Mary's Heart Beat
Enjoying God's Favor
Introduction: Christmas is upon us, everyone is busy making sure gifts are purchased, wrapped and placed under the tree for the up and coming Christmas celebration. Tis a season to show acts of charity and for many, to cling to those church traditions of the birth of Christ.
Proposition: I would propose to you, though much debate, speculation and misrepresentation surrounds the birth of Christ. There are Biblical truths that must be grasp if we want to effectively fulfill our part in presenting the greatest Gift of all time, Jesus Christ. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
William Shakespeare penned these words in his play, As You Like It, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances…” One of those players in the life and times of Christ was Mary, she fulfilled her appointed time in history.
Interrogative Sentence: What Biblical truths have there foundation in the public proclamation of the Birth of Christ? Just what was in Mary's heart that enabled her to conceive and give birth to the greatest Gift, God's Son? Do you have the heart of Mary in your service to the Christ of Christmas?
There is a joy for those who grasp the heart of Mary! There is a heart beat in the Christian's life which presents to all who sees, the Greatest Gift of all times. It is Christmas! Here in America we have the freedom to learn and talk about the reason for the season, Jesus Christ. Today, we want to consider the heart of the virgin Mary.
Transitional Sentence: Mary - A young woman, pledged to be married to Joseph, finds herself visited by Gabriel. Gabriel announces to her that she will become pregnant. To overcome her confusion, since she is a virgin, the angel explains, “...you are highly favored! The Lord is with you. 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.”
Truths to grasp in this Divine Word to Mary:
1.) Marry was "highly favored" (χαριτόω charitóō) means she was approved of God for the call He had laid before her. (The Complete Word Study of the New Testament) This Greek word is used only once elsewhere in the New Testament. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 97). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) In Ephesians 1:6, "to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed (χαριτόω charitóō), another translation use the word "bestowed" in the beloved."
Christians are the Lord's beloved, when we are seeking Him with all our hearts and are surrendered to His will for us, we will be seen as approved of God for the callings He lays upon our lives. We are considered blessed to have been chosen for whatever, task He has set before us. Our call today, is to proclaim the truths of God's Word in regard to the birth of the Son of God. Especially in these days, were Christmas is being replaced with worldly views that are anti-Christ. We should be able to defend the truths of Christmas - Christ has come and the purpose of His coming to earth, through the counsel of the written Word of God.
Life application: It is like, when your overseer at your work place sees you have properly prepared, have the right heart for the job to be completed, you are blessed to be given the task at hand.
It is football season, your team is on the one yard line from the goal line. The coach, rather he chooses a pass play or a run play, chooses a certain pass receiver or a certain running back. He sees in either one, receiver or running back, the talent, the preparedness and the heart, to execute the play. Whatever player he chooses, at that moment, the player he sends in is blessed to have been chosen.
Mary had the heart God's wants to enjoy in His servants. Her heart is revealed in this proclamation, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me..." (Luke 1:46-49)
2.) The Lord was with her: God's presence was with Mary. When God was about to give Gideon his call to go and deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, the angle of the Lord says, The Lord is with you." (Judges 6:12) In our call to the Great Commission, Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Nothing God has called us to do is to lead us to despair, to question our ability to perform in any service to Him. If we are in proper fellowship with Jesus, walking according to His will and seeking to build His kingdom through true discipleship, He will be with us in preparation and the exercising of our talents and Spiritual gifts.
It is Like: I had the privilege to graduate from one of the best farrier's colleges in the world. After shoeing hundreds of horses, I was given the task to shoe a real show horse. During the whole task I was sick to my stomach from being nervous. I felt like I was sweating bullets and did not enjoy what I had been given the opportunity to do.
My dad watched me, at the appropriate time he reminded me, I had been trained, had the talent, been faithful to prepare, don't sweat it, just do it.
From that time on, I approached every horse the same, I prepared, worked diligently, and took time to enjoy what I was getting to do. Not everyone has been given the opportunities I had.
The Point - God will not call you to go a do a task for Him and not be with you. As long as you walking in step with Him, don't sweat it, just do it!
Mary knew God was with her - she proclaimed, "Holy is His Name, His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with His arm..." (Luke 1:50-51)
3.) The Holy Spirit - power of the Most High: The work going on in her was not from natural origins, but from God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. It was none of her doing, simply, her body surrendered to the work of the Holy Spirit of Christ.
The angle Gabriel tells Mary that her relative Elizabeth, whom it was said that she was to old to conceive, was now six months with child. (Luke 1:36) The angle said, "For no Word from God will never fail." (Luke 1:37) When Mary makes her way to see Elizabeth, upon Mary's greeting, Elizabeth's baby leaped in her womb. (Luke 1:41) The Bible says, "Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she proclaimed, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! ...Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!'" (Luke 1:41-45)
All Christians have the Holy Spirit of Christ dwelling in them. The Apostle Paul had this revelation, "...I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20) He also write, "Do you not know that you are God's Temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you." (1 Corinthians 3:16)
"The Apostle Paul was exhorting carnal Christians at Corinth with these strong words, thus it is important that believers realize with conviction that their earthly bodies are the residence of the living God. Such an awareness should cause us to have an earnest concern for the proper care of our bodies. It is also the motivation we need for Christ-like living, C.H. Forrest wrote 'Oh, to be saved from myself, dear Lord, Oh to be lost in Thee; Oh, that it may be no more I, but Christ that lives in me.'" (Osbeck, K. W. (1996). Amazing grace: 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions (p. 196). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.)
Transitional Sentence: Mary was highly favored, had the Lord's presents with her, enjoyed the power of the Holy Spirit upon and in her. There is an heart beat we do not want to miss. Though under Jewish law Mary knows she can be stoned to death for being pregnant outside of marriage and knowing that her husband-to-be will probably not understand, she bravely responds, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Zachariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, set an Biblical example of true discipleship, obedience to the written Word, thus they were blessed. Mary moves us forward with a heartbeat of submission to God's will, even at the possibility of being stoned to death or losing her husband. (Stein, R. H. (1992). Luke (Vol. 24, p. 86). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)
The first desire in the child of God who wants to enjoy the favor of God in his life is to die to self and surrender to the will of God in his life. The key word here “servant” or ”bondslave” (doule) meaning Mary belonged totally to the Lord and gave Him full permission to work His will in and through her life. This heart attitude enabled Mary to worship the Lord in soul and spirit. Her submissiveness enabled her to get direction and gain understanding from the Lord.
Christians can choose to have understanding of God’s will for them as Mary did. Romans 12:1-2 says, “offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Christians who get the most out of the first Christmas grasp the truth of servant-hood. Servant-hood frequently appears in the Gospels, especially in the parables. (Matthew 18:23-35; 21:33-44) For Jesus, the concept of servant-hood is the way of expressing a right relationship with God. Jesus says no one can serve two masters, (Matthew 6:24) nor is anyone above the plan Christ has for those who follow Him. (Matthew 10:24) A faithful servant of Christ does as the will of Christ directs him. (Matthew 24:45-46) Christians who have the faith of Mary have changed their allegiance. Rather than serving the flesh and the world, as before, they are becoming bond-slaves to God and Christ. There is no greater gift of love that Christians can express to the Lord than to become a bond-slave to the Lord and His will.
Bond servant is like: In the horse business there great horse trainers, halter, racing, cattle horses, the list goes on and on. There are a few trainers who come across workers who become bond servants - they have one purpose, to enable the horse trainers achieve their goals.
Now, there is a natural process in this. As these bond servants allow the trainers to work them as they will, the bond servants watch and learn from the trainers, actually learning what the trainers know, actually taking on the coherence of the trainer, yet at the same retaining their own personalities. These bond servants move up the ladder, naturally drawing other people who want to be bond servants, who want to become part of the team.
One such trainer is David Boggs. In his younger days it use to be David Boggs, Midwest Training Center. Now that he has matured, it is Team Midwest, consisting of a huge list of people, trainers, owners, investors, conditioners, grooms, veterinarians, farriers, promoters, etc. All having one purpose - doing what is best for all so the vision can be enjoyed.
Life Application: Yours and my place in this time in history in regard to the proclaiming that Christ the Savior was born to save requires for us the have the same heart of Mary, "I am the Lord's servant, let it be to me as you have planned for my life, as I serve the King of kings, the One Whom all will someday bow the knee to."
In closing: There is a Divine call upon your life! Proclaiming that the greatest Gift for the good of all mankind has arrived, He is Christ the Lord. The Bible says much about the life and times of Christ. The Bible says this about Mary's heart, "...but His mother treasured all these things in her heart." (Luke 2:51) Let us Pray!!