Monday, December 10, 2012

Having Mary’s Response of Faith

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:28-33)
When we receive a word from God there are only two ways to respond. The first way is to reject His word. Earlier in Luke Chapter 1 was the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Zechariah was one of 18,000 priests so he wasn’t someone who demanded a lot of attention.  He wasn’t a superstar, just one of many, many priests.  Luke 1:6 says that Zechariah is righteous.  He prayed and followed the law.  He was religious.  When he sinned, he did what was necessary to take care of it.

When Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, the aging priest decided to reject the angel’s message.  It’s not enough that an angel personally delivered the message; Zechariah wanted a sign as proof.  “How can I know this?” He asks. “I am an old man and my wife is well along in years” (Luke 1:18)

Isn’t this the exact same reason why we want to make sure God “opens a door” before taking a big step of faith?  We want to know for sure that things will work out the way that we want; but that is not faith.  Faith is seen in obedience when God reveals His will.  Faith is Abram leaving his homeland to follow God.  Faith is Ruth leaving her family to follow her mother-in-law back to Israel.  Faith is not about guarantees; it is about doing what we know God’s will to be.

We can reject God’s Word, but we can also accept it.  Mary’s statement in verse 34 is significantly different from Zechariah’s: Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had relations with a man?”  Note, Mary doesn’t ask for a sign.  She isn’t sure how this is going to be possible, but she doesn’t doubt that it will happen.  If you keep reading, you quickly see that she also wants to know her role in making sure this miracle happens.  She is not questioning God’s command but seeking His direction to bring it to pass.

God, the Creator of the Universe, wants to do the impossible through you. Will you put yourself into position to make that happen?

Scripture to Claim:
For Nothing is impossible with God!  Luke 1:37 (NLT)

(Submitted by Jeff Carr)

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