Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Petition & application - Lk. 1:26-38

Petition
Heavenly Father, in Christ's name, whatever you choose to give me or send my way, may I, like Mary, choose to humbly submit to your will and seek to obey you whether I understand it or not. I am your servant. As you say, let it be. Amen.

Application ~ God's Will & My Life

Scene 1
". . . Elizabeth became pregnant . . .' She said, 'The Lord has . . . taken away my disgrace among the people.' (Luke 1:24-25)
And so the Lord's blessing came - and people stopped talking.

Where there had been frowns when Elizabeth passed by, now there were smiles of amazement. All her life people had laughed at her, but now those same people laughed at themselves and laughed with her. She had been a walking embodiment of shame and as some suspected, hidden sin. But look at her now – the people who sneered at her now step aside and honor her as she waddles by!

That's what the Lord's blessing can do to people. It may seem to be a bit slow in coming; it may involve a lifetime of waiting. But, oh, when his blessing comes, how it can change not just you, but everyone around you.

Sometimes you can measure the Lord's blessing by the joy that surrounds you.

Scene 2
"The angel said to her, '. . . You will be with child and give birth to a son. . . .' But Mary asked the angel, 'How will this be, since I am a virgin?'" (Luke 1:31,33)
And so the Lord's blessing came - and people started talking.

Frowns conveyed what their words couldn't. Smiles ran away from people's faces when young, unwed Mary came into the room. But a few smiles lingered behind - cynical, sick, sarcastic smiles that had to cut her soul to the quick. It looked like she had a promising future, she was pledged to marry a man of fine stock, but now this! Those who before had been her closest friends and neighbors now speculated, sometimes deliberately in her presence, as to who the father was and how many times she had played the whore. Honor had once been her's, but by the shape of things, her, now, you'd certainly never know it.

That's what the Lord's blessing can do to people. It can come very early in life and stay with you for a lifetime. But, oh, when it comes, you, and all those around you, become transfixed, transformed, marked for life.

Sometimes you can measure the Lord's blessing by the disgrace that will not leave you.

Scene 3

The Lord's word and will comes my way. And how, then, shall I respond? Should his will to bless me free me from things that have held me in bondage for years and convert even my enemies into my friends, will I be ever humbly be true to him? Or should his will to bless me bind me and enslave me to a lifetime of misunderstanding and rejection, would I turn away from his word, will and blessing?

No, you can't measure the Lord's blessing by appearances. No, not at all. For what people call "blessed" or "successful" may indeed be in need of far greater blessing, blessing that just might be judged by people as anything but a blessing and far short of successful.

So what will you do? What can I do? What should we do when God's word and will comes to us?

Embrace it. Embrace it no matter what it brings us or costs us. Embrace it and not even think, much less ask, "What's in it for me? What will I get out of this?" Simply embrace it and say:
"I am the Lord’s servant . . . let it be to me according to the word given.” (Luke 1:38)
Then live by it, the blessing of his word humbly followed, for life.
"For no word from God will ever fail.” (Luke 1:37 TNIV)