Let it be to me according to your word. – Luke 1:38
What must it have been like for Mary to carry God in her womb?
The virgin birth is much more than a Christmas story; it is a picture of how close Christ will come to you. The first stop on His itinerary was a womb. Where will God go to touch the world? Look deep within Mary for an answer. Better still, look deep within yourself. What He did with Mary, He offers to us! He issues a Mary-level invitation to all His children. “If you’ll let Me, I’ll move in!”
Proliferating throughout Scripture is a preposition that leaves no doubt — the preposition in. Jesus lives in His children.
To His apostles, Christ declared, “I am in you” (John 14:20, emphasis mine).
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17, emphasis mine).
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27, emphasis mine).
And the sweetest invitation from Christ?
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. – Revelation 3:20, emphasis mine
Christ grew in Mary until He had to come out. Christ will grow in you until the same occurs. He will come out in your speech, in your actions, in your decisions. Every place you live will be a Bethlehem, and every day you live will be a Christmas. You, like Mary, will deliver Christ into the world.
God in us! Have we sounded the depth of this promise?
You are a modern-day Mary. Even more so. He was a fetus in her, but He is a force in you. He will do what you cannot do. Imagine a million dollars being deposited into your checking account. To any observer you look the same, except for the goofy smile, but are you? Not at all! With God in you, you have a million resources that you did not have before.
Can’t stop drinking or worrying? Christ can. And He lives within you. Can’t forgive the jerk, forget the past, or forsake your bad habits? Christ can! And He lives in you. Paul knew this.
To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. – Colossians 1:29, emphasis mine
Like Mary, you and I are indwelt by Christ. Find that hard to believe? How much more did Mary? The line beneath her picture in the high school annual did not read, “Aspires to be the mother of God.” No. No one was more surprised by this miracle than she was.
And no one was more passive than she was. God did everything. Mary didn’t volunteer to help. What did she have to offer? Advice? “From my perspective, a heavenly choir would add a nice touch.” Yeah, right. She offered no assistance.
And she offered no resistance. She could have said, “Who am I to have God in my womb? I’m not enough.” Or, “I’ve got other plans. I don’t have time for God in my life.”
Instead, Mary said,
Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word. – Luke 1:38
If she is our measure, God seems less interested in talent and more interested in trust.
Unlike her, we tend to assist God, assuming our part is as important as His. Or we resist, thinking we are too bad or too busy. Yet when we assist or resist, we miss God’s great grace. We miss out on the reason we were placed on earth — to be so pregnant with heaven’s child that He lives through us. To be so full of Him that we could say with Paul,
It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. – Galatians 2:20
~Next Door Savior
O Lord, live in me. May Your love beat in and through my heart. May You speak through my voice. Jesus, be the strength of my soul and the fire that purges wrongs from my desires. Fill me with Your great abounding grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from In the Manger by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2014.
* * *
Pray today, Lord, help me to be so full of Jesus that I can say along with Paul “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” so that through my Spirit-empowered behavior, choices, and attitudes, I deliver Christ to a weary world in need of You! Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily