Warmth in Giving

Read Luke 1:46-55.

I wish I could step into a time machine and journey back to that day when young Mary, a girl probably no older than fourteen years old, walked the dusty road into the hills of Judea to the home of her cousin Elizabeth. I wish I could be there to see Elizabeth and Mary embrace and to hear the words of the Magnificat from Mary’s own lips, to see the joy of the Magnificat shining in her eyes. What a privilege for Elizabeth to hear this prayer, which would be recited millions of times down through the ages.

Mary faced a crisis that you and I can’t fully understand. But because of her belief in the Word of God, because of her trust in the promises of God, because of her deep and abiding relationship with God, she faced this crisis with confidence and faith.

Mary composed these words out of a heart full of gratitude. God had chosen to bless her among all women by placing in her womb the baby who would become the Savior of the world. The long-promised Messiah would soon be born—and she would be His mother! How could she not praise God for the honor He had given her?

Mary’s prayer exemplifies the lasting power of authentic, Biblical self-esteem and the perfect balance of confidence and humility. The personality of this young teenager was not warped by materialism, corrupted by possessions, or distorted by peer pressure. Her spirit was formed and shaped by a lifetime of immersion in the Word of God. She was committed to trusting in the promises of God and to allowing God to use her life for His glory as He would sovereignly see fit. Her faith is an example to us all.

Mary, who embodied and personified God’s fulfilled promise to the human race, was saying through the Magnificat, “God always keeps His promises.”

Are you willing to trust God to keep His promises to you? Are you willing to magnify and glorify His name above all else? Are you willing to bear witness to His grace, His mercy, and His faithfulness?

Glorify God in all circumstances. Magnify His name at all times. That is the essence of the prayer of Mary, the mother of our Savior.

That is the key to power in prayer.

Prayer: Lord, You are the matchless, sovereign God. You alone are worthy of my praise. You are constant, faithful, holy, and unchanging. I praise You for Your promises to me—particularly the promise of eternity with You, the only one who satisfies my soul. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name” (Luke 1:48-49).

*This devotional adapted from Life-Changing Prayers by Michael Youssef © 2018. Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission.

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Ordinary People, Extraordinary Prayers, Part 6: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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