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Summary: Mary’s blessing came as a result of her willingness to be used of God. I’m convinced that it is not our "fullness" that attracts God, but our "emptiness". If you are willing to be used of God, and learn to be emptied of "self", then God will use you to d

THE BLESSING OF BEING A WILLING VESSEL

LUKE 1:28-30

WHEN GABRIEL, GOD’S ANGELIC MESSENGER APPEARED TO MARY WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT HER RESPONSE REVEALED HER KEEN WILLINGNESS TO OBEY GOD. WHAT GOD’S WORD PROPOSED TO HER WAS EXTRAORDINARY AND UNUSUAL BUT UNIQUELY DIVINE. THIS PARTICULAR WORD OF GOD WAS DELIVERED BY THE ANGEL GABRIEL IN A REMOTE TOWN CALLED NAZARETH. THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOLD HER THAT SHE, A VIRGIN, WAS GOING TO CONCEIVE WITHOUT THE AID OF A HUMAN FATHER. THE ANGEL TOLD HER THAT SHE, A VIRGIN, WAS GOING TO CONCEIVE AND GIVE BIRTH TO NONE OTHER THAN GOD’S SON, THE MESSIAH, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD, JESUS.

MARY YEILDED HER VIRGIN BODY TO THE WILL OF GOD AS HIS INSTRUMENT. NO DOUBT, THIS WOULD BE MISUNDERSTOOD BY OTHERS, BECAUSE SHE WAS YOUNG, UNMARRIED AND PREGNANT IN A SOCIETY THAT HIGHLY VALUED ITS CULTURAL AND RELIGIOUS LAWS AND VALUES. THOUGH, SHE WOULD BE WELL HONORED AMONGST WOMEN, SHE WAS AT THE TIME PERHAPS THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD OF WOMEN. BEING MISUNDERSTOOD IS ALWAYS PAINFUL, PARTICULARLY WHEN ALL THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE IS STACKED UP AGAINST YOU. IT BECOMES MUCH MORE THAN A "MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS" PHILOSOPHY, BECAUSE PAIN HAS NO RESPECT OF GENDER, RACE, CREED OR COLOR. SUFFERING HAS SELDOM RESPECTED BOUNDARIES. SO BEING MISUNDERSTOOD CANNOT BE SEEN AS AN EXEMPTION TO THE "NORMS" OF LIFE. BUT MARY MADE A DECLARATION OF FAITH. GOD ASKED MARY TO BE OBEDIENT IN BEARING THE SHAME OF AN OUT OF WEDLOCK PREGNANCY WITH ONLY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH AND HER STRENGTH – FOR SHE WAS STILL A VIRGIN - DESPITE ALL APPEARANCES. BUT SHE WAS A WILLING VESSEL. GOD CHOSE MARY NOT BY ANY MERIT OF HER OWN, BUT IT WAS BY THE GRACE OF A SOVEREIGN GOD WHOM THE PROPHET JEREMIAH HAD SAID..KNEW HER BEFORE SHE WAS IN HER MOTHER’S WOMB. GOD HAD PURPOSED THIS FOR MARY, BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD WERE LAID. THIS SAME JESUS WHOM SHE WOULD BIRTH, WOULD REMIND THE WORLD THAT “YE HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, AND ORDAINED YOU……..JOHN 15:16. IT BECOMES MUCH MORE THAN A "MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS" PHILOSOPHY, BECAUSE PAIN HAS NO RESPECT OF GENDER, RACE, CREED OR COLOR. SUFFERING HAS SELDOM RESPECTED BOUNDARIES. SO BEING MISUNDERSTOOD CANNOT BE SEEN AS AN EXEMPTION TO THE "NORMS" OF LIFE. BUT MARY MADE A DECLARATION OF FAITH. GOD ASKED MARY TO BE OBEDIENT IN BEARING THE SHAME OF AN OUT OF WEDLOCK PREGNANCY WITH ONLY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH AND HER STRENGTH – FOR SHE WAS STILL A VIRGIN - DESPITE ALL APPEARANCES. BUT SHE WAS A WILLING VESSEL. HE’S BENDING, BREAKING, MOLDING AND SHAPING US JUST BECAUSE HE CHOSE US! (LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOR AND SAY……”I’M GOD’S PROPERTY”!). MALACHI 3:17 SAYS: AND THEY SHALL BE MINE, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, IN THAT DAY WHEN I MAKE UP MY JEWELS… HOW AND WHY WAS MARY BLESSED?

I. MARY ACCEPTED GOD’S WORD

THAT BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST SHE WOULD BEAR A CHILD….AND THIS CHILD WOULD BE THE CHOSEN ONE THE SON OF THE HIGHEST. . WHOSE NAME WOULD BE JESUS.

II. MARY WAS OBEDIENT TO WHAT GOD HAD SAID!

SHE WAS WILLING TO BE OBEDIENT TO GOD’S WILL. THE WORD SAYS THAT MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE. WHENEVER WE HEAR FROM GOD, WE NEED TO OBEY! OUR OBEDIENCE IS A REFLECTION OF OUR LOVE FOR THE LORD. MARY LOVED THE LORD, AND WAS COMMITED TO BE OBEDIENT TO HIS WILL.

III. MARY WAS SUBMISSIVE…..SHE PUT HERSELF, HER KNOWLEDGE, HER OPINION, HER FEELINGS IN THE HANDS OF THE LORD. SHE YIELDED TO GOD’S AUTHORITY. AS WE PREPARE TO CELEBRATE OUR LORD’S BIRTHDAY THIS CHRISTAMS…MAY WE BE WILLING TO OBEY AND BE SUBMISSIVE TO HIS WILL .

IV. MARY WAS HIGHLY FAVORED AND BLESSED BY GOD….

PLEASE UNDERSTAND……THAT MARY DID NOT KNOW THAT SHE WAS HIGHLY FAVORED UNTIL THE ANGEL ANNOUNCED IT. AND AFTER HEARING ABOUT GOD’S INCREDIBLE PLANS FOR HER IT WAS THEN THAT SHE WAS INFORMED OF THE BLESSINGS OF GOD’S FAVOR. SHE WAS FAVORED BECAUSE OF SHE WAS CHOSEN BY GOD FOR THIS GREAT MINISTRY OF BEARING THE CHRIST CHILD. SHE WAS HIGHLY BLESSED…BECAUSE SHE WAS A WILLING AND AVAILABLE VESSEL. GOD IS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT OUR AVAILABILITY THAN HE IS ABOUT OUR OUR CAPABILITY.

AS WE APPROACH THE CELEBRATION OF THES BIRTH OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, LET US ALL BECOME WILING AND OBEDIENT VESSELS. FOR OUR LORD IS STILL CALLING TO HIS DISCIPLES…….SAYING THAT IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME. WE MUST BECOME WILLING VESSELD FOR THE MASTER. FOR THIS IS WHERE ALL OF OUR BLESSINGS FLOW FROM.

WHAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE IN MARY’S LIFE WAS HER ATTITUDE TOWARDS GOD.

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