Week 2 of Advent: Faith

This December, I want to focus less on giving gifts and more on receiving the Gift of Jesus. Last week HERE I contemplated the intricacies of adoption. We have HOPE because Jesus came to rescue us when we could do nothing to rescue ourselves. The process of adoption – though beautiful – is never easy. The process of adopting us was complicated and painful for Jesus. My HOPE of heaven is reverent this year because of the price He paid for me to be His daughter.

This week, advent has us considering FAITH. We will look together at Luke 1, that highlights the faith of a young virgin and the communication between two unborn children. I heard these particular points last Sunday in church from John Ensor, president of Passion Life. I hope you enjoy the points made in Luke 1:26-38 as much as I did. May your FAITH increase.

This week’s overarching question:

Mary believed God was going to do what He said. Her faith invited God in for the miracle.

Does my faith invite miracles?

  • An angel appeared to a virgin named Mary when she was not yet pregnant.

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (26-27)

  • God comforted her with news that Elizabeth was also experiencing a miraculous birth.

 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. (36)

How kind of God to provide someone for Mary to spend time with who was also experiencing the same thing. People weren’t understanding what was happening to each of these women, but they had each other!

  • Mary left with haste to go to visit Elizabeth.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, (39)

Of course she rushed to the home of the only other woman who would understand her! Since Elizabeth was married to Zechariah, a priest in the temple of Jerusalem, and the countryside is hilly just east of Jerusalem, it is thought that Mary traveled about 75 miles. In those days, that was a 3-5 day trip, or one week at the most.

  • Mary arrived at Elizabeth’s house freshly pregnant.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! (41-42)

The six month old baby in Elizabeth’s womb, John the Baptist, recognized the entry of Mary as the mother of the Lord, when Mary was less than one week pregnant. In terms of human form, Jesus was still a zygote.

  • Elizabeth blessed Mary for her FAITH.

…Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (45)

Mary believed God was going to do what He said. Her faith invited God in for the miracle.

  • Mary expressed her faith in God with a song.

And Mary said:“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” (46-55)

Picture Explanation: Each year my father finds handmade ornaments to distribute to family members with the year’s date on them. As I hung the ornaments on our tree this year, with dates extending decades back, I appreciated my family and our history together. Each year I pull a random ornament box out of the attic and see what surprises are inside. My son and I enjoyed the unveiling and chatted about our family. Here is a collection from our tree this year. Thank you, dad.

© 2018 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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