Mary said …

Photo by Samuel Hájnik:

Luke 1:31-34 … {Mary} thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 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: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

The President recently signed into law the “Respect for Marriage Act”, which many praised as a giant step forward for progressive humanism. One statement that a certain Senator made was, “{Americans} should be able to marry whom they love. All Americans deserve full civil rights under the Law regardless of where they live.”

Some churches praised the Presidential signing, saying that there are provisions that protect the religious freedom as well as the tax exempt status of Churches opposed to same sex marriage. Frankly I don’t see this as a “win” for any Christ focused Church. Jesus told us that – as His people – we would suffer persecution in this world. Jesus said:

John 15:18-21 (ESV) If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

The Apostles certainly suffered persecution. The Apostle Paul told his young student Timothy:

2 Timothy 4:18 (ESV) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 2:3 (ESV) Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

We as Christians are in a battle for the soul of America. The world will not understand our hearts. Now, I’m not here to talk about this particular Act, another in a long line of advances that anti-Christs have made. The Apostle John told us

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

The forces against God, the antichrists, will always rise up to battle against the Gospel of salvation. What does God expect of us in these days? Let’s tie this into the life of Mary in a section of Scripture we often call “The Christmas Story”.

God’s Word Is Always True, For God Is Always God

We have always lived in a world that has two views of God. The first view is the Subjective View of God. This is the most popular concept of God. In the Subjective View we believe that God exists for our benefit. This view creeps into the pulpits of many different Churches, even Baptist Churches. I have heard preachers say,

God created Adam because God was lonely and needed a companion. After creating Adam, God saw that “it is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18), so he made Adam a helper called Eve.”

What is foolish about this statement is that God has never been alone. In Genesis 1:26 God – the Hebrew Elohim – said Let US make humanity in OUR image, after OUR likeness”. God has never been alone. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is complete in Himself. God created angels. He did not create out of a need for us. God created us for another reason, a reason the antichrists hate. God did not create us because He somehow had to do so or else He would suffer.

The Second View of God is the Objective View. In the Subjective View we say that God created us because He somehow needed us. In short, God exists because we exist. But the Objective View of God is that God created us because we need Him. We are incomplete without God. God made us in His image and in His likeness so that we could worship Him as God, and glorify Him for Who He is.

When we walk away from God we rip a hole in our very lives. We are made in the likeness, the image of God. We are not gods, but we were made to imitate and glorify Him.

Humans were created by Grace and Love flowing from God – but God does not need us to complete Himself. God lacks nothing. Our creation is an extension of God’s goodness.

Romans 11:36 For of {God}, and through {God}, and to {God}, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

We as humans exist not to be gods, but to bring GLORY to God.

We are told in 1 Chronicles 16:29, Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

The wise King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of {humanity}.”

The Apostle said in 1 Corinthians 10:31 and 1 Peter 4:11, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. … that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Illustrate: God does not need us. We need God. We were created to need God. Let’s play a little game I like to call “What if?”. The Angel comes to Mary and tells her that she is going to bear the Messiah. Mary replies with:

How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

What if Mary had said, “No! It’s not happening Gabe. It’s my body, my life. You don’t have permission to do this!” What if this had happened? Would God have stopped the Plan of Salvation? Would the Messiah have never been born? No, I believe that Messiah would have come through another vessel, another person.

God sent Moses to Israel to save His people from enslavement to Egypt. It was God’s will that Israel enter the Promised Land of Canaan. God had Moses tell Pharaoh, “Let My people go, that they may worship Me in the wilderness” (Exodus 7:16). It was God’s desire that Moses lead Israel into the Promised Land. When the first generation of Israel rejected God’s command, the Lord had them wander in the wilderness for 40 years until all the dissidents passed away. Moses was to lead that second generation into Canaan. But Moses failed to glorify God in Kadesh (Numbers 20:10). God told Moses and Aaron, “because you would not believe Me nor glorify Me neither you Moses nor Aaron your brother will lead Israel into Canaan” (Numbers 20:12). God chose Joshua to take Moses’ place. If Mary had rejected God, God’s Word would still have been fulfilled. God keeps His Word.

As Gabriel unveiled God’s Plan to Mary he said:

Luke 1:35-37 And the angel answered and said unto her, 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. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

God is God, and we are not. When God calls us into a relationship with Him, or calls us to do a task for Him, it is not because He is somehow unable or impotent, needing us to “save the day”. God caused Elisabeth, Mary’s elderly cousin to have a child – a magnificent Prophet John the Baptist – though she was completely infertile. If God can turn the infertile to the fertile, He can move on Mary’s body to produce the Messiah. The Angel told Mary:

For with God nothing shall be impossible

This is a common theme throughout the Scripture. When Abraham wondered how his dear infertile wife Sarah could have a child, the preincarnate Jesus told him:

Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Illustrate: Sarah did not believe as Mary did, though she did not object. But God chose to use Sarah anyway. With God nothing shall be impossible. Just this past Tuesday the news noted that “U.S. Scientists Produce Fusion Power That Replicates The Sun’s Energy”. Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (California) bombarded a tiny pellet of hydrogen plasma with lasers to produce this mini-sun. What took humanity thousands of years to replicate, God spoke into existence when He said “Let there be …”

As our Lord Jesus said in

Mark 10:27 … With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.

Mary told Gabriel:

Luke 1:38 … Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

When God Calls Us, He Calls Us To To Fill Our Needs, Not His

Mary puts absolutely NO CONDITIONS on her partnership with God. She said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. The word handmaid is the Greek δούλη doúlē, {pronounced doo’-lay}, which means “a female slave”. Mary gives over all her rights to God, putting herself under His complete control.

This is the wisest thing a human can do when approached by God.

When Moses, for instance, was approached by God to lead Israel from Egypt, Moses began to enumerate his various inabilities. He let fear take control, rather than know that “with God, all things are possible”. Moses told God,

Exodus 4:10 … O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

He kept resisting God until the Lord assigned his brother Aaron to be the spokesman for Moses (Exodus 4:14). Moses would have done better trusting in God. Aaron would become a yoke around Moses neck, dragging that good man down instead of lifting him up. Mary did not second guess God. She surrendered herself to God. “Lord, I am your slave – do with me as You will”.

When Gabriel leaves, Mary goes to her cousin Elizabeth’s home to help her through her pregnancy. When Mary stepped out in faith, trusting in the God Who is limitless, then blessings come. Elisabeth speaks:

Luke 1:43-45 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Elisabeth says something that is key, something we all need to grab hold of. She says,

blessed is she that believed

Mary was not blessed because God chose her.
Mary was not blessed because the angel Gabriel came to her.
Mary was not blessed because she was somehow special.
Mary was blessed because she believed what God said.

Belief does not stand still. Belief trusts in God, and moves when God says move. When the Apostle Thomas doubted the resurrection of Christ from the grave, Jesus appeared before him eight days later in a locked room. He told Thomas,

John 20:27 (ESV) {Thomas} “Put your finger here, and see My hands; put out your hand and place it in My side. DO NOT DISBELIEVE, BUT BELIEVE”. Thomas answered {Jesus}, “My Lord and My God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

Mary had not seen that she was with the Messiah, but believed God – and acted on that belief. God blessed her because of her belief. Mary’s belief in God shows in the words she speaks:

Luke 1:46-48 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

It is not Mary’s goodness or worthiness that leads God to use her for the incarnation of Christ. God called Mary to be the mother of Christ’s humanity because our God is the God of all Grace. It is the God of all Grace that calls us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus (1 Peter 5:10). It is God Who is able to make ALL GRACE abound towards us (2 Corinthians 9:8). God was reaching out by Grace to Mary, causing Mary to worship the Lord. Hear her words of worship:

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior

Mary does not claim herself to be worthy of this great honor. God is in fact her Savior. Mary was not “immaculate” or sinless. No one has ever had that title outside of our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5). Mary goes on to say:

vs 48 … {God} hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden

Word Study: The words low estate is the Greek ταπείνωσις, tapeinōsis which is translated as “VILE” in:

Philippians 3:20-21 … we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our VILE body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body …

Mary said in effect, “God regarded the vileness of my life, and yet still in Grace used me”. Mary was a good woman who loved the Lord, but this was not why God used her. God used her because Mary understood that God worked through her weakness.

If God could use a broken vessel like Mary to bring the Incarnate Christ, He can use the least to do the most if they surrender to Him.

When God reaches down, it is to lift up. God reached down to Mary to use her to bring forth the Messiah. God reached down through the Messiah to bring salvation from Calvary. God in love reaches down to us all, for none of us are worthy. The Apostle quotes Psalm 14:1-3 & Psalm 53:1-3, writing:

Romans 3:10-12 None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.

What we see so evident in our world today is a broken creation, trying to fix its brokenness with its own broken ideas and its own broken tools. God calls to us, as He called out to Mary. He calls out to us in Christ. Will we follow the ways of darkness, or will we surrender as Mary, and allow God to work in us?

Progressive humanism will not fix what ails us. We all need God. We all need Christ. Jesus told us of a Pharisee and a Publican who went up to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee prayed, relying on his worth and the worth that religion gave him:

Luke 18:11-12 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

The Pharisee is much like the leper who attempts to fix his ailment. Religion wraps him in fine white linen. At first, he looks fine – clean and white. But in time the linen soaks through with the terrible disease, and that which is at the core comes into the light. Religion and time are enemies of one another. But to those who, like Mary, say to the Lord “I am your servant – use me as You will”, to them the Lord will come. Say unto Him Who calls:

You are God, and I am not.
You are Whole, but I am broken.
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
Create in me a clean heart, O Lord,
And renew a right spirit within me.
Turn us unto Thee, O Lord,
And we shall be turned!

Salvation and blessing comes when we “be converted, and become as little children” (Matthew 18:3-4). God uses the little. God uses the broken. God uses the least, and the less than. Mary’s greatness came from her willingness to let God be God. We read:

Luke 1:49 For He that is MIGHTY hath done to me great things; and HOLY IS HIS NAME

Let Us Share The Gospel Of God With Others

Life is a gift from God. Eternal life is a gift from God. This Christmas let us share the message of God’s Gospel. Our God is MIGHTY – there is nothing that He cannot do. Further, our God is HOLY and UNBROKEN. He came to save sinners, to save them that will “fear the Lord”. Mary said:

Luke 1:50-52 … And {God’s} mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

If a person has no fear of God, that person will never
swim in the sea of God’s mercy.

God is God – and we are not. You recently should have received something from this Church by mail that examined the “Fear of the Lord”. God’s mercy is only on those who fear the Lord. Our infinite God has been saving people from brokenness for thousands of years. He has said, “I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). The Scripture assures us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). When all else fails, the mercy of God never fails (Lamentations 3:22-25).

Luke 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.

What does our God require? Come hungry. Come thirsty. He is able to fill your every need. Oh that you would come to Him today, and receive life more abundantly (John 10:10). May God through His Spirit touch your hearts with His Word. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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