Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”
As we have been learning about the virgin birth this week, you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with me? After all, Jesus’s birth was a once-in-history event. How does what happened to a peasant teenage girl 2,000 years ago impact my life?” I think all of us, hopefully, desire to live more than an ordinary life. Wouldn’t you like for God to use you to do something extraordinary, something that would make a real difference in the world and His kingdom? As we look at the life of Mary, we learn three characteristics of the kind of person God chooses to use in an extraordinary way.
First, God uses those who are pure. Mary was a normal teenager, and I am sure she and Joseph were tempted, just like other young adults, to enter into a premarital sexual relationship. But had Mary done that, she would have been disqualified from the unique role God had prepared for her. You see, given the choice between pure and impure, God will always choose pure. Now, you might be thinking, “I guess God can’t use me anymore because I have fallen in that area.” No, God can forgive you, and you can make a commitment to God from this point on that you are going to be a pure vessel available for God’s use in an extraordinary way.
Second, God uses those who believe His Word. God chose Mary because she believed what He said. She had faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” What is faith? Faith is believing that God will do what He has promised to do. We don’t know whether God is going to heal the person we care about. We don’t know if God is going to bring us the job we want. We don’t know if God is going to heal a relationship. Faith is not hoping that God will do what we want Him to do; faith is believing that God will do what He has promised to do. So when God told Mary that she was going to be the mother of the Savior, Mary believed God. God uses those who believe His Word.
Finally, God uses those who are willing to sacrifice what is most important to them. Mary knew that her willingness to be the mother of the Lord might very well end her relationship with the man she loved. She knew her pregnancy might lead to the breakup of her engagement. That was an extraordinary sacrifice. But Mary was able to sacrifice the security of that relationship because of her greater love for and her commitment to God.
What about you? Do you desire to be used by God in an extraordinary way? God uses those who are pure, He uses those who believe His Word, and He uses those who are willing to sacrifice what is most important to them.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Mary, Mary, Quite Extraordinary” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.