TITLE: Mary, A Woman of Character, Part I
By Teresa Schultz
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I was just thinking about the kind of woman Mary must have been to bring our Savior into the world, so I decided that subject needed further exploration. If you think…I mean REALLY think… about what God had planned for her life, it makes you want to have the kind of character that will prompt God to do amazing things through you. Don’t get me wrong, God will use you no matter what…He used a donkey to get through to Balaam.
Let’s look at Luke 1: 26-28.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
There are three things we need to understand about Mary. She was 1) young, 2) poor, and 3) female. According to society at that time, all of those things would have made her unusable to God. Yet God chose her to bear His Son. Why?? Because God does not look at our ability, experience, education, or social standing. That’s not to say He doesn’t use those things – HE ABSOLUTELY DOES, but He is looking deeper than those outward things. Here is what He saw in Mary:
The first thing we read about Mary is that she is a virgin. She chose to remain pure before God. If you are a single person and you have remained pure, you have already shown tremendous strength of character. KEEP IT UP…GOD WILL BLESS YOU SO MUCH FOR IT!!! That doesn’t mean that if you have stumbled you can’t be like Mary. If you have sinned in this area, simply ask God to forgive you and turn from your sin. Here is what God says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” WOW…clean slate!! God washes away our sin, and we are, once again, pure in His sight!!
Beyond physical purity, God also saw the purity of Mary’s heart and mind. As a result, she was considered “highly favored!” (vs. 28). The Psalmist David (who was a “man after God’s own heart”), wrote this, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). Keeping our hearts and minds pure is not easy – it is a process. We have to continually take every thought under submission. When we begin to have a bad thought – STOP RIGHT THERE AND RE-THINK. The best way to control our thoughts is to put good things in our head: GARBAGE IN – GARBAGE OUT!!! The more of God’s word we put in, the more will come out!!
Keeping our hearts pure is just a matter of being truly sincere and in love with God. I Timothy 1:5 says, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” So the first step to being a Godly woman like Mary is purity of mind, body, spirit and soul.
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