I recently created a 31-day Advent/Christmas devotional booklet for my church called “Glory to God in the Highest.” I will be posting a devotional from it each day between now and the end of the year. Enjoy!
Scripture: Luke 1:28-38
Notice in verse 38 that Mary isn’t necessarily saying that she’s happy to be God’s chosen vessel for bringing God’s Son into the world. Her joy would come later—after she visits her relative Elizabeth later in later in this chapter. Right now, she is likely nervous, uncertain, and afraid. In spite of her feelings, however, she says “yes” to God. She surrenders her will to God. She says, in so many words, the same thing her son would say more than thirty years later in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Not my will but thine be done.”
Although our circumstances will be different from hers, all Christians must be prepared to do the same. Like Mary, we must learn to surrender to the Lord.
Pastor and author Tim Keller gives us an idea what this looks like. He describes an experience decades ago at a Christian conference:
Two questions were put to us. First, are you willing to obey anything the Bible clearly says to do, whether you like it or not? Second, are you willing to trust God in anything he sends into your life, whether you understand it or not? If you can’t answer these two questions in the affirmative, we were told, you may believe in Jesus in some general way, but you have never said to him, “I am the Lord’s servant.” These questions were startling to me, but to this day I believe they are accurate indicators of what Christians are being asked for.[†]
Can you answer these two questions in the affirmative? What changes do you need to make in your life to become a more faithful servant of the Lord? Pray for the grace to change.
† Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas (New York: Viking, 2016), 91.