The Kind of Women (and Men) That God Uses!
|Luke 1 (NKJV™)|
|26||Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,|
|27||to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.|
|28||And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"|
|29||But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.|
|30||Then the angel said to her, "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.|
|32||"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.|
|33||"And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."|
|34||Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"|
|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.|
|36||"Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.|
|37||"For with God nothing will be impossible."|
|38||Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.|
|39||Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,|
|40||and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.|
|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."|
|46||And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord,|
|47||And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.|
|48||For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.|
|49||For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.|
|50||And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation.|
|51||He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.|
|52||He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.|
|53||He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty.|
|54||He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy,|
|55||As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."|
|56||And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
What does it take to be an effective Christian? Let’s take cues from Mary’s reaction to God’s will for her life, and learn how to be humble, spiritual, available, and worshipful.
Calvary Albuquerque is regularly host to special guest speakers. This series includes messages from many great Bible teachers including; Pancho Juarez, Mike Finizio, Don McClure, Bill Welch and others. These messages can be purchased as CDs from our online store, or by calling 1-800-922-1888.
Nathan Heitzig: Well, good morning and happy Mother's Day! How you guys doing this morning? Awesome! It's great to be here with you this morning and excited for Mother's Day. Really quick, can I get all the mothers to raise their hands. Hey, praise the Lord. We're so thankful for you guys.
I want to introduce you to two very important mothers in my life, my mother Lenya and the mother of my children Janaé. Give them a round of applause.
We're doing something a little bit different this morning. Realize that if I'm teaching and I don't have a lot to tell you -- thank you for that interruption.
Lenya Heitzig: It's back for all the times you interrupted me.
Nathan Heitzig: Fair enough. Fair enough. I get what I deserve.
I realized I don't have a lot to tell you guys on how to be a mother because I'm not a mother but they do because they are good mothers. So, I figured we'll do a little interview to start it out and give some insight to you mothers on mothering.
Lenya Heitzig: Mother's Day.
Nathan Heitzig: There we go. Is that okay with you? All right, good because were going to do it either way.
First question, mom, you've been a mom for 26 years and a pretty good one I might add.
Lenya Heitzig: Oh, thank you.
Nathan Heitzig: You're welcome. But that wasn't supposed to be sappy by the way which is supposed to be nice.
Lenya Heitzig: Well, you've been a great child.
Nathan Heitzig: Thanks. I appreciate it. It makes me feel warm and cuddly inside.
Lenya Heitzig: Me too. Group hug.
Nathan Heitzig: Okay. This is strange. So for 26 years, what have you learned on mothering? What insight would you give to the mothers here, maybe the mothers of younger kids and even the mothers of kids who have grown up and left the house?
Lenya Heitzig: Unconditional love. I think that God honors us and they are a gift from God and we should just love our children. And I know that sounds really simplistic but I think each child is like a snow flake they have a different pattern and personality, plans for their lives and it's our joy to kind of unfold and see what that personality is. And then in our unconditional love, we accentuate the positive and deccentuate the negative and then hopefully we could launch them and just love them with all our hearts.
Nathan Heitzig: Awesome. Janaé, you are a stay-at-home mom. You got a two-year-old and another baby on the way.
And you know, I remember when I first heard about being a stay-at-home mom. It sounded fantastic. It's like, "Man, a stay-home vacation. You get to stay and naps and watch T.V and you're going to parks. This got to be great." I did it one day and I can honestly say that's the hardest job in the world. What insight would you give to maybe the husbands that think that it's a vacation and to the mom that do it?
Janaé Heitzig: Being a woman who did a full time job prior to being a stay-at-home mom, I felt the same way thinking that being a stay-at-home mom would relieve stress and it would be easy peasy and I would get to nap with my baby and go the park and just watch him run. And that was in that.
It's a 24/7 job. Like any role of a working woman, you can pick that up and then drop it off when you go home and you can be yourself and be somebody else but that is not the way with mothering.
So, it's something you carry non stop and you don't ever set it down. So, my advice would be to be gracious, gracious to your children that frustrate you. And just like Lenya said, love them unconditionally and just work hard.
Nathan Heitzig: So it's hard but it's worth it?
Janaé Heitzig: Yes. Definitely it's the best blessing but it's the biggest sacrifice.
Nathan Heitzig: Awesome. Now, you are not just a mom but you are also a daughter obviously.
Lenya Heitzig: That's right.
Nathan Heitzig: So, what are some ways that children can show their mothers that they appreciate them on Mother's Day?
Lenya Heitzig: Small and sparkly. No, I'm just kidding.
Nathan Heitzig: You're talking to the wrong guy.
Lenya Heitzig: I'm kidding. I would say that it really is true. You know how moms always say, "Don't get me anything. There's nothing I need." What we would love is that you would honor and respect, that you honor your father and mother. That's what the promise, the command that has a promise.
But the way you can do that and I hope that some of you moms got you kids or people here today that maybe don't know Jesus, the best gift you could give your mother is to give you heart to Christ. If you would honor God and honor her by loving the god she loves, listen to what Nathan has to say. That would be the most amazing thing.
Nathan Heitzig: Awesome. Janaé, you have a two-year-old and he can't show you appreciation except by screaming at you. So, what are some ways that husbands can show their wives that they appreciate them on Mother's Day for taking care for their kids?
Janaé Heitzig: I would say invest in their love language. Find out what speaks volumes to them whether it's words of affirmation or acts of service or gifts, those are all love languages and I would just say invest in that and show her your appreciation not just on Mother's Day or her birthday but each day.
It doesn't have to be something that is spendy but just something from the heart that is simple and says, "Hey, I recognize all the work that you do and we love you."
Nathan Heitzig: Even time, giving them a break.
Janaé Heitzig: Giving them a break. If you could give a stay-at-home mom 15 to 30 minutes everyday, that would be ideal to give them a break--
Nathan Heitzig: I'm taking notes right now by the way.
Janaé Heitzig: --so that they can be themselves and they can kind of set that role down just for a little bit even if it's for a hot bath or to go on a walk so they can take a deep breath and concentrate on God and themselves.
Nathan Heitzig: Awesome. Thank you guys so much.
Lenya Heitzig: Can I brag about that one small second?
Nathan Heitzig: Yes.
Lenya Heitzig: Can I brag about Seth one small second?
Nathan Heitzig: Yes.
Lenya Heitzig: Do you know that my grandson is bilingual? This week, his new word and he has very few is agua so he now asks us for water by saying "agua." I am so happy.
Nathan Heitzig: Completely by accident. I said "Seth, you want some agua?" And he went "gua-gua" That's fantastic.
Lenya Heitzig: So there you go, bilingual, just--
Nathan Heitzig: Hey, let's give these two moms a round of applause. And as we do, I want all the moms to stand up and we want to give you a round of applause as we honor you this morning. Moms, get to your feet. Just stay standing the whole service. We want to -- I'm just kidding. Sit down.
Great to be here with you guys this morning. Hey husbands and kids, that was a cheat sheet for you there so I hope you took notes. Remember, acts of service. Find your wife or your mom's love language and help them out this Mother's day.
Go ahead and turn your bible to Luke Chapter One. We're going to be in Verse 26 to 56 this morning. I'm excited to have a lively crowd finally. It's nice. For some reason, there was like a lack of applause and laughter in the first two services so I'm excited to be with a happy group. Amen? We're excited to be here studying the word of God.
Luke 1:26-56, the message is titled today The Kind of Women (and Men). We're not leaving you guys out -- that God uses. So this morning, we're going to look at some characteristics of the kind of Women and Men that God uses. Let's open up right now with the word of prayer.
Lord, we come before you this morning anticipating you speaking to us Lord. We are thankful and we are excited that you have brought us here and we pray that as we open your word, you will teach us marvelous truths from your word. Lord, we thank you for all the mothers in this room and the blessings that they have given to us. Lord, we thank you for the time they have invested in us Lord.
And I want to say a special prayer right now for the mothers who have lost a baby, who have lost a son or a daughter, whether young or old and I pray for a special blessing of comfort and peace upon them this morning Lord that you would guard their hearts. And Lord, I pray for everyone here that these words would speak into their lives and would challenge them to be used by you. In your name we pray, amen.
Again, today is the day that we celebrate the blessings that mothers bring. Who in here can say that their mothers have been a blessing in their lives? Amen. We love that. You know, I can honestly say that my mom and my wife had been a huge blessing in my life. And the truth is, is that not a single man in the world could do what they do or achieve what they have achieved without the women that helped them whether their moms or their wives so we are thankful for them.
And today, we set aside to honor the women that make our lives special. I was reading a story about four scholars who were arguing about which version of the bible was the best which by the way we like to do a lot.
But ESV, New King James, King James, the Greek version, whatever, they were arguing about all the different versions and the first guy said very pompously that his favorite version was the King James because it was "His Majesty's" version. That's a good reason why.
So, they argued about that for a little bit longer. And the second guy piped in and he said his favorite was the NIV because it was the most contemporary. And being the most contemporary, it helped the younger audience to understand it and that encouraged them to study the word of God. Well the third gentleman piped in and he said that his favorite was the NASB because of the accuracy to the Greek and the Hebrew versions and that was his favorite.
So, as these three were bickering and arguing, the fourth one listened in and finally he said very calm with his favorite version was his mother's version. And they all paused for a second and then they laughed and they said "Oh, come on. Your mom didn't write a version of the Bible. What are you talking about? You know there's no mom's version." He said, "Yes, my mother translated the bible. She translated it everyday into the way that she lived. And it's the most lasting translation that I have ever seen."
That's the truth. Moms have a way of taking truth and then acting it putting it into real life teaching us grace and mercy and poise and tact and love in their actions not in their words.
They teach us lessons on a daily basis. And so moms, we honor you today. We declare that your role is possibly the most important role on this planet. Your impact and your influence lasts a lifetime and so I want to thank you personally for being the baby feeder and the burper, for being the food picker-upper, for being the translator for two-year-old dialects that no one else can seem to understand, for being the comforter and the listener. We appreciate you.
And if you ever charged us for your time and your service, there will be no salary in the world that would be big enough to pay you for what you do. Your job never ends. You know my mom still to this day calls me when I'm sick and brings me soup and medicine. She demands that when I get home from a trip that I call her and let her know that I'm at home safely. It never ends. The love and the job is a lifetime.
And so today, we're going to focus on possibly the most famous mother of all time as we honor moms. And it's not Mother Theresa and it's not mother hen and it's certainly not Mother Earth. It's Mary, the Mother of Jesus. And today, we'll look at the story of this incredible young woman. And as we do, we consider the incredible event of Christ's birth. And we'll also be introduced to who I believe is the most misunderstood woman of all time.
You know, there's no other person in history who had such a unique relationship with Jesus as Mary. And yet it seems that today in the Church, she's either practically worshiped or virtually ignored. There's no in-between. We don't really know what to do with her. We don't know where to put her, how to esteem her.
Without a doubt, she was the most blessed woman in history. And with that blessing, came great responsibility and personal sacrifice kind of like every other mom, right? It's a great blessing but with it comes great responsibility and great sacrifice. You know mom sacrificed so much for their families and for their kids.
In the New Testament, Mary is never presented as the principal figure. We never read the story of Mary going the salon and getting a pedicure. We never read about Mary going to the movies on a date with Joseph. We never read those stories. Every story we read about Mary is directly connected to Jesus Christ. All of the New Testament references to are connected to him and yet there in fact that she is constantly associated with him, gives her a place of prominence and importance.
Mary stands before us in scripture not sinless, not perfect, not a flawless person but nonetheless as a valuable role model for Christian women and men to learn from. Now, I know right there when I say that we have something to learn from her.
A lot of the guys are like, "Wait a second. I don't learn from women. I only learn from men." Don't do that because this woman and women in general have a lot they can teach us like grace and poise and tact. And yes, even how to put the seat down when we're done using the rest room.
In the five years that I've been married or that I've been with my wife Janaé, she's taught me so much. She's taught me to be a better husband, a better father, a better pastor. She has taught me to be a better leader, more merciful, more caring. She has taught me to be more of a god-fearing man in my life and I thank God for her everyday.
And I pray men, that your wives and your mothers have taught you the same. That they encouraged you and you learned from them. And wives and mothers, I pray that you teach your family, your household how to be god-fearing, merciful and loving people.
And in this familiar and wonderful story, we will find some of the qualities that God is looking for when he selects a person to work through. Who wants to be used by God? Amen. Good answer. I wanted to be used by God. And this young lady Mary, teaches us in this story how we can be used by God.
And if we take these principles to heart, not only can God use us to be a minister of His word, but God can use us to be the mothers and fathers He wants us to be, to be the husbands and wives, the sons and daughters, the men and women that He desires to use. And so today, we'll see very clearly the kind of women and men that God uses.
Let's read Luke Chapter 1:26. "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!'"
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then 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 bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.'"
"Then Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I do not know a man?' 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. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.' Then Mary said, 'Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her."
Here we see an interesting story in the bible. We have the angel Gabriel comes and visits a little teenage girl in a town called Nazareth and he has a message for her. And that message is found in Verse 28. He says, "Rejoice, highly favored one."
In the King James, this is translated "Hail Mary, full of grace." Rejoice, Highly favored one. Question, what kind of favor did Mary receive? I want you to think about it because when we look at her life, it can seem at times more like cruelty rather than favor.
Number one, she would go on a long and wearisome journey to Bethlehem. The pains of childbirth would come upon her in a stable and then she would have a long trip back to Egypt and then Nazareth as Herod sought out to kill her son. Number two, she would endure long years of ridicule. The Pharisees told Jesus at least "We weren't born of fornication." saying basically "A least to our mothers weren't loose woman sleeping around with people." Number three, she would finally see her own first born son trialed as a criminal, tortured and crucified. That was God's favor.
Remember Job also found favor with God and he lived a tough life. He lived the hard life.
In the movie Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye remarks, "If we're the chosen people, why don't you choose someone else for a while?" Man, it can feel like that sometimes as Christians, can it? "Man, if this is what Christianity is all about, then get me out." "Lord, I thought I was going to have gumdrops and lollipops and yellow brick roads. I didn't want flying monkeys and wicked witches. What is up with this God?" And it's true. Sometimes it can be hard to be chosen by God. But guess what, he said that it would.
In John 15:18-21 Jesus says, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, the world hates you. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you."
Jesus says there plainly, "I chose you out of the world and so the world hates you." When Jesus chooses someone, He doesn't promise something and give them something else. But what he does promise is far better than what the world has to offer. And what does Jesus promise us? We find it in John 16:33. Just a Chapter later, Jesus says, "In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world."
See, no matter what this world brings, no matter how hard it is, no matter what happens, when we tried to be used by God and it seems like we fall flat on our faces, with Jesus we have peace, peace of mind as we focus on Him, peace of heart as He calms the storms, peace of knowledge as we know the end of the story. Guess what, we know the end. But I'm going to give you a secret, you win. It's the truth, you win.
You know, I hate that in ends of movies. I'll be honest. My wife and I watch movies often. And anytime there's something bad that happens, the first thing I do is pull up my phone and I look at the synopsis for the movie and I find for the ending of the movie. If the ending is not happy, I will leave and I won't watch it. Bambi was damaging to me as a child. I hate bad endings.
Guess what guys, you have the synopsis to the story. It's called the Bible. When things get tough, when you don't understand what's happening, you don't we're you're going, if you pull this book out, you'll find the ending and you win.
It's a good ending. It's a happy ending. Things work out. We have knowledge in Christ. For Mary she experienced Emmanuel, God with us. That was her comfort and that is ours as well. Isaiah 43 says, "I formed you. I made you. Fear not, I will be with you in the waters. I will be with you in times of trouble."
So, God wants to use us. God desires to have a relationship with us. He wants to see us reach our full potential. The question is, "How can we?"
Well, let's look at number one, we need to be humble. Look at Verse 29. In Verse 29 it says "But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was." This is the true sign of spirituality, humility, a genuine surprise and amazement that God would use her. "What? God wants to use me, a poor little teenage girl? I have nothing to speak of and He wants to use me?"
Gideon, when God chose Him said, "I am the least in my father's house." "God, there's going to be someone else you can choose. Take my big brother. He is in Track and Field and he's strong. I'm just like a math guy." "Don't pick me, God. I'm Gideon." and yet God used him for mighty things. Isaiah said upon seeing the Lord, "Woe unto me! for I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips."
You know, it would have been very easy for Mary to become prideful, to maybe put on like a special like "Chosen by God" shirt, walk around town and say, "Hey, guess what guys, I'm the highly favored one." What are you like no one cares about you prom queen -- chosen by God.
I mean she could have very easily become prideful, gunstock up with her self. After all, God wanted her and yet she had the right response. In Verse 48 she says, "For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant." And then in Verse 52 she says, "He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly." Mary reveals an incredibly important principle to us and that is that the way to go up is to go down and the way to go down is to try to go up.
She reveals to us that the more humble and focused we are on God, the more He will exalt us. But be careful because the opposite is also true. The more prideful and focused on ourselves we are, God will humble us.
So here's the truth. If you're not a humble person, don't worry, you will be, you will eventually either on this time or on the next, either by your own choosing or by God's choosing. The Bible tells us "Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." you will bow either now or in the after life so either be humble now or be humiliated later. This is the choice we have as human beings so I encourage you, live a humble life.
In Philippians 2, Paul says, "Jesus made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant. He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." Interesting comparison in the Bible.
Pride seems to be the root of all evil, all sins whereas humility seems to be the root of all righteousness and godliness. Consider for a second a contrast between Satan and God. Satan was not satisfied with simply worshiping God. He wanted to be on the throne. Lucifer said, "I will." Jesus said, "Thy will." Lucifer was not satisfied to be a creature. He wanted to be the creator. Jesus was the creator and He willingly became the creation.
Too many today are like Lucifer. "My will. What I want. Who can I step on? How can I get to the top? I want to be the most important. I want my needs met before my families' needs." instead of being like Jesus and saying, "Lord, your will. How can I submit to you? How can I serve my family? How can I serve my friends? How can I lay my life down for those around me? Your will, not my will."
We can not let our enemy, our friend or our family keep us from God's will in our lives so the first quality we find for a person to be used by God is to be humble.
Number two, be spiritual. Look at Verse 34, "Then Mary said to the Angel, 'How can this be?' How can this be?'"
It's a valid question. She's like, "Hey this whole pregnancy thing, it's not going to work because I'm a virgin. It doesn't work like that Gabriel," I don't know if you knew that but we're humans and that does not really function here on earth. No, she didn't -- she had questions. She had valid questions. How is this going to work? The technique and of course the same question is asked today. How could this happen? How could a virgin give birth? How could God make food for 5,000 people appear out of nowhere? How could he turn water into wine? How could he heal sick people? How could the sea get spread into two by Moses?
But in the very name is the very answer. And the name is a miracle. It's a miracle! That's how it happened. It's not normal, its not ordinary, it's extraordinary. It's not a normacle, it's a miracle. That's the point. It's out of the ordinary. And God desires to do that in our lives. If you can believe Genesis 101, the rest of the Bible is cake. In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. If he created matter, I say he can do what he wants with it. You know when I make something out of Playdo, if I want to destroy that and make something else, I can. If I want to make a snake, I can turn it into a dragon really easy. If I get sick of the dragon, I can put it back in the box then put it away.
When God creates us, he can do what he wants with us. Philippians 2:12 gives us the answer. Because in our lives, in the same way, many can look at God's expectations of themselves and wonder how. God can call us to something. Something radical, something audacious, something that we don't think is possible. And we can say, "God, how can you do that, do you know me? Do you know my talents and my gifts?" I can't do that, and we can ask how. Philippians 2:12 gives us the answer. "Work out your own salvation with fear and tremble in for it is God that works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure."
See it is God working in you, it's not you. You must have a relationship with him in order to be used by him. Verse 35, Gabriel answers Mary and gives her the answer as to how she will be used. He says, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you." The Holy Spirit will come upon you. In order to be used, you must be spiritual. You must be spirit-filled. I love that Verse. He will overshadow you, you know I pray that God will over me. I pray that God will overshadow you that in the things that you do in life and the things that you achieve and the places you go, people won't see you and how awesome you are. But they will see God. They will see the love of Jesus Christ and as you accomplish great things through His name, the world will glorify your Father in Heaven. It is God working in you.
Now I don't want to imply that this is an occurrence that we can expect to be repeated for other believers. We can't expect more virgin births. If you try to claim virgin birth, we're going to know something is up. This was a one time-miracle for the introduction of the Messiah who would be both God and Man. Yet, the same principle is true for us. The miracle might not be true for us but the principle is. And that principle is this; it's not by might nor by power but by the Holy Spirit.
Mary was having the Son of God formed in her womb. We are having the Son of God revealed in our hearts. The principle is there. Paul said, "It pleased God who separated Him from his mother's womb and called us by His grace to reveal His son to us." So number one, be humble. Number two be spiritual. Be a spirit-filled person. Number three, be available. This is a big one. Look at Verse 38. Upon hearing the call, Mary responds and she says, "Behold, the maid servant of the Lord, let it be to Me according to your word." I love it, she didn't fully understand and yet she obeyed. She didn't know all the details, she didn't come to Gabriel and gave him wrapped sheet of all right, "Here's the things I need to know. How is this going to affect my reputation? Is my childbirth going to be easy? Is everything going to be cake? Is everything going to be great? Am I going to get a lot of money? You know, what's Joseph going to think?" She didn't ask any of those questions, she said, "All right, let's do it. Let your maid servant be used according to your word," let it be to me according to your word.
This is the kind of attitude that God looks for in his servants, a child-like faith and obedience. A surrendered life. You know maybe God will reveal his role to you if you are more submissive to Him. Instead of giving reasons why you can't be used, reasons why this isn't going to work, reasons why you're not the right person for the job, don't focus on all the reasons why you can't. Focus on the one that you can.
And the only reason that you can be used is because Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God died for your sins on the cross. Because of that, man has he got a plan for you. He's got a vision. He wants to use you in an incredible way. If our heart is right before the Lord, if we are humbled in the process, then all we need to do is be available. Be available. The Lord asked and Isaiah responded in Isaiah 6:8, "I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send and who will go for us?' and I said, 'Here am I. Send me!"
In 1 Samuel 3:10 we read, "Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel answered, 'Speak Lord, for your servant hears." Sometimes all we need to do, for God to use us is say, "Here I am Lord, use me." The condition of an enlightened mind is a surrendered heart. I wonder what God is calling you to do. I know he's calling you because He's calling all of us. I wonder what he's calling you to do. I wonder what he has for you and most importantly I wonder how long has he been calling.
How long has God been calling you to lead your family? How long has God been calling you to love your spouse? How long has he been calling you to put your kid's needs above your own? How long has he been calling you to get involved in a Ministry and start serving Him? How long has he been calling you to invite your friends to Church and give them an opportunity to meet Jesus? How long has he been calling you to be used? He wants to use you. He's calling you. The question is, are you available? Are you ready? Are you willing? It's time to stop giving the reasons why you can't be used and it's time to say, "Speak Lord, for your servant hears."
My prayer for each one of you is that you would let God teach you and use you to be the best mother you can be, the best wife you can be, the best husband you can be, the best father, the best son or daughter. The best employee, the best worshiper, the best evangelist. My prayer is that you would let God teach you and use you to be the best you that you can be. All you have to do is be available.
So number one, be humble. Number two be spiritual. Number three be available. And finally, fourth be worshipful. Now we come to Mary's Psalm song or what we recall The Magnificat, giving us real insight into her character. Read it with me in Luke 1:46-55. And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud and the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly. He had filled the hungry with good things and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel in the remembrance of His mercy as He spoke to our Fathers to Abraham and to his seed forever."
Here we see the correct response that every believer should have to be in use by God. Mary, a model believer hears the word, believes the word and then worships God for the word. This is the psalm or a song that shows prayer and worship at its best. It can serve as a model for all believers in their worship of God. It's been said that prayer is a window to the heart. If that's the case, then this young lady, this teenage girl had an incredibly mature heart at a young age.
Now first of all, we see that her psalm is made up almost entirely of Old Testament Verses. And this shows us something very important about Mary's character. She was a student of Scripture. Reading, studying, and committing it to memory until it was part of her heart. It was written on her heart and it flowed freely from her life.
Now this of course gives us as an insight into how she was able to remain pure in an impure world. Psalm 119:11 tells us, "Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." Colossians 3:16 says, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom."
Or literally, let the word of Christ be continually at home in you in all abundance.
Mary did not walk in accounts of the ungodly, no. Her delight was in the law of the Lord and it reflected in her life. We'll study and memorization of Scripture alone cannot keep us from sin. Study, memorization and application of an obedience to the Word of God will always keep you from sin. It's been said before by hundreds of Pastors. Sin will keep you from this book and this book will keep you from sin. That's true, is that true of your life? Verse 48 Mary says, "For He has regarded the lowly state of his maidservant." Literally, He was mindful and looked upon her with favor. Again, here we see Mary's humility, her realistic view of herself.
The holy and merciful God took note of a poor little teenage girl and He used her mightily to bring forth the Messiah. You know, maybe you're in here this morning and you think, "Man, I can't be used by God." Take a lesson from some teenagers. Take a lesson from Mary. Take a lesson from vertical and velocity. Do you know we've got a group that goes out every Friday night and preaches the Gospel, 20 high school students and every week we see 10 to 20 people give their lives to Jesus Christ? If your kids are doing it and so can you.
God wants to use you. And if He can use a teenager, man, He can have great things planned for your life. She was a peasant woman. Not considered to be anyone of importance except to maybe Joseph and her parents yet of all the people in the world, God looked down from heaven and shows Mary. Psalm 8:3 says, "When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained. What is man that you are mindful of Him?"
God noticed Mary and know this, God notices you as well. God regards you. You are very special to Him and you're not just special today because it's Mother's Day, moms. You're not just special fathers when it's Father's Day.. You're not just special when it's your birthday. You are special every single day because Jesus Christ loves you and because He died for you and because of that, you have purpose in your life. You have a reason to live. And God wants to use you.
Jesus points out that God knows about every sparrow that falls to the ground and then tells us that we are of far greater value. David said, "You know my sitting down and my rising up, you understand my thoughts are far off." And what is Mary's response to God for choosing her? It's the response we should all have in Verse 49, she responds by saying, "For He who is mighty has done great things for me, Holy is His name." She gives praise and honor to He who is worthy. To He who is Mighty. We serve a mighty God. Not a busy God. Not a well-intention God who really can't help us. We serve a Mighty God who wants to change our lives, who wants to change this city, this state, this country and this world if we would give him a chance. And the greater our concept of God becomes the smaller our problems become. The more we worship and honor God, the easier life becomes because it doesn't matter what happens in our life as long as God is on the throne.
In Isaiah 6 we read, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on the throne high and lifted up and the train of His robe filled the temple. And one cried to another and said, 'Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory.'" So I said, what was me? No matter what happens in life, no matter what obstacles come your way, no matter how hard it gets, always remember who is on the throne. Always remember the end of the story and respond with worship to God.
I want you to look at Verse 54 with me. In Verse 54, Mary closes this incredible song now and she says, "He has helped His servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy." God always keeps His promises. You can bank on that. Promises to hide you in the shadow of His wing, promises that if you come to Him in prayer and supplication that He will give you peace that surpasses all the understanding, promises that He will return and you rapture the church, promises that He will bind Satan, these are promises that God has given us and there are promises that we can stand firm on. The only thing God can not do is lie.
So my question for you this morning is are you ready to be used by God? And if you are, it's time to be humble, be spiritual, be available and be worshipful. Let's pray.
Lord, we thank you for your word. And we thank you that it does not return void. Lord, we thank you for the incredible story of Mary and the lessons that she can teach us, Lord: lessons to be humble, spiritual, available and worshipful people. Lord, I pray that we will be all of those. I pray that we will respond to your call, we will lay our lives down and we will avail ourselves to what you want for us.
Lord, as we're praying right now, I pray for anyone in here who has not availed themselves to you, Lord. They've been hiding themselves from you. They've been keeping themselves from you. And right now they realize they need you. They need to give their lives to you. They need to lay it down before the only one who is worthy, and that is you.
If you're in here right now, your eyes are closed and your heads are bowed and you've never given your life to Jesus. Perhaps you've been running from Him for a long time and He's been calling you and you need to give your life to Him. I want to give you that opportunity. Maybe you're in here and you've been a Christian for a long time but things are broken down, you've fallen away from God. Your marriage is a wreck, your family is a wreck, your life is a wreck and you've realized that God is calling you to fix it and re-dedicate yourself to Him this morning to make it right and to stand up for Christ.
If that's you then you either need to accept or re-dedicate your heart to Christ, I just want you to raise your hand up so I can see it. Just raise it up. Amen. I see over here on the center, to my right a couple of you. Anyone else, just raise up your hand so I can see it. Amen. Several hands.
Lord, I thank you for these that have acknowledged their need for you and they have acknowledged that they need to give their lives to you and get right with you, Lord. I thank you for them and I pray that you will help them to stand for you in this moment. In your name, we pray. Amen.
Hey will you stand with me? We're going to close and we're going to sing one last song. And as we do, I'm going to ask that if you raise your hand up acknowledging that you need Jesus Christ that wherever you are, you get up and you come down here and say a prayer to accept Christ. And you might say, "Nate, hold on. I don't mind raising my hand in a room where no one can see but you want me to stand up for Christ? I do." Because if you can't stand up for Christ in front of your family and in front of a room full of people that love Jesus, how are you going to do it in a world that hates Him? So if you need Christ, you come down right now. We're going to sing this song and we'll wait for you.
In just a second, I'm going to lead this people into a relationship with Christ. And we're not going to sing this song again but I want to give you one more opportunity, maybe something is holding you back. Maybe someone next to you. Maybe they need Christ too and you're going to be the catalyst that's going to give them the courage to do so. Maybe you're worried about what your friends will think. Don't let someone else determine where you spend eternity. You make that choice. You make the choice to accept or reject Jesus Christ and you make it today. So we're not going to sing this song through anymore but if you know, then you need to be up here with this people, we invite you to come down right now. We will receive you and we will welcome you into the family of Christ. Anyone else, before we pray? All right.
Okay, for those of you that are here, I'm excited because I get to welcome you into the family of Christ. And that's an incredible thing. This is the big first step for you in your life. And we're excited for that. And so I'm going to say a prayer and I'm going to ask you to repeat it after me and say it out loud to Jesus Christ from your heart.
Lord, I know that I'm a sinner. I know that I've done many things that have hurt you. But Lord, I believe that you died for those things. And I believe that you rose again.
So Lord, I ask you to come into my life. Forgive me of my sin. I turn from my old life and I turn to you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, help me to live for you. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
Praise the Lord.