Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Approaching the Word Mary-Like

LUKE 1:26-38 – In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. “

THEME OF THE DAY:  APPROACHING THE WORD MARY-LIKE.  So, picture this scene.  It’s a normal day, evening, or night.  We are alone.  Nothing extraordinary going on.  We are simply doing life.  Then, an angel appears.  Literally.  And not just any angel, but Gabriel, the messenger of God.  As for this angel, he also appeared to Daniel (Daniel 9:21) and Zechariah (Luke 1:19).  He is only one of two angels mentioned in the Bible.  The other being the archangel Michael (Jude 9). So, now our normal day, evening, or night is anything but.  An angel is talking to us and has a special message for us, just us as individuals.  He tells us something is going to happen to us that is illogical, makes no human sense, and we can in no way or fashion get our heads around. In fact, we get a headache trying, and are tempted to just chalk this up as our own imagination and dismiss it.

That is exactly what happened to Mary, but it was real.  It was true.  No fabrication. Real angel.  Real appearance.  Real dialogue.  Real prophecy of something extraordinary about to happen to and through her.  How did she respond? Well, in observing her responses, we learn the proper ways when God tells us something that is “other worldly” which by the way that is the Christian life – all of it, other worldly.

First, Mary struggles.  She admits her human frailty, finite mind, and inability to grasp what is being told to her – And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34).  Friends, unload your heart before the Lord.  Prayer is communication and whole-life communication at that.  We don’t just “talk” to God asking for things, we share our lives with Him to include our struggles, our weaknesses, and those times “we don’t get” it when it comes to what He commands, demands, and desires of us.  And that leads to the second response of Mary that is the model to follow.

The next response to Mary is crucial if we are going to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.  She didn’t understand God’s ways, but in child-like trust and humility, she trusts and submits to God’s ways – And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). God calls us to trust His ways, not try to figure out His ways, and then trust.  No, faith doesn’t need all the answers up front or even at all.  Faith says, “God said it. I believe it.  I trust it despite the fact it makes no sense to me.”   And that type of response brings honor to the Lord and matures us in the faith.  May God help us be Mary-like in approaching His Word!

 PRAYER: “Father, may I approach Your Word with child-like faith and humble submission.”

QUOTE: “Child-like faith and humble submission to God’s Word don’t require ‘upfront’ understanding of His Word.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim