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The 4th Day Advent

November 30, 2022

And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (Luke 1.38).

I love Mary’s simple response of obedience to the message God gave to her through Gabriel. I am astounded at her obedience. While it was a message that changed her life in the most dramatic of ways, she responded with simple and profound obedience. She didn’t debate it, she didn’t question it (although I’m sure she must have had questions about it), nor did she wear God’s message “on her sleeve” and say, “Look what God told me. I’m special.” She simply understood that she was a servant of God, and she gave her life in obedience to Him and His purposes for her. Amazing!

When God reveals Himself to us, are we eager to obey? Is that my mindset as a follower of Christ today and this Christmas season?

53 years ago, a friend of mine, Dr. Myron Augsburger, gave me some advice in Bible study when I was a young college student at Taylor University, and I have never forgotten it. He said that when we come to the Scriptures, we ought to come with our minds already made up to do what God calls us to do.

Jesus said; “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say” (Luke 6.46).

Mary also put it in John 2.5; “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2.5).

Simple, straightforward obedience (not selective or half-hearted obedience) is certainly one of the lessons of the Advent story. How is God calling me to obedience today? Am I listening? Do I think I would listen and obey better if He sent His message to me through Gabriel? But I already have His Word. Am I listening, seeking, and obeying?

As a parent, wouldn’t you love for your kids to do what you ask the first time and never have to remind them again?

Mary obeyed. Joseph obeyed. The shepherds obeyed. The magi obeyed. I hope it would be said of us (me) that we (I) obeyed.

As we enter this Advent season, what is God calling you and me to be and to do? Will we obey Him like Mary obeyed Him?

In conclusion, to what is God calling us to be and to do in this Advent season? I believe God is calling me and His church to obey Him in our day just as He called Mary to obey Him in her day. While Mary’s world was different than our world, obedience with joy is still the standard for disciples whose commitment is to follow the Master.

Obedience may not be easy. It certainly wasn’t for Mary and Joseph.

Obedience may call for great courage – to reach out to a neighbor you’ve never met.

To volunteer your time in a challenging and uncomfortable situation?

To share the Gospel when you might ordinarily think “That’s out of my comfort zone.”

To give financially more than you normally might this Christmas season that?

Whatever it is that God is calling you to do, please obey.

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Romans 8.14).

Have a blessed Advent season. Happy 4th day of Advent.

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