Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
For years, the Jews had heard of the coming Messiah. They had heard the priest get up in the synagogue and read from the prophets of Emmanuel; God with us. They knew of the Forerunner that was to prepare the way for the Messiah. Then, at a time probably least expected, Gabriel came to announce to Mary the good news.
She was chosen of God to bear Jesus; the Son of God. I am sure she had been brought up in a family that held Jehovah in high regard. They frequented temple as often as it was available. She was taught that her faith was to be placed in the God that created all that she saw; to believe in the God who delivered her people from Egypt.
I can only imagine that there were times that it became routine. Times when she may have questioned or became skeptical, but her faith saw her through.
Faith seems little when our experience is just an observation of another’s testimony. But, when we are partakers in the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives, God becomes real, and our faith becomes real. After Gabriel left and she reflected and did as he commanded.
The process of acceptance must not have been an easy one. She was betrothed to Joseph, a real man of God. Breaking the news to him must have been tough. What to do and how to handle the situation and circumstances in which they were placed could not have been simple or easy.
After she and Joseph came to the place of acceptance of all that was happening to her, her faith rose to embrace that she was chosen; she was highly favored; she was seen and known of God. So, when she came to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, praise flowed from her.
Magnify: to make great or greater; to make great in representation; to exalt in description of praise. Mary had to have known much about God and His character to praise Him like she did. Yes, she was filled with the Holy Spirit, but He must have a well to draw from. It is with this simple thought that I was challenged today:
How much or how long would I be able to praise God with what I know of Him?
Many can brag on the sports stats that consume someone taken with fantasy sports. Others know much of the lives of famous business, literary and Hollywood ‘stars’, but if we had to brag on our Savior to someone, what would we say? Could we be convincing in what we said, or would we be trying to repeat what we heard last Sunday?
Confidence comes with knowledge and knowledge comes with study.
2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Many of us could say something ‘about’ God, but when push comes to shove, could we quote the verses that would back up our claim? Do we know enough to convince someone that Jesus was truly the Son of God, or do we need to convince ourselves first?
Our churches are only as strong as her members and her members are only as strong as they are in relationship with the God of Heaven. Challenge yourself with this task: using only your bible without the use of any other study, commentary, bible app or program; write all you know about God’s character and Who He is to you.
Wherever that place is for you, we can always grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God. Paul’s desire was to know God.
Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”
We cannot know God apart from His Word. So, study. Study to show yourself approved.
When Mary found that she was the one spoken of in scripture to bear the Son of God; that reality caused her faith to grow. When you and I can be used to be a witness to someone, or be present for the miraculous transformation when they trust Christ as Savior, our faith will grow.
When prayers are answered, truth revealed, and we are used to teach someone, help someone, lead and guide someone; our faith grows just a little bit more. It is then we can take our magnifying glass and place it over the very thing of which we had an active part. That which God chose to do in our life can be magnified to others.
Our reality of God in our lives can be a testimony to others that God is not only real, but close at hand. Live to gather evidence of the reality of God in your life. Then, take God’s magnifying glass and show others just how wonderful and how marvelous He really is!