Many are waiting, full of expectation, waiting for the Promise of God to come.
Many have been waiting for years.
So was Mary.
And yet, all of their stories, though spoken and recorded centuries ago stand the test of time and speak a language of faith we all are able to hear, understand…and I pray…live by.
Mary was a virgin.
Living in Israel.
She was engaged to a carpenter, Joseph.
Until one day, an angel from The Lord God Himself came to her and said:
“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” (Luke 1:30-31).
Zacharias, the husband of Elizabeth, was performing his duties as a priest in the temple when an angel of God appeared and said:
“Fear not, Zacharias: for they prayer us heard; and the wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son” (Luke 1:13).
Elizabeth was a woman of old age.
Barren. Since she was young. Then, one day she heard the news. That her womb would hold a son. And she would give birth to a child named John. John was going to be the person, the prophet ” ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). He would be the person to prepare people for the Savior of the world.
She went to visit her relative Elizabeth, for an angel of The Lord had revealed to her that Elizabeth, who used to be barren was now holding a son–a promise of God in her womb.
Zacharias mouth was shut because he doubted the promise of God coming forth out of the angel’s mouth.
Elizabeth had waited for God to grant her desire and He did.
And Mary was unexpectedly blessed but she was being watched for her whole life to determine her faithfulness to the Lord.
God favored her above all women to conceive, nurture, hold and birth the son of God….
He chose the humble of heart to bear a promise.
He chose the supposedly barren where there seemed to be no hope.
All to prove that He is God, and that with Him nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37).
Their subsequent actions determined their faith in God (Luke 37-56).
So, what should I do after receiving a Promise from God?
“For with God nothing will be impossible.”–Luke 1:37
The first act of faith is saying YES.
Without knowing exactly the repercussions for her yes or the sacrifices she would make for this yes….
She just said yes.
The next thing she did was to go. She went to someone who had a promise of God about ready to birth that she could see and expect with them, and pray for, and help that her faith would be developed everyday just like the precious promise of God.
Their subsequent actions determine their faith in God’s ability in their lives (Luke 1:37-56).
And she stayed in this prophetic environment where the future God has declared was honored—until the manifestation of her promise was seen (Luke 1:56).
Your faith in God and His Promises to you is directly linked to the actions you take.
The promise God, and its ability to be born is connected with your ability to stay in faith.
As you pray God’s promises, stay faithful to what He says to you about your destiny, God is developing it. Preparing it. Getting it ready just for you.
But when you speak doubt-filled words, words of unbelief, scoff, laugh or joke around sarcastically even about the promises of God–you can abort the beautiful gift God had in store for you.
Zacharias prayed for his child, John, before he came to be. With those same lips he prayed for his son, he used it to doubt.
What’s wrong with asking questions? Shouldn’t I be able to ask God questions?
The amazing thing about God is–yes. You can.
Both of their accounts parallel, told one after the other for a reason.
One is what to do.
And what not to do.
In both of these accounts, Mary and Zacharias ask HOW to the angel delivering the good news.
But there are two different WAYS they asked.
Zacharias asked HOW in this context:
How will I know this is true?
(How is it possible for an old man like me and an old woman such as my wife to have sex and conceive?)
Mary asked HOW in this context:
I believe with what you say, but how will I physically be able to have a child, since I am a virgin?
You see the difference?
Mary was confused about the steps needed in order for the Promise.
Zacharias was a lack of faith.
God is so merciful. In both instances.
The answer for his doubt was: “I will close your mouth so you will not affect the promise of God from happening”
“20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time” (Luke 1:20).
The answer to her questions:
Don’t worry, nothing with God is impossible…and the angel gave her the “how.”
“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” (Luke 1:35).
Which one are you?
Are you Mary?
Are you Elizabeth?
Or are you Zacharias?
Zacharias mouth had to be closed in order to keep God’s Promise’s protected.
His unbelief may have aborted the Promise of God.
If you are like Zacharias…repent. Ask God to forgive you. He will help you find the faith to believe in His Promises again, for real this time.
God loves you. He is always looking for ways to help you and redeem you. Even if you find it difficult to believe His Promise for you, He will help you understand, press on, hold onto and eventually give birth to the promise you have been waiting for.
God does this by always pairing us up with someone who is also pregnant with a similar promise. This helps us stay in faith and stand in expectation for our own Promise from Him to come to pass.
Mary and Elizabeth partnered with one another and shared each other’s testimony, and praised God together.
Uniting in faith. Encouraged in faith. Transformed in faith.
Enlivened by faith in God and His Power,
His Mercy and His Kindness.
In the end, my dear friends,
The Promises of God are yes and amen.
God chooses the humble of heart to birth His promises in. Believing God’s Promises helps us give birth to it.
The sound of a promise fulfilled is shouts of joy, gladness and rejoicing. Amen.
For Zacharias: “Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God” (Luke 1:64).
For Mary: “41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:41-45).
And Elizabeth: “57 Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her” (Luke 1:57-58).
For the mercy God has shown you, others will rejoice with you.
Others will see The Lord’s faithfulness. and they will praise God for answering your prayer.
You will praise God for His Mercy toward you.
You will praise Him wholeheartedly for His Faithfulness and for bringing His Promise to birth.
God promises joy and gladness with His joy and gladness-Jesus.
Thousands of years later, I am overwhelmed with so much joy! Not only because Mary chose to not only say yes to God in the beginning-but keep saying yes to God every.single. day.
Regardless of the stain on her reputation and the ridicule she must of have endured for the rest of her life.
Mary birthed Emmanuel. God with us. And now we can have Him in our hearts forever.
Many of you have waited for this Promise of God to come to pass. You’ve waited for the years of depression, shame, sin to be healed.
He is here. God sent His Son in human flesh so you and I can witness the birth of a miracle. Jesus and your brand new life. The Promise came so that you will have the promise of a brand new life.
Jesus is the open door for you to have a brand new life.
When you accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord, believing in Him as The Ruler of All things, including your life; you will have the opportunity to experience the peace and favor the angels sang about when He was born (Luke 2:14).
And The Joy!
The Joy of life after death. The Joy that Hope will win in the end.
The Joy of the truth: God loves you–forever!
Jesus is the reason for the season. So let’s celebrate Him as The Promise we all have waited for. Let us trust Him in all the steps we take. As we enter into this Christmas and the new year.
Thank you Father for the Promise you have given us. New life, a rebirth, and a new beginning with Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Savior and King. We love Him and we love You.
If you want this Promise God has given you today, or if you want to ask Jesus into your heart today. Pray this from your heart:
I ask you to forgive me. I turn away from all my sins, my past, and my shame. I accept you Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Jesus come into my heart, make me brand new. I want you to help me live my life for Your Glory. Thank you for dying on the cross for me, for rising again from the dead so I can have new life in you. I love you God. Thank you Jesus. In Your Name, I pray, amen.
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Friends, Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!
I pray you be filled with His Love and Joy today.
In love with His Promises,