I met this sweet girl a few years ago after moving for my husband to take a new pastoral position. I was immediately impressed after hearing her speak for the first time, but even more so as we began to become friends. She was kind and hospitable, and just as bold in her daily conversation as she was in her teaching. We never spoke without her asking me what The Lord was teaching me and what scripture I was currently memorizing. The more I got to know her it became undeniable that she didn’t just challenge me which these things but she lived them out in her own life. She is beautiful inside and out, a wonderful wife and momma, and a devoted follower of Jesus. Please welcome my friend Regina to the blog and be blessed as you read what she has written for you today.
White lights twinkle bright, hot chocolate dressed in foamy white cream, fragrant branches adorned with red berries, the belly laughter of children. We call it the most wonderful time of the year, and it is no wonder, the entire stage of Christmas is set to captivate. Our hearts are held by the traditions passed down for generations. For good or for ill, we make ourselves busy concerning all this season demands. The wise remain captive to Christ in the midst of it all. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ Colossians 2:8. We easily wrap ourselves in the trappings of Christmas: materialism, busyness, people pleasing, and the like. We have need to clothe ourselves with Christ. It is in this place that we are able to fellowship in the true beauty of Christ’s coming.
This season invites purposeful reflection, intentionality and generosity if we decide that the pursuit of such things is worth the discipline it requires to partake of them. The demands of my own sweet life as a wife and homeschooling mom to four young children requires that I slow down and take deliberate steps to enjoy each season the way the Lord offers it to me. Many times I have missed the gifts along the way, but this year I am taking hold with both hands of the grace His Word can provide. When I thought of you beautiful ladies surrounded with meals to cook, laundry to tend, clothes to mend, chins to lift, boo-boos to kiss, perhaps a husband to encourage, children to discipline, work to attend to, deadlines to meet, I thought, “These are women just like me.” Women who need an encouraging Word, just like I do. I pray as you read a bit further that these few words will minister grace and hope to you wherever Christmastime finds you this year.
Do you remember the familiar words of Luke concerning Mary, the mother of our Savior, upon her visit to Elizabeth? Let’s reflect on it together. In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
There are a great many beautiful truths here. I would like to direct your focus to one. Mary believed the Word of God that was spoken to her, and Elizabeth called her blessed for this reason. The Lord has also spoken to us plainly and beautifully through the writers of Scripture. Do we believe the Word of God spoken to us? This extraordinarily young mother was captive to her God. We need to only read a few verses further to hear her own exclamations of praise to the Lord. There was a maturity in the heart of this young woman that sprang from her faith in her God. Mary was blessed by God. What I would like you to consider is that the same gift of blessing that was afforded to Mary is offered to you in the very same Savior. I can confidently offer this encouragement if you are in Christ Jesus, blessed are you when you believe God’s Word and so live it.
Sometimes the circumstances that surround our lives tempt us to doubt that we are blessed. It is difficult to reconcile in human terms how lives full of trouble and difficulty are wed to blessing if we choose to believe God’s promises in the Holy Scriptures. Despite how this truth might puzzle our minds, the fact is the blessing of God rests on the one who believes. Without faith it impossible to please God. Conversely with faith it is possible to please Him, to actually live in the blessing of Jesus Christ. The miracle of the incarnation that happened in physical form within the mother of our Lord, happens to us spiritually when we believe in God’s perfect gift, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:7 and Romans 8:16 says “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
Whose Spirit lives inside of those who believe God? The Spirit of Christ Jesus alone. The blessing that rested on Mary may rest on you. Blessed is she who believed. May I articulate some blessings to you that I see in Scripture for those who actually believe God’s Word and in doing so act on it? I think I can say to you, sweet believer, that these promises in God’s Word I am about to pray over you are true to all of us who will believe God’s Word:
Blessed is she who does not give up on doing all sorts of good, like disciplining her children, she will reap a harvest if she does not faint. Galatians 6:9
Blessed is she who is an excellent wife whose heart her husband can trust in. Her children will rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also. Proverbs 31:10, 30-31
Blessed is she who endures trial and difficulty even when it does not stop, for that very thing will produce in you maturity, so that you are complete not lacking anything. James 1:2-3
Blessed is she who lives a quiet testimony before a husband who does not believe the Word. She may win him without words by her behavior. 1 Peter 3:1-2
Blessed is she who does not seek earthly things whether cars or houses or clothes or décor, but rather what is above where Christ is. She will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-3
Do you see it? The blessing rests on the one who believes the Word of God. May this same joy rest on you this Christmas.