Are You Prepared to Answer God’s Call? - Encouragement Café - November 15

Are You Prepared to Answer God’s Call?
 By Kathy Sweeny

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished. Luke 1:45 NIV

Long ago, quietly situated on a beautiful hillside bordered by the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea sat a village.  It was a simple village, much less sophisticated than Judea, its neighbor.  In this Galilean village lived simple country folk, who were poor, unsophisticated, and unknown around the world.  It seemed an unlikely place to find a story with such significance.  This story began with a simple girl who changed the world through one simple act of submission.

The girl’s name is Mary, a peasant woman from Nazareth, pledged to be married to Joseph, a simple carpenter.  Mary was a godly woman who loved God with all her heart and knew the Scriptures well.  She knew what God required of her, to “…love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws.” (Deuteronomy 30:16)

As Mary was going about her normal daily activities, an angel came to her and said “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”  Mary stood silent.  But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name of Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:26-38)

This confused Mary.  She was a virgin, pledged to marry Joseph.  But the angel explained what would happen and assured her that nothing is impossible with God.

Mary accepted by faith that the angel spoke truth, nothing is impossible with God, for she knew God. She studied the Scriptures and knew His promise of a Messiah. (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6) Because she knew God through the Scriptures, she loved Him dearly and knew His love for her.  Through this strong knowledge and her deeply devoted love, she was able to submit to His will. “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)

Although Mary knew that He was in control, she also knew the consequences. She knew that Joseph would want a divorce, thinking she had been unfaithful.  Her family would be disappointed.  People in the village would most likely take her to the city gate and stone her to death. (Deuteronomy 22:23)  But Mary’s love for God was greater than these fears, so she bravely sang "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)

Mary yielded her life to God and accepted God’s complete authority over her.  She was highly favored (Luke 1:28) and the Lord was with her.  She knew Him, loved Him and walked in His ways by keeping His commands.   Due to her willingness to submit, “all generations will call her blessed.” (Luke 1:48)

What about you? Do you KNOW God’s promises? Have you seen His faithfulness? Do you trust His love?  Do you know without a shadow of doubt that He is the Creator of the universe, the Maker of the heavens and earth, and the Lover of your soul?  Do you love Him enough to endure the suffering which comes with the blessings?  Are you willing to submit to God’s plan for your life; to be used by Him to touch the world?

Heavenly Father, Creator of the universe, Maker of heaven and earth, Lover of my soul.  You are the One and Only TRUE GOD and You have chosen me, before the foundation of the earth to serve You and bring Glory to YOUR Name.  Thank You for calling me out of darkness and into Your wonderful and marvelous light.  I praise You Lord for all that You are and have done in my life and the lives of others.  It is my desire to walk humbly before You and serve You in any way that I can.  I love You Lord, with all of my heart. I lift up every heart reading this today and pray that they would desire to know You and love You as Mary did. Teach us Your promises and show us Your faithfulness.  Help us to trust You as Mary did so that we can serve You with boldness and courage.  We willingly submit to Your mighty plan for our lives, use us to touch the world with Your love, for Your Glory.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

As you contemplate Mary’s devotion and love for God and God’s love and devotion to the world, close your eyes and listen to this popular Christmas Carol. Grab a box of tissues because if you’re like me, you won’t be able to listen without tears.  "Mary Did You Know" by Kathy Mattea

© 2018 by Kathy Sweeny.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Wednesday, 15 November 2023.