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Born For This Wk 2: Surprised by This | December 10, 2017 | Speaker – Shane Philip

12-10-17 Born for This Wk 2: Surprised by This

 

OPENING 

In this Christmas season we continue a glorious series about Jesus.  It is called Born For This and this week we are looking at Mary and her blessing of being chosen by God to bear His Son and bring the promised  Messiah into the world.  It is also about preparing our hearts for Him and this wondrous event of His birth.

SCRIPTURE[1]

  • Romans 3:23-24    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Timothy 2:5-6a    For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
  • Acts 4:12   Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
  • Luke 1:26-38     In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, 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 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.”  “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.  So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.  Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.  For nothing is impossible with God.”
  • “I am the Lord’s servant,“  Mary answered.  “May it be to me as you have said.”  Then the angel left her.
  • Luke 1:46-48   And Mary said:  “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.”
  • Luke 1:52-53   “He has brought down the rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful.”
  • Philippians 2:5-8   (The Message)   Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.  He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.  Not at all.  When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!  Having become human, he stayed human.   It was an incredibly humbling process.  He didn’t claim special privileges.  Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death – and the worst kind of death at that – a crucifixion.

 

  • Question:  When Zechariah questioned Gabriel about his message, he was struck temporarily mute.  When Mary did so, she was not reprimanded.  What was the difference

OBSERVATION

The Virgin Mary is one of the most renowned women in Biblical history.  Virtually everyone knows her name and her role in God’s plan for redeeming mankind, but few words are found in Scripture about her personally.  What we do know is that she was a teenager, she was inexperienced in nearly all of life experiences, including child care, and she lived in a small village of 300 people and betrothed to a carpenter.  We don’t know anything about her life before Jesus, we don’t know how she raised Him, and we don’t know when or where she died.  Her resume was not of a powerful, wealthy, or well-educated woman and yet God chose her to bring His Son into the world.  Amazing, isn’t it?  The interesting thing is that some people have made her more than Scripture has told us and probably more than Mary ever wanted to be.  Some teach that Mary was sinless, but Romans tells us that “all have sinned”;  Others say that she was a co-mediator with Christ, but 1 Timothy says that there is “one God and one mediator between God and mankind”;  and finally, she is called a co-redeemer, but Luke tells us in Acts that “salvation is found in no other name” than Jesus.

APPLICATION

So, why did God choose Mary?  She was an amazing woman and it is right to honor her, but not to worship her or give her a position that is reserved for Jesus Christ alone.  Mary herself gives us the answer:  she refers to herself as a humble servant in Luke, chapter 1.  Jesus taught us how to be humble servants in the Upper Room when He washed the feet of His apostles.  We don’t know if Mary was there that evening, but she surely had already proven that she understood the lesson Jesus was teaching:  our lives have a purpose – to love God and to love others.

  • Question:  Do you consider yourself to be God’s servant? In what ways?  If not, what changes would you make to change your answer to yes?

What we do know about Mary is:  1)  She was highly favored.  God sent the angel Gabriel to her small town to announce that she was going to have a child and that God would be His father.  He would be great and His kingdom would never end.  Her response was “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.”  We know that Mary was the only person who knew positively that Jesus was born of a virgin and was the Son of God.  Joseph and the rest of us believe it by faith.  2)  She was a humble servant.  She responded as a little child, with humility and awe at what she had heard.  She had a humble spirit and God honors that.  Humility opens the door to God’s favor in our lives.   If we have a problem with pride, we are not only blocking God’s favor,  He will actually oppose us!  God’s favor will not happen outside of humility.

  • Question:  If you have recognized pride in your life, what areas does it inhabit?  What can you do to change that pride into humility?  Under what circumstances is it all right to be prideful?
  • Question:  What would your family and friends say about the level of humility in you?  What about the level of pride?

Humility invites God’s blessing into our lives.  It is embodied in our prayers and our relationships with others.  A humble person asks God for help; confesses the need for God’s intervention; places unsolvable problems before His throne; admits he has no answers without God; believes that God can redeem anything; and knows that without God he is nothing.

  • Question:  Do you consciously put others above yourself?  Tell us about the most recent time you did this.  Tell us about the most recent time you didn’t.
  • Question:  When you see pride in the actions of your children how do you broach that subject with them?

We need to have an appropriate view of ourselves.  Mary did.  She was all about magnifying God.  She saw herself in God’s global plan and realized that she had no power over her life except the power of her Almighty God.  She acknowledged  that everything she did was futile without Him.  Jesus is the prime example of humility as He accepted His Father’s will and submitted to crucifixion in order that God’s plan for the redemption of mankind could be fulfilled.  We need to love others as Jesus taught us – and the same way we have been loved by Him.

  • Question:  Who is God to you?  Without knowing that answer, do you believe you will ever experience the full impact of humility in your life?
  • Question:  What were you born to do?

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, all that we have is Yours.  You are the Alpha and the Omega and everything in between, and we can share in Your grace, mercy and blessings if only we will humble ourselves and acknowledge Your redemptive gift. Here we are, Lord – USE US!  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] All scripture is NIV unless otherwise indicated

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11-26-17 Hope Rising Wk 4: Healing

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11-12-17 Hope Rising Wk. 2: Together

11-05-17 Hope Rising Wk. 1: Broken

10-29-17 Open Doors Wk 6: Thank God for Closed Doors

10-22-17 Bold Praise – Gene Appel

10-15-17 Open Doors Wk 5: Resistance is Futile

10-8-17 Open Doors Wk 4: Heal Las Vegas

10-1-17 Open Doors Wk 3: Door #1 or Door #2

9-24-17 Open Doors Wk 1: The Open Door

9-17-17 Open Doors Wk 1: Stepping Through the Door 

9-10-17 Unleashed Wk 5: Unleashing Good News

9-03-17 Unleashed Wk 4: Unleashing Community

8-27-17 Unleashed Wk 3: Unleashing Compassion

8-20-17 Unleashed Wk 2: Unleashing the Next Generation

8-13-17 Unleashed Wk 1: Power of Prayer

8-06-17 Running with the Giants Wk 8: Deborah

7-30-17 Running with the Giants Wk7: Jonah

7-23-17 Running with the Giants Wk6: Rahab

7-16-17 Running with the Giants Wk5: Gideon

7-9-17 Running with the Giants Wk4: Noah

7-2-17 Running with the Giants Wk3: Moses

6-25-17 Running with the Giants Wk2: Jacob

6-18-17 Running with the Giants Wk1: Abraham

6-11-17 Spent Wk4: Discussion

6-4-17 Spent Wk3: Discussion

5-28-17 Spent Wk2: Discussion

5-21-17 Spent Wk1: Discussion

5-14-17 Skeptics Wanted Wk 4:  Discussion

5-7-17 Skeptics Wanted Wk 3: Discussion

4-30-17 Skeptics Wanted Wk 2: Discussion

4-23-17 Skeptics Wanted Wk 1: Discussion

4-16-17 Easter at The Crossing – The Moment

4-9-17 Encounter – Wk 14: Discussion

4-2-17 Encounter – Wk 13: Discussion

3-26-17 Encounter – Wk 12: Discussion

3-19-17 Encounter – Wk 11: Discussion

3-12-17 Encounter – Wk 10: Discussion

3-5-17 Encounter – Wk 9: Discussion

2-26-17 Encounter – Wk 8: Discussion

2-19-17 Encounter – Wk 7: Discussion

2-12-17 Encounter – Wk 6: Discussion

2-5-17 Encounter – Wk 5: Discussion

1-29-17 Encounter – Wk 4: Discussion

1-22-17 Encounter – Wk 3: Discussion

1-15-17 Encounter – Wk 2: Discussion

1-8-17 Encounter – Wk 1: Discussion