A Humble ResponseBack to Today's Devotional
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
I love Christmas morning! I have no shame in saying that my favorite part of Christmas is opening gifts. When I was a kid, the best thing was getting that one toy, bike, or whatever I had been thinking and dreaming about for a long time.
Now that I am a father of four, I can honestly say I would rather give than receive. The joy on our kids’ faces are worth every penny. The best thing now is when they open a gift, look at it, scream, then leave the gift and run over and give you a big (smooshy kind of) hug! They look into your eyes and say, “Thank you!”
This is what Mary did. If you notice in Luke 1:46–47, Mary does not say anything specifically about her son. He is the reason for her praise, but she does not mention him explicitly. Why not? Because Mary had the godliness to look beyond her gift and praise the God who gave it.
Phillip Ryken, in his book Luke: Reformed Expository Commentary says:
“To magnify means to enlarge, and what Mary wanted to enlarge was her vision of God, not her own position as the mother of the Son of God. Her goal was to show his greatness. She wanted to magnify God. She knew that she was blessed because of who God was, not because of who she was. Therefore, she wanted God to be seen to be great, not herself. The way to show this was not thinking only about what God was doing in her life, but by enlarging her vision to see the majesty of God.”
This is the way we are intended to magnify and worship God, but sometimes we allow ourselves to be the center of our worship of Him. Meaning, we thank God for how He is working in our lives more than thanking Him for being who He is. Is God still a God worth worshipping even if He doesn’t do something amazing in our lives? I say with the angels and Mary, “Yes He is worthy!”
When my kids say thank you to my wife and me, they do not mention the gift. They mention their gratefulness to the gift giver. And, when all the stars align, they are grateful for us, even without the gifts. Being a parent has allowed us to glimpse what it must be like to be God, the Father of us His children.
Questions for reflection and discussion: How are you showing God your gratitude this week? One way is to live a life of “thanks-living” as we give Him the praise He deserves. How can you do this today? Let your praise be to God, because He is God, not because He did something in you.
This week's devotionals were written by Scott Murray, the Young Adults Pastor at Wheaton Bible Church. Married to Katie and father of four, Scott graduated from Phoenix Seminary with a Masters in Biblical Leadership.