Sermon Illustrations

The Heart of Mary: Highly Favored

"The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'" (Luke 1:28)

This spoken blessing into her life did not come from abroad, but from the very throne of God and the term "highly favored" (kecharitomene) is an active verb meaning "endued with divine grace to the full."

Mary was highly favored to be the natural mother of Jesus Christ. Christians through being born again are highly favored by God to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Christ living in them. Having Christ as Savior and Lord is the greatest Christmas present that anyone can ever receive.

The idea worth grasping here is that God has extended His favor or grace to all born again Christians in Christ just as He did Mary. Mary was the bearer of the physical Son of God, He being God in the flesh - Christians have the Holy Spirit of Christ living in them. Romans 8:9 says, "And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." The same chapter says if you have Christ living in you, you have eternal life.

Mary had to believe the Word of God spoken to her was truth worth grasping. Her heart after God enabled her to receive divine revelation that was full of explanation and promise. The truth worth grasping for Mary was and is for us, "The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28) These are the very words that came from the angel of the Lord who appeared to Gideon who said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." (Judges 6:12) This is the very promise made to soldiers of Christ we read about in the Book of Matthew in the giving of the Great Commission. Jesus said, "...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20) The word "always" (pantos) means continually and forever with us in our work with the Lord and in everything involved in our lives. Jesus will not leave us to do the work of God or to live out our lives down here all alone depending only on man's flesh. He is literally involved in everything that affects our human lives and souls. What greater truth is worth meditating upon this Christmas season?

Christians who grasp this truth live a life like that of Mary, believing the Word of the Lord, enquiring for revelation through the written Word and walking in the favor of God.

Choose to Have This Heart in Christ!

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