- Sermon Notes
Let His Will Be Done
This morning we going to see a glimpse into the life of a teenage girl named Mary, who is engaged to be married. Surely, she had grown up with hopes and thoughts as to what her engagement and marriage would be like on the day she got there. But while engaged, she finds out that the path toward marriage would take a turn she was not expecting. The Lord sends an angel to her telling her that it was the will of the Lord that she would birth and bear the Son of God, name Jesus. Surely a course alteration and shift from the way in which she thought it would go. Yet, she had an incredible opportunity to let the will of the Lord be done in her life, and be the first of many who would follow, to say yes to Jesus.
Read: Luke 1:26-38
What Mary was being asked to do would put much of her earthly priorities at risk, including her impending marriage. Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel was an affirmation of her commitment to the Lord and His word over her life. She could have said no. She could have refused and opted to place her daily priorities, or her reputation above what she was being called to, but she didn’t, she said yes and firmly placed her future in God’s hands.
When given the opportunity to partner with the Lord in birthing a ministry, or bearing His call, we have the choice to say yes, or the choice to say no. The choice one makes regarding that call will send them on a journey that can bring about degrees of inconvenience, or an interruption to the way they thought it all was supposed to pan out. But saying yes to the call of the Lord in your life is an invitation to God’s perfect plan.
I. Embrace the Word He Gives
- Mary was likely 14 or 15 years old at this time and she had already been betrothed to Joseph.
- In Bible times, Jewish marriage customs regarding a couple’s engagement were much more formal and stringent than what we know today.
- Marriages were arranged by the parents of the bride and groom, often even without consulting the couple. In this arrangement, the groom’s parents would pay a bride price and it was immediately deemed binding.
- The couple was then considered married, even though the actual consummation of marriage would not occur for up to a year afterwards.
- This was called the betrothal period and it was during this period that the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her of her impending pregnancy. Betrothal, a legal pledge to be married could only be voided by divorce.
- What Mary was being called to do would put much of her earthly priorities at risk, including her impending marriage as well as her reputation.
In the midst of this season of anticipated marriage, Mary is greeted by Gabriel with the words, Greetings favored one! The Lord is with you.”.
- Mary was perplexed at the greeting given to her, that she was called “favored one.”
- She understood what “favored one” meant, however, she was surprised to hear these words spoken over her.
- The Greek work used here is charitoo (kha-res-ta-o),which means “highly favored,” “full of grace,” or “much graced.” There is only one other time in scripture where this particular word is used not concerning Mary, but concerning you and I.
Ephesians 1:5-6, In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
- The grace that has been freely given in Ephesians 1:6 is the same word used regarding Mary, which is translated, “highly favored.”
- You might be perplexed at the notion that you who are in Christ are highly favored, but know that the only other description of the great favor on Mary, is when those in Christ are described.
- We are highly favored, not because of who we are, but because of where we are. We are in Christ!
2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
- As Mary continued to ponder the greeting, the angel continued:
Luke 1:30-31, “Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”
- In His favor toward Mary, she was being called to bear and birth Jesus, the Messiah.
- Three things were spoken over Mary that were certainly true: She was highly favored, the Lord was with her, and she did not need to be afraid.
- True of Mary, true also of those of us in Christ.
- We have found favor (Eph. 1:6).
- The Lord is with us. Matthew 28:20, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
- We are His and there is no need to fear.
Isaiah 43:1, Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
- Just as we see the Lord using Mary, it is important for you and I remember that God uses His people on this earth, to bear Jesus and carry His name to world.
Proverbs 19:21, Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
- There are so many times I have plans set out for myself, and many more plans I would like to set out.
- Knowing, however, that it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails, my plans are best formulated in His hands, with a deep appreciation for His wisdom, work and will.
A. Place your plans in His hands
James 4:13-15, Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
- In articulating the Lord’s will, the angel calls Mary “favored one,” and reminds her that she has “found favor with God.”
- Upon hearing those words, she would have many reasons to question her calling: “highly favored? I am going to be laughed at, embarrassed, looked down on and alone. Highly favored, this road is paved with difficulty?”
- You may not understand where a perceived road block will lead you, but the Lord does.
Illus. One more project!
- Sometimes it might be a road block, other times it is our inability to get beyond the course we have detailed out and plotted for ourselves.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man regarding us in this manner, as ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found faithful.
- When we pursue His calling, follow His direction, surrender our plans into His hands, we can always know that He will bring us to the right destination.
Illus. One year away.
Matthew 6:19-21, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Surely Mary had plans, and surely this plan being rolled out to her was not a part of what she had dreamed up.
Illus. What might they all think?
B. Look to Him who your help comes from
- Surely, if the highest value was being placed on the natural, on the material, on the treasures of this earth, her call would seem a dead end or at the base level a street paved with deep difficulty.
- And there are many opportunities for you and I to do the same.
1 Corinthians 2:14, But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised.
- The question then follows, which appraisal am I trusting in?
- The “natural man” describes the materialist, who lives as if there is nothing beyond this physical life. Their appraisal of all things is without consideration of the Lord and His will.
- In verse 34, we see Mary ask the angel Gabriel a question, “how can this be, since I am a virgin?” Other translations of verse 34 express the same question differently, “How can this be, since I do not know a man.” (NKJV)
- In asking this question, Mary was not questioning her call, rather, she was wondering how this was going to happen, she was simply questioning the methodology. In doing so, she asks, how will I do this without what seems to be necessary, a man?
Illus. In John chapter 5, there is a pool at Bethesda where those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered would wait for the water to be stirred. Tradition said that the first in the water after it was stirred would be healed. Jesus encounters a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years and asked him if he wished to get well. His answer? I have no man to put me in the pool when the water is stirred.
- This is at times the same statement we make when we are looking for the hand of man to make a way for us.
Zechariah 4:6, This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.
- Gabriel’s answer to Mary is that the Holy Spirit would bring this calling, this assignment to fruition. And this is true in our lives as well; it is not man who will bring about fruitfulness, it is the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:36-38, And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
- Would there be difficulty ahead? Yes. Embarrassment? Likely. An uncertain future in her mind? I would imagine so. But she embraced the call knowing that her help was from the Lord and He would be with her.
- Mary made her life available so that the will of the Lord to be fulfilled and ultimately, she said yes to Jesus.
Psalm 121:1-2, I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 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 name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.