Friday, December 21, 2012

Highly Favored (repost from December 2011)

by Kelby Roche
 The angel Gabriel told the virgin Mary that she was “highly favored” with God, yet she was “troubled” when she heard this news (Luke 1: 26-29), with good reason. After recovering from the fear and awe Gabriel caused her by his visitation and life-changing news, Mary had so much more to face as the reality hit her of this incredibly difficult yet significant assignment.

As a teenaged, betrothed virgin, she was pregnant, not with just any child, but with the Son of God conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:30-35). She would face rejection and criticism by her community, and the hurt and bewilderment of her fiancé Joseph, who thought she had been unfaithful and betrayed him (Matthew 1:18-19). She would escape the prying eyes and wagging tongues by traveling to the hill country to reach her cousin Elizabeth, an old woman also miraculously with child (Luke 1:36-40).


Then Mary and Joseph would set off for Bethlehem (Luke 2:4) on a long, bumpy journey with her precious Child bouncing up and down with each step of the donkey. She would wonder why no innkeeper could find room for the promised Messiah or His earthly family (Luke 2:7). She would endure the pain of childbirth in a smelly stable on scratchy hay, without any earthly comfort or help other than that given by her inexperienced husband and the warmth of the animals.


She would wonder why the King of Kings was not welcomed, recognized, and worshipped by most of those He came to save (John 1:10). She would face the pain and fear of knowing that Herod was trying to kill Him (Matthew 2:16-18) and that a sword would pierce Him and her soul also (Luke 2:34-35).


Yet the Bible says she was highly favored. How had she found favor with God? When faced with the impossible, Mary knew she had no strength, wisdom, experience or support of her own, and that the Lord Himself was her strength and her salvation. She turned it all over to Him, accepting His will and her role as “the handmaiden of the Lord” (Luke 1:38) with grace, courage and praise (Luke 1:46-49). He chooses those whom He favors not based on their ability, but on their availability and yieldedness to His will.


How did God show His favor toward Mary? God often favors His chosen servants not with worldly success, power, prestige, comfort and riches, but with trials that He can use to accomplish His will to His glory. Yet if He called you for a specific mission, He will provide all you need to complete it.


God sent angels as ministering spirits (Hebrews 1:14) -- He sent Gabriel to Mary to inform her of His plan (Luke 1:30-35); and He sent an angel to Joseph so that He would help Mary carry out this plan (Matthew 1:20-25). He sent Mary to Elizabeth so that they could encourage and uplift each other (Luke 1:39-45). He sent angels to tell shepherds to worship the newborn King (Luke 2:8-20) and He sent a star to lead wise men to also worship Jesus (Matthew 2:2-11), giving Mary confirmation that her Child was indeed the Son of God. He spoke through dreams to protect Jesus from the evil plot of King Herod (Matthew 2:12-23).

 

We can do nothing apart from God (John 15:5,8), but with Him, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Luke 1:37).
 

So no matter what our weaknesses or what resources or experience we seem to lack, let’s be yielded to God’s will, and give Him praise as He works through us! His grace is sufficient; His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9); and to Him belongs all the glory!


Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.… And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.… 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.





© 2012 Laurie Collett

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(February 5, 2012):
 

43 comments:

  1. Dear Readers,

    I have posted this from the archives to be able to spend more time with my family this week. It is my prayer that you will be blessed by it. May your Christmas be filled with His love, joy, and peace!

    God bless,
    Laurie

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Denise -- wishing you & yours a blessed Christmas!

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  3. How true,
    If anyone would have told my friend and myself years ago that we would be stood outside a jewellers shop in Mayfair London, holding a green guitar, singing songs about Jesus and handing out evangelizing leaflets, we would never have believed it. We can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens us.
    Have a lovely Christmas with the family.

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    1. Amen, Brenda! It's amazing to look back and to see where and how He has led us according to His perfect plan. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours,
      Laurie

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  4. My brother in Christ, who finished medicine at college, told us during one service, that it is miracle, that Mary and little Jesus were in such terrible conditions... And they didn't have any diseases, allergies, any complications of pregnancy...
    For me Mary is real example of faith, strong faith without duobting. She could be killed, as it was written in the Law of Moses. Last time I was thinking about it and I asked myself, how would I react, if my neighbour told me, that she would born Son of God.
    I wish You blessed and full of joy time at Christmas.
    Heartly greetings for You :)

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    1. That's true, Zim -- a young girl giving birth in a dirty stable, among the animals, in the cold, after a long trip on a donkey -- it is a miracle that she and He survived. But if God calls you to it, He will see you through it! He protected His Son throughout His earthly journey until it was time for Him to die to save all of us.
      Love, peace & joy to you at Christmas & always,
      Laurie

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  5. Hello lady! Thanks so much for stopping by and joining us at the Super Sunday Sync hop :) And for your sweet comment. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year as well. xo

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    1. Thanks Kera, for hosting & for your lovely comment! May you and yours have a blessed Christmas and 2013!
      LAurie

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  6. Well worth reposting. One can only the emotional stress as Mary watched what happened, with almost no control over it. That she was willing to let god have his way speaks volumes of her faith.

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  7. Thanks, Donald! I love the contrast between Mary and Zacharias, a mature believer and a priest, who reacted with disbelief to the news of Elizabeth conceiving in her old age. Mary, though astounded, responded to even more miraculous news with humility, obedience and faith. Thanks as always for your insight, and Merry Christmas!

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  8. Replies
    1. Hope you had a blessed Christmas, Joan! Happy New Year!
      Laurie

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  9. Very inspirational. We can always trust Jesus! Enjoy the rest of your week and all the best for 2013 Laurie!

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    1. Thanks, Judy for your sweet comment! He alone is trustworthy! May you & yours have a blessed 2013!

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  10. beautiful. Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katherine, for hosting & for your lovely comment. Happy New Year!

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  11. What a beautiful, well written post! Thank you for sharing it with Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    New Follower

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Marci, for following & for your lovely comment! I'm following you back!
      Happy New Year to you,
      Laurie

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  12. The Lord truly transforms our lives in so many ways we could never imagine possible. I love your words and the scriptures you shared. How blessed are we to be saved by His grace?

    Thank you, Mahalo so much for linking up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop last week. I am following you back by the way. :)

    If you have time, we'd love to have you come and link up to the Aloha Friday Blog Hop if you haven't already! We are hosting a great giveaway too which is a wonderful opportunity to give some extra exposure to you lovely blog. Come and link up, enter the giveaway (if you haven't yet) and celebrate the coming weekend with us!

    Aloha,

    Jean {What Jean Likes}

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    1. Hi Jean,
      Being saved by his grace is the greatest blessing imaginable! Thank you for your kind comment and for following & for hosting Aloha Friday! I'm planning on linking up regularly!
      Happy New Year!
      Laurie

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  13. Mary's position must have filled her with so many emotions. I cannot even begin to imagine filling such big shoes.

    I hope the time you are spending w/your family is top notch, & I hope you had a merry Christmas!

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    1. So true, mail4rosey -- any pregnancy calls forth so many emotions, and in Mary's case, that must have been multiplied at least 100 to 1000 times! For God to choose her, she must have been highly favored indeed.

      We had a wonderful, blessed Christmas Eve and day with our son and his girlfriend, and day after with my husband's family. I see from your blog you had a wonderful time with family also!

      God bless,
      Laurie

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  14. Hi Lovely, I'm your new follower from Blog Hop.
    Love your awesome blog. Feel free to check out & follow my blog @ www.revampspunkyrena.com
    xoxo
    Rena

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rena,
      Thanks so much for your comment & for following! I'm following you back!
      Blessings,
      Laurie

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  15. Love the post. I found you through the Aloha Friday Blog Hop. Have a great day. :)

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    1. Hi Lenetta,
      Thanks so much for following & commenting! Happy New Year to you!
      Laurie

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  16. A wonderful post!! I thought that I was already following your blog but I was wrong - I'm your newest follower from the “Weekend Blog Walk” blog hop - this is my blog if you wanted to follow back: godsgrowinggarden.com
    Thanks
    Angie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Angie -- I really appreciate your following! I've already been following your blog for some time & really enjoy your posts!
      Blessings for the New Year!

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  17. Hi I found you at Friendship Friday and I'm your latest follower. Nice to meet you. What a nice Post. This is what Christmas is really about. Thanks for sharing & Happy New Year.

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    1. Thanks, Xmasdolly, for your kind comment & for following! I'm following you back! Nice to meet you to, and Happy New Year to you & yours!
      Laurie

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  18. Hi Laurie!! Thanks for sharing this with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party :)) Happy New Year to you and your family :))

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Paula, for your comment & for hosting! May you & yours have a blessed New Year!
      Laurie

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  19. Yes Mary was highly favored. Even if she had so many challenges, she was filled with a joy and a peace that defies understanding! We too can be filled those most precious gifts if we abide in Him who is the source of all good gifts! A blessed Christmas season to you ! Patsy

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    Replies
    1. Amen, Patsy! May we rejoice always and have the peace that passes all understanding because we are His. Thanks so much for your comment and good wishes, and may you and yours be richly blessed in the New Year!
      Laurie

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  20. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday! Thanks so much for sharing the scripture telling of the birth of Christ with Share Your Cup. I am sure it is just an oversite, but I do not see a link back to Share Your Cup.
    Hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Hi Jann,
      We had a wonderful Christmas -- thanks so much!
      I'm sorry I don't have the link up yet to Share Your Cup. Because I post only once weekly, and because I link up that single post to so many blog hops during the week, it would become really unwieldy to have all the links with each post.
      I'm in the process of adding a page on which I'll have links to each hop I link with, but I got behind over the holidays. :-)
      If you don't mind bearing with me while I construct that would be great, and I appreciate your patience, but if you want to remove my link from Share a Cup in the meantime, I certainly understand.
      P.S. I'm the newest follower on your site, and I would love it if you would consider following me also! Hope you had a blessed Christmas season, and wishing you all the best in the New Year!
      God bless,
      Laurie

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  21. "Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die." - Ezekiel 18:4

    Hi, New! It might not be something we think about often, but we need to take care of our SOULS. Days can go by and we may worry about our health, jobs and families, but do you ever stop to really take care of your soul? Ask God to forgive your sins and have faith - that is the best thing for your soul!
    New Life Trinity Church Ministry....liked

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    Replies
    1. Amen -- what does it profit a man if he gains all but loses his own soul? Thanks for sharing your insights & God bless,
      Laurie

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  22. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23

    Hi, New! Sometimes, our lives may look like a mess. Things get complicated and feelings get hurt. But no matter what we think, God has a plan for us. We might not understand it but it's there - even if we are sinners! God Bless -

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    1. Amen, New Life! He loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners, that all who repent & trust Him will have eternal life! Thanks so much for following, & God bless!
      Laurie

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  23. "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." - James 5:16

    Hi, New! During this tragic and tumultuous time, we must remember to pray for one another, that we might be healed and protected by the Lord. Please pray for the families and victims of the violence in Connecticut.

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    1. Praying, New Life! May God work through this tragedy to bring souls closer to Him, and may He grant those involved the peace that passes all understanding.
      Blessings to you,
      Laurie

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