life. That must have been the way Mary, the mother of Jesus felt.
God was about to do something so extraordinary that it required a face to face meeting with the subject, Mary, and his key angel, Gabriel. What God was about to do was so foreign that it needed detailed explanation.
Mary had been handpicked to give birth to the Christ-child. Can you imagine!? However, in order to do so she was going to be pregnant while yet unmarried, something totally taboo in her culture. In fact, women were stoned to death if found to be fornicators. So, when Mary heard the assignment and responded by saying, "May it be," this tells us what a courageous woman of faith she must have been.
She did not understand the implications of what she was about to do. However, she placed her total trust in God and knew that if God chose her for such an assignment, she could trust the outcome to Him. She would even have to trust the explanation to Joseph, who was not going to understand. In fact, when he discovered Mary was pregnant, he immediately considered divorce proceedings.
However, when God saw Joseph's response, He sent an angel to explain the situation through a dream. I am sure the time between her telling him and his dream must have been difficult to explain. She did not know God was going to solve the problem. This is another example of her faith and courage. I would imagine most women might have responded to the angel like this, "I won't do it unless you tell my husband!"
Do you have an assignment from God that seems impossible on the front end? Is God calling you to trust Him for the outcome? Take a lesson from Mary and release the outcome to God.
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders
Our Prince of Peace
Dr. Charles Stanley
The Christmas rush is here. There are plans to make, gifts to buy, and parties to attend. Sometimes these activities leave us exhausted and cranky—instead of peace and joy, we may feel inner churning because there’s too much to do. Or perhaps this time of the year brings nothing but sad memories and loneliness. Unrealistic expectations and conflicts with loved ones often leave us depressed and discouraged.
How can Jesus be our Prince of Peace when our expectations and traditions fight against the tranquility we desire? To understand why Jesus was given this title, we must first understand what it means. First of all, God’s Son did not come to do away with all conflicts—not yet, anyway. One day He will return to earth and rule as King in an environment of external harmony, but that was not the purpose of His first coming. So while we’re on earth, we’ll have trouble (John 16:33).
When Christ left heaven to become a human baby, His goal was to bring us peace with God by reconciling us to the Father. His death on the cross paid our sin debt in full, and our relationship with God is restored. Now He offers us divine peace—an inner serenity that fills our hearts and minds no matter what is going on in our circumstances.
Is your life characterized by a quiet assurance that guards your heart and mind all day long (Phil. 4:6-7), or have stressful circumstances left you feeling depressed or agitated? Try setting aside time each day to fix your eyes upon Jesus. Then let Him heal your heart and calm your spirit.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Adore Him / Christmas Eve / Kari Jobe
Heavenly Father, This is such a busy time of year. People are traveling, finishing up year-end business records and reports, visiting friends and family, celebrating Christmas and the New Year. I pray that during this time of preparation and cheer, You will cover us with a blanket of protection. I pray that you will grant safe travels to those who are driving, riding, flying around their neighborhoods, across the country, and throughout the world. I pray that you will give peace, comfort, and joy to all who are your children and fill our hearts with praise and rejoicing in the spirit over the reason for this season of celebration. I pray that we, your children, would be the shining examples of your love and Christian living before the world, especially now. I pray that personal and business affairs would be conducted with integrity...and that as we are blessed, we would be a blessing to others. I pray that the lost will see Jesus and be drawn unto you.
Thank you, Father, for watching over us, being with us, and loving us in spite of ourselves. You are merciful and worthy of our praise. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.