12/15/13 I'm All In!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Under: Sermon

Advent Week 3

Text: Luke 1:26-38 (NKJV)

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible." 38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.”

Intro: Was Mary all in, maybe at first there was some pondering going on. Maybe she had some thoughts going through her mind of “How can this be” do the math pregnant and no partner? (Now that has probably been used as an excuse several times in our recent culture with some teenagers trying to convince her parents, I didn’t know!) Mary was troubled but God did speak to her and she realized He found favor in this teenage girl. When the Holy Spirit made its self-known Mary was All In and she come to realize “with God nothing will be impossible.

Application: With God nothing will be impossible.

The scene starts with a salutation to Mary. She receives a heavenly visit. Little information is given about Mary in the Bible. However, what is said sets before us a tremendous example of submissiveness to God's will. Submissiveness to God is an absolute essential for every believer. 1.

1. The Messenger: vs. 26-28

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"

The angel Gabriel appears to this virgin girl in Nazareth; Mary is engaged to Joseph the carpenter.

Mary was espoused to Joseph. Being espoused was something like an engagement, except it was more binding. It lasted one year. In the espousal period sexual contact was adultery and resulted in stoning. The espousal was so serious a matter that if it was broken a divorce had to be secured. Mary and Joseph were both godly, so godly that God could choose them to be the parents of His Son. It was impossible that God would have chosen an immoral man and woman to bear and rear His Son, not when He had the power to control the events. Mary was highly favored by God.

She was to be highly favored by God. The angel did not immediately tell Mary how she was to be favored by God, that she was God's choice to bear and to be the mother of the Messiah. That came later in the conversation. The angel had to give her time to adjust to the shock of his spectacular appearance. For right now, he simply announced that she was to be highly favored by God - a unique privilege.

Just think! God does favor us: He saves us, gifts us, uses us. We are favored by the God of the universe - a phenomenal privilege and an awesome responsibility to make ourselves available to receive His favors.

The Lord was also with Mary. She did not walk through life alone. God was with her. Mary's life had pleased God to the point that He could favor her and be with her.

Mary was to be blessed among women.

2. The Message: vs. 29–33

“But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

Mary was very human. She was both troubled and stricken with fear. The fear was understandable, for an angelic being from God stood before her. Mary was "troubled at his saying," at what the angel told her. It was the message that caused her to be troubled, the fact that... she was highly favored. The Lord was with her, and she was blessed among women.

Since Christ has come, every person can now, be highly favored by God. Have the Lord's presence and be blessed among all others.

Mary was troubled because she did not understand how God could so greatly favor a person like herself. She never expected to be greatly favored by Him. This was deep humility. Mary was not a proud, self-centered, flighty, or frivolous young lady who was conscious of herself or felt that she merited and deserved the attention of others. She was a young lady who loved God and had determined to live a pure and responsible life.

Don’t forget you are going to name your baby: Jesus! He was to be called the Son of the Highest. “Of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” Romans 9:5. He was to be the Son of David and was to receive the throne of David. He was of the line of David. This indicates that Mary was a descendant of David; therefore, Christ Himself would become a descendant of David. Jesus was to teach that His kingdom would not be of this earth, for nothing on this earth lasts. The kingdom was to be spiritual, by which it would be eternal.

3. The Mystery: vs. 34

“Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

Being a virgin, Mary is perplexed, wondering how this can be accomplished. Mary was expected to believe the miraculous, but she was puzzled. She was not doubting or distrusting the message. She was not asking for some sign or proof like Zacharias. She was simply asking for more information. She was single and had never known a man sexually. How could she possibly bear a child without knowing a man?

“And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." Luke 1:18

This is a mystery but didn’t we just here: With God nothing will be impossible. What is your excuse???

4. The Method: vs. 35

And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

Gabriel tells her that the Holy Spirit will father the baby! "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee." The thought is not after the manner of men, but after the manner of God's Spirit. What is the manner or operation of God's Spirit? God's Spirit sets apart and activates, creates and re-creates by the Word of God. God's Spirit simply speaks and it is done. There is no such idea as a crude mating between the Holy Spirit and Mary. God's Spirit simply speaks and it is done, no matter what is to be done. How foolish are the crude thoughts and unbelief of men!

"The power of the Highest [God] shall overshadow thee." God Himself was going to look after the whole matter. The child's conception and growth during pregnancy and His birth and life were under the shadow and wing of Almighty God. It was God's power that saw to the whole operation, not the presence or power of an angel or of a man or of any other creature.

The child born of Mary would be holy, the Son of God. He is the holy One born by the power and the Word and the will of God through the virgin Mary. He is the holy One whom God sent forth made of a woman by His power, Word, and will: “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” Galatians 4:4

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding.”

5. The Miracle: vs. 36-37

And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.

Mary now learns that her aged relative Elizabeth is already six months into her pregnancy! Mary was encouraged to believe that with God nothing is impossible. The news that her sister Elizabeth, who was beyond child-bearing age, had conceived a son in her old age and was now six months pregnant. The fact that God could take her sister in her old age and cause her to conceive demonstrated God's power. Visiting Elizabeth would encourage Mary. With men much is impossible. To say that all things are possible with men is far from the truth. When Mary heard and meditated upon the simple statement, "With God all things are possible," she was bound to be encouraged. God expects us to believe Him and His power, regardless of circumstances and our feelings of insignificance.

Conclusion:

An angel makes outrageous promises to Mary. He tells her, “No word from God will ever fail.” And that was enough for her. “May your word to me be fulfilled,” she said. We wonder at her words. How could she be so calm and stoic? She had to be terrified. Mary knew there would be smirks and whispers when people found out about her unplanned pregnancy; by law, she could be stoned to death. A weak person would not have responded the way she did. But what if “terrified” gave way to “trust” as the word of the Lord came to her through this angel? What if “May your word to me be fulfilled” really means “Let’s do this!” (I’m all in).Though she may not have understood the details, she was assured that the long-awaited Messiah would come through her-God was giving her His word. And that was enough. Mary began to worship.

There is a joy that follows a difficult submission to God, a joy that will have to be remembered and held onto when the long obedience becomes nearly unbearable. It is what sustains us and compels us to worship in the midst of deep suffering, to find companionship with the One who suffered everything for out sakes. That is what led Mary to break forth in song, a song we today call the “Magnificat.” Because Mary endured, the Son that came after the song has sustained generations of humble worshipers, like Mary, ever since. (25 Days of Devotion Day 13)

Mary was submissive. Her response was immediate and brief, only one short sentence, yet it was her identity with being “All in!” vs.38 “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants.” (I am all in!)

Mary was saying that she was a bond-slave, willing to sell herself out completely to God. She would possess herself no longer, but would give herself completely to God. God's Word was her will. She surrendered totally to obey God. She would serve as He willed, being completely obedient and fulfilling His purpose entirely. She would act "according to Thy Word." Surrender to God is an absolute essential both for salvation and service.

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