Dear Theophilus… Dec 2016

Dear Theophilus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat do you think of Mary, the mother of Jesus? The bible tells us that she was ‘highly favoured’ (Luke 1:28) and whilst we may not hold her in the same regard as Christians in other denominations, most of us would see her as someone very special, and very important in the plans and purposes of God. But what was it that made Mary special?

The word in the original text that is translated ‘highly favoured’ has at its roots in the word ‘Charis’ which is usually translated ‘grace’ or ‘gift from God’. So the sense of Mary being ‘highly favoured’ is about the grace or favour that God bestowed on her, rather than some intrinsic goodness within her. Mary didn’t earn God’s favour, she was blessed by God purely and simply because God chose to bless her.

I think Mary is special, not because she was somehow more perfect than other women, but because she said ‘Yes’ to God. She risked her
reputation, her marriage, her future and ultimately her life in order to do what God asked of her. And what God asked of her was both
mind-boggling and scarey. When Mary was told of God’s plan she asked the angel ‘How can this be?’ to which the angel replied ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you.’ Not only did God look with grace upon Mary, he would also empower her to do what he was asking of her.

Are you aware that you too are highly favoured by God? That he wishes to pour out his grace on you? Think about it. Highly favoured. Not for anything you have done, but simply for who you are, for who God created you to be. And in his creation plan, God has a purpose for your life, a purpose which only you can fulfil, a purpose for which he will provide the means and the power to fulfil, a purpose to which he asks you to say ‘Yes’.

God’s plans for your life may well take you out of your comfort zone, but probably not as far out as he took Mary! You are not called to be a Mary, or a Joseph, nor anyone else other than the person that you are. You are simply called to be who you are, to know God’s grace and favour, to say ’Yes’ to the things that God asks of you and to let him achieve all that he wants through his Holy Spirit within you.

David

Theophilus is the guy for whom Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. (Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1) Theophilus means ‘Lover of God’ so, if you love God, it was written for you!