Worship IV, Day 10 Pathway Of Worship: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What does Mary teach us about responding to challenging circumstances?

2) What do we learn about the role of a worshiper during times of challenge from Mary’s song?

3) What do Mary’s words show us about God’s role in times of challenge?

Luke 1:46-55

46 And Mary said:
My soul praises the greatness of the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 because he has looked with favor
on the humble condition of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations
will call me blessed,
49 because the Mighty One
has done great things for me,
and his name is holy.
50 His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear him.
51 He has done a mighty deed with his arm;
he has scattered the proud
because of the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he spoke to our ancestors.

Original Intent

1) What does Mary teach us about responding to challenging circumstances?
As a young, Jewish girl who was engaged, but not yet married, the news of being pregnant would have been potentially devastating for Mary.  She would likely be facing shame, loss of relationships, an uncertain future, and potentially even death by stoning.  That would be enough to cause most young girls to end up in a state of all-out panic.  What will I do?  What will people think?  How will my parents react?  What will my future husband say?  How will I take care of this baby?  How will this change my life?  Mary may have wrestled with every one of those questions and uncertainties.  Yet, what we see from Scripture is her first and primary focus was for one thing:  WORSHIP.  Rather than allowing herself to be distracted with self-pity or becoming overwhelmed, Mary focuses her heart on the One who will sustain her through the challenge that lies ahead of her.

2) What do we learn about the role of a worshiper during times of challenge from Mary’s song?
Worship is something that flows from one person’s heart in honor and respect of another.  The role of both parties in the situation are important to consider.  Mary offers a great example for us in the role of the worshiper.  She models how we are to maintain a proper PERSPECTIVE on ourselves and our position in relationship to God.  First, Mary recognizes her need to be humble.  She displays wisdom in understanding how she will be considered “special” for generations to come because she will give birth to the Savior of the world (verse 48). With humility, she also knows this is only possible because God has worked on her behalf (verse 49), not as a result of anything she has done on her own. Mary knows her position is important, but the credit and honor belong to God alone.  Mary doesn’t make things about herself or what she will be facing, instead she remembers she isn’t the focus, God is.

3) What do Mary’s words show us about God’s role in times of challenge?
When facing a serious crisis in her life, Mary demonstrates a heart that is first focused on worship, a mind that has a clear perspective on her role, and a strength grounded by faith in the greater PURPOSES & CHARACTER of God.  In verses 50-55, Mary acknowledges God’s mercy, His mighty works, His justice, His provision, His help and His faithfulness.  Mary rests in the fact that all of these qualities will strengthen her as she walks through the challenges ahead.  The unique characteristics of God are exactly what make Him worthy of Mary’s worship.

Everyday Application

1) What does Mary teach us about responding to challenging circumstances?When crisis lands on your doorstep, what do you do?  Begin a pity-party over the hardships you’ll be facing?  Call a friend and vent?  Freeze up in fear?  Disengage and act like nothing is happening?  Most of us can identify with at least one of those responses.  How many of us can honestly say our response is like Mary’s with our first, immediate, and natural response is truly worshipping God, not just complaining to Him or begging Him to change things?  How do you need to adjust your response to times of crisis?  What would need to change for you to respond with worship the next time challenge comes your way?  If you’re in the midst of one of those times now, how can you worship God now?

2) What do we learn about the role of a worshiper during times of challenge from Mary’s song?
There is nothing like a difficult season or circumstance to bring out the selfishness in us all.  We post about it, in vague and veiled terms or in all of the gory details.  Perhaps we talk about it non-stop, managing to turn every conversation toward us and our difficulty.  Maybe we act like it’s no big deal at all and make ourselves out as a martyr.  Whatever our typical response, we must learn to instead have a heart like Mary’s.  We must remember that in all points of life, the best and the worst, God is still in control and worthy of our worship and praise.  We must be certain that we don’t instead turn the focus to ourselves.  Think about your own response to crisis in your life.  Can you honestly say that you turn the focus to God in those moments?  Would others see Him over you?  If not, why?  What would need to be different?

3) What do Mary’s words show us about God’s role in times of challenge?
What was the last challenging circumstance you faced?   What role did God take in that time of your life?  What did you learn about His character?  Or, if you are facing a crisis now, what are you learning about God along the way?  What part of His character do you need to focus on and remember the most?  Redirecting our thoughts to God during difficult times reminds us that He is for us and taking care of the details.  We can know we are truly worshipping when we experience God’s rest and peace despite the reality of the chaos around us.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

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