God uses the ordinary for extraordinary purposes.
- Most extraordinary 3 decades of human history is initiated by 2 women: Elizabeth (older) & Mary (younger); both influencing generations to know, love and serve God.
- SPBCMission: Growing Godly Generations
- Impact of teens: Mary
– Children & Youth
- Impact of elders:Elizabeth
– “The Messengers”
EXAMINE Luke 1:39-80 AAJ: Blessing 3 ways we bless God
God is blessed when we replace isolation with integration (1:39-45)
Mary receives the news that she is, though an unwed virgin, pregnant with child – even more, Jesus, the Son of the Most High. Such news would have been overwhelming for anyone, much more a teenager (Mary was likely under 14 years old ). Furthermore, as one betrothed to a man expecting purity and faithfulness, she would have to break the news to Joseph. Would he believe her? Would he divorce, or worse – have her condemned to death?
Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth. Upon their meeting,Elizabeth’s baby leaped for joy and she blessed Mary for God’s favor/grace in her life and for her faith/trust in the Lord’s promise.
Mary’s circumstances could have led her to isolation. She could have run from Joseph, her family and even turned her back on God and the angel He sent. YET, she chose integration over isolation. She told Joseph (who eventually believed her) and also sought comfort from her family. In fact, her travel to visit Elizabethwas a 3-5 day journey. And ultimately, her faith leads her to worship God in surrender and fellowship with believers.
ð Holiday season is time where we remember people matter; rejoice/mourn (Romans 12:15)
- Heaven kisses Earth
- Remembering God’s love from the Incarnation, God becoming man.
- Joy, Love, Giving spirit
- Parties, Celebrations, Family, etc.
- Earth kisses Heaven
- Remembering loss, loneliness in a Fallen world
- This week @SPBC
ð BC people matter, we must not isolate but integrate our lives together. If Mary, a pregnant teen girl, can walk about 100miles to be with family for comfort & compassion
- We can value meeting together.
- Bible Groups
- Worship participation
- Life & friendship; more than just going to church together
God is blessed when we replace worry with worship (1:46-55)
Mary had a lot to worry about as a pregnant teenager:
– Will the groom show up to my wedding?
– Why are my friends and family shunning me?
– Will my church accept me in worship services?
– What’s happening to my body being newly pregnant… as a virgin, and how will this come about? Is this normal?
– How will we afford this baby? Where will we live?
– How are we supposed to travel toBethlehemduring my pregnancy!?!
– Will this miracle baby survive Herod’s threats?
– How am I supposed to mother-parent this Child? (How do you parent God? He’s always right!)
µ YET; Mary chose to magnify God not her problems. This passage is known as a song of praise and blessing to God, “The Magnificat”.
µ Mary blesses and worships God for at least 11 different attributes:
- God is Lord – He is in charge of my crazy circumstances (1:46)
- God is Savior – He is my deliverer and rescue (1:47)
- God is omniscient – God knows my humble estate (1:48
- God is personally gracious – God blessed Mary with great things for generations (1:48-49)
- God is omnipotent – He is mighty, all powerful and will bring about His sovereign plan (1:49)
- God is holy – His name is holy; perfect, right and good (1:49)
- God is merciful – He cares for those who fear him (1:50)
- God is just – He judges the prideful (1:52)
- God is generous – He feeds hungry, helps people (1:53)
- God is faithful – He remembers His promise to His people (1:54-55)
- God is eternal – He shows His character “forever” (1:55)
ð MAGNIFY GOD NOT PROBLEMS. Many choose to magnify their problems and minimize God. Beyond popular belief, worrying is NOT a spiritual gift but a spiritual glitch. We are able to approach (not necessarily solve!) our problems when we are able to view them from the proper perspective and God in proper perspective. God is greater, bigger, more powerful and able to help in our time of need.
God is blessed when we see replace doubt with discipleship (1:67-79)
Some time after Mary’s visit,Elizabethgave birth to John. Zechariah, a man who once doubted God’s promise from the angel, now turns to a man of great faith. He boldly pronounces the name of the baby in spite of traditional family naming. He blesses God and many are speaking about God’s works.
Zechariah’s blessing is focused on God and fulfillment of OT promises. It is a rich reminder to us all to treasure God and Christ and all that He has accomplished for us – – especially entering Christmas season. He has “visited and redeemed his people” (1:68).
SALVATION: From Sin To Service
God has saved us from enemies (1:71), sin, satan, death and hell. God has saved us to faithful service (1:74 ff.).
µ Zechariah had 9months to reflect on his doubt and unbelief. He was silent and no doubt prayerful and searching the Scriptures, as a priest, to grow in faith and trust God’s promises.
ð What would your life look like after days/weeks/months of silence with God?
- Significant vision from God comes from intentional focus with God.
ð Grow in discipleship. Take the “Luke Challenge”. Pickup the “Luke Reading & Devotional Guide”
Many people see the Christmas story and Christ message as a trip to the hospital. If offered, we would say, “no thanks” because hospitals are no fun: uncomfortable beds, loud noises, bothering people, lousy food…etc. BUT if you knew you had a deadly disease you would be appreciative of the offer.
You see, we do not appreciate gifts that we do not see our need or use of them.
The Christmas story and Christ message is a trip to the hospital, understanding that you have a terminal disease. You cannot get rid of your sin and it is killing you.
As a doctor, Luke is showing us in his Gospel God’s plan and cure for our sin. JESUS IS OUR SALVATION.