Sunday Devotional: Luke 1:46-55

“And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

These words were shared by Mary after hearing from the angel Gabriel, who told her about the part she would play in God’s redemption plan.  She would be the one who would give birth to the savior of the world.  Upon hearing this news, this was her response.

The first thing she does is praise the Lord.  Our response to whatever comes our way is to remember and praise the Lord.  She also mentions how the Lord has remembered Israel and her people.  For 400 years or so there was no word from the Lord but now here was God’s response.  And that response has been such a blessing to us as well.

This Christmas season, let us remember the gift that God has given to us through Jesus and let us give thanks throughout the year because of it.

Thursday Quote Day: Ann Voskamp

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” is from author Ann Voskamp:

“If God didn’t withhold from us His very own Son, will God withhold anything we need? If trust must be earned, hasn’t God unequivocally earned our trust with the bark on the raw wounds, the thorns pressed into the brow, your name on the cracked lips? How will he not also graciously give all things He deems best and right? He’s already given us the incomprehensible” (Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts)

Sunday Devotional: Mercy

I recently downloaded the Sports Specturm app (for those that don’t know, Sports Spectrum is a magazine that features athletes and coaches that share about their faith).  Well this app has devotions that on it that is updated nearly every day (well every weekday and one for the weekend).

The one for this weekend had for the scripture Matthew 5:7:  “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”  This verse is part of the Beatitudes, which is part of the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus preached.  The Beatitudes themselves are a reflection of what a follower of Jesus will look like.  One of those is one who shows mercy.

Mercy is something we all need.  There are times when we do something stupid and instead of getting what we deserve mercy can be shown.  It’s like going over the speed limit but instead of getting a ticket, the officer shows mercy and gives only a warning.  How does one feel when shown such mercy?  Relief, joy, gratefulness.  Think about how much of a gift that is.  Now think about how that would feel in showing that to others.

Being a follower of Jesus entails being someone who shows mercy.  Today is a great day to be merciful.  Who do you know that needs mercy shown today?