Dear Student of the Word,
Wow, it's been almost one month since my last update to this study. It's been a busy month, but that's no excuse. I am in the Word every day, however, posting a daily devotional on my blog site. You can subscribe to that by going to site on which each day is posted. Let's take a look at more of Luke chapter one, where we look at Mary's response to the angel about her pregnancy and her visit to her cousin, Elizabeth. Here is what I wrote in part six of this second Luke study installment:
Study Two, Part Six
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
1:50 – I need God’s mercy. One way I can receive it is to fear Him. Another way is to give mercy to others. And for God, mercy is something he gives from generation to generation. God is true to Himself and that means mercy is freely dispensed. Is there anyone to whom you can dispense mercy today? Be watching for an opportunity; when you give it, you are doing what God does and enabling Him to give you mercy as well.
1:51 – God hates all sin, but I am reasonably convinced that if there is a “hierarchy” of sins, pride is near or at the top of the list. God hates the proud. Proverbs tells us: “He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34).
Another way to get grace is to be humble; a way to lose grace is to be proud. Mary stated that God scatters those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. Pride is a “heart thing” and God knows the heart. But there is another pride gauge that can let us know when we have crossed the line from humility to pride:
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).
God’s word can show you when you are proud. And then you have the choice to humble yourself or God will humble or even humiliate you. When is the last time you just got down on your face and humbled yourself, telling God that you are “but dust”? That may be a good act to perform today.
1:52 – Mary knew her biblical themes, particularly those in the psalms concerning humility:
- You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty (Psalm 18:27).
- He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. (Psalm 25:9).
- The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground (Psalm 147:6).
- For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation (Psalm 149:4).
If you haven’t figured it out by now, humility is the theme for today. God holds mercy in store for the humble; judgment for the proud. The choice is yours. I trust that you will choose wisely.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled What Would Jesus Ask You Today? Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Luke's gospel from God's word.