I believe a lot of us think that things were different back when Jesus walked the earth.
That people were more heroic. That faith was different.
That faithful people were somehow more faithful. The Spirit-filled more filled with the Spirit.
But this morning as I read the passages in Luke about Mary’s meeting with her relative, Elizabeth, a verse really grabbed me.
Elizabeth said, “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” (Luke 1:45)
Later, in the gospel of John, we read how the people asked Jesus what they must do to do the works of God.
Jesus answered: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”
When the angel Gabriel announced to the priest Zechariah that he would have a special son, named John, Zechariah expressed doubt. This is why Gabriel pronounced a discipline on him: he would not be able to speak until the baby was born.
But when the same angel, Gabriel, came to announce to Mary that she would be the mother of God, Mary simply said: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
God always rewards belief.
Because it is not us that accomplished great deeds for His Kingdom.
It is God who accomplishes.
Our part is to get alongside Him, to believe and trust in what he is doing.
When Abraham believed, God reckoned it to him as righteousness.
When Elizabeth believed, she was greatly blessed.
When Mary believed, she was given the highest honor a woman could ever receive: to be the mother of God.
What blessings would each of us receive from God if we simply believed His promises?
(Instead of doubting His Word and living as if we have no power or authority from the indwelling Holy Spirit?)
God is incredibly pleased when His children believe His Words.
That has not changed throughout the ages.
Even though our individual works of belief and faith are not recorded in the Bible, we can be sure that our choice to believe is recorded somewhere in heaven.
And that God is glorified by every secret turning from doubt, and responding in obedience.
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7: 38 NIV Bible)