Devotional

“Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!” ― Luke 1:46-47. 

Mary was probably having a simple, fairly normal day. And then the extraordinary happens. But it not only happened, but it also entered her world in the form of an extraordinary encounter with the angel, Gabriel. We don’t know where Mary was or what she was doing when Gabriel came to visit her, but we can probably imagine what it must have been like to have her relatively uncomplicated life change instantly by someone with wings. Mary is naturally afraid at first. After all, this is not an everyday occurrence. And obviously this was before Candid Camera.

Mary calms down and Gabriel wastes no time telling her the news: ”Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”…you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.  And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:28, 30-33)

Can you imagine receiving that message? Remember, Mary was only a teenager, probably between 13 to 16 years old. We think things get convoluted and complicated, busy and stressful in our lives. Imagine this is suddenly given to you in the middle of some weekday afternoon while you’re packing the kids lunches for school, waiting in the check out line at Publix. or waiting for your appointment at the doctor’s office.  

The wonderful part of the story is Mary’s response to the angel’s announcement. “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” (Luke 1:38) “ That’s it. No other questions, comments, apprehensions or concerns. Mary consents. Nothing complicated. No need to fully understand, or see the whole program, or get a handle on it. Just a simple, total trust in God on her part.

What about us? Have you ever heard God calling out your name, telling you that He wants you to do something? Do you trust God enough to be faithful to Him? The truth is that your life will never be fulfilling until you allow God to use you. Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) is clear that you were “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” You won’t find fulfillment in anything besides the work of God because it’s not what you were made for. God’s destiny is our destiny. If you want to live an abundant life you have to allow God to use you.

God doesn’t need our help, but He wants your life to matter. He wants you to have an eternal reward for the things you do here on earth. Many people go through life feeling discouraged about themselves and thinking they don’t have a purpose in life. But that’s not true. Whoever you are—whatever your life experiences, talents, physical ability, or role—you have a purpose and a destiny.  You just have to accept it as Mary did.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think God’s destiny for your life is?  
  2. What can you do this week to get more in line with God’s destiny for your life?