Mary’s Surrender

Scripture Passage: Luke 1:38

“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.

Has God ever asked you to do something that was a huge stretch for you?

 Accept a new position?
 Have a tough conversation with a friend? 
Make a significant financial sacrifice in order to advance a cause? 
Travel to a mission field outside of your comfort zone? 
Whether you accepted the call or not was determined by your willingness to surrender.

Mary was informed by Gabriel, the angel, that she had been chosen by God to carry and birth the Savior. What an incredible honor! However, Mary wasn’t just simply informed that she was going to give birth to Jesus. She also accepted the role.

Luke 1:38 teaches us the requirements of genuine, all-in surrender.

Submission to God’s Plan

Mary responded by saying, “I am the Lord’s servant.” She placed herself under the authority of God. If you think you’re the boss of your life and you’re unwilling to allow God to be the boss of your life, you’re never going to surrender.

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word submit in this way: “to yield oneself to the authority or will of another.” In other words, submission is a willing act.

Is there any area of your life that is off limits to God — an area that you are unwilling to yield to His authority? What could happen if you yielded that area of your life to God’s authority?

Confidence in God’s Goodness

Sometimes we get the impression that to surrender to God is to throw away all the good things that could have happened had we held on. That, however, is the opposite of reality. Mary willingly surrendered because she knew God wanted something glorious for her.

When you consider the people of the Christmas story, you’ll see surrender at every turn:

• Mary was willing to surrender her plans for the future in order to experience the miracle of the virgin birth.

Joseph was willing to surrender his reputation in order to experience a partnership with Mary in God’s plan.

The shepherds were willing to surrender their flocks in order to get a glimpse of the Messiah.

The Magi were willing to surrender their own status in order to bow before a child who they knew to be the King of kings.
Christ Himself was willing to surrender His own rightful place on the throne of Heaven in order to save us.

This Christmas, purpose to follow Mary’s example. Be willing to say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me according to His Word.”

The Magi and Truth

Scripture Passage: Matthew 2:1-11

The manger is traditionally surrounded by Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, some animals, and three kings – people seeking after God. Most nativities include three kings at the manger. The Bible does not say how many wise men there were nor does it refer to them as kings. The “three kings” are often referred to as “magi” — a term that means “wise men.” And, these wise men did not actually arrive on the day of Jesus’ birth but instead at a later time when Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were living in a house.

The magi are best known for their pursuit of the King. They were seekers of truth. The biblical account of the wise men points to three important things we should know about truth.

1. God’s Truth is Enduring.
Unlike popular ideas about everything from parenting to dieting, God’s truth does not change from one generation to the next. Instead, God’s truth is eternally up to date.

What ideas have you known to change from one generation to the next?

2. God’s Truth is Universal.
The wise men did not just learn about the truth, they responded to it. Once they saw the star in the East, they followed with all their hearts until it led them to Jesus.

With whom can you share the truth about Jesus this week?

3. God’s Truth is Reliable.
The wise men were led to Jesus by the Scriptures rather than by the star. The Scriptures told them what they needed to know about the One they were seeking.

Make time to read the Christmas story with your family and rejoice in the gift of the Scriptures and that they point us to God’s most precious gift — Jesus!

Wonderful Christmas Surprises

Scripture Passage: Luke 2:15-20

1. A Surprising Audience

Shepherds in Jesus’ day were regarded as social outcasts and were among the most scorned individuals. Their work made them ceremonially unclean and kept them from participating in the religious life of the community. And yet, God chose ordinary shepherds, not priests or kings, to be the first to hear the news of His Son’s birth — and the first to welcome Jesus.

What is the significance of the birth announcement being made to ordinary people?

2. A Surprising Glory

The shepherds’ night watch was dramatically interrupted by the sudden appearance of an angel of the Lord. When the angel appeared to the shepherds “the glory of the Lord” shone around them, supernaturally lighting up the night.

In what ways have you seen the glory of God invade and illuminate the ordinary?

3. A Surprising Invitation

The shepherds were invited to look for Jesus in the most unlikely place — a stable. This is a beautiful metaphor of God’s love reaching into the ordinary and messy places in order to make a difference.

How can God use you to to take His love into messy situations?

Joseph’s Unexpected Christmas

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Scripture Passage: Matthew 1:18-25

An Unexpected Detour (v. 18-19)

Life has a way of catching us off guard. In fact, we can know now that our life will not go exactly how we plan for it to. In our passage from today, Joseph didn’t plan for his wife to get pregnant before their marriage. God interrupted Joseph’s plans for a greater purpose…

An Unexpected Dream (v. 20-23)

God is not far off and removed from us. He did not set creation in motion and then check out. Rather, we see throughout scripture how God continually pursues an intimate relationship with people. God spoke to Joseph through a dream to explain His plan for his life.

An Unexpected Decision (v. 24-25)

We all have to come to a place where we put our trust in God’s control of our life and plans. When we learn to trust and obey God’s leading, we can begin to live the life of true fulfilment that God desires for us. Joseph chose to have faith in God’s plan and abandon his own because he trusted God.



  • Share a time when you faced a detour and your plans didn’t go how you had expected.
  • Describe the biggest step of faith you have taken to trust God with an area of your life.
  • How has your life changed in that area?