Gracefully Truthful


Read His Words Before Ours!

Luke 1 
Exodus 15:1-21 
1 John 1:1-4
1 John 4:9-12 

The Christmas morning bells are ringing! Can you hear them?

The Day has finally arrived! As you sit contemplating your December, what have you anticipated? Tasks or people or a little of both? Before you rush on past the question, stop, and spend some time – maybe make a list. What are you feeling and pondering about Christmas this year?  

I imagine your list will look different than your neighbors’, your friends’ and even different than a family member or two.  If you asked me for mine, it would unfortunately begin with the weight of gift buying. I wished it didn’t, but it does.  

Let’s think for a moment…

…if our Christmas season did not include the birth of the Savior, how would our lists be different?

…if Mary did not choose to believe the child she was carrying was from the Lord, how would Christmas be anticipated?

As a follower of Jesus, is my attention focused on my Savior’s humble birth at Christmas? Mary, too, chose humility, believing the child of promise growing within her was from the Lord.  And finally, in humility, we can know the love of our Savior.

Take a moment to read the Scriptures listed above. It must be #HisWordsBeforeOurs for my words to matter. I don’t know about you, but what I consume in my mind determines the direction of my heart. The Old and New Testaments reveal how desperately we need saving from slavery to sin, and Jesus, our humble Savior, was brought into the world to free us into His light and His glory.

Christmas reminds us of this saving truth each year.   

Does December, and the list you just made, humble you? My own lists remind me that I need, and have, a Savior who gave me the opportunity to turn my heart to Christ and His glory.

Belief in Christ is a humbling gift of grace; it is humbling because we admit we do not know best, God does. In Exodus 15:1-21, following the miraculous rescue of the Israelites from slavery, leaders, Moses and Miriam, experienced the same invitation to humility and trust in God’s plan. They respond by singing God’s praise, just as Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her cousin Elizabeth would centuries later.  

Let’s explore Mary’s song together in Luke 1

Before Mary begins her praise, Elizabeth extends a blessing,
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord
would fulfill what He has spoken to her!

(Luke 1:45, emphasis mine)

Mary follows this recognition of humble belief by continuing the theme of humility:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 because he has looked with favor
 on the humble condition of his servant.
 Surely, from now on all generations
 will call me blessed,
 because the Mighty One
 has done great things for me,
 and his name is holy.

(Luke 1:46-49

Mary claims no accolade for herself, 
instead she points to God alone as her Savior.
She praises the One who tenderly wraps His daughter
in unmerited favor. 

She sings of He who is the Author of blessing in her life,
a Holy One who is working out His great and miraculous plan through her.

In our American culture, platform and influence and self-aggrandizement are potent currency, yet Mary’s divinely-inspired worship calls us to embrace a very different posture.

Like Miriam and Elizabeth, Mary heard the call to humility, and acted on it. Each one of these women was human and flawed and trapped in sin and death. Mary’s words remind us God is the champion of their, and our, stories; we are called to humble partnership with Him as He works in our world.

Every day brings us one step closer to His return,
when the trumpet sound will replace the Christmas bell.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
All of His promises will be fulfilled,
and ALL God’s children will be Home.

Can you imagine a day when no one is missing around the table at Christmas?  

Who will you invite into the joyful humility of Christmas as the New Year turns? 

Who are you praying will come to know Christ this season?  

Do YOU know Jesus, whom we’re celebrating today, and does your list reflect it?

Lord Jesus, I pray every woman who reads this Journey Study will be drawn to repentance and salvation by the humility of Jesus Christ. 

If you feel Him tugging your heart toward relationship with Him, won’t you join me in this prayer?

“I acknowledge my sin and turn from serving myself to serving You, Lord. I accept Your gift of salvation through grace and faith in Jesus. I want to stop trusting in myself and put my trust in You and Your work. I believe in YOU. Amen.” 

May our Christmas lists be made in humility and joy of knowing Jesus as we eat, sing and open all the gifts You have for us. Oh, how we love You, humble Savior who first loved us! (1 John 4:19)

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