10 Days of Christmas Truths to Live All Year

Day 1 of 10 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Mary:

I know when I think of Mary, my mind usually drifts to the excitement in her assignment from God. But while Mary is spoken of with great respect and admiration today, it wasn’t like that 2,000 years ago.

Most historians speculate Mary was between 15-16 years old when she gave birth to Jesus. Add in the gossip and chatter that emerged since she wasn’t married. In fact, when she told Joseph, her own fiancé didn’t believe her. Before an angel appeared to him, Joseph had decided to quietly break off the engagement (Matthew 1:19). 

Then, after getting through that initial trial, she had to travel while in labor…and give birth in a stable? Ouch.

It feels a little different than the respect and admiration we feel for her today, right?

Here are two of my favorite takeaways from Mary’s life:

1) No matter what others think about you, God does not look at your earthly resume to determine your spiritual worth. 

In that day, being young, poor, and female meant there was nothing about her life that society would deem her “usable” by God. But Mary’s faith was stronger than doubts in her mind and whispers from the crowd. 

2) If you decide to live boldly for Jesus, it won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it. 

Ministry assignments often come with more hardships than glamour. If you look at someone else’s platform and only see the perks and benefits, know that for every “spotlight” moment you see, there are countless struggles you missed.

Mary’s final words to the angel of the Lord were simply, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled...” (Luke 1:38 NIV). 

Mary wasn’t focused on the now. Mary was focused on what she knew the Lord would do through her obedience. She chose to praise Him before she knew the outcome. 

In fact, all Mary really understood was that God had chosen her to serve Him and she willingly obeyed. And that was enough. 

God, help me to keep my focus on You, not the “right now.” It’s so easy to get caught up in the approval and opinions of others, but I trust You with my life. Use me however You get the most glory. Give me the same humble submission to You that I see in Mary’s life. I love You! Amen.