Mature Class Study, teacher Leslie Crain.

Magnify the Lord means to lift him up, to show him great and powerful, to acknowledge the wondrous things he has done for us, to show his greatness, to celebrate in praise, to  exalt the name and mercy and attributes of Christ. God wants our praise and thanksgiving. He wants our obedience but people can go through the motions and not magnify him.

Psalm 34:1-2 I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

It’s our duty to magnify, praise, and lift up the Lord by our thanksgiving at all times – continually. Our praise encourages others. Job’s comforter acknowledged that Job had encouraged him. He also went on to scold Job because Job wasn’t lifting himself up in his hard place. It can be hard to encourage ourselves when we’re in a hard trial. We sometimes need someone to say “God is great, God is good, God is merciful!” We should always remember to be kind with our encouragement.

Job 4:4 Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

If we put a bug under a magnifying glass, it looks changed. It isn’t the bug that changed but our perspective changed. When we magnify God and show his greatness, we see God’s benefits in their proper proportion of how great God really is. Do others see God in us when we magnify him – as high and lifted up, strong and capable, willing to come near to show compassion and mercy? Are we able to show how precious it is to have a close and personal relationship with God? That should be our desire so people see there really is something about the name of Jesus.

Psalm 34:3-4 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

We may not have our own words to praise and magnify God like we want to. Our songs are a way we can magnify him like we want. David had many trials but he sang many songs of victory and thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30-31 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

Mary magnified the Lord. According to Jewish cultural practices, women married at about 15-16 years old. Mary was probably 14 when the angel said she was going to bare the Son of God. It wasn’t a light thing to be espoused in that time.

“Espoused to be married – Jewish weddings in those days worked as follows. Once the marriage has been agreed upon by the parents of the bride and the bridegroom and the bride-price has been paid to the bride’s father, the bride and the bridegroom were deemed “betrothed” – i.e., legally married (a formal divorce was required to terminate a betrothal, so it wasn’t just an “engagement” of today) – to each other, but continued to live with their respective parents. The bridegroom then began to build a house for himself and his bride, typically by adding three walls and a roof to one of the walls of his father’s house. Since he also had to farm or work his trade full time, this construction took up to a year. When the bridegroom has finished building the house, he came calling for his bride, hence the “voice” in John 3:29. A wedding feast then took place for up to seven days, during which the bride and the bridegroom consummated their marriage, and then moved into their newly built home.” (from https://www.bibleversestudy.com/)

What the angel said was hard for Mary to understand and she was troubled. She was highly favored by the Lord with a special love and confidence that she could fulfill what God asked. Mary found favor with the Lord to do something so great that it would change the course of religion and life in the future. Mary asked an honest question, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” She wanted to understand God’s purpose for her. She accepted the angel’s answer, “For with God nothing shall be impossible” when he told about the miracle of her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy. This was like Christ’s commitment to God’s will, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

Luke 1:28-38 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob…and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary…How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered…The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth… also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word…

Mary went 3-5 days on a trip of 80-100 miles to see her cousin Elizabeth. She probably battled fear, unbelief, and doubt as she traveled. Elizabeth’s husband was a high priest and could give Mary guidance. Mary presented herself to the Lord in calm acceptance being encouraged by Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Mary magnified the Lord as she talked to Elizabeth and was willing to do what God asked. We should magnify the Lord for all his blessings to us.

Luke 1:46-50 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden…from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son. Mary thought about it a lot before Jesus was born.

Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Leslie told a story about someone who gave each of their children a rock and a lollipop. They told the children to walk down the road and back with the rock in their shoe and a lollipop in their mouth. The rock was uncomfortable in their shoe so they complained as they walked. When asked what it was like walking that way, they all talked about how hard it was to walk with a rock in their shoe. Nobody mentioned how sweet the lollipop was in their mouth. People often fail to realize the blessings of God because they are focusing on the rocks of life instead of the lollipop.

Jesus never fails. There are some things he never does – never remembers our sins, never answers our pleas too late, never steps in too soon (before his plan is completed), never lets go of our hands, never asks too much of us, never requires too little of us, never leaves us forsaken, never shouts to be heard, never loses his still small voice, never leads us too fast, never forgets the youthfulness of children or the fragility of the aged, never feels burdened down with our sorrows or grief, never rejects the little children.

Magnify the Lord and thank him for his plan because he never fails!