Mary’s Devotion to God and His Way In Spite of Scorn

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord;
let it be to me according to Your Word.”

Can you imagine an angel from God suddenly appearing in front of you? Telling you something will happen to you that is so incomprehensible that no one on earth can ever understand it?

What a shock it must have been for Mary, coming from the disregarded, despised city of Nazareth. She was among the poor and unnoticed.

But God noticed her. He chose her to carry our Savior, truly God who became poor so that we might become rich.

“You know the grace that has come to us
through our Lord Jesus the Anointed.
He set aside His infinite riches
and was born into the lowest circumstance
so that you may gain great riches
through His humble poverty.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 Voice

When the angel appeared, Mary became frightened, but the angel told her:

“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Now listen:
You will conceive and give birth to a son,
and you will call His name Jesus.
He will be great
and will be called the Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David.
He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and His kingdom will have no end.”
Luke 1:30-33 HCSB

Mary was baffled, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied to her:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore, the holy One to be born
will be called the Son of God.”
Luke 1:35 HCSB

Wow! God poured in His grace, and Mary opened her heart and believed this was not impossible with God. She answered His call, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to Your Word.” (Luke 1:38 ESV)

What would this illegitimate birth mean for Mary in the culture in which she lived?  Her father might have cast her out and forced her into begging. She would be scorned and could even be put to death, but God took care of all this and told Joseph not to abandon her and to go ahead and marry her anyway.

She may still have been under suspicion. Maybe she even lost friends.

A difficult journey was ahead of her, and she knew her submission to God would be costly. Yet she remained devoted to Him and freely offered Him her body and soul. It was more important to her to follow God and have His favor than gain the approval of people.

O Lord, are we that available to You? Please help us to give You our whole hearts and lives, both body and soul. Make us open to whatever You have in mind for us in this life, even when we can’t understand it or we meet with resistance. Like Mary, help us to put Your favor and glory above people’s approval and favor. Enable us to throw ourselves into Your hands with a childlike trust as Your servants, ready to do or be whatever You ask us to! Help us to make room in our hearts for You! We invite You to be born in the stinking, dirty stable of our hearts! Help us to embrace and be filled with awe that You became poor so we might become rich! Thank You for Your free gift of unspeakable love!

 

Thoughts on Courage

Courage Is Possible Through God’s Grace
He Is With Us
He Will Never Leave Us

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated.
Don’t give them a second thought because God,
your God, is striding ahead of you.
He’s right there with you.
He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 The Message
I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have
 [perfect] peace.
In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering,
but be courageous
 [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; 
I have overcome the world.”

[My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]”

John 16:33 AMP
“But when I am afraid,
    I will put my trust in You.
I praise God for what He has promised.
    I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?”
Psalm 56:3-4

Courage Quotes

(Some of my favorite courage quotes from my Quote Page.)

“Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” – Brené Brown

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea 
that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you’re licked 
before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. 
You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” 

- Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Courage means not allowing your limitations to eclipse God’s possibilities.” ~ Christine Caine

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage Resources from Renee Swope:

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence

Promises to Personalize

When have you been afraid and needed courage?
What Bible verse has strengthened you?
Do you have a favorite courage quote?


“Take Courage”
by Kristene DiMarco

April Roundup: Links, Quotes, Books & More


“Safe”
by Victory Worship

“I found my fortress, in You
And my soul is anchored, with You
My resting place, is in Your name
Forever safe”


Thank You
to anyone and everyone who recommend
links, books, quotes, etc.

ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added an “S” Word:

❤  Shepherding Love 
He tends His flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
    He gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11

Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂  Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your Life by Sarah Young

“From your heart’s deepest cry to life’s joyful praises, nothing is off limits to Jesus.
Knowing Jesus on a deeper, more personal level means sharing all aspects of your life with Him…every day. In Dear Jesus, Sarah Young exemplifies what it means to do this-to dialogue with the Savior. She begins each of the 120 devotionals by sharing intimate struggles and longings that weigh on the heart-being preoccupied with problems; being dissatisfied with oneself, and other spiritual issues. Jesus then responds in His loving way by giving guidance and encouragement, using Scripture as the foundation from which His words flow. Readers will be drawn into the presence of God through these spiritual letters of grace.” (Amazon Review)

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 You Don’t Have to Understand God – “When we don’t understand something about God, some people are tempted to discredit him completely. My friend Andy Stanley said, ‘You don’t have to understand everything to believe in something.’ In John 9, Jesus met a man who was born blind and forced to beg just to get by. Jesus’ disciples wanted to know whose fault it was that the man was blind: Was it his fault? Or his parents?…”

💞 Hurt, Hope, and Making It Through Life’s Hard Times – Holley Gerth reminds us that hurt and hope are a part of every hard experience. Hurt and hope both need to be felt, not ignored.

💞 Hope Verses – Hope verses Bill from “Unshakable Hope” has put together. Suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, Bill has learned that hope is one of the things that cannot be shaken.

Nature Retreat

“In every walk with nature
one receives far more than he seeks.”
~ John Muir

More photos from my brother in Arizona. 🙂 John took a two-hour hike along a river in search of the elegant trogon he was told was in the area. He was finally rewarded. Isn’t this bird beautiful?! The other photos are of a leaf-footed cactus bug, a rattlesnake, and a wolf spider.


🐾 Kevin Barry Photography – Galleries of splendid nature photos of landscapes, insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, alligators, and more.

🐾 Kinnara Bosworth Portfolio – This photographer travels to see and photograph natural wonders from all parts of the globe to share with the rest of the world. There are fantastic photos from different countries.

🐾 HD Nature Photos: Stunning Royalty-Free Landscape Images – Breath-taking photos of landscapes and wildlife including serene pictures of trees, lakes, plants, flowers, outdoor animals, seascapes and more.

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Quotes

New quotes this month are about Faith.

❤ “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie ten Boom

 “Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” – Max Lucado

 “Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

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