Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Each of us has been given the seed of faith as well. When God first became real to you, you had from that point on the same privilege and responsibility to bring the miracle of Christ in you to full term fruition. Christ died and rose again not that you w

Myah Hope was given the news that she was pregnant. Like most mothers to be, she dreamed of what giving birth to a child and raising them would be like. But when she was 19 weeks pregnant, she was told that something was wrong with her baby's head. The doctor said that she had no brain. She was told that she could safely continue the pregnancy and allow her to die naturally, or induce labor and terminate the pregnancy. She chose to carry her baby to term for one simple reason: love. In her eyes there was no decision to be made. She had nothing but love and high hopes for her. She named her Faith Hope and cherished every moment of the pregnancy! She savored every kick and turn inside my growing belly. For five months they hoped and prayed. Then to everyone's surprise, she was blessed with 3 months and 4 days with Faith before she went to Heaven. She writes, “She was the sweetest little girl... so beautiful and so full of life. I feel so privileged to be her mother. The doctors said that Faith's condition was ‘incompatible with life,’ that she would likely not survive for more than a few seconds or minutes after birth, and that she could never achieve consciousness. They didn't understand how she was thriving for all those weeks... how she was smiling, cooing, crying, eating, breathing on her own, resisting infection, and responding to her surroundings. ‘With men this is impossible; with God all things are possible.’”

In our Scripture today, we have the story of a young girl who is engaged to be married and an angel comes and tells her she will become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. This is nothing short of a miracle but with God all things are possible. Each of us has been given the seed of faith as well. When God first became real to you, you had from that point on the same privilege and responsibility to bring the miracle of Christ in you to full term fruition. Christ died and rose again not that you would believe in him, but that he could live His life through you. That's the whole purpose of Christianity. It's not about believing in Jesus, but the life of Jesus being manifested through you. Christ in you is the hope of the world.

If you are ever going to carry this miracle of God, this God-seed of Jesus’ life germinating in you, to full term, then it begins with having courage. The first step: do not be afraid. God is on your side. You have found favor with God. I can relate to Mary. Mary was from the wrong kind of background. Her cousin, Elizabeth, came from a family of privilege, but Mary came from a backwater kind of family - working class folks. She would soon find herself in the wrong circumstance. In the culture of this day, women had no rights. A woman who was not married and pregnant was a capital criminal, subject to the penalty of death by stoning. Can you imagine Mary’s feelings when an angel showed up and said, "Mary, you have favor with God. God is on your side." This is incredible…this invitation to a friendship with God, this acceptance, this grace from God. Since God is on our side, don't be afraid to take on the responsibility of the miracle that God wants to do through you. We think Mary was somewhere between 12 and 14 years old. This unplanned pregnancy was a shock for a teenager.

You don't have to be a teenager to understand that life changes when you take on the responsibility of having a child. When children come, everything changes in life. Before you have kids, you are free to do whatever you want. Everything changes in your life when you have children. But once we had those kids, I wouldn't trade that responsibility for anything. Because you know you have favor with God and God is on your side, you do not have to be afraid to take responsibility for the miracle God wants to birth through you.

I want to tell you what else taking responsibility for your miracle is going to do: it's going to change your whole identity. You can imagine what this would mean for Mary’s identity. It would be an unconventional identity from this time forward. She told Joseph that the Holy Spirit did it . . . and then in a dream, God confirmed that to Joseph. But do you think Joseph ever had doubts and suspicions through his life? I think sometimes Joseph went to bed thinking, "Was that God who said that to me? Or was that the pepperoni on my pizza?" In Mary’s culture, the identity she would have to live with was that of a capital criminal, a woman who had a baby outside of being married. Your reputation changes.

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