Summary: Asking yourself the question, "what would you do, if God spoke to you the way He did Mary?"

"What if God spoke to you the way He did Mary?" There is really no other way to begin this message than to just come straight out and ask the question? "What if God spoke to you the way He did Mary?" I imagine that

just about everyone wants God to speak to them at some point in their life: Is this the right one I’m suppossed to marry? Or we want God to speak to us

when we are searching for meanings to lifes struggles. We want God to speak to us when we are seeking something, but "What if God spoke to you the way

He did Mary?" Spoke to you in person or sent an Angel of the Lord to speak for Him, sending an angel like Gabriel with a message?

Mary responded positively to the Lord, but what would we do?

I think there are several universal responses that would go on in our brain and our reasoning if God spoke to us like He did Mary:

A) The first is a concern for our reputation. Mary’s reputation was greatly at stake. To be a preganant, unwed mother in a Jewish community was beyond

comprehension. To further complicate the matter the child was not Joseph’s her betrothed. It would be an embarasssment, and impossible to explain to

Joseph let alone to anyone else.

Wednesday night my wife Laurel and I were watching an episode of (I think its called) "The Great Race" and a young couple who were dating had just been eliminated. The girl, when asked what they were going to do now said "Have children, and grandchildren and get married". The young man quickly interrupted, "we’re going to get married first".

REPUTATION, would, if we let it, keep us from responding when God asks us to do something.

By today’s standards of people living together and who possibly never marry, it is certainly hard for us to grasp how Mary was risking her reputation, but despite any concerns she willing said to the angel "Here I

am, a servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word".

B) The second response would be about our fear of failure. I don’t know about you, but I have had trouble figuring out the right way to raise two sons

who are my own. O’ I guess they are Laurel’s too, she had something to do with it. And there have been times that I know I have feared failing to be a

good father; fear of making wrong decisions... and these are with my own sons, my own flesh and blood. What if God was asking me, or you to raise His

Son... to bring into this world the Son of God and raise Him up to be the Savior of the world?

What if God were speaking to us with some boldness to build His Kingdom? Or to take on a specific ministry? To enter the ministry? What if God were

asking us to step out in faith and grow the Church? And yet when we hear God’s voice nudging us we stand frozen like a deer in headlights because we

are afraid of failing. I remember back to just six years ago this coming April. I sat in the Fellowship Hall being introduced by Barbara Galloway-Edgar to the members of the P.P.R. Committee. Betty Nall was the

Chair. And in that meeting the resounding thing that was said was "We need children and young adults in our Church".

They asked me to start an afterschool program like I had in Cotulla called "Terrific Thursday’s", we

would six months later start "House of faith". I felt God calling me to come to Junction, Texas , and that this was our priority.

And look around at what God has done in our midst! Not what I have done, I was simply a willing vessel... but what if I had let "FEAR OF FAILURE" keep me from coming; or moving forward from now with new visions and goals for this Church. What if fear had kept Mary from stepping out in faith?

C) The third response would be like "what is in it for us?". God spoke to Mary and asked her to take on the role of mother to the Son of God. "Well, of course I will God, but you know Joseph is only a Carpenter, and new building starts have been bad this year. And surely you wouldn’t want us to raise your Son as a Carpenter’s son. We’ll do it, if you can guarantee

Joseph a position at the Temple. Something well paid mind you, and we will need a House by the Sea to raise little Jesus properly. O’ and Lord, we only

have one donkey to travel, and it wouldn’t be right for us to be seen on such a beast, don’t you think a white horse should be in on this deal?

Okay God, I am with your plan, but what is in it for me? Its not that we don’t often receive blessings for answering God’s call, but this should not be our motive. No, Mary didn’t consider her status as part of the deal, she simply responded in faith not even once worrying about her own needs. Not WHAT’S IN IT FOR US, but Lord, what is in it for you? Your will be done!

D) Lastly we would be reluctant of God’s messanger because we might distrust its miraculous power.

Every once in a while, though not real recently I have heard someone say something like "I just have trouble believing in a virgin birth". They say "I just don’t understand it" or "I can’t explain it". Well if you could explain it, it wouldn’t be a miracle. In the 1st Chapter of John it talks about the "Word was God, and the Word was with God... and the Word became flesh". The Greek word used there for "The Word of God" is "Logos"... and so the "Logos of God" became flesh. More than I have a hard time believing in the virgin birth, I have trouble understanding how God’s Word could be born in a baby and made flesh. But again, if I understood it, it wouldn’t be a miracle.

Some things can’t be explained they just have to be trusted in as miraculous signs, and the miraculous power of God. We have seen miracles in our midst

lately; things we can’t explain like:

- Mike Murphy, had a 0% to 12 1/2% chance to survive the surgery. Surgeon had never seen anyone with a completely detached aorta make it to the Hospital.

Only 50% with torn aorta make it to the Hospital. Only 50% of those, he said, make it out of surgery. And only 50% of those who make it out of surgery, survive the first 24 hours. (By my math that is 12 1/2% survival rate).

-Kristi Kaeterle, Her Doctor told her sister "If she survives it will be a miracle

-Vernon Chesshir, His Doctors for a long time said they couldn’t do it with a pacemaker. They put one in, and over Thanksgiving, Vernon went fishing with Jim twice over the Holiday’s.

-among others....

What if God asked you to be a part of His plan so that He could bring about a miracle? Bring about the message of His Son? Bring about the birst of the

Savior of the world?

Two women who were dressed in their finest were having lunch together in a very exclusive restaurant. A friend saw them and came over to their table to

greet them. "What’s the special occasion?" she asked. One of the women said,"We’re having a birthday party for the baby in our family. He’s 2 years old

today." "But, where’s the baby?" the friend asked. The child’s mother answered, "Oh, I dropped him off at my mother’s house. She’s taking care of him until the party’s over. It wouldn’t have been any fun with him along."

How ridiculous! A birthday celebration for a child who wasn’t welcome at his own party? Yet, when you stop to think about it, that’s no more foolish than

going through the Christmas season, with all of its festivities, without remembering the One whose birth we are supposed to be honoring. And that’s the way many people celebrate Christmas. In all the busyness the party-going, gift-shopping, and family gatherings the One whose birthday they are commemorating is almost completely forgotten.

More than that, when God asks us to be a part of His plan, part of His miracle, we doubt in the miraculous power of God. We try to explain away the

virgin birth; or that the wisemen might have already been close by onanother journey; ....But when are we going to start doubting and listen to

the voice of God? What if God spoke to you the way He did Mary? What would be your response?