Bible Verse: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
Scripture Reading: Matthew 1:18-25
In today’s devotional, we will discuss Mary, Jesus’s mother, who miraculously conceived the Messiah by the power of the Holy Spirit, while remaining a virgin.
According to Jewish law, Mary’s apparent unfaithfulness allowed her fiancée Joseph to break the engagement and demand that she and her child’s father be stoned to death.
Although God’s angel convinced Joseph to marry Mary, the rest of the small Jewish community must have thought she was unfaithful and needed to be condemned. The news of Joseph taking Mary as his wife must have spread quickly, given Mary’s obvious guilt, unpunished by this ultra-traditionalistic Jewish community.
Even if Joseph had been the child’s father, sex before marriage was forbidden. Like Micah, Mary would have been ridiculed for not following the customs of her time and for putting her faith in God first. Reading about Mary’s faith made me reconsider my understanding of faith.
Faith is not only for the “mature.”
According to most scholars, Mary was between twelve and fourteen when she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. It is essential to understand the context of this situation. As a young teenager, Mary was informed that she would have a child, even though she was still a virgin.
Upon receiving this news, Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant; may your word to me be fulfilled.” I don’t know any teenagers who would have reacted similarly. Despite her young age, Mary put her faith in God and was grateful to be involved in His plan to save humanity.
Sometimes, we allow life’s difficulties to overshadow our childlike faith in our Creator. Remember Mary and her unwavering trust in God’s plan whenever you feel anxious about the future.
Faith gets stronger with submission.
Mary likely endured immense pain and was even mocked for infidelity. Her future husband desired to leave her discretely, and to add to her grief, she later witnessed her eldest son being crucified. However, it was through her submission to God’s plan that humanity was saved. It is important to remember the example of Mary and how she surrendered to God’s plan when we face despair and our patience in God’s greater purpose is tested.
As someone who is task-driven and has a type-A personality, I have often made quick decisions that turned out to be colossal mistakes. I have ignored the gentle voice that tells me to wait and have faith.
Earlier in my career, I worked as a project manager at one of Canada’s largest banks. When my boss resigned, she was replaced by a pretentious man from the UK office. Most of my colleagues left his department within a few months, and I was also considering leaving.
Despite the need to pray, have faith, and conduct thorough research on my potential employers, I accepted the first job offer that came my way. It turned out to be a massive mistake. I was unwilling to surrender my plans to God and wait for His guidance. I know our faith grows stronger when we submit our decisions to God.
Prayer: Father, help us surrender our decisions completely in faith and wait for Your guidance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Reflection: Is there a situation in which you need to surrender completely to God and wait for His answer patiently?
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