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Advent: Willing to Serve–Mary & Nira

With God, one is a big number. He often uses just one person to make a difference in multiplying His Kingdom. Even in the Christmas story, we see how one can be significant in the Father’s plans.

Think of Mary. She was a young woman with nothing to commend her, no position or wealth or experience. But she’s chosen by God the Father to carry the Messiah, the Son of God, and birth him into the world.

Mary’s response to this incredible assignment is both simple and inspiring. She says, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” She was willing to serve the purpose and mission of the Lord in this unusual and totally unexpected way, with whatever price she might pay.

Mary’s willingness to serve the mission of God echoes in the lives of women today. In India, Nira is another woman with a mission. She’s illiterate—she has no power or resources, or position or influence. But she knows Jesus. And she’s learned to share the Gospel and make disciples through a Global Disciples partner program.

Nira serves in a region of India where opposition to Christians is often intense. Recently, as she visited with a family and shared the Good News of Jesus, a crowd of villagers surrounded the house. They demanded that Nira and the family come out—and they forcefully dragged them off to the police station! When she was questioned and accused of proselytizing—where she lives there’s an anti-conversion law—they demanded to know who sent her and who was behind her activities.

Boldly, Nira shared her testimony. “Jesus has changed my life,” she said, “and He has sent me here.” When the authorities shot back that their gods never asked them to do anything, Nira answered, “My God is alive, and He has told me to be here.” Finally, the authorities released her. Nira’s bold witness spoke volumes, and now others are coming to faith in Jesus, including many women!

Like Mary, Nira can joyfully say, “The Lord has done great things for me—holy is his name.” May we each have the heart of Mary, and of Nira, to willingly serve as God directs.

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