God’s High Purposes
Many of us are getting ready to leave Iraq at the close of our deployment, we’ve seen many things, good and bad. Some, we have noticed have exceeded expectations, while others time and again, have failed to meet them. Others are new and you may be asking the question, what is this deployment going to bring, danger, challenge, boredom? And in the Christian context we have to ask “What is God’s purpose for me?” Now that I’m re-deploying, or now that I’m here, What does He want to speak or do through Me?
It’s the Christmas season and by looking at the Angelic Announcement to Mary, we will discover some truths that apply here in our lives today. Our message is found in Luke 1:
1. God’s High Purposes are discovered while we do our duty
6 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
Mary was surprised at the presence of the angel, who no doubt frightened her in her daily task.
Ellen Hooper stated: “I slept and I dreamt that life was beauty, I woke and found that life was duty
2. God’s High Purposes are for those who are ready
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
“You have found favor with God” Why had Mary found favor with God, the Bible doesn’t tell us, but whatever it was had been noticed in the hallways of heaven, the Great Redemptive plan of God was about to be unfolded on the human stage, and Mary had found favor. She may not have known that all that she had experienced, learned, and become convinced of, the prayers that she had prayed that she thought were unanswered, were being deposited into the accounts of God’s planning and foreknowledge. God had a purpose for Mary. As Protestants we don’t believe Mary was divine but a regular person, Scripture records her getting angry when she lost her son, using her status to make the wine better at the wedding, questioning Jesus’s mental state as his popularity grew, grieving at his death. Mary was human, but she was used by God at the right time, IN The Middle of God’s Purposes!
3. God’s High Purposes are not hindered by questions
34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
How can this be? Since I am a virgin? Thank God for this question, in this detailed accounting of Luke we discover through Mary’s own testimony, in a moment of excitement and wonder, the truth of her chastity. A chastity that had a direct impact on the divine-human equation, mysterious, yes, but God ordained, certainly. As Isaiah had prophesied 700 years before, the Virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son, and shall call His Name Jesus, for He Shall Save His
people from their sin
OH! How sweet the name of Jesus Sounds in a Believer’s ear, it drives away all fear and doubt and wipes away the tear. That at the name of Jesus every knee would bow and every tongue would confess.
4. God’s High Purposes, involve the God of the Impossible.
35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God."
Mary had never heard of such a thing? The angel Gabriel saw something in her expression that declared, Hey! You have some explaining to do, I’m not capable of being pregnant. Yes in the temporal she wasn’t, but Mary wasn’t dealing with the six and seven of the human dimension, Mary had logged on to the High and Holy Purposes of Almighty God! Look at your situation. Are their impossibilities in your life? Do you have a problem or situation that you have analyzed and declared, “It’s impossible” there is no way out? Do the numbers not add up? Here the testimony of the Angel of the Lord “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD” when His High Purposes,
Got any rivers? You think are uncrossable, Got any mountains? You can’t tunnel through? God specializes, in things thought impossible, and He will do, what no other Power can do!
5. God’s High Purposes, require our participation
38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
(from New International Version)
But as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the Sons of God, even to all who believe on His Name.
Have you sinned so thoroughly, that it seems Impossible for Him to forgive?
Have you lived so long away from Him, that there appears to be no way to return?
God has a high purpose for you, He had you in mind as He hung on the cross, the same prophet that prophesied His name would be wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, said also He was bruised for our iniquities, wounded for our diseases, the chastisement of OUR peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.
God will forgive you, He only asks you trust HIS power and purposes. No one can cleanse their own sin, the work was done for you, He only asks you trust Him.
Is there someone here this morning who would say, I have never known Christ? I have been trying to find my purpose, I want Him in my life? This is your day, this is your hour.