16 December 2019 — Monday after the Third Sunday of Advent

Proverbs 15:29–33, Zephaniah 2:1–4, Luke 1:26–38 (read online ⧉)

Yesterday, it was hinted that humility is a requirement to experience true (ly) joy. If you didn’t catch that (or didn’t read yesterday’s devotional), that’s perfectly fine. Humility as part of ly joy is front and center today.

In Proverbs, we read two things to focus on today. First, that is far from the wicked. This is one of those strangely ed passages that doesn’t mesh well with how we ually view . is always present, even among the most wicket of all. It is the wicked whose s, souls, and minds are far away from , and in typical human pride, it must mean that is far away from us. This is why the fear (as is understanding truly who is compared to who we are) of and humility are so important. If we are so arrogant so as to believe something of that is really about us, then we have a lot to .

Humility seeks before self, which makes things much easier for us when ed by to do hard things. It also makes it easier when we have to decide between the world and . As Zephaniah says, when we submit to in humility, recognizing who is and who is not, we to so that will do great things.
Mary is a symbol of that humility. She didn’t understand what was happening. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we wouldn’t be any better than she was. However, her humility meant that d into the world in a new way through her. While we should not elevate Mary too much, she is still a example to follow when it comes to aligning ourselves with ’s plans.

Ultimately, Mary’s humility gave her a ly joy that none of us could ever truly understand. Mothers get a large portion of it, but not even they can say that they were the mother of or the Messiah.

1) Have you ever been ed by to do something that required sub of your will in deep humility? Did you follow it? Why or why not? What was the result of that decision?

2) We look back on Mary’s life and read what we’ve ed and believed into it. Why does that often minimize Mary’s ions and ?

3) What is the difference between humiliation and humility? Why do we often confuse the two in regards to our decisions?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.