READ: Luke 1:26-56
THINK: How do you think you would have responded if an angel appeared to you with the news he brought to Mary? Would you have believed and accepted the message? Scholars and historians speculate that Mary was a young woman--likely still a teen--when the angel brought this message to her. Age is not an issue with God. Throughout the Bible you can read numerous accounts of God revealing His message to people in their youth. And some of the greatest missions of faith were accomplished by youth. God still works like that today.
RESPOND: What was Joseph's and Mary's relationship at the time the angel Gabriel first appeared to Mary? (See John 1:27 note.) What did the angel mean when he said that Mary was "highly favored" (v. 27) and that she had "found favor with God" (v. 30)? (See 1:27 note.) What does it mean that God's Son would also be King David's son? (See 1:32 note.) As a virgin, how would Mary conceive a son? (See 1:35 note.) What would this mean for the child who would be born (cf. v. 35)? What does Mary's response to the angel tell us about her? (See 1:38 note.) Who inspired Elizabeth's blessing on Mary (cf. v. 41)? According to Mary's song (vv. 46-55), whom does the Lord bring down and whom does He lift up (cf. vv. 51-52)? What do Mary's word's in this passage reveal about her personally in relation to God? (See 1:47 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you live in such a way that you "find favor" with Him. Pray that you remain humble and dependent on Him through times of both blessing and suffering. Ask God to help you take Him at His Word.
ACT: Has God asked you to do something which you have not yet done? Perhaps He has shown you something directly from His Word but you've not take it at face value and acted upon it. Ask God to forgive you for a lack of faith, then take immediate action. If there is any area of life in which you've harbored ungodly pride, ask God to help you learn and demonstrate humility. Try writing your own song of blessing and praise to God.
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