”How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will over…shadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:34-38 (NIV)
Dear heavenly Father, the one thing I share in common with Mary is incredulity over the mind-boggling, heart-encouraging promises you have made in connection with the birth of Jesus. I too say, “How will this be?” And I hear you answer back, from the Scriptures and the history of redemption, “Nothing is impossible with God.”
One Day I will love perfectly, with the kindness and compassion of Jesus. I will only think and see with the wisdom and eyes of heaven. I will fully embrace the will of God as my favorite bread and utter delight.
One Day I will never be selfish, petty, or defensive again. I will never get my feelings hurt, insist on being right, or demand more. I will think of others more highly and more often than myself. I won’t keep a record of anybody’s wrongs, and will only, and forever, be an encourager. I will be free, so very free and whole.
To all of these promises I find myself saying, “How will this be, since I’m still so very much not like Jesus?” And you answer back so grace-fully, “Things impossible with man are possible with God.” To which I say and pray, “May it be as you have promised in the gospel, holy and faithful Father. I am yours and your servant.” So very Amen I pray in Jesus’ exalted name.
A big thanks to Josh for sharing this beautiful application of the Word this morning. I too find myself asking, “But Lord, how could you love me, how could you ever use me – You know what all I have done.” But He proves over and over in His Word that even with imperfect people (that we all are), His Will is done through His faithful children. One of my favorites:
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 AMP
For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving to be called a…n apostle, because I once wronged and pursued and molested the church of God [oppressing it with cruelty and violence]. But by the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not [found to be] for nothing (fruitless and without effect). In fact, I worked harder than all of them [the apostles], though it was not really I, but the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God which was with me.
Yes, God the great creator, that potter that fashioned all the vessels will take something broken, and filthy, and vile – and will remold it, so that it can hold something beautiful in it – His Holy Spirit. And when something beautiful like the love of Christ comes overflowing out of a cup that used to be empty with selfishness and disobedience and rebellion against God – who can deny that it is God’s Glory and Power and Mercy and Honor. Every person in the Bible but Jesus is flawed just like you and I, and I think of the great example and contribution of Paul who was clearly an enemy of God prior to his salvation on the road to Damascus –
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 AMP
For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit or deserving to be called an apostle, because I once wronged and pursued and molested the church of God [oppressing it with cruelty and violence]. But by the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not [found to be] for nothing (fruitless and without effect). In fact, I worked harder than all of them [the apostles], though it was not really I, but the grace (the unmerited favor and blessing) of God which was with me.
Yes, God made us what he made us, so He could reshape us into what He is reshaping us into – and this He does for His glory and honor. I can’t beat because it is Him doing the work, it is Him making those changes – because when He moves in, together with Him, we tear down walls, sweep out the dirt, and make this temple a dwelling place for fit Him to dwell – and in turn, we find that it becomes a place for four us to dwell as well as we are now Children of God, sharing in His Kingdom.
Big thanks again to Josh Killen this morning. His post sent me on a journey that I needed this morning.