Each year I enjoy reading about the first Christmas and everything that lead up to it. One of my favorite parts of the Christmas story is when Mary heard God’s plan for her. In Luke 1 it tells about when the angel, Gabriel, came to Mary and told her that she would have a baby and call Him Jesus. Mary was confused, troubled and disturbed but Gabriel assured her that she had no need to fear. He told her that she was highly favored among woman and that the Lord was with her. Mary wasn’t sure how this could be since she had never been with a man. Again Gabriel assured her that God was with her and that “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!” Luke 1:35, 37. For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.” Luke 1:37 Amplified Bible
Now right here Mary had the opportunity to perceive this any way she wanted. She could have doubted what the angel said (read about Zachariah doubting John’s birth in the beginning of Luke 1). She could have looked from so many perspectives but this was her answer. “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her.” Luke 1:38 Amplified Bible. The Message Bible says it like this: “Yes, I see it all now; I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.” In the Passion Bible it says: “Then Mary responded, saying, “This is amazing! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” That is looking at the situation from God’s perspective! The Lord has never spoken anything that profound to any of us and yet what we have heard and seen, we’ve doubted because we like to stay in what we think is our safe, known world and see things our way instead.
I long to be as Mary and always say, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. I want to do with my life as He has called me to do. Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God! These verses are powerful right now during this time. Zechariah was told he and Elizabeth would have a son and he got into fear and didn’t believe. “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God is showing grace to you. For I have come to tell you that your prayer for a child has been answered. Your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son and you are to name him John. His birth will bring you much joy and gladness. Many will rejoice because of him. He will be one of the great ones in the sight of God. He will drink no wine or strong drink, but he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even while still in his mother’s womb.” Luke 1:12-15 Zechariah asked the angel, “How do you expect me to believe this? I’m an old man and my wife is too old to give me a child. What sign can you give me to prove this will happen?” Luke 1:18 His fear brought lack of peace which brought unbelief. That is where so many people are today.
Peace is a big word this time of year. All people want a form of peace but not everyone knows the Prince of Peace. This past week I read about peace and the difference in the reactions of Zechariah and Mary when they heard too-good-to-be true news for their lives. Zechariah doubted the news of a miracle that he and Elizabeth would have a baby at their age. Mary said she would accept whatever the Lord had for her. Mary had a heart that trusted the Lord. She had peace in the whole situation. Belief brings peace. Trust brings peace. Faith brings peace. The opposite of peace is agitation, distress, fear, doubt. When I am agitated and distressed there is no peace in my life or my heart. I am afraid to trust, afraid to believe, scared.
PEACE IS A PROMISE!!!
THE PRINCE OF PEACE DOES WHAT WE CANNOT DO FOR OURSELVES!!!
He is true lasting Peace and He is always there offering me to partake of His Peace every day in every situation. Our worlds can get disrupted as had Zechariah’s and Mary’s. Their worlds would change and they had a choice to believe and receive what the angel was saying or doubt and be in fear. We like our safe, controlled worlds and even news of a miracle and answered prayer can disrupt what we want to be in control of. Instead of joy, peace, hope and faith Zechariah expressed agitation, distress and doubt. He wanted to KNOW how this could be instead of believing the miracle. Sometimes we want to know the reasons while Jesus emphasizes believe Me. We like to know why. Wanting to know the reason = no faith. We don’t always rest in Him and His promises. Remember peace is a promise. His peace not the world’s peace. There is a difference. When our worlds change – and they do – we have an opportunity to always choose His peace. Here are some verses on peace to meditate on this Christmas season.
For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:4
“And God’s peace shall be yours - that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is - that peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27
“And the effects of righteousness will be peace - internal and external - and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever. My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings and in quiet resting places.” Isaiah 33:17-18
“So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, without producing any effect, useless, but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:11-12
“You will guard me and keep me in perfect and constant peace because my mind, both its inclination and its character is stayed on You, because I commit myself to You, lean on You and hopes confidently in You. So I trust in You, commit myself to You, Lean on You, hope confidently in You forever; for You are an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4
“For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
“How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
“Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Luke 2:14
Right now in this season of Christ’s birth we can be keeping our eyes on who we are in Him and who He made us to be. What a gift to the world each one of us is. Remember His promises and that NOTHING is impossible with Him!