Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I couldn’t sleep last night and I’m not sure why.  But I finally got up at about 3:30, turned on the coffee pot and curled up on the couch by the Christmas tree.  I do love early morning (although this was a leettle early – even for me).

I’m in Ephesians right now, trying to go through it slowly, letting God help me understand and apply so many weighty things.  Did you ever notice how God’s word absolutely requires you to spend time in order to even begin to understand it?  I like that.  No skimming with this Book.

Today I read:

“I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of His power.”  Eph 3:7

I serve the gospel.  It doesn’t serve me.  It’s a wonderful master, actually.  The living message of hope and peace and life through Christ.  But I am not the one directing my life, my decisions, my days. 

bond servant:
  1. a slave
  2. metaph., one who gives himself up to another’s will, whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing His cause among men
  3. devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests

Mary, Jesus’ mother, probably had some plans for her life, even though she was a young teenager – long engagement to the man she loved followed by a happy wedding with joyful family and then children after they were all settled. I wonder if she wanted a daughter first? I can only guess what some of her plans might have been. And then… a visit from an ANGEL.  

I keep thinking about what my pastor said on Sunday morning when he shared about Mary and her response to the news that her life would not be taking the course she had anticipated.

She trusted – even though she certainly didn’t know all the answers to her questions.  I cannot imagine the things swirling in her mind and heart.

She surrendered and told God “I am your bond servant.” 

She took her hands off the control and ownership of her life and gave it willing to God.  The angel showed up and interrupted her plans.  God gave her a completely new and radical script for her life and she said “I trust You and I’m not going to withhold anything from You.  I’m Yours to use in the ways You decide are best.”

Amazing.  She let her life serve the gospel – literally.  But I know that’s exactly the attitude God expects me to have.  In light of some decisions I need to make, this helps me so much.  I can look at them not so much about how they affect me but how they might line up with God's plans. 

God, I am Yours.  Use me however You decide is best.  By Your power and strength working in me, not mine.  By Your grace, not mine.  If You show me what to do and where to go, You are in charge of making it happen and giving me what I need to do it.

And then she worships! 

Do I worship in response to something God is asking of me? 
Do I worship when my day doesn’t follow what I had planned? 
Do I trust Him enough?

Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
Luke 1:46


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