TITLE: Mary, A Woman of Character, Part III
By Teresa Schultz
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I hope everyone reading the series on Mary is getting something out of it. I know I am. God has truly been speaking to me and changing me from the inside-out. I spent so much time complaining, wallowing, being angry, and dragging my friends down (and pushing them away), that I missed God saying, “I want to use you if you will just obey.” He’s been standing at my heart knocking, saying to me, “Why do you always have to fight Me. All I want for you is the very best. All you have to do is give me everything that you are holding on to and OBEY! I know the plans I have for you. Not to harm you, but to prosper you, to give you HOPE and a future” (from Jeremiah 29:11). “We can do amazing things together if you will just trust Me and OBEY!!”
Now I know that was a little off-subject and probably seems like it came out of nowhere, but I guess the Holy Spirit thought it needed to be said (to me, if no one else)!!!! So now, back to Mary….We’ve learned, thus far, two characteristics that made Mary “highly favored” and usable to God: Purity and Obedience. The third is selflessness.
From Luke 1:39-45; 56,
“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.”
So, Mary just found out that she is “highly favored” by God and is going to bear the Savior of the world. There are so many things she could have done with that news, but she chose to be selfless. She went to visit her relative Elizabeth (who was also pregnant and much older). She stayed for three months to help.
Mary would again show selflessness when Simeon prophesied about Jesus in the temple. In Luke 2:34-35, Simeon tells them, "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."
Let’s just put ourselves in Mary’s shoes for one minute. You are holding your beautiful baby boy in your arms. He’s looking up at you with wonder and that beautiful toothless smile, and he’s holding your finger tight. You take Him to the temple to fulfill the law. This old man holds Him and begins prophesying over Him. At first, it’s all blessings, rainbows and gumdrops, but then all you hear is, “Your son is destined to be loved by some, hated by others, accepted completely or rejected completely. He will be spoken against and, by the way…You will also endure great sorrow.”
Me??? - I’d grab my baby and flee, skedaddle, run, exit!! I’d say, “Sorry God, are you sure you have the right people for this??” But Mary, in her selfless obedience, chose to put God first for the salvation of the entire world. She may not have known everything that would come to pass, but she had a pretty good idea, yet she chose, out of a PURE heart, to SELFLESSLY OBEY GOD.
JUST STOP ONE MINUTE AND IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES……
What if everyone reading this right now asked God, “Give me a pure heart, Lord. Use me. Whatever you want, I will do, without question. Help me to faithfully and selflessly obey You.”?
Just try to imagine what God can (and will) do through us!!
Isaiah 6:8 says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!".”
“HERE I AM LORD….SEND ME!!! “
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