Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019
Pastor Troy Brewer, OpenDoor Church, Burleson, TX
The beginning of the Christmas story is laid out in a conversation between an angel named Gabriel – which means “God is my strength” – and a teenage girl named Mary.
“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.”
The Bible says Mary didn’t think too much of herself.
She was excited about this time in her life because she was in the engagement process, about to be married. She and Joseph are already betrothed, which means she’s 100% committed to him and everyone knows they’re going to get married.
It’s in this interim time that Gabriel shows up and says these amazing things to her.
The Bible says “she cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.” Literally she’s thinking the brother has the wrong address.
He tells her how blessed she is and how awesome she is that God has chosen her, in fact, she’s the most highly favored woman the world has ever seen.
Now Mary has to be totally confused. She’s a poor girl in a poor village in an occupied nation that is terribly oppressed by the Romans. She’s literally nobody, yet this angel says she’s the most highly blessed of all women.
Isn’t that the way it always is? The Lord will show up and He’ll tell us something amazing about who we are and what our purpose is, and we always think He’s mistaken us for somebody else.
When God is calling us into greatness we always think that He’s mistaken us for somebody else. In fact, we are mistaking ourselves for somebody less. We’re mistaken in our identity.
To deal with this issue, Gabriel calls Mary by name. Then he tells her that he’s got great news, she’s going to get pregnant. She points out the issue that she’s never known a man and it’s impossible for a virgin to become pregnant. And he responds that the Holy Spirit is going to take care of all of that and that’s how she’ll know that the child is a supernatural child.
Then she says this amazing thing:
“Behold, the maidservant of the Lord.”
She was ready to get with the program although she didn’t fully understand it and knew it was going to be very, very difficult. That is an amazing response.
The next thing she says is even more amazing: She says,
“Let it be as the Lord has spoken unto me.”
You need to be able to say that. Whatever the word of God is concerning your life, you need to be able to say ‘let it be as the word of God has spoken for me.’
We need to be very careful that we don’t use our own words to be against what God Almighty has spoken to us. Our words do not need to contradict what God Almighty says.
“Let it be as the word of God has spoken for me.“ Start practicing that right now.
Here is Mary, a teenager who probably didn’t have any next-level counsel in her life, yet she gives a next-level response.
She doesn’t argue or try to talk the angel out of anything. She simply asks, “How can this be?” Mary had a next-level heart.
IF MARY HAS A NEXT-LEVEL HEART, JOSEPH HAS THE HONOR OF A KING
Now Mary has to go to Joseph and tell him she’s pregnant but it’s a God thing. And Joseph thinks that’s wack. These were not Marvel comic superheroes, these are people just like us.
Can any man imagine if you were engaged to somebody and she showed up pregnant and says she didn’t cheat on you, that it’s a God thing?
I can’t imagine the disappointment in Joseph’s life. He thought he knew Mary. He could have thrown a fit, pointed his finger and made a public spectacle, bu the Bible says Joseph “sought to put her away privately.”
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, He sought to put her away privily.”
Joseph had the legal right to tell everyone that his betrothed showed up pregnant with a child he didn’t father.
The Sanhedrin counsel, Pharisees and his family would have put her up against the wall and stoned her and her unborn baby to death.
He could have stood back and justified it as the only way to have honor in his life, but he didn’t.
That is the mark of an awesome man of God. He wasn’t going to form a mob or get on Facebook and say, “look at this horrible thing this person has done,” or tell everyone how stupid Mary was.
When you walk in the love of God you tend to cover up the sins of people. You tend to try and make things right and that’s exactly what he did.
That’s a good word especially for this Christmas season. Do not uncover the weaknesses, faults and problems of those around you – especially your family. Stay of off Facebook.
So the angel of the Lord shows up to Joseph, not in person but in a dream.
That’s very interesting because the angel of the Lord showed up to Mary in person but he showed up to Joseph in a dream.
The angel tells Joseph that Mary is telling the truth and he needs to get with the program. Boom. He wakes up and goes, ‘this is real, I got it.’
Again, the character of Mary and Joseph is so different. God doesn’t have to perform a hundred miracles for them to get with the program.
They immediately recognize what and where God is. He knows He can trust them with this amazing assignment.
Can God trust you like that? Or does He have to jump through a thousand hoops to get you to cooperate with Him?