Living Like Jesus with GMG

Monday, January 28, 2013

I stumbled across Good Morning Girls sometime in the Summer of 2012. And I've been greatly encouraged by the amount of women who gather for support as we all learn to rely more on God and less on the pleasures of the world.

The best form of encouragement I personally get is through the Bible Studies that GMG host. They provide encouraging posts and videos throughout each study, which I personally love. And the studies can be done anytime of the day, since it's all on line... Which works great because I don't always have the ability to get out my Bible first thing in the morning and do an in depth study of a passage.

If you are interested, GMG is currently going through the Gospel of Luke (chapters 1-8), and you can still join up. The basis of each study uses the SOAP method, which if you are unfamiliar with they explain. And you can join groups on facebook to get even more encouragement.

So here are my take a ways from the first few weeks of the study.

Luke is making a point that people get joy in the midst of the strife that comes with life by being obeident to God. Yes, I know this sounds obvious since it is a statement made over and over in the Bible, but every single person we meet in the first two chapters of Luke gets great joy by simply obeying God. And we don't even meet Jesus for a little bit.

Let's take a closer look at Mary's joy from obedience.
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”
 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.     Luke 1:34-56

 Even though Mary's first response might not be considered obedience, she seems to be responding out of surprise instead of disobedience. And then her next words are, "I am the Lord's servant."  That is obviously a show of obedience if I've ever heard one.

What a sacrifice she was making by humbly accepting God's request of her. She was giving up respect of all of her family and friends most likely, and also she could be disgracing her soon-to-be husband. What a risk.

But her faith was so strong, her relationship was so real that she was able to get over her shock and respond quickly in obedience. It's amazing.

What a picture of obedience for us to hold on to now. Yes we can be surprised or shocked when God lays out the big request, but then we need to say yes.

I say this because the rest of this section of Luke shows us just how much joy Mary had. I mean here's a young girl, who is suddenly on a path she would have never dreamed of, or probably asked for. She must be dealing with ridicule from those people she spent her days with (I feel that is partly why she went to stay with Elizabeth for so long - here was a woman in her family that truly understood and wouldn't judge). And instead of being focused on her troubles and new life, one she didn't seem to seek out, she is singing praise to God for His amazing blessings, blessings not just for her, but for all people.

Here's hoping this concept of acting in obedience to then be filled with joy will sink in because I want to be able to quickly push aside my shock and say yes when God calls. And right now, I'm not too sure I could...

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