With a beautiful, fresh snowfall this morning, I’ve put on worshipful Christmas music and the song, Mary Did You Know, was playing. So now I am considering this beautiful young woman, Mary – a servant of God who was chosen to be the vessel God would use to deliver our Savior into this broken world.
Some 2000 years later, our world is still very broken, but there are believers who shine brightly for their King! Those who have claimed Jesus as Lord and Savior have a calling of our own to embody the fullness of Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit within. This revelation to man, began in Mary’s physical womb, by the power of the Holy Spirit giving conception to this virgin; Jesus’ precious life comes to us and continues in those who also are willing to surrender to Him today.
Many today have the privilege of lighting the way for others, yet are not. Why? Guilt and shame have weakened their hearts. For some, it is shame as a result of sinful choices; self-will, pride perhaps. For others it has come through the evil actions of another, a childhood sexual abuser, or a lack of understanding about what the indwelling Christ came to do. He is the innocent Lamb who came for you and me. Why, to take away the sins of the entire world, including our shame and guilt.
You Can Know
It can appear that the Enemy has stolen (John 10:10) truth from the hearts of men, women and children; many are living far below the mission and purpose for the child of God. Where are you at? Have you settled for less than God’s will for your life? Beware of the two common defaults many slide toward: the self-centered life of a younger prodigal brother or the religious life of the elder brother that Jesus told of in Luke 15:11-32? Have you not grasped the extravagant love that comes from relationship with God the Father? He longs for intimate fellowship with you each day. True freedom and liberty will not come to surrogates or religious observers, but to those who have, like Mary, surrendered fully to the Father’s will. This surrender will involve purposes that look different for each of us; there was only one Mary, yet there is a multitude that God has chosen to follow Him – indeed He calls all to do so.
Like the elder and younger brother, there was shame in both of them; the younger over a sin-filled life and the elder over a self-righteous life. They both had access to an extravagantly loving Father, and one came to realized it! This Father will not turn anyone away who comes to Him as this young brother did in humility and repentance over his sin.
Mary faced the shame associated with pregnancy outside of marriage; Joseph endured public misunderstanding and the confusion of Mary’s pregnancy. It took courage for them to believe and stand upon faith through their mission of birthing and raising the Messiah. But their shame was not over sins committed, but through the misunderstanding of others; and God’s plan. Mary and Joseph modeled surrender, and so can we.
Don’t Let Shame Hold You Back
I’m praying for you who are struggling with pain from your past as we approach this Christmas season. You may have apprehension because your soul still suffers from the results of betrayal and sin committed against you. I’m asking the Holy Spirit to come to you in a new way. It may be as astounding as the Angel’s message to Mary was. Look for Him; seek Him as the wise men did. God lead them to Jesus, He desires for you to find your peace in Him also. He will lead you to people in a family, called the Church; not a perfect people, but a Perfect Savior.
Consider laying aside the normal flurry of activity, gift giving, and commercialized forms of relief; rather give yourself the best gift that you could receive this Christmas, Jesus Himself. Learn to surrender to Him, and see what wonders He will do in you and through your life.
Photo Credit: Jesus of Nazareth Film, Pixabay.