Obedience Pure and Simple

When the baby was eight days old, they came to circumcise him. They wanted to name him Zechariah because this was his father’s name. But his mother said, “No! He will be named John.” The people said to Elizabeth, “But no one in your family has this name (John)!” Then they made signs to his father, “What would you like to name him?” Zechariah asked for something to write on. Then Zechariah wrote, “His name is John.” All the people were surprised. Then Zechariah could talk again. He began to praise God. – Luke 1:59-64

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A Burst of Praise

Then Mary said: “I praise the Lord (God) with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior. I am not important. But God has shown his care for me, his servant girl. From now on, all people will say that I am blessed, because the Powerful One (God) has done great things for me. His name is very holy. God always gives mercy to those people that worship him. God reached out his arm and showed his power: He scattered those people that are proud and think great things about themselves. God brought down rulers from their thrones, and he raised up the humble people. God filled the hungry people with good things, but he sent the {selfishly} rich people away with nothing. God has helped Israel—the people he chose to serve him. He did not forget his promise to give us his mercy. God has done what he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham, and to his children forever.” Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months. Then Mary went home. – Luke 1:46-56

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Connected Grace

Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hill country of Judea. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside Elizabeth jumped. Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth said with a loud voice, “God has blessed you (Mary) more than any other woman. And God has blessed the baby which you will give birth to. You are the mother of my Lord, and you have come to me! Why has something so good happened to me? When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. What a blessing is yours because you believed what the Lord (God) said to you! You believed this would happen.” – Luke 1:39-45

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