When God speaks, when God guides it is not always easy to remain faithful. How many throughout history have been mocked and ridiculed! But when God rocks your world, tells you, then shows you, that the impossible is possible…you just hold on! You hold on when all of those around don’t believe, even when your life is threatened, you hold on when those closest to you think you have lost your way, you hold on when your heart is ripped out and you don’t understand. If you do, you will reap the blessings and reward. God will always bless you more than you could imagine if you just hold on….Paul put it this way Galatians 6:9,10
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
That is the story of today’s guest and hopefully we will gain some life lessons from her….would you welcome to our church this morning Mary, the mother of Jesus
God uses faithfulness to turn the world right-side up
We first meet Mary as a young woman, every Christmas you hear the story but we need to start somewhere and it might as well be in the beginning Luke 1:30-35
Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
Mary basically said…”This is impossible” but you see when God wants and needs to make a change in the culture he asks people he can trust, people who have been faithful by faith to be willing to do the impossible.
The people of God were in bondage…
- A world system that gave them no hope
- A religious system that put them in more bondage
- A culture darkness that smothered out the light for 400 years there had been no voice of the Lord
Sound familiar in some ways?
Did Mary solve all of these problems? Yes and no! By saying yes to the Lord, she become the conduit through which the light and love the world needed could come and change the world.
She was faithful to what God had called her to, being the mother of the Son of God, she said yes to her part so God could do his part. She suffered rejection and ridicule probably part of why we see later she went to spend time with her cousin Elizabeth.
She did not set anyone free, she did not heal the sick, open the blind eyes but she fought to make it possible for the one who could to be born, live, and launch into ministry so He could set the world free!
All of us are called to bring the light! Our world is in darkness, in bondage again and needs Mary’s who are willing to give birth to the light and hope of the Gospel….each of us have different roles, different calls, different gifts but we have one Lord who has given this all to us and expects us to do our part to change the world.
Family can wound us the most
We know Joseph heard from the Lord and helped raise Jesus to be a man, Jesus submitted to his parent’s guidance and direction. So, we assume he was serving his earthly Father as a carpenter’s apprentice and along with his brothers would have taken over the business, as the oldest to care for his parents when the time came. But at approximately 30 years of age when it was time to marry, settle down, take over the reins of the family business he took over His heavenly Father’s family business…which we can only assume totally confused his brothers
“One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. 21 When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.”
“Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him”
Jesus’ brothers thought he was crazy….How many of you have division in your family because of your walk with Christ?
Division like that can weigh you down, trying to keep the peace can be very difficult and heart breaking…
Mary did not give up, did not give in, stayed focused on the goal, while the children may have rejected Jesus, she remained faithful…I know this can be the greatest struggle in some people’s lives….allow me to encourage you to remain faithful, stand for what you believe in love…don’t give up like the verse we shared in the beginning do not grow weary for in the end you will see the harvest….did it pay off for Mary?
1 Corinthians 9:5
Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? (Jesus’ brothers traveled for ministry two of them were apostles James and Jude and the other two are not listed as apostles Simon and Joseph took their wives with them)
1 Corinthians 15:5-7
He (Jesus) was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James (Jesus’ brother) and later by all the apostles.
Hold onto your faith, regardless of where your family is with faith…trust the Lord and watch how He handles them.
Dreams don’t die when you are faithful to trust the Lord…they resurrect
Life can be very difficult at times, especially in the present economic and political environment. It is easy to believe that God has failed you, let you down.
It is easy to allow the bad things in life, the things out of our control to control us and control how we feel. It is easy to look at the world through the world’s eyes and see yourself or your life as a failure.
34 years earlier an angel told Mary that her son would have a Kingdom that would not end and now this happens
Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.
Her heart is being ripped out, none of this makes sense, did God fail her, did she misunderstand God, did she misinterpret what God had said to her.
How many times have you gone through something like this or known others who have?
Like everyone else, she had heard Jesus talk about his imminent death but ignored it but unlike most of the disciples even though her heart was ripped out she stayed faithful, she even chose to help get His body to the tomb.
Sometimes being faithful doesn’t always seem logical, think of Joseph, David, Haggai and so many others whose circumstances shouted, “Give up, it is useless!” Mary did not give up and saw the results of her 34+ years of faithfulness
Faithfulness to the Lord is never useless it always bears fruit
When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
We can deduce from these verses she saw the fulfillment of her heart’s desire, not only did Jesus rise from the dead and she saw him but He poured out his Spirit on his mother, and brothers. The prophecies were all fulfilled because she was faithful, billions have come to Christ, filled with the Spirit but nearest and dearest to her heart, her son ascended and is seated at the right hand of the Father and her other children came to know Him as the Christ and were filled with the Spirit.
If you are believing for…
a dream to come true
family to come to or return to Christ
the fulfillment of a “word” to you from the Lord
It will bear fruit if you don’t give up, don’t grow weary, stay true to the Lord regardless of people, things or circumstances….God’s will is not determined by circumstances but by His Spirit!