Summary: On that first Christmas, God gave the perfect gift in the form of Jesus the God who Saves. And we know that the gift He has given us has the name Jesus or Joshua which means Jesus Saves and that He will is great and is the Son of the Most High and is the
Friends, God has given the perfect Christmas gift, and now it is our turn to give back to Him. Sure we could spend our time this morning wondering how God was able to cause a ordinary girl to become pregnant through the Holy Spirit. But to be honest, I don’t know how he did it. And Mary did not know, and Gabriel did not know. Only God knew and that’s all I need to know.
On that first Christmas, God gave the perfect gift in the form of Jesus the God who Saves. And we know that the gift He has given us has the name Jesus or Joshua which means Jesus Saves and that He will is great and is the Son of the Most High and is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and will reign forever and ever. But it would not be fair for us to just receive a gift this morning; we have been taught that it is always better to give than to receive so the question that we must ask ourselves today is this: What are you planning on giving God for Christmas? We have already talked about what God has given us, so what are we going to give God for Christmas?
You might say Chris, you know finances this year, you know the situations we are facing, I don’t really have anything to give back to God? And I would say True dat, I understand but the cool thing is that what God really wants from you, he has already given it to you. He wants from us what Mary gave to Him.
I want us to pick up where we left off last week after Gabriel having told Mary all of God’s gifts that He was going to give her and now it’s Mary’s turn to tell God what she intends to give Him. And it is my prayer that when we leave here this morning that Mary’s decision will be our decision. After all she was like us. She did not have a lot to give back to God. She did not have the money, etc to give but yet she still had something to offer God and she gave him the only thing that she had to give. Mary gave God herself. Let’s look at two ways that Mary gave herself:
I. Mary Gave Herself In Faith
We have detailed Mary’s humble, ordinary, not so exciting life. We know that she was not wealthy, probably did not have movie star looks, She was probably not voted Most likely to succeed in her high school, and probably was uneducated. She was not popular and basically just lived an ordinary life. Yet there is something about Mary that impressed God. Though the outside might not have been spectacular there was something inside of her that was absolutely full of beauty and God chose her to become the mother of the greatest person to ever walk this earth: the Son of God.
What made Mary so special? What does Mary have to do with me? Very simply this is what made Mary special: She believed that God would do what He had promised to do. Look at Mary’s response to Gabriel after being told what God had called Mary to do in verse 34: She could have said Surely you can’t use me. She could have said Say What and ran away. Yet instead of doubting she trusted. She did not question God’s power, she just had questions about the logistics. If God was going to squeeze His awesome greatness into human flesh, it’s no wonder that she was filled with some questions.
Now this is a crucial part of the story so let me repeat it: Mary did not need proof, she just wanted to understand the process of how a virgin could conceive. Now you might be saying wait Chris how do we know that Mary was so willing to give herself to God by her faith. How do we know she did not doubt? Well, let me give you an example:
Go back to the beginning of Luke 1. Before learning of the birth of Christ we learn of another unexpected birth foretold of a man named John the Baptist who was to be born to Zecheriah and Elizabeth.
Who were Zecheriah and Elizabeth? Well veres 5-6 tell us that Zecheriah was a priest in the temple, a minister of God who managed the upkeep of the Temple, who taught the people the Scriptures, and who directed the worship services. He had a wife named Elizabeth who was a relative of Mary the soon to be mother of Jesus. Now verse 6 tells us that both Elizabeth and Zecheriah loved God dearly and obeyed Him completely and verse 7 shares with us an important part of this story. They had no children. Now if you would have been an ancient Jew hearing that a couple was unable to have a child, they would have immediately thought this was a contradictionl You can’t follow God and love Him completely and not be blessed with children. Children were considered God’s greatest blessing and certainly such God-fearing and God-honoring people as Zechariah and Elizabeth should have been blessed with children. But Elizabeth was barren. She could not have children. And not only that but Luke tells us in verse 7 that they were both very old which means that they could not expect any change in their situation.