Luke 1:46-56, 6:20-26 & Isaiah 53:1-12
– Shelley Wagner, Interim Elementary Associate
Is the Christmas season a time of joy or sorrow for you? Stop for a moment today, reflect and jot down what you would consider to be “blessings” this year. Then reflect and jot down what you consider your trials or sorrows.
Now, read Luke 1:46-56
God’s Word opens the door of Mary’s prayer closet, and we are invited in. Read slowly the explosion of praise that springs forth from the depth of her heart as she speaks so intimately to the God she knows well. A peasant Jewish teenager placed in difficult circumstances, yet she responds with rejoicing. Why? Mary knows intimately the greatness of her God. She exalts His name and bows humbly before Him embracing His will and leaving her concerns in His hands. God is truly the lover of the lowly. Are you, like Mary, in awe of God’s greatness? Is it demonstrated in your complete surrender to His will in your life- no matter what? Ask the Lord today to take away your desire for the world’s applause and instead to rest in His sovereign will.
Now, read Luke 6:20-26
The word “blessed” means favored by God. What comes to your mind when you think of being “favored by God”?
Now, contrast what Jesus is teaching in this passage about being favored. Who is blessed? Who is given the warning “woe to you”? Jesus is God. He knows the depth of your being and what truly brings joy and contentment. Are you overwhelmed by His immeasurable love that rescued poor, hungry, dissatisfied sinners? God is the lover of the lowly.
Last, read Isaiah 53:1-12
Jesus is the Son of God; therefore He is the One most favored by God. As you read this passage would you describe Jesus as favored? This astounding prophecy was written approximately 700 years before Christ’s earthly arrival. Who would believe that God would choose to save the world through a humble, suffering servant rather than a glorious king?
The world and God see things differently. Jesus, Emmanuel, “God with us”, faced pain and hardship. He was born knowing His mission was to die. He was blessed above all because He moved forward in faithful obedience and endured the cross. Are you bowed down low as you ponder this great love?
Look back at what you wrote at the beginning.
Jesus, the lover of our souls, the rescuer of our lives, the Savior of the world, is our greatest blessing! He arrived in a stable, not a palace. He was placed in a peasant girl’s humble womb and wrapped in flesh. He walked among our sin-saturated world and died an excruciating death to bless us with eternal life! What upside down blessings have you missed this year? Will you ponder His blessings and magnify His name today? If you know Jesus, you are blessed. Jesus became the lowly to demonstrate His love for the lowly! Now, jot down your praises to Him today!
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