Magnificence Magnified

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46-47

What is Mary saying? What does it mean to magnify the Lord?

In a sermon, John Piper suggested that the word “magnify” can be used in two different senses. It can mean to make something appear greater than it is. My mother does this each time she reaches for her magnifying glass to make words appear greater than they actually are on the page.


Another meaning of the word is to make something that seems small appear as big as it really is. When we look through the lens of a telescope it is for the purpose of making some barely visible pinpoint become more of what it really is. Through a telescope, pinpoints of light in the sky suddenly appear with substance — they are no longer lights but large planets with shape and contours clearly visible. Features and details that were previously unseen explode with brilliance and glory through the powerful lens.

Mary knew that she was not being called to be a microscope for God but a telescope! As she pondered God – His ways, His strength, His plan, His timing, His willingness to use a humble girl—His greatness became clearer and clearer in her own heart. He became for her more of what He truly is! With God magnified in her life–fear, doubt, and shame were minimized.

That experience is available to us as well. When God is magnified in our hearts, the things that are truly small stop appearing larger than they really are. Let’s put away our magnifying glasses and stop looking at small things. There is a God of enormous proportion ruling the universe—One that is exponentially magnificent. As we see Him for what He really is, we will say with the psalmist, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together!”

Great and Glorious God, give us eyes to see you as you really are—exalted above all things. Forgive us for seeing you as small and our problems and selves as great. Have mercy and give us clear sight that spills over in great rejoicing and praise to your name forever more. AMEN

Tiger and I

Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold. The rich and poor have this in common: The Lord made them both. Proverbs 22:1-2 (NLT)

tiger_woods_yall I have rolled this 1st verse around in my mind today—it is hard not to think of Tiger Woods when you read it.  To my sorrow I have delighted in speculating and discussing the sad events that have left him with a stained reputation.

After reading a post of C. J. Mahaney’s entitled “Hunting Tiger Woods”,  I am more focused on the gospel rich news of verse two than in wanting to look down my self righteous nose or point out to Tiger how he failed to heed the wisdom of verse 1!

Verse 2 reminds me that Tiger and I have one common Creator, one Lord, and one Judge. I cannot despise another or gloat over someone else’s sin without defaming the work and reputation of my gracious God.

Gratefully, there is also common ground—level ground at the foot of the cross. There, rich and poor alike can humbly bow.  There we can bring our stained reputations, stained affections, stained motives and stained attitudes and exchange them for the perfect righteousness of our Lord.

May we both care more for our Creator’s reputation than either of ours!