Devotion for August 15-17, 2017

Devotion for Aug 15-17, 2017

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoiced
in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his
servant'” (Luke 1:46-48).

When God wants to do something really great, He starts from scratch.
God spoke the existence of creation into being from nothing. First the
heavens, then the waters, dry land–and finally the first man and
woman. When God wanted to make a great nation and people for
Himself, he didn’t start with likely candidates for a large family. He
started with Abraham and Sarah: a senior-citizen couple who were
barren with no kids. But that didn’t stop God from giving them a son.
And from that son came another, and another, and another, until
finally, it became conceivable that God’s promise to Abraham could
come true! All because God likes to do great things by starting from

And so it was for other barren women in the Bible: Rebekah, Rachel,
Hannah, and John the baptizer’s mother, Elizabeth. All barren, until
God acted. In each of their lives God started from scratch to do
something fresh and new. And it would all lead to the greatest
“something new” the world has ever seen. Finally, from the innocent
barrenness of a young girl in Galilee with no status, no husband, no
means, and no estate, God would bring forth Abraham’s ultimate
offspring in Jesus of Nazareth.

With the same theme of starting from scratch to do something great,
God chooses to bless the whole world through a visit to Mary. Jesus is
conceived in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit, and Mary remains
God’s humble servant.

Oh that we would remain humble too. Far too often we fail to trust
God’s promises to care for us. We must confess again that we have
exalted ourselves over what God desires. We have not agreed with
God’s will in our thoughts and actions. With us, God starts with worse
than scratch—we are not just neutral in our failures and sin.
According to our sinful flesh, we are anti-God, wanting our own way
rather than His.

But God has looked on our humble estate and blessed us. He did
great things for those who had nothing, like Mary, and He has done a
great thing for you too. No matter what your week has been like; no
matter what challenges you’ll face today and tomorrow or the next
day; no matter how badly you botched things up again, Jesus is your
gift. He’s taken your barren-nothingness into His own body with His
cross and passion, and done something new. He’s started from
scratch and accomplished something great for you: life and salvation
in Christ.

PRAYER Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires
known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, cleanse the thoughts of
our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit that we may
perfectly love You and worthily magnify Your holy name; through
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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