Daily encouragement

Video by

Matt Shaw

ACF Devo Team

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Luke 1:46-48

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;”

Behind the Scenes

Have you ever had something happen that you were literally coming out of your skin to tell someone else about it? Then you start telling them, and your enthusiasm infects them, and they begin exuberantly adding their side to the story? Like two young schoolgirls excitedly telling each other their greatest dreams…

This is how I picture this meeting between Mary and her older cousin Elizabeth. As we saw in our scripture yesterday, when Mary arrived at Elizabeth’s house, the baby Elizabeth was carrying jumped for joy, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and Mary sang a song of praise. I love how Elizabeth asks in Luke 1:43, “Why is it that I am so favored that the mother of my Lord visits me?” And follows up with, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” in verse 45. There was no question for Elizabeth who Mary was or who she was carrying.

Mary in turn, sang her own song of praise: “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…”

Make it Real

Okay, so what really happened here? I have to be honest — I’m not the most joyful pregnant person. And I know I’m not the only one. While I’m overjoyed at the impending baby, the pregnancy part was hard. I gained weight, my feet swelled, I had heartburn 24/7, and my hormones went CRAZY. I was 38 when my second child was born — and I was tired.

So here we have Elizabeth — who was past the age of childbearing — different sources say she was anywhere between the ages of 60 and 80. Oh my goodness, it was hard enough at 38 — I can’t imagine being 60…Then we have Mary who traveled nearly 100 miles while pregnant. And yet…they were both full of joy!

Here’s what I discovered that may help explain it:

1. Something supernatural happened to both of them. Elizabeth could have been as old as 80 years when she got pregnant — that’s unheard of even in our medically-advanced time. And Mary, well, Mary was a virgin. Try explaining that one to your family…

2. They were both filled with the Holy Spirit. Until this time, indwelling of the Holy Spirit was few and far between and was rarely permanent. Have you ever experienced a time when you knew for a fact that the Holy Spirit was moving in and around you? It can bring a joy that is in itself supernatural and overwhelming.

3. They both knew their Lord. Elizabeth’s husband, Zechariah, was a priest serving in the temple when an angel visited him telling him of the upcoming birth of his son, John. We know he was a devout Jew who both knew and served his Lord. Therefore, Elizabeth was also sure to know her Lord. Mary, when visited by the angel Gabriel, didn’t question for a minute who he was and that he was sent by the Lord. He told her not to be afraid because she had found favor with God.  Mary’s answer to the proclamation that she, being a virgin, would be overcome by the power of the Most High was “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (vs. 38). Yes, they both knew their Lord.

4. They praised God. They weren’t grumpy. They didn’t jump on the complaint train (even though I’m sure their feet were swollen). They didn’t try to “one-up” each other’s misery. Nope. They praised God in song.

Want to be joy-filled like Elizabeth and Mary during this season? Let’s take a page out of their book. While something supernatural may not happen to you, have you ever considered that taking a breath and reading this devo is, in actuality, pretty supernatural? How have all of our cells come together to design us so that we breathe, think, act, feel, and dream? Supernaturally, of course. As a believer in Christ, you too are filled with the Holy Spirit and can know your Lord. And finally, when everything around seems to be crashing down — PRAISE!

End in Prayer

Father God — let us PRAISE you! Let us know that we know that we know you and all that you have done for us. Fill us to overflowing with your Holy Spirit and draw us into more with you. God of joy — we love you. God of hope — we believe you. God of all — we want you. Thank you for the gift of Jesus ~ AMEN!

Written by

Colleen McGeorge

ACF Groups Coordinator