In the Manger Lay


In the tiny manger lay
A gift for many, all who stay

A gift of love, a gift of peace
A gift undeserved yet it won’t cease

A gift for you, a gift for me
Eternal life given so generously

He came to serve, He came to die
Our hearts and souls to sanctify

Come to the manger and come to the cross
The place where our gain was His loss

His perfect life was a ransom for many
For freedom, grace and strength aplenty

So do you stay or do you go?
Come and see Jesus and you will know

Merry Christmas friends!!!
All my love, Sarah

Just as He Promised


And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.  Luke 1:38 (ESV)

This verse is Mary’s amazing response to what God has called her to do, carry and give birth to Jesus; however, it isn’t the first time in Scripture the Lord advises someone about the promise of an impending pregnancy.

My first thoughts go to Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  Oh how she longed for years and years to bear a child and it never happened, and then it was too late.  In Genesis 18:12, we see Sarah’s response to God’s proclamation that she would in fact have a baby:

“So Sarah laughed…”

She laughed at the thought of it wondering how someone of her age could bear a child.  She thought it was funny because it was impossible, right??  But as the angel Gabriel tells Mary in Luke 1:37- with God anything is possible.  God kept His promise to Sarah and that next year she gave birth to a baby boy.  They named him Isaac, which means he laughs.

“The Lord kept His word and did for Sarah exactly what He had promised.” Genesis 21:1

Now let’s move on to Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth.  She, like Sarah, was deemed barren and was also old in age.  One day, the angel Gabriel came to Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband, and advised him that his wife would give birth to a son who would pave the way for the promised Savior.  Zechariah immediately didn’t believe what He heard and the result of his doubt was him not being able to speak.

Soon after this encounter between Zechariah and Gabriel, Elizabeth did become pregnant and in due time gave birth to a baby boy.  They named him John which means Jehovah has been gracious; has shown favor.  This promised child would become John the Baptist and one day baptize Jesus the One and Only in the Jordan RiverZechariah was finally able to speak after John was born, circumcised and named; he praised God with his first several words:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he came and set his people free…just as he promised long ago…” Luke 1:68-70

Three different babies promised, 3 different reactions.  In each of these instances, God knew who He was choosing and what their reaction would be.  He knew He had equipped each of them to carry out His divine plan, no matter their response.

In His Word, the Lord has promised us many things…the promise of truth and salvation, the promise of forgiveness of sins, the promise of a better place called Heaven, the promise to never flood the earth again, the promise of His return, and the list goes on.  Maybe He has promised you something specifically- the salvation of a loved one, a spouse after years of being single, healing from an illness or disease, or perhaps He has promised you a baby?  How do we respond to these promises?  Do we laugh like Sarah?  Disbelieve like Zechariah?  Or do we simply obey as Mary did?

The promise of these babies reminds me not only that there is grace in our doubt, laughter and disobedience but that God’s plan, purposes and promises will prevail no matter our reaction to them.  May we have faith that acts by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and may we never forget that He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23b)!!!

I am the Lord’s Servant

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. Luke 1:38a

Oh Mary…the chosen one.  Her story is remarkable and one I’m fascinated with this Christmas season.  I can’t quit thinking of Luke 1:38, her response to Gabriel, the angel who informed her that she would carry Jesus, the One and Only.  It’s a response of faith, loyalty, humility and obedience.  Wow.   I’ve put myself in her shoes and wondered what my own reaction would have been.

I’ve read that Mary, engaged to Joseph, was possibly around the age of 13 or 14 when she gave birth to Jesus (in that culture, after the onset of adolescence, a thirteen or fourteen year old was commonly preparing for marriage).  She was a child having a baby, but not just any baby- the One who would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace as told by the prophet Isaiah (9:6b) in the Old Testament (the song Mary Did you Know? comes to mind here).

When I think of Mary’s age and her response of faith I am reminded of Matthew 18:4, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.”  The Bible tells us often to have child-like faith; it’s a faith that is humbly surrendered to and dependent on God, a faith that is unwavering, full of awe and wonder with complete trust and hope in God. I think it’s fair to say this ordinary girl from Nazareth had amazing child-like faith.

As I examine my own faith, I am made fully aware of areas that have become a little hardened over the years, areas where my total trust in and obedience to Him waivers.  What about you?  Are there areas you aren’t fully trusting or surrendering to the Lord?  As we pray and ask God to shine His light on these areas in our lives, hearts, souls and minds, may we remember Mary’s response, I am the Lord’s servant.

Lord, we thank you for Mary and her eager obedience and surrender to You.  For the amazing example of child-like faith she had.  May it remind us to listen and obey You and to never stop strengthening and growing our faith.  Give us humble faith, Lord.  Just as you chose Mary to carry out your divine plan, you have chosen each one of us to do the same but in different ways.  May we return to you as children fully in awe of who you are and remember what you have done in our lives as well as other’s.  Return to us the joy of our salvation, Lord.  We are your servants, here for You.  We love you we praise you, Amen.  

It is the role of faith not to question but to simply obey.   A.B. Simpson