What Jesus Did! 'Connected Grace!' — Luke 1:39-45

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hill country of Judea. She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the unborn baby inside Elizabeth jumped. Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth said with a loud voice, "God has blessed you (Mary) more than any other woman. And God has blessed the baby which you will give birth to. You are the mother of my Lord, and you have come to me! Why has something so good happened to me? When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. What a blessing is yours because you believed what the Lord (God) said to you! You believed this would happen."
— Luke 1:39-45
Illustration of Luke 1:39-45 — "God has blessed you (Mary) more than any other woman."

Key Thought

What a glorious way God connected two different promises delivered by the angel to two precious women. He promised Elizabeth that her son would be filled by the Spirit from the womb, and sure enough, her son stirs at the voice of Mary and the presence of the newly conceived Messiah. He also promised Mary that Elizabeth was pregnant and that this pregnancy was the confirmation of God's miracle. Mary's faith was strengthened and both women were blessed. While we may never have experienced an encounter with the angel Gabriel, we have received a host of promises from God which can be accepted only by faith. However, our faith remains small and often unblessed until we begin to act on that faith. That active faith then opens the door for God's blessing and confirmation. So what promise from Scripture has God laid on your heart recently that you are not acting on because of your doubt? Why not prayerfully re-examine that promise and then act obediently in response to God's Word?

Today's Prayer

O glorious God and Father, "I believe, but help my unbelief!" Forgive me for letting my doubt and my circumstances interfere with my obedience. Give me courage to obey your commands and to respond to your promises in faith. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hill country of Judea. She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the unborn baby inside Elizabeth jumped. Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth said with a loud voice, "God has blessed you (Mary) more than any other woman. And God has blessed the baby which you will give birth to. You are the mother of my Lord, and you have come to me! Why has something so good happened to me? When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. What a blessing is yours because you believed what the Lord (God) said to you! You believed this would happen." Then Mary said, "I praise the Lord (God) with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior. I am not important. But God has shown his care for me, his servant girl. From now on, all people will say that I am blessed, because the Powerful One (God) has done great things for me. His name is very holy. God always gives mercy to those people that worship him. God reached out his arm and showed his power: He scattered those people that are proud and think great things about themselves. God brought down rulers from their thrones, and he raised up the humble people. God filled the hungry people with good things, but he sent the {selfishly} rich people away with nothing. God has helped Israel—the people he chose to serve him. He did not forget his promise to give us his mercy. God has done what he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham, and to his children forever." Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months. Then Mary went home.

Luke 1:39-56

Related Scripture Readings

So the followers brought the boy to Jesus. When the {evil} spirit saw Jesus, the spirit attacked the boy. The boy fell down and rolled on the ground. He was foaming from his mouth. Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has this been happening to the boy?" The father answered, "Since he was very young. The spirit often throws him into a fire or into water to kill him. If you can do anything for him, please have pity on us and help us." Jesus said to the father, "You said, 'Help him if you can.' All things are possible for the person that believes." The father became very excited. He said, "I do believe. Help me to believe more!" Jesus saw that all the people were running there to see what was happening. So Jesus spoke to the evil spirit. Jesus said, "You evil spirit that makes this boy deaf and stops him from talking—I command you to come out of this boy and never enter him again!" The {evil} spirit screamed. The spirit caused the boy to fall on the ground again, and then the spirit came out. The boy looked like he was dead. Many people said, "He is dead!" But Jesus held the boy's hand and helped him stand. Jesus went into the house. His followers were alone with him there. They said, "We could not force that evil spirit out. Why?" Jesus answered, "That kind of spirit can only be forced out by using prayer."

Mark 9:20-29

"Not every person that says that I am his Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people that will enter the kingdom of heaven are those people that do the things that my Father in heaven wants.

Matthew 7:21

I mean that you are saved by grace. And you got that grace by believing. You did not save yourselves. It was a gift from God. No! You are not saved by the things you have done. So no person can boast {that he saved himself}. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would do good things. God had already planned those good things for us. God had planned for us to live our lives doing those good things.

Ephesians 2:8-10

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.