guest post devotional by Nicole boyd

Mother’s of the Bible: Week 4

Mary, the mother of Jesus

Day 1: God likes to do the impossible

Matthew 1: 18 – 25; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:5-80

Today we get to read about two amazing mothers from the Bible: Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. I absolutely love the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah, how God showed up at the temple to tell John’s father that his wife was going to have a son, even though she was old. It seems that God likes to bring babies into the world by miraculous means- Sarah and Elizabeth were advanced in years, had given up hope of ever becoming mothers, and Mary the virgin. 

The part I really wanted to focus on today is Luke 1:35-38

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. 

Mary’s response is so beautiful. She didn’t question with a heart of doubt, she questioned (in verse 34) out of curiosity, I believe. And the angel told her what would happen. She humbled herself in obedience, essentially saying, “Okay, God. I don’t know how this is going to work, but here I am!” 

Have you ever heard the quote from Walt Disney: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”? Well, I think God likes to do the impossible! He uses weak, fallible humanity to accomplish His purpose. You may feel stuck in the place God has you right now. I know I have! I think we have these grand ideas of what it looks like to walk out our calling, to be effective in the kingdom. We make it so complicated. 

God isn’t looking for people who have it all together. He’s looking for people who are willing to trust Him, even if they don’t have all the answers of how it’s going to work. He needs people who will say “Yes!” 

Day 2: The craziest birth story… EVER

Luke 2:1-40

When I was getting ready to have my first baby, I was so nervous. I did my best to get prepared before Kaleb’s arrival, but literally nothing went as planned! My last day of work was on May 31st of 2017 and I was looking forward to some “nesting” time before our son was born. We had just moved into a new house and I was supposed to have a couple weeks before Kaleb was due. But no, he decided to come two and a half weeks early, just two days after we’d moved all our boxes into the house. We went to the hospital at 1:30 in the morning after my water suddenly broke. I hadn’t even had a chance to pack a bag to take with us to the hospital! 

I can’t imagine being Mary and having to travel all the way to Bethlehem, all while she was heavily pregnant. And I really can’t imagine having to give birth in a dirty, old stable, with only my husband to deliver the baby. I mean, come on! Thank you Jesus for hospitals and midwives. 

But in all the crazy surrounding Jesus’ birth, Mary surrendered to the will of God. I love verse 19 in this section of scripture. Starting in verse 18 it says: “All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” 

I bet it’s safe to say she did a heap of praying, too. She remembered the words that had been spoken over Jesus, and she pondered them in her heart. She meditated on them. And when it was time for those words to be fulfilled, I bet she rejoiced to see them come true!

Are there prophetic words that have been spoken over your children? What has God spoken to you about who He created them to be? I think it’s so important to ponder those things in our hearts and to pray them out! And then we get to look back and thank God for what he has done in and through our children. How amazing is that?!

Day 3: “We lost the Son of God!…” 

Luke 2:41 – 52

This portion of scription makes me laugh a little bit. Can you imagine losing the Son of God?! My father-in-law tells a story about losing my sister-in-law in Disney Land when she was four and it is hilarious. (He didn’t even tell my mother-in-law until Cassie was 20 years old!) I haven’t ‘lost’ my kids in a theme park yet, but I can only imagine the level of sheer panic my heart would be in. 

Mary and Joseph seemed to be in that same amount of panic as they searched for Jesus. And it took them THREE DAYS to find him! When Mary confronted him, he said “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 

We don’t know what the rest of the conversation looked like, but here again we see that Mary “stored all these things in her heart.” I see the words and the things that happened as Jesus was growing up as little treasures that Mary was storing up in her heart. I can imagine her taking them out every once in a while, looking at them and thanking God for what he would do through Jesus’ life as he grew. 

What are some things you can thank God for in each of your children today? 

Day 4: Jesus was moved by his mother’s faith

John 2: 1-12

Don’t you love the exchange between Mary and Jesus at the wedding in Cana? It makes me wonder what Jesus’ first miracle was supposed to be? In verse 3 it says that all the wine had run out at this wedding. So, Mary goes to find Jesus and lets him know, “Hey, all the wine is gone.” 

Jesus looks at her and says, “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 

What changed Jesus’ mind? I believe it was Mary’s faith. Father God was moved by her faith, and decided, “Okay. Let’s do a miracle!” 

God is moved by our faith! What is God waiting on to accomplish in your life and the life of your children? What if it’s dependent on your faith being activated? 

Day 5: Mary at the Cross

John 19

Mary got to see and be a part of Jesus’ ministry throughout his life. We don’t get to see every instance where she was there as he traveled around Israel, proclaiming the good news, but I can only imagine how often she was around. And we see that she was there at the cross. 

John 19: 25-27 “Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

How Mary’s heart must have bled as she watched her son tortured and die the most horrible death on the cross. Did she believe this was the end? All those words she had stored up in her heart. Did she have a moment of doubt? We have no idea what she was thinking or any conversation that happened between her and the other disciples. I wonder if Jesus told her what was going to happen to him while he was growing up. We’ll never know this side of heaven. 

I want to encourage the mama’s today that may be facing a child who’s walked away from the Lord. When things seem their bleakest, like something has died, have faith. Continue to pray for your children, and see how God is faithful to bring them back. We serve a God who brings the dead to life!

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