Friday, September 26, 2008

Street Level Devotions, Take That Rich Man!

Luke 1: 46-55
Mary's Song of Praise
Mary said:
With all my heart I praise the Lord, and I am glad because of God my Savior.

He cares for me, his humble servant. From now on, all people will say God has blessed me.

God All-Powerful has done great things for me, and his name is holy.

He always shows mercy to everyone who worships him.

The Lord has used his powerful arm to scatter those who are proud.

He drags strong rulers from their thrones and puts humble people in places of power.

God gives the hungry good things to eat, and sends the rich away with nothing.

He helps his servant Israel and is always merciful to his people.

The Lord made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his family forever!

Most people who study the Bible, called Theologians, believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus was somewhere between the age of 14 and 17 when she became pregnant. We often forget, Jesus was born to a teenager who became pregnant by God before she was married. Imagine growing up in a small community and what it was like for Mary, especially when that community would sometimes kill a young lady who had become pregnant without being married.

Despite all of this Mary still found a way to praise God and be grateful for what God was going to do with Jesus. She was so pleased that she voiced the above Bible verses.

Sometimes we think we have it tough, in fact, we know we have it tough, that doesn’t change the reality that we can find blessings in the tough times. Mary didn’t focus on the tough times, the tough decisions she faced, she had faith that God would do good things and she focused on what her son, Jesus would do, and what he would become.

It is obvious that Mary didn’t forget her difficulty, she didn’t forget what it was like to live in poverty; instead, she realized that God had a special place for the poor, and He was going to help the poor. Mary gives assurance that God is with the poor as long as they respect and worship him and celebrate the things he has done for them.

The poor are often humble, less likely to brag because they know what it is like to not have much. I think it is one of the reasons God respects and loves the poor so much. They realize that what they have comes from God, and that if they are faithful to try and do what God wants then God will have a much better life for them both on earth and in heaven. We can begin to experience those things now. While we may not have money, while we may not have things, we can still have a relationship with God. We can have a relationship with one who doesn’t discriminate against us because of our lack, or the difficult times we may be going through. Mary realized that and it is one of the reasons many still appreciate her. Imagine being the mother of Jesus, no easy task but even in tough times, she was grateful, and willing to speak the truth about God.

Today may we all be reminded that God loves all people, including the poor. Jesus grew up without wealth and always had an appreciation for the poor and what they go through. While life is tough at times, and there are no promises that we will win the lottery, we can be sure that if we love God, know Jesus, and do our best to follow his teachings, the ultimate prize awaits us. For those of us who have had to go without, we will one day have more than we could have ever imagined and it will all be worth it.

Thought for the day: While I may not have money today to pay all of my bills, the day will come where I will walk on streets of Gold and never want for anything again because I have loved and served God, and God has shown me his love by preparing a special place for me in heaven. I have another home; I can’t wait to get there.

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