So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Our family has been doing a daily advent study. The goal of this book is to slow the roll to Christmas. To enjoy it fully and take time daily to focus on different aspects of Christ's arrival. Today my heart was drawn to Mary. I am so moved by her faith. She is a great example of the above scripture. To James' point, you saw her faith by what she did. When Christ entered the picture, Mary was a teenage girl engaged to Joseph. In her culture, if she was found pregnant before their marriage, she could have been stoned to death. Still, when Gabriel approached her, (Luke 1) though initially frightened by his presence, she plainly pointed out the perceived problem with the plan. Gabriel explained how this child would come to be and she boldly and faithfully said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” and then he left. We hear no explanations from Gabriel on how to handle Joseph, her parents, angry mobs... We do hear in Luke 1:39, that she hurried off to Zechariah and Elizabeth's home. Gabriel had told her Elizabeth had conceived in her old age. Maybe she was hoping for confirmation when she saw Elizabeth? We know Mary was introspective from the scripture in Luke 2:19. We see she stored up things inside and pondered them. Her mind must have been racing. Either way what we do know is that she "raced off" and when she got to Elizabeth she sang "Mary's Song." This was a song of praise to God after she received an exuberant welcome from a very pregnant and filled with the Holy Spirit Elizabeth. In the words of Mary's Song you can hear, this is happening, God chose me, He has not forgotten Israel and He has chosen me to be the mother of our long awaited Messiah! There is so much joy, hope and gratitude. Not one but. She stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months. When she returned home Joseph planned to divorce her quietly to protect her, but an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream explaining everything. (Mat 1:18-25) He then took Mary to be his wife. I love the saying God works in mysterious ways. This is so true and the dream is such a great example. Mary's story inspires me first because of her amazing faith. Second, it is such a precious reminder to me to follow Christ. Even when it is hard. Even when it looks like your efforts would be in vain. Following Christ is always right. Trusting The Lord is always right.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.