The Lord is With You
Read Luke 1:26-33
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; His kingdom will never end."
What gives you the faith to submit to God's purposes for your life?
Put yourself in Mary's shoes for a moment. She was given so much information in just a few sentences. And the information was life-changing! Not only for her but for all of mankind. How overwhelming that must have been!
She was told that she would become a mother, even though she was a virgin. That this was not just any baby, He was the promised Messiah. She was going to give birth to a baby who was both fully human and fully God! He would also be a king who would reign on David's throne forever. Her mind was probably overwhelmed with all that entailed but also with the possible ramifications this news could have on her personal life.
How was Mary supposed to make sense of all of this? How did she arrive at her acceptance of the angel's words in verse 38, wherewith great faith she said, "I am the Lord's servant...May your word to me be fulfilled." She humbly submitted herself to be used by the Lord even though I am sure her head was spinning.
There are a few words that Gabriel said that likely bolstered Mary's faith and courage. First, Gabriel started by calling her "highly favored" or "greatly graced." While the news that Gabriel was about to share was going to turn her whole world around, it was good news coming! She was considered one richly blessed and was given a high honor! In fact, Gabriel repeated that she was favored by God in verse 30. He also told her, "do not be afraid."
But it is the phrase "The Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28) that personally would have brought me the most peace. God had a huge purpose for Mary's life. She was to be the mother of His Son. She would raise Jesus, the Messiah. She was going to deliver and rear a child who would grow up to save the entire world. Gabriel assured her that God was with her. She was not alone in this momentous task. And so, Mary submitted with great joy to the purpose that God had for her life-to bear and raise the Son of God and Savior of the World.
Friends, the Lord is with us, too. In fact, the name Immanuel means "God with us." Like Mary, may the knowledge that He is with us give us the courage and faith we need to submit to God's will for our lives.
Lord, thank You for being Immanuel, "God with us." Your presence fills me with the faith and courage I need to submit to Your will for my life with joy. Use me as You see fit. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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