In the sixth month of Elizabethʼs pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virginʼs name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Mary was a young girl living a very ordinary life, engaged to be married to Joseph. She was quite possibly preparing for her marriage, dreaming about becoming a wife. Perhaps she was busy sewing on her wedding clothes or making linens for her soon-to-be new home. I’m confident that whatever she was doing that day she was NOT expecting a personal visit from God’s messenger. The angel called her “highly favored” and Mary was “greatly troubled” wondering what the angel could possibly mean. How could she be favored by God? She was just a young girl living in a small village~practically a nobody.
Mary was about to learn that being favored by God does not mean that all your dreams come true or that life is going to be easy. There can be a tremendous price paid by those who are favored by God~but the rewards are beyond compare. Favored simply means that God is willing to use you.
God favors those who are willing to be used by Him. They may be uneducated and inexperienced, like Mary, but God still uses them in his grand plan for humanity. God is willing to favor anyone who is willing to be a part of His plan.
But for Mary, Christmas was also about discovering the intimacy of God’s presence. The angel told her, “The Lord is with you!” No longer was God simply a Divine Being. Instead, God invaded Mary’s life on a personal level. Christmas proclaims to us and all of the world that “God is with us!”
This is one of the best parts of Christmas for us~experiencing God’s favor and intimacy. Understanding that God is with us and desires to use us as a part of his great plan is better than any gift we might find under our Christmas tree.
Breathe in His love…exhale all your struggles…
God is with you…He loves you and wants to use you as a part of His plan. Are you willing to be used by Him?
1. Answer honestly~do you really long to receive God’s favor in your life? Why or why not?
2. Is there anything in your life you need to change in order to be open to God’s favor?
3. What is one thing you can do today to promote intimacy with Jesus?
Dear Lord~thank you for Your favor and intimacy. You are no longer a God dwelling in Heaven. Instead You came to earth as a little baby so we could have an intimate relationship with You. As we approach this Christmas season, help us stay aware and receptive to Your favor~willing to be used by You. Help us as we draw closer to You and bless us as we develop the intimacy with You for which our hearts long. In Jesus name we pray…Amen!