Every Christmas season I look forward to reading the account of the birth of Christ in Luke together as a family on Christmas morning. I'm amazed at Mary's faith. What must have gone through her mind when Gabriel approached her? How did she process the news that she and Joseph were to raise the Son of God? What depths of sorrow did she endure while watching her Son die a horrific death on a cross? There are many lessons we can learn from Mary's life, but I want to share just ten today.There are many lessons we can learn from Mary's life, but I want to share just ten today.
Ten Lessons God's Word has taught me through the life of Mary:
1. Mary knew God's Word. In the time Mary lived she was probably illiterate, but she had heard the Word of God and kept it hidden in her heart. How well do we know God's Word? Are we able to speak the Words of His truth to others? Is our time in the Word an important part of our day?
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” ~ Luke 1:54-55
2. Mary was filled with the Spirit. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit working in us, and there is nothing we can accomplish for God outside the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you tap into the power of the Spirit, or do you rely on your strength to get through difficult situations and trials? May we submit our lives to Him working in and through us.
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. ~Luke 1:35
3. Mary said “yes” to God's plan for her life. She had an obedient, submissive, and a humble heart. Are we willing to say, “yes Lord,” to whatever task He calls us? May we be faithful, obedient servants.
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. ~ Luke 1:38
4. Mary was quiet before the Lord and meditated on all He had done in her life. How often are we truly quiet before the Lord, just pondering on what He has done and is doing in our lives? Do we take the time to meditate on His Word?
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. ~Luke 2:19
And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. ~Luke 2:51
5. Mary turned to Jesus for help when she had a problem to be solved. When a problem arises where do we turn to first for guidance? Do we seek Christ or turn to others? Do we spend time worrying? Do we point others toward Christ?
When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” ~John 2:3-5
6. Mary was a woman of worship. She gave praise to her Lord knowing that the road before her was going to be a difficult one. Do we praise Him in and through all circumstances in our lives?
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” ~Luke 1:46-47
7. Mary trusted in the Lord and waited on the His timing. A virgin betrothed to be married, and she just had a visitation from an angel of the Lord telling her she is to give birth to the Son of God. How do you explain this one to Joseph? Mary didn't take matters into her own hands but let the Lord change Joseph's heart. How often do feel the need to change our husbands instead of letting the Lord do His work in them? We women are born controllers, but we need to learn to trust God and wait on Him.
And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. ~Matthew 1:19-20
8. Mary was a chosen vessel of the Lord. If you are a child of God, you have been chosen to be an instrument that God is using to fulfill His purposes. Mary was chosen to give spiritual life to the Son of God, and we are chosen to give spiritual life and encouragement to others. Are you living an eternally focused life? Do you take the time to share the truth of the life-giving Gospel of Jesus Christ with others?
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. ~ Luke 1:30-31
9. Mary was a faithful servant. When it seemed like everyone had deserted Jesus, his mother Mary was there, and she followed him all the way to the cross. Today there are not many professing believers who are ready to follow Jesus to the cross. Are you a true follower of Christ? Are you faithful to Jesus no matter the circumstances or the difficulty of what you may be called to endure? There are many who claim to be followers of Jesus but are deceived (Matthew 7:21).
…but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. ~John 19:25
10. Mary knew Jesus was dying on the cross for her sins. Jesus was her son, but he was also her Savior. The child she loved, she also watched die on a cross for the sins of the world. Do you know that Christ died for your sins? Have you repented and put your faith and trust in Him and Him alone for your salvation (Romans 10:9-10)?
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” ~Luke 2:34-35
The one lesson I hold to the most is being able to say, “yes Lord.” These two words were shared with me through Revive Our Hearts many years ago, and they greet me daily when I open my planner. As we enter this Christmas season and the next seasons the Lord has for us, may we remember to have hearts that are submissive and obedient to God's will for our lives. God's call will look different to each one of us. He may call some of us to say yes to marriage, singleness, many children, few children, no children, adoption, missions overseas, missions in our homes, missions in our neighborhoods, difficult relationships, loss of loved ones, life of riches, life of poverty and the list can go on and on, but one thing He has called us all to, as followers of Christ, is faithfulness.
May we surrender our lives to His will and purpose for our lives. May we surrender to Him on bended knee and say, ‘Yes Lord.”