Thursday, December 17, 2015

12 Songs Of Christmas Day 4

Such a busy day but I wanted to be faithful to this series and put up a post.  Today's song is another one of my favorites.  It is scripture and that put to song is always going to be inspiring and uplifting to our souls.  I have taught on this portion of scripture at a couple of Christmas Teas and each time I am challenged to get back to basics-being reminded what it is to serve the Lord and that everything is about Him and the things I do should be done as unto Him.

"An audience of One" is a phrase I read in Gail MacDonald's book High Call High Privilege.  It's a wonderful book about the call of being a pastor's wife.  In one of the chapters she shares about doing what we do as unto the Lord, pleasing Him and not looking for the praise and adoration from man, being faithful and obedient in whatever we are called to do.

In Luke's Gospel, we ready of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We catch a small glimpse into her life and though not much is written about her, we are able to glean volumes from her life.

Today's song comes from Luke 1:46-55, known as The Magnicat.  Click below to hear this beautiful song:

I am so intrigued by Mary's life-her simplicity and her obedience. She faced fear of the unknown and probably had many questions about what was to be. Yet, she chose to obey God and to trust Him. She didn't need the story laid out before her and know every detail before she said yes-'behold the maidservant of the Lord, let it be according to Your Word'. Wow, what a response! It caused me to think about how I respond to things when God calls me to do something. Most times, I want to analyze like most of us women do. We tend to want to think it over, weigh the pros and cons, are there benefits, and wondering what the cost might be.

After meditating on these verses in Luke 1:46-55 (the Magnificat) you can really see Mary's heart. How much she loved the Lord, how well she knew her God. It showed me that that is what it comes down to in our lives, at least in my life. How well do I know Him, and how much do I really trust Him. Do I trust Him so much that I can abandon everything to Him, to believe without wavering that He will be faithful, that He will indeed work out every detail of the plan as I leave it to Him to do so. She praised the Lord in these verses from her heart, not just with her lips. Her worship wasn't based on how she felt at the time, or her circumstances. It was true worship from deep within her soul.

Another thing that really stuck with me in studying her life was what didn't happen. Here was Mary, soon to be married to Joseph. One might think that from this point on they would live spectacular lives, perhaps go on tour and share what it was like to 'carry the Son of God, write books, do promotions, etc.  . After all, they would be the earthly parents of the Messiah.

Mary and Joseph didn't become wealthy materialistically. Joseph didn't have the biggest carpentry business in town or business cards made up with a fish on them and try to gain from the call on their life. Nothing was about them. They didn't seek to profit nor did they expect that God would suddenly make their lives easier. There weren't some rich guys in the synagogue running over to build them a house or offer them all kinds of neat things because Jesus was living with them.

It made me think about life as a Christian. Life as a servant of God.  We can think that if we do what we ought, then God will be well pleased with us and He will make life a bit easier, He will suddenly change our financial status, our social status, and other things. I tend to fall in this rut at times. Thinking ok Lord, I am doing this and I know You are in it, I know You called me to this, and so everything is going to work out so well. I realized that this type of thinking can easily lead to bitterness. Bitterness towards the Lord because we had expected something more than He had promised. Bitterness because you said yes and you are struggling in your life and someone else said no and seems to be living the life of Reilly (who's Reilly anyway???)

We need to protect our hearts and minds from thinking that God owes us something just because we obeyed the call. When these thoughts come to mind, I need to run to my Bible and read the accounts of those who said 'yes' and see how easy and pain free their lives were (being sarcastic here) while on this earth.
Mary's obedience cost her much! She would watch her Son be beaten and hung on a cross to die. She would endure listening to the loud, scruffy voices of the soldiers hurling insults at the Son she once cradled in her arms. She would hear a crowd of voices yelling out to crucify the little boy she watched grow into a Man.  No, Mary's life was in no way easy just because she was obedient.

I read this quote from Charles Spurgeon:
"Oh how we ought to rejoice in Him, whatever our union with Him may cost us. Mary did not know what that wondrous visitation would cost her-and it was to cost her much, as Simeon said to her-"Yes, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also," But even though the sword must go through her soul, it mattered not to her, for unto her a Child was to be born, unto her a Son was to be given, who was to be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Might God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."

Oh to live this life with total abandonment to Christ.  To say 'yes, Lord and not worry about things to come, to not live in fear of the future.. Surrendering ourselves to Him without hesitation, to trust Him, to believe that yes, my God has everything under control. And then, not to just accept what He has for me-but to praise Him!  I realized how easy it is to get to that point of acceptance of His will but fail to get to the point of praise.

We do have reason to exalt His Name, to rejoice in our Savior! No matter what the circumstances of our lives are, no matter what or where He calls us to, we can magnify His Name!

How do you respond when the Lord asks the seemingly impossible of you?  I pray for all of us that as we know and trust Him more and more we can respond in praise as Mary did.  We can magnify the Lord rather than magnify what we deem impossible.  

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