Thursday, December 20, 2007

Favor with God

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from 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. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And 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 bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 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, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 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. 36 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. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 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.
Luke 1:26-38

46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,and holy is his name.

Luke 1:46-49

As I was reading through Luke 1:26-38 I wondered why God chose Mary out of all of the Israelite women. Then, when I read the "Song of Mary" in verses 46-55 I began to understand the answer. Upon hearing the news that she would bear the Messiah she responded,

“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

We are so familiar with this chapter that the significance of the words of the angel, Gabriel, to Mary lose the impact that they had on Mary. Mary was troubled when Gabriel came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” "What kind of a greeting was this," she wondered.

Gabriel responded with the familiar words,

“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.”

Her only question was, How will this be, since I am a virgin?

Gabriel explained that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the child born to her would be holy - the Son of God.

Though our focus must be upon Jesus and not on Mary, we do note her great faith. It is no wonder that she had favor with God and was chosen to bear the Messiah - Son of God and Son of Man.

This is just a short story tucked away in a few verses of Luke 1, and yet it brought the whole world to its knees. Through this lowly entrance into the world, sprang forth our only Hope and Salvation, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When God brings events and circumstances into your life that seem to turn your whole world upside down, remember that God has an eternal purpose in everything He does. Pray that you, too, would have the faith that Mary exhibited so that you would respond, Let it be to me according to your word.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the King James Version of the Bible.

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