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Dec 11, 2022

Magnify The Lord

Magnify The Lord

Passage: Luke 1:26-46

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: God With Us

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: worship, faith, christmas, jesus, sunday, god, sermon, bible, christ, gospel, hope, advent, mary, believe, jesus christ, the bible, christianity, nativity, god with us, bible study, birth of jesus, emmanuel, baby jesus, jesus birth, christmas story, bible verses, mother mary, live music, bible stories, god is with us, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, christmas gifts, story of jesus, 2022, burnt hickory worship, christmas 2022, story of mary

In our sermon series God With Us, where we are looking at the story of the birth of Jesus and how it changed the lives of the people around him, we look to Mary. We learn that there’s a difference between clarifying questions about God’s plan and doubting God. God is not like man, and he always fulfills his promises, and this was a serious task for Mary to trust God and believe in his plan. We also learn that God’s love knows all of us from the beginning and it extends his mercy to us. The real question is, have you truly seen yourself as a sinner in need of the mercy of God? Is your faith at a point to where nothing else matters more than answering the call of God, even if there are consequences? Learn more about the consequences Mary faced as she placed her faith in God, and how if we have the same approach to listening to God it will change our life. If you’ve got questions or need someone to pray with, then reach out today. You can always take the next step in your faith journey by visiting

Well, good morning. Church. One little public service announcement before we jump into the message, if it is you that is praying for rain, it is time to stop. We recognize your fervent prayers and we're thankful. But okay, enough is enough. Don't think we've seen the sun in a while. But anyway. Hey, welcome to church today. We're so glad you're here. We're in a series like you just saw called God with US. It's our Christmas series. In fact, if you've got a copy of Scripture this morning, I want you to go with me in the Book of Luke today. Luke Chapter one. Luke Chapter one is where we're going to launch from in our quest towards Bethlehem. When I was a kid, I was one of the fortunate ones that got to grow up with my grandparents being in our lives, kind of on both sides. We had both of them. Some of you are grandparents in the room and you got one job and that is not to parent but to grandparent. Amen. And there's a major difference in parenting and grandparenting. We got to spend breaks and summers and lots of time at our grandparents’ house. And my grandparent retired a little bit early, and they moved to Lake Oconee. Now don't think Ritz-Carlton Lake Oconee. Think mid-eighties Lake Oconee. All right. There was nothing there. It was gravel, roads, woods and a lake and it was awesome. They had a couple of acres right there on the lake and it was a kid's dream to go to their house. My grandparents had a dock, they had a boat, they had a shed full of sharp things and things that shot right, and it was awesome. We got to use all of it, and no one cared. It was like being in a fast food, incredibly home cook kitchen to where anything you wanted, you got it. And now you know where we spent our summers, right? That all of that was incredible. But the best thing about their house, their house was not that. You see it, their house, they lived so far out in the country, they had this thing on top of their house called an antenna.

All right. Now, I know I need to talk about what this is, because those of you that are young people, you don't even know what this is. An antenna is a large piece of metal that sticks up outside of your house, that helps you get reception. All right, now, reception. You don't even know what that is unless the Wi-Fi goes out, right? Reception back in those days meant you had a piece of metal on your house that pointed in a direction that you might get three channels. All right. Now, they lived out in the country so far that they could not hardly get any reception from their house. So, they came up with this way that on top of your TV, there was a box on their TV that you could turn the dial. Anybody know what I'm talking about on this? And you could turn the dial to point the antenna any direction. We loved this. As kids, we would run in the house, we would flip that dial all the way around. We would run outside, and we would watch it turn. We would go back in, flip it the other way, and watch it turn the other way. If it pointed towards the east, you got three channels from Augusta. If it pointed towards the West, you got three channels plus TBS because that was worldwide. You got that all over from the West to Atlanta. Well, here's what I want to mention about that antenna. That's kind of like our Christmas series. Here's our goal in our Christmas series is that all of us would take the antennas of our hearts and we would point them in the direction of the birth of Jesus.

Now, I love the lights, I love the family events, I love all the stuff around Christmas. But I'm going to tell you, here's my goal. I want you to point your hearts towards Jesus this morning, and I want you to point them towards Emmanuel. That's what we've been doing over these last couple of weeks. Week one, we looked at Joseph, right? And Joseph just told us that God's ways are not always our ways, but his ways are always better. His ways are always better. We saw that out of Matthew chapter one. Last week, we looked at the Wise Men and we traveled with them. Right? We traveled with them to Bethlehem, and we said that through their lives, we're seeing that wise people still seek Jesus. Wise people still devote their lives around worshiping Jesus. This morning we're going to march on in kind of the major characters of Christmas. And we're going to look and we're going to celebrate with Mary this morning. And I want to propose to you this morning that through Mary's life, what we're going to see is that you can experience the full love of God. That you can experience the love of God, and you can absolutely fall in love with Jesus. Now in history, let me ask you something. When we talk about the ultimate display of the love of God, there is one thing that comes to most of our minds, and that would be the cross, right? The cross is the ultimate display of God's love for us. And if you were to answer like that, you are 100% true. It is the cross. But I want to propose to you this morning that without the birth of Christ, we will never have the death of Christ. Without the birth of Christ, we never have the life and the death and the resurrection of Jesus. So, I want you to think about it this morning without you can't have the crucifixion, without the coming of Jesus.

In fact, John 3:16 clearly says this. For God so loved the world that He gave. That he gave his only one and only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have life. You see the giving of Jesus; the season of year screams the love of Jesus. And I don't want you to miss that this morning. And we're going to look at that through the lens of the person on this planet that can teach us more about the love of Jesus than probably anybody else. And her name is Mary. Now, Mary, when you kind of think of Mary through just a historical context, you've got to grasp a couple of things about Mary. First of all, I want you to think about this. Mary was probably okay. I say probably Mary was probably the only person on this planet that was at the birth, the death and the resurrection of Jesus. When you think about her, she was probably the only person. So, Mary can teach us some things. Also, when you think about Mary, I don't know if you know this or not, but Mary was the one that gave Luke his account of the birth story of Jesus. She's the one who gave it to him. You say Matt, how do you know that? Well, history tells us that Luke was not a disciple. Luke did not walk with the disciples. He interviewed Mary to give an educated account on the birth of Jesus. So, when you read Luke's account of the birth of Jesus, you are reading the person that birthed Jesus's account. And that's incredible. That's incredible to know that you are getting the firsthand information. And so, if there's anybody that can talk to us about the love of God, it's Mary, right? She knows what that love looks like. Not only she knows what it looks like, she birthed it, she lived with it. She watched it grow in wisdom and stature, favor of God and man.

She saw how Jesus dealt with people. She saw how the crowds reacted to him. She saw how He dealt with his disciples. It was Mary that the cross that was weeping over her son being crucified. So, this morning I just want you to for a couple of minutes, I want you to just put everything else out of your mind just for a couple of minutes. I know. That's hard. We got that little device in your hand. I want you just to put everything else out of your mind. And I want you to feel the love that Mary had for Jesus. And I want all of us to walk out of here today, just modeling that love. All right, here we go. Luke one, we're going to read it and talk through it. Luke one, we're going to start in verse 26. Here's what it says. It says, in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the Angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledge to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, Greetings, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you. Verse 29. Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. Now I don't know if you noticed it or not, but in this little paragraph of these four verses right here, Luke gives us an incredible background of who Mary is, and it's important he gives us this background information for a couple of different reasons.

Let me kind of tell you what Luke has just told us. First of all, he tells us that Mary is a real person. She's a real person. You say, Matt, why would you lead with Mary's a real person? We kind of get that. Well, listen, we might get that. But throughout the years, there have been people who have tried to allegorize, or make this into a myth or a fairy tale. They've kind of tried to. J.R.R. Tolkien, the story of the birth of Jesus and just try to make it into this mythical conversation. But what does Luke tell us in the story that kind of blows all of that up? He says that Mary lives in Nazareth. All right. She's so real. He tells us where this lady lives. Not only does she live in Nazareth, he knows that Nazareth is such a small little Podunk, south Georgia, hayseed town, but nobody knows where it is. All right? Nobody knows how to get there, and nobody ever stops is probably got a bypass around it now. What does he say? He says she lives in Nazareth and it's around Galilee. It's kind of like telling somebody from the other side of the country that you're from Acworth. They're like Acworth? What are you talking about? It's close to Atlanta. Do you feel what I'm saying? That's why he's using this. John. Chapter one tells us that Nazareth was so small that everybody was like nothing good could come out of that place. It's a no good nothing. So, when you think about this, it's so far out of the way, there's no reason for us to ever hear about this town other than this happening. People like her, places like this never were recorded in history. This is a real lady that we're looking at in this story. Not only was she real, the Bible tells us this. We just read it that she's a virgin. She's a virgin. Now, let me kind of go to the original Greek and kind of divide up this word for you to let you know what it means.

Here's what it means. It means that she was a virgin. That's it. All right. There's nothing else. There’re no hidden meanings. There's no secrets. There is no. Well, I wonder if he's trying to get to this. It literally means that she had not been with a man. That's. That's all it means. So don't try to spiritualize that. She's just pure, that's all it means. She is a virgin. All right, keep going. Mary was also pledged to be married to Joseph. She was betrothed. If you're here two weeks ago, we spent a lot of time talking about the betrothal process of Joseph and Mary. They were legally married at this point but had to wait a year before they made it 100% official and had the marriage ceremony. That's what was going on right here. And before they took the final step. Four, she was the younger cousin of Elizabeth. We see this through the conversations that we're seeing from Luke Fifth, she was a descendant of David. I'm just walking. I'm not making any of this up. I'm just kind of pulling the paragraph apart. She was a descendant of David. In fact, this afternoon, if you want some good reading, go read Luke. Chapter three. It gives you the whole line of Mary, just like we saw in Matthew. Chapter one was the line of Joseph. Lastly, we know this kind of through history, but he's kind of alluding to it that Mary was young, she was a young virgin. Which means that she would have been, catch the students, between 13 and 15 years old. Thirteen to fifteen. Most theologians agree that she would have been 14. Fourteen years old. Here's what that meant. It meant that the time was right for her biologically, mentally, and she was ready for marriage at this point. All right. She was ready for marriage. This is when most marriages happened in young girls lives right now. This is when it happened. So, when you put all this together, you say, well, Matt, why would Luke spend all this time talking about this? We got to remember why Luke wrote his account. He wrote it to give us a credible history of Jesus. So, here's what could happen. No matter how skeptical you are, if you were in the first century and you were reading this and you started reading about this young girl named Mary, and you were skeptical about it, somebody could look at you and go, Why don't you jump on your little camel and ride over to Nazareth and meet this lady? Why don't you meet this lady? She's from Nazareth. This around Galilee. You don't know where it is. Stopover in Galilee. They'll point you in the direction of how to get there. When you get there, you can say, Hey, anybody know Mary? It's Elizabeth's cousin. You know Elizabeth's cousin. She's young, she's pure. She's from a family that lives here. Does anybody know? And you could go find her if you were a first century reader. In the early days of this letter, you could actually go and find this lady and confirm what you're reading. Does this make sense? It's not just a story. It's a true account. That's what Luke is doing. But Luke tells us something else here that we need to spend a little minute talking about.

Not only is she all of these things, but Mary is also blessed and highly favored. She's blessed and highly favored. Where do we see that? We see it in verse 28, The Angel Gabriel meets Mary and says, Hey, you are highly favored. In verse 30, we see the angel. Gabriel says, Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. Right? Elizabeth not to spoil it, later on in verse 42, she even looks at her and says Blessed are you among women, Mary. In her prayer later on in verse 48, we'll get to it, God willing, right? She even says that generations are going to call her blessed. Now we've got to be really careful with these blessed statements right here. We've got to be really careful. Here's what I mean by that. You see, there are two sides of the coin when we talk about this idea that Mary is blessed are you among women? Okay, let me give you the two sides of the coin and then I want to tell you where the Bible ends. And the first sign, the first side of the coin where we look at Mary as blessed is the side that elevates Mary to this idea that she is the co-redeemer of Jesus, that she is the mediator or the dispenser of grace. And there are people that this is where they feel okay. I want to do I want to be accurate and how I describe their feelings. They believe that that Mary is now after she died. Now she is the Queen of heaven. That she is the mediator tricks of heaven that she was, that she remained a virgin. She remained untouched by sin, that she never sinned. And now Mary's role is to answer their prayers, to dispense grace, and to give blessing. Which, let me just speak to this for a minute and just say this. You will not find any of that in Scripture. It's not there at all. People believe it and they can believe what they want, but it's just not in Scripture. You won't find it anywhere.

So that's one side of the coin of this Blessed Is Mary thing. But here's the other side of the coin. The other side of the coin just kind of pushes Mary away, kind of washes her from history and doesn't give her any honor at all. No honor at all. They just disregard her totally in the story and they don't even see her as being uniquely created or anything like that. So let me tell you where the Bible lands, because that's what's most important. It's not where I land. It's not where anybody else lands. Here's where the Bible lands in this, while Mary is in fact a sinner in need of a savior, right? She's still a blessed lady that God called to a specific task, and we should honor her. And we should honor people that are called. Right. See, in fact, Mary's own confession later on says that she recognizes she needs a savior. She says it's only by the grace of God that he has given her that she is who she is. But please hear this in my heart. I'm trying to be as sensitive as possible. Mary has no role in our prayers. She has no role in giving us grace or dispensing grace upon us. That is Jesus's job. And it is only by the blood of Jesus that you have been given grace. It is not by Mary. So, God, though, has chosen to call her and there's some honor in that. And the Bible clearly says that we should honor her. We should we should hold her in honor. It's a special calling. All right. Back to the story. So, Gabriel pops onto the scene, right? The angel Gabriel, he gives Mary this message of, do not be afraid. You are favored, Mary. Don't be afraid, though. Now, at this point, Mary has no idea what's going on. She doesn’t know why she's favored. She doesn’t know what's about to happen. She hasn't got to see the back side of the story like we have in the Bible. Right. But keep reading and watch what the angel does. He tells her what's going to happen. Verse 31, it says you will conceive and give birth to a son and you're to call him Jesus. Poor lady didn't even get the name her own kid. Right? You are to call him Jesus. Verse 32. He will be great and will be called the son of the most high and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His Father. David, that's fulfilling a prophecy, right? That He will be the Messiah from the line of David, verse 33. And he will reign. We just sang it. He will reign over Jacob's descendants forever and his kingdom will never end. Now the angel just tells Mary what she is going to happen. What's going to happen, her now being a good Jewish girl.

Let's get into Mary's mind here. Being a good Jewish girl. Mary knew what was happening. You say Matt, how do you know that? Well, Mary would have grown up going to the synagogue, right? She would have grown up hearing the Old Testament. She would have grown up learning the Old Testament. Listen, Mary was so poor. Chances are it's just me reading into the text. Chances are she didn't read, and she didn't write. And a lot of ladies didn't during that time, especially poor ladies. But she grew up going to the synagogue, hearing the Bible taught over her, and she learned the Bible. You say Matt, how in the world do you know that she learned the Bible? Good question. You will see in just a minute in her prayer that we're going to cover on the backside of the message that there's no fewer than six references to the Old Testament by five different Old Testament prophets. Mary knew the Scriptures, Mary knew the Bible, and Mary knew at this moment when this angel mentioned to her about the Messiah, she knew exactly what he was talking about. There was no question in her mind what was happening. The light switch flipped on, and she was blown away. And here's why. For 2000 years prior to this happening, listen to this is for you ladies. For 2000 years, every single young Jewish girl dreamed of being the mother of the Messiah. They dreamed of it. It was a dream above the wildest and the biggest dreams ever. Getting the news for them that they wanted to be this. And now Mary is getting this honor and this angel is coming and saying, listen, the Messiah, the deliver, the one has been promised for generation, the one is going to save the people from their sins. He is now coming. And his reign and his rule. It's going to last forever. And Mary, it's going to be you that brings him into this planet. Get into her mind just a little bit. She is absolutely blown away. We can't even imagine what's happening in her head. But pause for a minute because here's what here's what hits her. Right? You know where this is going. She's like, whoa, I'm in. Right. But how? How is this going to happen? I mean, think about her life just for a minute. She is like, okay, I got you. I'm going to conceive and I'm going to give birth to a son. But if I'm remembering my seventh-grade human growth and development class correctly, this is not going to happen. How is this going to happen? Look at her. In verse 34, she asks the question, How will this be, Mary asked the angel. Since I'm a virgin, since I'm a virgin. Now let me spend just a second on this conversation right here with Mary and the Angel, because I want you to see something in this this conversation with Mary to the Angel is not a conversation of doubt.

In fact, when you're reading Scripture, you will see that there are two kinds of questions that people ask God with. There are questions that are mistrusts questions, ok. I think children of Israel looking at God, having a mistrust in him, taking them out into the wilderness when they're like, God, you should have just left us. We don't know why you're doing this. We don't want to do this. You should have just left us in Israel. I mean, in Egypt. We had it a lot better. That is a that is a mistrust question. Right. Even if you go back to the Christmas story, Zachariah and Elizabeth Zachariah is a mute while we're reading this because he did not trust God and he questioned God's motives and he questions God's power. Now, God absolutely expects our full devotion. And for us not to question him and to live in full submission to him. But that is not what Mary is doing. Mary is not doubting. Mary is asking a clarifying instructional question from God. And listen, God is okay with that. He's okay with it. In fact, write this principle, and then I'll flesh it out with you a little bit more. Here's the principle. There's a difference between a clarifying question to God and a doubting or mistrust question to God. There's a difference. You see a doubting question to God is God. This will never happen. God, you'll never be able to do this. God, I don't know why you did this. But here's Mary's question. God, hey, I'm yours. But you're going to have to show me how we're going to do this.

Can I can I just tell you that God delights in those conversations. God delights in the conversations when he knows that he is calling you and you come before him and go, Hey, God, I don't know how this can work, but God, I need you and you're going to have to show me how to do that. That's what Mary is doing. And watch how the angel answered her. In fact, this is the first time in the New Testament that the Trinity is all present. I love this verse 35. The angel answered her. The Holy Spirit will come on you. For you, Bible nerds, that word, come on you is the same word as hover in Genesis chapter one and two. When God hovered above the earth and divided the sea and the land, the Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you. That's the Holy Spirit. Now we're seeing God, the Father, and He says He will overshadow you. Now, this is not a reference to a sexual union between God and Mary. That is not how any of this happened at all. Here's the deal. If God can create us from nothing, then why in the world do I have a faith problem with understanding that God just paused the natural order of how He did things and he planted a baby inside of Mary? It's not even one of the biggest miracles in the Bible. If you think about it. When God creates everything, God can pause whatever He wants to and do what He does. That's exactly what's happening. The power of the most high will overshadow you, so the Holy One will be born, will be called the Son of God, that's Jesus. So, with the Holy Spirit, Father God and Jesus. Right, right. I love that. The Trinity. Verse 36. Even Elizabeth, your relative, is going to have a child in her old age. She was said to be unable to conceive is now in her sixth month. Now underlined verse 37 in your Bible for no word from God will ever fail. Will ever fail. Do you see the promise? You see this truth right here? I love verse 37. In fact, write the principle down. God is not like man. He always fulfills his promises. He always fulfills it. That's what for. No word from God will ever fail. Now Mary is soaking this in. Now Mary is taking it all in. This is easy for us to read 2000 years later, like a good movie script, we see the end, but you know that right now Mary is thinking, Oh man, right?

What is about to happen? But I want you to go a little bit deeper because Mary's hearing that the Messiah is coming, Mary's hearing not the one that is going to forgive us of our sins is coming and you are going to be his mom. And that is incredible. But I want you to go a little bit deeper in the conversation. We can handle that right? Because I want you to see into Mary's dilemma right here. At this point, I don't know if you've ever kind of thought through this. At this point in the conversation. Mary has to make a decision. She has to make a choice. Mary has to make a decision. If this is going to happen. Listen to me close. Like every other calling in the Bible, God has given us the ability to say, yes, God, I am in, I'm in. Let's go do this or no, God, I'm going to follow my way. I'm going to go do my own thing. That is exactly where Mary is right here in the conversation. We don't get a lot of verses, but that's exactly what's happening.

So, Mary is rolling through her mind the implications of what's about to happen. She knows that Joseph could divorce her. She knows that she could be stone. She knows that she could be held accountable for this. She knows that actually everyone could look at her and say, you're crazy. God doesn't do that. And during that time, they just threw you out of the city. She knows that her family will be shamed. She knows that all of this is going to cause incredibly big life implications, not to mention the fact that she's being called to be the mother of God. All right, I have enough trouble parenting my kids. That is an incredible, incredible responsibility. But without hesitation, I want you see what happens in Mary's life. Without hesitation, Mary makes her decision. And I love the feeling of the response I'm going to get to in a minute because you can just put yourself in the text. What does Mary do with this full understanding of the risk Mary submits to the love of God? Mary agrees to the call. In fact, write this question down is your faith to the point where nothing matters more than answering the call of God. Even if there's consequences. Even if there's consequences because there was about to be grave consequences for Mary. Or you can say it like this. Is your understanding of the love of God at the point to which you just act, even when you know there's pushback, even when, you know, saying yes is going to cause things to happen? Or another way is your willingness to submit to God above your desire to self-promote? To self-promote. Mary, 14-year-old Mary, look at her response. Verse 38. Watch what she says, man, she's about to teach us something. I am the Lord's servant, Mary answered. Listen, she makes a decision. May your word to me be fulfilled. Do you feel it? She gives God yes. May it be fulfilled. And then what happens is the angel left her. Mary says I'm yours. I am your servant. I'm your servant that is ready to serve. Church, listen to me real closely. If this could be the message of the season over our lives, we would see a revival of Christ sweep across this nation. We would absolutely see God move in this place. If we like Mary said Yes, Lord, may it be. May it be. Now, verse 39 through verse 45, that's your homework this week. You've got to read that on your own. We got time for today. I'm just going to be honest with you. Mary heads over to Elizabeth's house. She can relate to her a little bit. Get her thoughts together. John the Baptist leaps in the womb. Elizabeth proclaims Jesus as her Lord.

She proclaims the fact that this is all from God. All while Zachariah says nothing, he's still a mute back in the man cave. He can't even talk at this time. So now think about Mary's situation. She's agreed to be used by God, the Holy God, this extreme act of love that He has ever shown the most extreme. And then Mary gives us an incredible description of God's love. So, for the last part of my message, here's all I want to do. I want to describe the love of God through the lens of Mary that we should grasp on to. Mary gives us this incredible description of God's love and this deep prayer of submission. She breathes out this adoration of who God is and where she's been called, and how personal God is, and how big of view of God's love that we are to have, even in the midst of her crazy life. Let me just read it to you and just talk through it. Verse 46 says this This is Mary's prayer. It should be all of our prayers. and Mary said, We just sang it. My soul glorifies the Lord. And my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on, all generations will call me blessed. You know what Mary says? First of all, Mary says, number one, that God knows all of me from the beginning. He knows all of me. You know what? She's saying to us. She's saying this, Hey, listen, God knows you and he still loves you. Do you realize that no matter how good you are, no matter how bad you are, God knows you? And He knows you so much. He busted through 400 years of silence to give us Jesus. God is with us when we're created. He's with us in the good times. He's with us in the bad times. And it shows us that even when we have nothing of earthly substance to offer God, God still lavishes his love on you.

Listen, I don't know where you are during this holiday season, but you need to hear that God is madly in love with you. He's madly in love with you. Mary, look at her. She's young, she's poor, she's unmarried, she's pregnant. She is not from a priestly family. Her and Joseph are so poor in Luke chapter two, they couldn't even bring the right offering of a lamb for purification for Jesus. They had to bring two doves as a poor person would. Yet God knows all of this about her still chooses to use her, still chooses to be with her. Can I just tell you this is the theme of Christmas is that God knows us, and he still loves us? He knows us. Listen, you're not ever going to hide anything from God. He loves you through it. That's number one. Keep reading though. Verse 49. Watch what else she says. Says For the mighty one has done great things for me and holy is his name. So not only does God love know all of me, watch this, God's love proves his power to me. It proves this power, this whole conversation with Mary is God showing off his power, is it not? He's breaking the natural birth order, giving her this honor that is beyond anything she ever thought about it. Think about it. Mary is the only person on this planet at this time that was 100% sure this baby was from God. You don't think she knew the power of God? That's what God's love does for us. I say Matt, I think her situation is a little different than mine. You're right. It is right. Biologically, it is. But here it is. Spiritually it's not. Do you know why? Because the moment you give your life to Jesus, He gives you new life. He puts new life in you. He takes you from death to life. He gives you eternal life. He sets you on a path to walk with him.

That's the story of the Gospel, is God showing his power. Through what? Through his love. Romans five eight But God demonstrated his own love for us. And this while we were yet centers, Christ dies for us. Do you realize that God's love has showed off in His power in your life? Number three. Mary says this Through God's love, He extends His mercy to me. He extends his mercy to me. Remember, mercy is nothing more than God giving us an unmerited gift. Than God given us compassion in which we don't we don't deserve we don't deserve it. And that's exactly what Mary says in verse 50. Watch verse 50. She says His mercy. God's mercy extends to those who fear him from generation to generation. You know what Mary saying? She says, Hey, I don't deserve this. This is nothing that I have done. Somebody asked me in the hallway just a minute ago, Why do you think God chose Mary? And I was like, I don't know. It was the right time. It was the right place. It's where God did it. Just like I don't know why he chooses us. Amen.

It's his mercy. It's his mercy. We don't deserve it. You deserve God's mercy. You've never done anything to gain God's mercy. You've never did anything to earn God's mercy. Mary is tying in the Gospel for us. The giving of Jesus to Mary is an unmerited mercy favor from God. The giving of Jesus to us is an unmerited mercy favor of God. Let me ask this question. Have you ever truly seen yourself as a sinner in need of a savior? Because if you haven't, you have never submitted your heart to Jesus. You can't. Why? Because until you recognize that you need a savior, you will never see him as he is. It's the mercy of God. Keep reading though in verse 51. Watch what Mary says. This is her prayers as an incredible 14-year-old prayer. By the way, young girls, he has performed mighty deeds with his arm. He has scattered those who are proud in their innermost thoughts, and he's brought down rulers from their thrones. But he has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and he has sent the rich away empty.

Now there's a lot there, but I just want to point out one little line in there in this is that God rewards a humble heart. He rewards a humble heart. Now, I know that is so anti-American, right? But God rewards a humble heart. Have you noticed through every single character in the Incarnation story, that God is flipping the script of culture and saying, Hey, it's not the most powerful and it's not the smartest and it's not the richest that I'm going to deal with? It is those who just say yes. Think about the people. Joseph, he was a nobody from a nobody town. Think about the shepherds we're going to see them in a couple of weeks. They were unclean men that didn't even hardly get to come into the city, couldn't even give an account in court. Think about the wise men. They were unclean when it through the lions, through the eyes of the Jews. Think about this poor young girl. She had nothing to offer God except for her heart. And humbly she just said, Yes, God. You know who God uses. It's not those who have the most to offer. It's those who just say, Yes, God, he honors the humble. And here's the last one we are. You touched on it a little bit. It's that God's love keeps every promise that He has made. He keeps every promise. I know that sounds so basic. But do we really believe that? Mary would say yes. In fact, listen to what she said in verse 54, she says he, God has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he has promised our ancestors. Church, listen to this. You can bank on the promises of God. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He will never walk out on you. He will never walk away from you. He will never leave you hanging. He will never be silent on those who are humbly walking into his presence. Look, this is the love of God.

What an example in this holiday season that we have in Scripture that God knows me. He proves His power, extends His mercy, he rewards my humble heart, and then he keeps every promise. Look, I don't know what your view of God's love is. For some of you. Maybe it's just about rules, maybe it's about regulations. Maybe it's about a wrathful god. But. But here's what Mary would say. And you better flush all that and know that we have a savior of the world who is busted into the silence, who is bringing you life. And here's all he wants out of us. He wants us to walk over to the TV and turn the dial to get the reception. This morning, what is it that's keeping you from echoing the prayer of young Mary? What's in the way? Here's what I know. The signal is always present, but the reception is what gets cloudy. What's in here that's keeping you from experiencing the love of Christ?

Lord Jesus, this morning, God we humbly come before you and just ask you to move. God first of all, I'm asking you to move in hearts this morning who do not know you. Who have never experienced your mercy. Who have never submitted to your power, who have never invited you into their lives. God, I am praying that today is the day for many people to say Yes, Lord, yes, Lord, come into my life. I'm also praying for a whole lot of other people that know you today that the dial is just a little bit messed up. That God, they may redirect their lives. And may their Luke 1:46 “soul glorify the Lord and the spirit rejoice as Jesus, my Savior.” Lord Jesus, move in this time of invitation. If there are people that need to give their life to Christ God, as soon as I'm praying, I pray that they may stand where they are. When everybody else stands up, walk over to the front of the room that they're in, shake whoever's hand is up there and just say, hey, I need Jesus, today. Just like it's happened the last couple of weeks. God, I pray for others today that just might be having an incredibly hard time. They just need somebody to pray over them today. God, we got people that are ready right now to just put a hand on a shoulder and pray, pray, pray for so many people that are just struggling. God, I pray for people that are having just marriage problems right now that they may submit to you and see that you can heal them. I pray for people who are having problems with their kids right now. God, that they would see that God, they're yours first and they may submit their hearts to you and then parent their kids. I pray for this church, God, that you would give us a season to celebrate you as savior of the world. It's in your name. Jesus.


Let's stand and sing together.

Follow Along with the Message

Magnify The Lord

December 11, 2022

John 3:16
For God So Loved the World, that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Luke 1:26-30
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
Luke 1:31-33
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:34
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

PRINCIPLE: There is a difference between questions to God and doubting questions to God.

Luke 1:35-37

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

PRINCIPLE: God is not like man, he fulfills promises.

QUESTION: Is your faith at a point to where nothing more than answering the call of God, even if there are consequences?

Luke 1:38
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Luke 1:46-48
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 

god's love:

1. Knows of me from the beginning.

Luke 1:49
for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.

2. Proves his to me.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

3. Extends his to me.

Luke 1:50
His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

QUESTION: Have you seen yourself as a sinner in need of the mercy of God?

Luke 1:51-53
51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.

4. Rewards a heart.

5. Keeps every that he has made.

Luke 1:54-55
54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
Luke 1:46-47
46 And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

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