Day 7: January 7, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Luke 1:39-45 Read Online

Want to share today's reading with your friends? Pick a platform below

Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “You are the most blessed women, and your child will be blessed!”

—Luke 1:42

by Steve Layton, Discipleship Minister, Brentwood Campus

Standing in the waiting area of BNA (Nashville Airport), I had the opportunity to witness and participate in one of the most memorable and joyous experiences of recent days. The attendant came on the loud speaker and announced that everyone should wait until servicemen returning home for the holidays disembarked the plane.

I’d observed this scene on video and news stories, but never in person. Looking around, I noticed children dressed in camouflage, holding American flags and “Welcome Home, Daddy” signs. Tears were beginning to swell in the eyes of women standing nearby.

Almost immediately, seven U.S. soldiers stepped through the jetway. For a moment, time stood still, then thunderous applause and shouts of joy filled the air. The moment was surreal watching wives and children reuniting with husbands and fathers. Patriotic pride filled my soul while celebratory tears filled my eyes.

This type of joy and celebration is recorded in Luke 1:39-45. Ready to serve, but also anxious to see evidence of God’s other miracle, Mary headed for the hill country to visit relatives. The first words of greeting brought encouraging confirmation in two ways: the baby (John the Baptist) jumped in the womb and the Spirit spoke.

Spirit-inspired words from Elizabeth rained blessing on Mary. They distinguished her from all other women. She had God’s grace and presence in unique measure, but not in measure that lifted her up for eternal praise and worship.

Mary’s blessing came not from who she was or would become. Mary’s blessing came from the holy baby whom she carried in her womb.[i] Elizabeth proclaimed, “She who has believed is blessed.

Two things immediately illuminate before us. First, we’re blessed to be sons and daughters of God. Second, because of the blessing of God on our lives, we should be a blessing to others. In Genesis 12, we read the words of the Lord to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2, NASB).

As time permits, reflect on God’s blessings on your life. Write them and place the list inside your Bible. Spend time in prayer, offering praise and thanksgiving for these good and gracious gifts. Consider how you can bless others as God has blessed you. Move beyond the head and heart and do something tangible for someone today.

[i] Butler, T. C. (2000). Vol. 3: Luke. Holman New Testament Commentary (12). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Reflection Questions

  1. Depending on the Bible translation, “bless” (bestow favor) is used 88 times, “blessing” (God’s favor) is used 62 times, and “blessed” (favored, happy) is used 220 times. Turn to the concordance in the back of your Bible and look up several of these passages. What does God’s Word teach us about being blessed and being a blessing?
  2. The blessing of God from belief. (She who has believed is blessed.) How has God blessed you through your belief in Him?
  3. When was that last time you experienced jubilation and joy just being in the presence of God? Spend time considering God’s blessings on your life and breath in the joy of Jesus’ presence.
  4. What will you do today to be a blessing to others?

About the Author

Steve Layton
Twitter   » Blog/Website

Steve Layton Email

Steve is a graduate of Samford University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), with a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry in Leadership and Administration.

Over the last 29 years in ministry, he’s served in churches throughout Alabama, worked at LifeWay Christian Resources, and taught at NOBTS and Jefferson State Community College. And, currently, he serves as Discipleship Minister at Brentwood Baptist.

Prior to coming to Brentwood Baptist, Steve worked on a new discipleship philosophy that was later branded “JourneyOn.” This discipleship strategy has grown and now includes a home emphasis called “JourneyOn @ Home.”

Steve is married to Melinda and they have five children: Kristen, Matthew, Michael, Meaghan, and John. In his free time, Steve plays bass guitar, is a marine aquarium hobbyist, loves football, and is a bad golfer. His life objective is to “equip and encourage people on their journeys toward Christlikeness.”