"And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:38)
When the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 , the offense was so egregious, that the United States would accept nothing less than an unconditional, or absolute, surrender to end the war. My wife's uncle, John Reynaud, was a Marine assigned to the battleship, USS Missouri, when it steamed into Tokyo bay, and he witnessed the document of surrender being signed. Japan laid down their arms, and became known as "Occupied Japan" for many years.
Mary, the mother of our Lord, absolutely, and unconditionally, surrendered to God after Gabriel visited her.
"And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord;..." When she referred to herself as "the handmaid of the Lord", she was accepting the fact that she was a slave to the Lord, and that she belonged unto Him.
Many others in the Bible have referred unto themselves as "bondmen to Jesus Christ". They, too, were admitting that they belonged to God, and were no longer their own person.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are giving ourselves to Him. He owns us, and we are His property. That puts things in a different light from what many think salvation is. When we say "I don't want to go to church", or "I ain't going to read my Bible, or pray", then we are rebels, and not bondmen, nor handmaids!
The Christian life is one of 'surrender'. And believe me, our offenses to God through sin were so egregious that He will accept nothing less than an absolute and unconditional surrender!
Many think that salvation is a negotiation. Nothing is further from the truth! Salvation is surrender!
Gabriel came from heaven unto a quiet little hamlet in the mountains of Galilee, and found Mary, who had found favor in the eyes of God. He informed her that God had a mission for her to perform. It was inconvenient, and life-altering. Yet she surrendered her will to God, and accepted the work He called her unto. Mary is an inspiration to every believer. And her obedience to God made it possible for us to be saved!
Let us be as Mary, and surrender our lives to God! We will never know all that God can do through us until we get to heaven. But certainly He will use us to glorify His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
From my heart to your heart.