Summary: Using Mary and the birth of Christ, this sermon explores the partnership of our willingness and the Holy Spirit's power to bring about amazing results.

SEEING THE POWER OF GOD: God’s vision for Mary involves a combination of her willingness and the Holy Spirit’s power.

- Luke 1:35.

- In this situation, it means that Mary’s humble willingness to trust and serve team up with God’s power. The result is the miraculous birth of the Savior.

- In the general, the principle is that we bring our willingness to listen and obey while God provides the power through the Holy Spirit.

- The Holy Spirit is not well understood by many Christians and so we don’t understand that He is there to empower our spiritual life.

- We are more like to think of the Holy Spirit in terms of comfort or security.

WHY DON'T WE LOOK FOR THAT POWER? We have pitifully low expectations concerning our spiritual lives.

- Some reasons for that:

a. Low expectations among American Christians of what we can expect of God’s power.

b. We’ve never seen it modeled.

c. We think of salvation as a transaction rather than empowerment.

d. We are leery to pursue this because we like to be in control.

e. We are leery to pursue this because we don’t know how God’s power will manifest.

f. We think “faith” means belief, but little more.

- This is the diseased state of the American church.

FLESHING IT OUT: The Bible envisions the Christian life as one with power.

- Look up and comment on the following passages:

a. 1 Corinthians 1:18.

b. 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5.

c. 1 Corinthians 4:19-20.

d. 2 Corinthians 4:7.

e. 2 Corinthians 10:4.

f. 2 Corinthians 12:9.

WHAT WOULD A FIRST STEP BE? Pray and work toward something that you can’t accomplish on your own.

- Don’t randomly pick something, but seek God’s leading.

- Don’t dismiss it just because it seems too big.

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