LUKE’S CHRISTMAS GOSPEL OF JESUS: A 30-Day Christmas-Time Devotional.
What is Faith?
Luke 1: 45 (MsgB)
 “Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!”
Mary of Nazareth, blessed woman of great faith.
The author of Hebrews writes this about faith:
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. (Hebrews 11: 1)
Vineyard founding pastor, John Wimber, used to say that faith is spelled R-I-S-K.
However you choose to define or describe faith, it’s obvious that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was gifted by God to be a woman of great faith.
Some have decided that Mary was special when compared to the rest of us humans, containing a degree of holiness and faith that only a very few people have. The Catholic Church defines this level of great faith in specific people as ‘sainthood.’
My question is this.
Was Mary a ‘saint’ thus she was able to hold onto her unshakeable faith in God? Or was it Mary’s unshakeable faith in God that brought her to her position of great blessing?
It seems to me that neither Joseph nor Mary are represented by the good doctor Luke in his gospel story as being ‘super saints,’ but simply as God-fearing, everyday common folk who willingly allowed their humble lives to be caught up into God’s bigger story.
Oh yes, Mary’s belief system or level of faith seems to be strong, yet isn’t this passage telling us that faith is simply believing what God says is true, choosing to believe that every word which God speaks will be accomplished?
With the indwelling and empowering work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, don’t you think you and I could live our lives in such a similar manner?
Maybe if we, in the church, took the fancy titles off the table, and just started encouraging one another to live out our faith through simple obedience to God’s Word, we might see more of us, like Mary and Joseph, walking in the rich blessings of God’s pleasure.
My prayer: Thank You, Lord that faith is a gift from You, not some great work of the flesh that I must gear up from within myself. Thank You that Mary models true faith, not by some super-human effort, but through simple obedience to Your direction in her life. May Your blessing be on me today as I look to walk in simple faith and obedience in the midst of my journey with You. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So, how have I mis-interpreted faith, thinking it is all my responsibility to come up with super-human efforts to please God? How can I simply humble myself before God, asking Him for the empowering work of the Spirit to fill me with simple faith and obedience, believing God can be trusted and His promises true?
So what is God speaking to you today? Are you practicing the Kingdom presence of God?
We hope you’ll enjoy these 30 blogs that walk you through 30 days of Advent (Nov 26 – Dec 25). Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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