The Lord's Mother Shows Us the Best Way to Live

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1. Depend on God's design for your life (vs. 34-38). 2. Go to the godly people in your life (vs. 39-45). 3. Magnify the Master of your life (vs. 46-50).

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The Lord's Mother Shows Us the Best Way to Live

Luke 1:34-50

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - May 10, 2015


*Please open your Bibles to Luke 1, thinking about the best way to live. In this wonderful chapter, God sent the Angel Gabriel to give amazing good news to the Virgin Mary. Listen to the heart of Gabriel's message starting in vs. 30:

30. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

31. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

32. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

33. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

*Now to see this Godly mother's response, let's read vs. 34-50.



*Moms are special! "Better Families" magazine told about an elementary teacher who gave her class a science lesson on magnets. Then she gave a quiz to see how much they had learned. One of the questions said: "My name starts with 'M,' it has 6 letters, and I pick up things. What am I?" Half the class answered "M-O-T-H-E-R." (1)

*Thank God for all of the mothers in our lives! -- Our grandmothers, our own mothers, the mothers of our children, and the mothers of our church. Mother's are special to us. They are also special to God. We know this, because God created mothers. We also know moms are special to God, because 2,000 years ago, God chose to have a mother of His own. The Lord of all creation chose to be carried 9 months in a mother's womb. And here in God's Word the Lord's mother shows us the best way to live.

1. First: We should pursue God's plan for our lives.

*Now, my wife is a planner extraordinaire. All good mothers are planners, because they have to be. They are generally juggling ten things at a time, and you can't keep all those balls in the air without a plan.

*It's good for people to have plans. But God has plans too, and His plans are always more important than ours. That's why Psalm 146 gives this wise advice:

3. Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

4. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish.

5. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

*Proverbs 16:9 says: "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." And from Jeremiah 29:11 in the NASB: "I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."

*It's good to have plans, but God's plans are always the best plans. I wonder what Mary had planned to do on the day the angel Gabriel showed up. "Hey, Mary: What are you planning to do tomorrow?" -- "Nothing special."

*But God had other plans. God had a bigger, better plan for Mary's life, and she began to pursue it to the fullest. That's what Mary was doing in vs. 38, when she said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.''

*That's the kind of thing God wants us to say today. He wants us to have the same attitude, the same kind of heart: A heart that embraces all God has planned for our lives. Mary pursued God's plan for her life, and we should too.

[1] So we must have confidence in God's Word.

*Mary told Gabriel, "Let it be to me according to your word." She agreed with the Word of God. She believed in God's Word. Mary trusted; she accepted what God told her through His angel. That's why Elizabeth bragged on Mary in vs. 45, and said, "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.''

*We have the Word of God today, and we need to completely rely on what He tells us in the Bible. But it's not always easy. One reason why is because God asks us to believe some things that are too good to be true in the natural realm.

*That's what happened in Mary's house so long ago. Again, starting in vs. 31, Gabriel told Mary:

31. . . "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

32. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

33. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

34. Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?''

*God had the answer! -- And He gave it through Gabriel in vs. 35-37:

35. And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

36. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative (or cousin) has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.

37. For with God nothing will be impossible.''

*The same kind of thing happened to the thief on the cross next to Jesus. That thief trusted in the Lord, so in Luke 23:42, he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.'' And in the next verse Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.''

"What? -- In Paradise today? Me? I'm hanging on a cross. I deserve to die. You can forgive me? You can take me to paradise today?" Yes! -- Because in vs. 37, "With God nothing will be impossible.'' We need confidence in God's Word, even when He tells us things too good to be true.

[2] But if we are going to pursue God's plan for our lives, we also need commitment to God's work.

*That's what Mary had in vs. 38 when she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord," or "Behold the maidservant of the Lord!" She was saying, "Lord, I am your servant, even your slave. I am willing to work for you." We must not be too proud to think of ourselves as servants of God. We need commitment to God's work.

[3] And we need consent to God's will.

*In vs. 38 Mary said, "Let it be to me according to your word." In other words: "God's will be done!" Mary consented to God's will even though tough times were coming. Mary must have known that hard times were coming. What would Joseph think? There would certainly be gossip about her pregnancy.

*Later when she and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple for His dedication, the Holy Spirit told an elderly man named Simeon that they were there. Simeon took Jesus in his arms, praised the Lord, and blessed them all.

*But in Luke 2:34-35, the old man also said this to Mary:

34. . . "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against

35. (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.''

*Thirty-three years later, Mary stood at foot of cross, and watched her son die. But Mary believed! She trusted in God's plan for her life. In vs. 38, she trusted in God's plan enough to say, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.''

*God asks us to trust Him through tough times. And we ought to trust God, because He does love us, He does have a plan for our lives, and He is going to be there for us. Everything will be all right in the long run, if we will keep trusting in the Lord.

*On April 20th of 2001, missionary Veronica "Roni"' Bowers was killed by a single bullet when a Peruvian Air Force jet fired on the Cessna plane the missionaries were in. Jim & Roni Bowers' 7-month-old, adopted daughter Charity was sitting in her mother's lap. She was killed by the same bullet.

*A Peruvian Air Force pilot shot at the plane, because he mistakenly thought it carried drugs and drug dealers. Roni's husband, Jim, and their 6-year-old adopted son, Cory, survived the attack without serious injury. The pilot, missionary Kevin Donaldson, was seriously injured by gunfire to his legs, but he was able to crash-land the plane on the Amazon.

*The Bower's family had been faithful missionaries to the area for over a dozen years, and Roni Bowers knew about tough times. She had never been able to have a baby on her own.

*Listen to part of her testimony from about 3 years before she died: "After many tests, everything appeared to be normal and I returned to Peru three weeks later with all kinds of maternity clothes. The following Friday, I was encouraged to lie down by one of the coworkers. No sooner had I laid down than my water broke. I was only ten weeks into the pregnancy.

*Praise the Lord, one of the people in the (construction team) was a lady, and she knew what to do. After about 5 hours of labor in the hospital, I lost our baby. Despair is the only word to describe how I felt. I knew that I had to cling to God. He reminded me of Psalm 23 and I trusted Him to 'restore my soul.'

*I couldn't understand all the emotions, the deep depression I was feeling. What kind of a Christian was I? After months of struggles, I realized I was putting the baby I wanted before my relationship with God. I finally realized what I was doing and begged God to forgive me. More than anything, I wanted my relationship with Him back.

*God has not taken away the desire for a baby, but He has helped me put my priorities in order. Now I choose to trust God fully. He is in control. He knows what is best. He doesn't owe me anything, rather I owe Him everything."

*That was Roni's testimony. Just 3 weeks after Roni and their daughter died, her husband Jim spoke at his alma mater. There Jim Bowers said, "In Roni's death, her whole purpose for living is being multiplied. No matter how long she lived, she couldn't touch as many as she did in her death. . . I can't say Roni's death was worth it. I can't say those words. Many people could. And I hope I will one day." (2)

*Jim Bowers was trying to pursue God's plan for his life. So was the Lord's mother, and so should we. That's the best way to live.

2. But also get help from godly friends.

*Don't try to make it on your own. Go to the godly people in your life for the help you need. This is what Mary did in vs. 39-40:

39. Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,

40. and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

*When Mary heard the astounding news from the angel Gabriel, the first thing she did was go to Elizabeth. Why did Mary do that? -- Maybe because Elizabeth was already going through something similar. Elizabeth wasn't miraculously having the Son of God. But the birth of John the Baptist was also a miracle, because Elizabeth was way too old to have a baby.

*And there is a lesson for us today, because all older Christians have gone through things younger people will have to face. And they should be able to come to us for wisdom, guidance and support. Why did Mary go to see Elizabeth? -- Because if anybody could understand what Mary was going through, it was Elizabeth.

*Mary also went to Elizabeth, because Mary knew her cousin was a godly woman, and Mary needed help. It's not always easy being a mother or a mother-to-be. It's not always easy being a dad, or a son, or daughter or friend. We all need help at times. And in those times, don't cut yourself off. Don't isolate yourself. That's one of the worst things we could do.

*Mary reminds us that we need to get help from godly friends. And if you don't have any godly friends, don't worry. God wants to give you new friends! Then God want us to be the wise people others can run to when they need help.

*So, pursue God's plan for your life. And get help from godly friends. That's the best way to live.

3. But Christians, also magnify your Master.

*When Mary got to Elizabeth's house, another amazing thing happened. The Holy Spirit told Elizabeth about Mary. We see this starting to happen in vs. 39-41:

39. Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,

40. and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

41. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

*Next, starting in vs. 42, Elizabeth said some glowing things about Mary:

42. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

43. But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44. For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

45. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.''

*But notice what Mary did in response. Mary did not magnify herself. She magnified the Lord! In vs. 46-47:

46. . . Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,

47. and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

*Mary was the mother, but Jesus is the Master! That's why Mary magnified the Lord, and so should we!

*Christians: We know that the Virgin Mary was very special, because God chose her to be the mother of our Savior. But we have much more in common with Mary than you might think

*Like Mary in vs. 47, all of us can rejoice in God our Savior. And in vs. 48, we can magnify the Lord, because He is watching over us too. Mary said, "He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant." And God has His loving eye on us today!

*Sandra Carr told about rocking her son, Boyd, when he was 4-years-old. He was facing his mom as they rocked, sitting on his knees. Suddenly, he lifted his small head, stared straight at his mother and became very still. Then he cupped her face in his hands and said, "Mommy, I'm in your eyes!" He had seen his own reflection in his mother's eyes, and this amazed him.

*In the days that followed, Boyd checked to see if his discovery was lasting. "Am I still in your eyes, mommy?" he would ask as he reached up for her. That's how close all good parents want to be to their children. And that's how close God wants us to be to Him.

*We know this is true, because of that wonderful Old Testament phrase: "The apple of God's eye." The word picture is just what little Boyd found in his mother's eye: For us to be so close to God, that we can look in His eyes and see our reflection. (3)

*Deuteronomy 32:9-10 says:

9. . . The LORD's portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.

10 He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.

*Then in Psalm 17:8, King David prayed these words: "Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings." God had His eyes on David. God had His eyes on Mary, and God's got His eyes on you. So magnify the Lord, because He is watching over us.

*And magnify the Lord, because He is mighty. In vs. 49, Mary said: "He who is mighty has done great things for me. . ." The same holy God has done great things for us too!

*But Church: We should also magnify the Lord, because He is merciful. In vs. 50, Mary said, "His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation." We know that God is merciful, because the baby Mary carried was born to die on the cross for her and for us. Mary needed a Savior, and in vs. 47, she said that God was her Savior.

*Have you received Mary's Son as your own living Lord and Savior? Three days after Jesus died on the cross, He rose again from the dead. And His mercy is on us right now, -- if we have trusted in the price He paid on the cross for our sins. If we have trusted in the Risen Savior, then when we die, we will go to live with Him, and we will magnify the Lord forever.


*How are you living today? -- Mary shows us the best way to live:

-Pursue God's plan for your life.

-Get help from godly friends.

-And always magnify the Lord Jesus Christ!

*Let's do that right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) "Better Families" - Jan. 1994, p. 2 - Raymond McHenry illustration - Motherhood - Humor - Magnetic Mom

(2) Sources:

SermonCentral illustration contributed by Larry Sarver

Online testimony from - Sent by Pastor William Plenge

"Peru Plane Survivor Speaks at Alma Mater" - "The News-Star" - Monroe, Louisiana - May 12, 2001

(3) Sandra Palmer Carr in "The Upper Room" - Source: sermon "The Appearance of Love" by King Duncan Matthew 22:34-46 )

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