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The Nativity Story: The Faith of Mary

(40)

Sermon shared by C. Raymond Van Pletsen

December 2006
Summary: Mary teaches us that we too can be used by God to change the world. We learn from her that . . . Faith is not age-dependent. Faith positions us to be part of the greatest event in all human history. Faith means do what God says regardless of the cost.
Audience: General adults
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overshadowing Mary reminds us of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of the deep at creation (Genesis 1:2). We also recall the cloud of the glory of the lord that descended upon the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34,35).

Although Mary had not asked for a sign, the angel offered proof to Mary of God’s power by pointing out that . . .

Elizabeth’s Pregnancy Was Proof Of God’s Power

Gabriel told Mary that her relative Elizabeth’s pregnancy was proof that nothing is impossible with God. Elizabeth had never had children and she was past child-bearing age when the angel appeared to Zechariah and told him that Elizabeth would bear a son (Luke 1:19).

The angel’s visit to Mary took place in the sixth month of the pregnancy of Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. The significance of this was that after Mary was visited by the angel she was able to visit Elizabeth and see another miracle – that a woman past child-bearing age was pregnant. While not as phenomenal a miracle as what took place in Mary, it nonetheless confirmed the angel’s message.

With quiet faith Mary accepted the angel’s explanation and submitted herself to the Lord.


Mary Obeyed The Lord

Lk 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Knowing the enormous price she was about to pay, Mary surrendered herself first to the Lord and then to His plan. Notice that although we have made much of the cost to Mary, she says not a word of it!

She said, “I am the Lord’s servant.” There’s a wonderfully childlike aspect to her faith. With absolute trust Mary bows herself to the will of God and declares herself to be His servant. Her words must have brought great joy to the heart of God. He has always longed for His people to give themselves so unreservedly to Him.

Mary also surrendered herself to the Lord’s plan for her life, as costly as it was going to be: “May it be to me as you have said.”

Paul praised the Macedonian churches for following the same sequence when they gave sacrificially to help other Christians in need:

2 Corinthians 8:5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.

They gave themselves first to the Lord, then they gave their money. God wants us to first give Him ourselves and then give Him our obedience.




CONCLUSION

In all of history there is only one man who bears the honor of being the first man to walk on the moon. In fact, he is the only man ever to walk on any other heavenly body than earth. No-one else can lay claim to that fame, and no-one else will ever be able to. This unique place in all of human history belongs solely to Neil Armstrong.

In all of history there was only one woman chosen for the honor of giving birth to the King of kings. While generations of women may have desired the honor, it was reserved for just one woman. That unique place in all of human history belongs solely to Mary. But we can participate in the ongoing miracle of bearing Jesus to all the world.

Let’s review what we’ve learned from Mary. Mary’s faith was . . .

· Begun in her as a young woman
· Based upon God’s Word
· Bowed to The Will Of God

The Word of God was designed to lead us into an ever deepening relationship with God. So, let’s follow in Mary’s footsteps of faith.

Have You Begun To
Comments and Shared Ideas
Probal Dutta
December 14, 2006
Thanks for these good ideas on Mary. Now I know the importance of Mary
Sam Gore
December 6, 2006
THE MESSAGE IS PERFECT TO ENOCURAGE AND CHALLENGE YOUTH.
Salvador Miquel Villar
December 1, 2006
thanks
Excellent thoughts about who Mary was, pulled out of scripture. Thanks.
Johanna B R Haanstra
November 8, 2006
Yes very good Jesus Christ the God Man. Human and at the same time God

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