Great Things

Great Things

“The Mighty One has done great things for me and holy is his name.” Luke 1:49 Today’s Holy Scripture is an answer to the question posed by a popular song called ‘Mary Did You Know?’ that came out just a few years ago. The angel appeared to Mary, and was very clear about what was ahead for her, and she said “Yes!’ all the same. In this Bible passage, Jesus’ mother, Mary, spontaneously expounds on her awe-inspiring feelings of gratitude that she has for God’s unsurpassed gift to her and humanity. She is grateful to God for allowing her the privilege to be Jesus’ mother. Yet Mary had a choice. She did not have to say “Yes,” but did so willingly, with some trepidation, and with complete abandon, then went on to become Jesus’ mother and His first disciple. Do Not Be Afraid! Here is the contextual Bible passage for when Mary was approached by God to become Jesus’ loving mother: 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the...

Unshakable Joy

4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 Joy vs happiness. Happiness and joy appear to be very similar, but they are very different. There are subtle nuances that help us discern which is which. Happiness is a feeling, as one would experience when enjoying job success, the birth of a child, or buying a new home. It is often dependent on what we do, or experience, and is accompanied by temporary positive feelings. The problem with focusing on your happiness rather than joy, is that happiness can be fleeting, while joy is enduring and unshakable. Truth is, happiness, and human feelings, come and go especially in times of adversity, but joy is lasting, and is accompanied by a deep, abiding peace that surpasses understanding.   “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7   Joy Does Not Change With Circumstances Joy does not change with circumstances, but rather over rides times of struggle, helping you to see the silver linings in every situation, even when life gets difficult and/or complicated. It helps you rejoice in the Lord at all times, putting aside negative, destructive feelings such as fear, sadness, anger and angst, replacing them with the gentle knowing that all is well as you place your trust in Jesus. Unlike happiness, instead of being a feeling, joy is more of a trusting state of mind and a peaceful heart in concert. It is a manifestation of the fruit of having the Holy Spirit with you, one that is stirred into being through...