Posted by: lolpres | December 15, 2016

LHM Daily Devotion – December 15, 2016 “Bringing Down and Raising Up”

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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

“Bringing Down and Raising Up”
December 15, 2016
(And Mary said) “He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate” (Luke 1:52).
Read Luke 1:51-55.

I used to snoop around the house to find the presents from mom and dad. Their solution was to wrap up the presents a few weeks early, then put them under the tree — without any name tags on them. We examined those packages with magnifying glasses but found no clue as to which present belonged to which of us five boys. My solution was daring and brilliant: I found the biggest package under the tree and claimed it as my own. Whenever we posed for pictures I stood by my beautiful, huge present. Of course, on Christmas morning it always ended up belonging to one of my brothers.

A few days back we discussed the stigma the Jewish culture put upon childless couples like Zechariah and Elizabeth. That proud and arrogant attitude plagued the entire Jewish culture. It was commonly thought that God showed His favor to certain people by giving them wealth, power and prominence. And He showed His displeasure to others through poverty, disease and a low social standing.

Mary’s experience shattered that foolish presumption. God passed by all the virgin daughters of the rich, powerful, prominent families in Jerusalem, and instead He chose an unknown girl from an obscure city in the despised north. Jesus would say it best, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).

None of us can stand before our pure and holy God in our own righteousness. Our only hope is through the humble Christ Child, born in a lowly manger, nailed to a despised cross, raised to glory on the third day, and seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You humble the proud and raise up the lowly. Turn me from my arrogant, sinful pride that I may cling to Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior, my pride and joy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Today’s Bible in a Year Reading: Psalms 79-80; Revelation 7

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