Mary Did You Know... Your Baby Has Come to Make You New?
I would like to stop and take a moment to thank the Pinterest elite of the world for being so creative and crafty and ingenious. Thanks to about a million-and-a-half shows, blogs and books devoted to all things “do it yourself,” a person can tackle bathroom remodeling in three easy steps and learn 100 different uses for a mason jar.
The term “do it yourself”—or “DIY” as the cool kids call it—is the method of building, modifying, or repairing something without the aid of professionals or experts. Call me crazy, but I think if we look at the way we spend our time, money, and energy, we too, are fixing and repairing ourselves without the help of experts, in the attempt to make ourselves better to the watching world.
Maybe it is fixing something on the outside like joining a gym to get in better shape or putting ourselves on a diet to slim down from one too many cookies. Or maybe it is fixing something on the inside like trying to be kinder to our family or making a resolve to have more self-control around those cookies. In one way or another we can all find ourselves somewhere on the “do it yourself” pendulum.
Today we are asking the question in our devotional, “Mary, did you know your baby has come to make you new”. If we are basically “do it yourselfers” then we need to first ask why is it such a big deal that Jesus even came to make us new?
It may seem to some that we are best left to our own devices and are doing just fine in the whole self-repair business. If we are really honest with ourselves then we might see that our long list of self-improvements will never quite measure up to our expectations. The Bible also has a thing or two to say about this. Romans 3:10 states, “As it is written, there is none righteous, not even one.” This means we need expert help because not even one of us can fulfill the project of making ourselves perfect.
Jesus coming to make us new is a big deal because it means we don’t have to fix up, rebuild or better our dry and weary hearts; we get a completely new heart. It means that our expert help is found in the person of Jesus. Did you know one definition of the word new is something that didn't exist before? Let’s look at a few verses deep within the Old Testament and revel for a moment.
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances—Ezekiel 36:26-27.
A new heart and a new spirit. A life that once did not exist, now exists because of Jesus. We can trust that Jesus knows what He is doing.
2 Corinthians 5:17 even says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” The ministry of Jesus is about transformation. HE is the one transforming us. It is no coincidence that one of Jesus’ many names was Carpenter. We can put our tools down and leave behind the do it yourself life that we were never really any good at to start with and rest in the fact that Jesus has got this. And just as Rome wasn't built in a day, we will spend the rest of our lives becoming more and more like Christ.
This makes me think about Mary when the angel appeared to her and said, “Do not be afraid, you’re going to bear a son.” Guess what her first question was? “How?” “How can I, a virgin, bear a son?” Just as Mary’s asked, “How can this be?” many of us look at our own circumstances and think, “How can I ever change?” How can I, a sinner, be made new?
Without God’s supernatural intervention the immaculate conception would not be possible and the same is true for our own lives… we require the supernatural intervention from God to be made new. I love that as the angel departs from Mary the last thing he says is, “for nothing will be impossible with God.” Looking back at the verse from Ezekiel, we have to be reminded that it is God, not ourselves, who causes us to be made new. It is God who doesn't just scrub us really clean and patch us up real nice, but makes us completely, absolutely, and wholly NEW.
Questions to ponder:
- Where do you find yourself on the “do it yourself” pendulum? Are there any areas in your life where you tend to try to fix yourself up for God or others?
- What does it mean to you that you get a completely new heart in Jesus?
- Are there any circumstances in your life that you think, “How will I ever change?”
- How does Ezekiel 36:26-27 give you hope in the midst of your circumstances?