An Example of a Willing Servant


nativity2And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.” Luke 1:29-30

I love the Christmas season. I enjoy seeing all of the decorations, looking at all the pretty lights, and listening to the songs about Christmas and the birth of Jesus. I even enjoy seeing pictures of other people’s Christmas trees and all the many varieties of decorations they choose. Many times there is a new joy and sense of hope that sparks in people around Christmas.

Every morning when I wake up I plug in our Christmas lights and just stand for a moment in the silence and enjoy the scene. We have the traditional tree with decorations new and old. Our Angel sits, perched atop our tree.

We also have a nativity scene that I lay out every year. I love to take my time placing each figurine in a particular place. As I look at the pieces and the different expressions painted on each face, I often wonder what was going through the minds of each person who took a part in the birth of Jesus.

For the past couple of mornings I have been thinking about Mary.  In most nativity scenes we see, Mary is sitting, gazing at the new life which she has just brought into the world. When I look at Mary my mind drifts back to nine months before this scene.

I often wonder how Mary must have felt that day as she was visited by the angel Gabriel. We know from the Scriptures that she was confused and a little troubled. We must try to understand how the news being given to her must have come as a shock. I can not imagine the thoughts that were going through Mary’s mind.

I believe that Mary had a choice to make that day. I do not believe that the honor of carrying God’s Son was thrust upon her without her consent. In Luke 1: 38 Mary says, “ Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” In the moments before this statement Mary had a decision to make. She could have easily rejected this calling and carried on with her life. However, Mary allowed God to use her. She put her faith into action and trusted God.

We too are faced with choices in our lives. God has called each of us to do a particular task. Just as Mary, we have a choice to make. Do we  choose to reject that calling, or do we offer ourselves to God as willing servants? God will not force us into service for Him. He simply places a calling in our hearts, seeking our willingness to serve. Some times these tasks are simple, not requiring much sacrifice. Other times the calling may be great, requiring us to step out in faith with complete trust in God and His promise to never leave us nor forsake us. ( Deuteronomy 31:6 )

Just as Mary was faced with a seemingly impossible task, we too may be facing what seems like impossible circumstances. No matter how difficult our circumstances, no matter how big our obstacle, God has a plan. If we will do as Mary did and place or faith in God and allow ourselves to be used God will do great and mighty things through us.

I want to encourage you today with a verse from this same chapter in Luke. In verse 37 the angel tells Mary, For with God nothing shall be impossible. ”  You see, what Mary was being asked to do was impossible by her own human power, but by allowing God to use her, she accomplished the impossible. We too can do the impossible, but first we must step out in faith and allow God to use us. We must trust that God knows best and that His plan is best for our lives.

Will you commit to step out in faith today? What calling has God placed on your heart? What task has God given to you? You have a choice to make. Will you reject God’s calling for your life because of fear, or will you step out in faith and allow God to accomplish great things through you? The choice is yours today.

Motivational Monday: ‘Tis the Season


~Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver~

~Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver~

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17

Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday?

We did!

We were blessed with a chance to rest, enjoy great food, and make a lot of new memories with family. God is so good to His children; for that I am thankful.

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As I sat down to write this morning it was hard to believe that we are already in the month of December. Where has the year gone? It seems like only yesterday we were bringing in 2013 and preparing for another year, and here we are already at the end of it.  I pray this year has been a blessed year for you.

With Thanksgiving having come to a close and Christmas fast approaching I want us to focus on the reason for the season. I know we hear this term thrown around quite often, but I really want us to take the time to ponder what this really means.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

If it were not for Jesus willingly coming to this earth and dying for our sins we would have no reason to celebrate.

This month I want us to focus on the real reason for Christmas. I know we all enjoy the decorations, the food, and the gifts, but I want to make sure that we do not get caught up in these things and forget to take the time to thank God for sending His Son to this earth to live and die for our sins.

As we enter this Christmas season I want to encourage you today. Take the time to enjoy the last few weeks of this year. Reflect back on the blessings that God has given to you, remember the trials that God has seen you through, and thank Him for the privilege of serving Him another year. I also want to encourage you to prepare your heart for Christmas. Remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas and thank God for the greatest gift ever given: His Son.

I look forward to celebrating this Christmas season with each of you. I pray that God will bless you and keep you safe.

I want to leave you with this challenge: As you go through your Christmas season and begin to celebrate, remember to keep Christ as the center of Christmas- Wish those around you a Merry CHRISTmas.