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Mary's Excellent ADVENTure
Luke 1:26-55
Skip Heitzig

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."

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Christmas Messages

Christmastime has historically been referred to as Advent Season by the church. Advent means arrival or coming. At Christmas we celebrate the first advent (or coming) of Christ to earth to redeem the human race from sin, while we await His second advent when He rules forever. Mary of Nazareth was the human receptacle that God used to birth His Son into the world. She was a model believer in every way. Her example brings fresh encouragement to us. Let’s consider her.

This collection of Christmas messages from over the years focuses on the birth of Jesus Christ—"Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us'" (Matthew 1:23). You'll be encouraged to keep your eyes on Christ no matter the season.

Outline

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  1. Her History (vv. 26-27, 36, 40)

  2. Her Humility (vv. 38, 48, 52)

  3. Her Spirituality
    1. Her Relationship to God (vv. 47-49)

    2. Her Regard for Scripture (vv. 46-55)

  4. Her Necessity (v. 47)

 

  1. Why do you suppose God chose a virgin to fulfill His plan? What are the areas in your life where you need to believe that "nothing is impossible with God"?

  2. How was Elizabeth’s pregnancy an encouragement to Mary? What do you think Mary was dealing with emotionally? Culturally? Spiritually?

  3. What song title or phrase from a song describes your life right now?

Detailed Notes

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Two thousand years ago in Nazareth, things were not so politically correct. It was not only legal, but expected to invoke God's name and ask His blessing. It was not acceptable to be a teenage girl who was pregnant before marriage.

For 400 years God had been silent. There were no prophetic messages, no miraculous occurrences, no angelic visits—until now. The angel Gabriel visited the obscure town in northern Galilee called Nazareth and gives news that changes Mary's life. She goes to Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth to settle and confirm what has happened.

  1. Her History (vv. 26-27, 36, 40)
    1. Young
      1. Between 13-17 years old
      2. 1 Timothy 4:12
      3. Jesus led a youth movement, His disciples were young fishermen
    2. Poor (Nazareth was a "working village")
    3. Family
      1. Tribe of Judah (Genealogy Luke 1)
      2. Father was Heli
      3. At least one sister, Mary (John 19:25)
      4. Related to the priesthood (cousin Elizabeth married to Zacharias)
    4. Engaged
      1. Joseph
        1. Carpenter - τέκτονος-tektón- a craftsman- stone and wood
        2. Young, hardworking
      2. Two phases of betrothal
        1. Kiddushin
          1. Arranged marriage
          2. Twelve-month period to prove her virginity and their fidelity
          3. No physical relationship
          4. Little social contact
        2. Chuppah
          1. Wedding ceremony
          2. Lasts one week
    5. Joseph was flabbergasted that Mary was pregnant
      1. Her standard
      2. Her righteousness
      3. Her purity
      4. Thought to put her away secretly (Matthew 1:19)
      5. Mary's punishment would have been stoning (Deuteronomy 22:21)
    6. Mary hurried to see Elizabeth, who would understand:
      1. Conception miracle
      2. A visit from the Angel Gabriel
      3. Mother of the Messiah/mother of the forerunner
  2. Her Humility (vv. 38, 48, 52)
    1. "Let it be according to your word"
    2. Stigma
    3. Every Jewish girl's hope to be the mother of the Messiah; not prideful
    4. Lowly state
    5. God exalts the lowly
    6. Philippians 2:5-8
  3. Her Spirituality
    1. Her Relationship to God (vv. 47-49)
      1. Hears God's Word and believes Him
      2. Magnificat (Magnificat anima mea Dominum - Latin)
      3. Views God as Mighty and Holy
        1. The bigger your concept of God, the smaller your problems
        2. The bigger your problems seem, reveals the smaller your view of God
    2. Her Regard for Scripture (vv. 46-55)
      1. Fifteen references to the Old Testament including: Psalm 34:2; Isaiah 45:5; 1 Samuel 1:11; Genesis 30:13; Psalm 126:3; Psalm 111:9)
      2. She was a young woman taught the Scriptures by her parents
      3. "It is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord, so that your blood is Bibline and the very essence of the Bible flows from you." C.H. Spurgeon
      4. She knew the history of Israel
        1. "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks" —Luke 6:45
        2. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…"—Colossians 3:16
  4. Her Necessity (v. 47)
    1. Referred to "God my Savior"
      1. A sinner by her own admission
      2. Her need for a Savior
    2. Not a dispenser of blessing; a recipient of blessing
    3. "You don't impress the officials at NASA with a paper airplane. You don't boast about your crayon sketches in the presence of Picasso. You don't claim equality with Einstein because you can write 'H20.' And you don't boast about your goodness in the presence of the Perfect." —Max Lucado
    4. Not the object of worship; the subject who worshiped God
    5. Hear the Word and keep it. - Luke 11:27-28

Greek terms: τέκτονος-tektón- a craftsman
Latin Terms: Magnificat anima mea Dominum- My soul magnifies the Lord
Figures Referenced: C.H. Spurgeon; Max Lucado
Cross References: Genesis 30:13; Deuteronomy 22:21; 1 Samuel 1:11; Psalm 34:2; Psalm 111:9; Psalm 126:3; Isaiah 45:5; Matthew 1:19; Luke 6:45; Luke 11:27-28; John 19:25; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:12

Topic: Mary

Keywords: Mary, Christmas, advent, Jesus' mother

Transcript

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While I was looking at a headline the other day about Christmas and the headline was called 2010's War on Christmas.  And the article began by saying the battle lines are already drawn between the group of people that want to say Happy Holidays and the group that wants to say Merry Christmas and there seems to be a lot of fight over it.

The people that want Happy Holidays and not Merry Christmas will tell you it's because they believe that celebrating Christmas publicly is our way of pushing Christianity on them.  And so, you'll have every year where celebrations will be the celebration without Christ.  For instance, this year in Philadelphia, the city celebration that has always and traditionally been called Christmas Village -- downtown Philadelphia, has changed its name to Holiday Village.  And they got so much flock from it, so much media attention that just the other day they changed it back from Holiday Village to Christmas Village.

There's a school down in Florida -- Sarasota, Florida, that banish Christmas altogether from celebration.  No songs, no trees, not even the colors green and red.  So it seems that we are expected to bow before the altar of political correctness and not even mention Jesus on His own birthday.  It sounds ludicrous.

So if you own a public market or a business, you have to be very creative in how you say Merry Christmas.  And I took a picture of one that I thought you'd enjoy.  This is a storefront in Newport Beach, California, it says -- and we'll blow it up.  Look at it, "We hope not to offend, but Merry Christmas!" I kind of like that.  Trying to cover their basis but still bring Christmas into it.

Listen to what one graduation class did that I thought was remarkable.  It wasn't at Christmastime, but they had to be creative because the school board told the 93 students graduating that there would be no prayer this year at the commencement ceremonies.  A recent court ruling had prohibited that no prayer, no mention of God in your speeches.  Students understood and said they would comply.  So it was graduation day, the 93 students marched-in in their caps and gowns, full regalia, speeches were given, issues were raised, people were challenged, but it was pretty much same old same old until one student came up to give his speech.  Well, not really a speech.  He went up to the microphone, stood in front of it silently and then let out one loud astounding sneeze.

It was all on cue, at that point, the 92 other students rose to their feet and shouted out, "God bless you!" And the audience did what you've just did.  They broke out in thunderous applause and a group of innovative teenagers who figured out how to invoke God's blessing on their future no matter what the court says.

Well, 2000 years ago, in a little Jewish town of Nazareth, things were not so politically correct as they are now.  It was not only legal to invoke God's name publicly and ask God's blessing publicly.  It was expected.  That was protocol.  What wasn't expected, what wasn't allowed and what wasn't acceptable was to be a young girl, a teenager who ends up pregnant before she's married.  And now, we enter into Mary of Nazareth's predicament.

That's what I want to talk to you about today and that is Mary.  The name of this message is Mary's Excellent ADVENTure.  It's a plan words really.  This is the Advent season we call it and Advent means the coming or the arrival of Christ.  And weeks up before Christmas, the churches traditionally celebrated Advent season.  Well, this is Mary's ADVENTure, she is at the very center of the Advent's story.

Now, let me set the scene a little bit before we jump in.  We have a lot of verses we want to look at beginning in Verse 26, all the way down to Verse 55.

For 400 years, God had been silent.  There's a 400-year gap between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  God had not spoken.  There had been no prophetic messages.  No miraculous occurrences.  No angelic visits until now.  Now, everything changes.  Now, 400 years pass the last big event in the Old Testament comes an angel from heaven.  Not just an angel, you should know "the" angel, the heavyweight angel.--Gabriel himself to obscure town in Northern Galilee called Nazareth -- a bathwater town.

To a young woman named Mary, it gives her some news that blows her mind and changes her life forever.

It really rattles her cave(ph) so much that she goes to visit her older cousin down in Judea named Elizabeth to get all of these settled and confirmed.  And while at her house down in Judea, Mary brings forth -- beginning in Verse 46, one of the most beautiful prayers ever, she becomes a model believer.

What I want to look at with you this morning is Mary.  Her history first of all, her humility second, her spirituality and then what she said she needed, her necessity.  Let's begin with who she was.

Unfortunately, we don't know a lot about Mary.  I wish we knew more, but we have to piece a few things together.  I want to help you do that.

Verse 26 of Luke Chapter 1 begins.  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 named Joseph of the house of David.  The virgin's name was Mary.  Mary was a young, poor teenager.  Conservative estimates tag her age at somewhere between 13 and 17 years of age -- a very young woman.  She's from Nazareth.  She was poor.  Nazareth was a working village -- a blue-collar village.  But she was very spiritual, very young but very spiritual.

Every now and then, I get the rare privilege of meeting a young, mature, advanced spiritually teenager, young person.  Whenever I've meet somebody who's young and on fire for God like that, it does something to me, it compels me.  I want to get involved in their life and help fuel fill and help direct them because I think back when I was 18 years old and somebody had the courage I should say, to see some spiritual potential in me and wanted to channel that.  So I know the power of that kind of mentoring.

Mary was young but spiritual, on fire.  Remember Paul said to Timothy, "Let no one despise your youth," or let no one look down on you just because you're young.  We often forget that Jesus largely let a youth movement.  The disciples were not as the holy cards and pictures would have you believed hunched over old men with gray beards.  These were young fisherman with a least(ph) on life and their lives changed because they met Jesus.

We also know about Mary that she was from the Tribe of Judah.  She was up the lineage of David and if we take Luke's genealogy of Christ and apply that to Mary making Matthew Joseph's genealogy, then we know the name of Mary's dad.  His name was Heli, H-E-L-I.  We don't know anything about him except his name.  We also know that Mary had a sister.

Now, to find that out, we have to turn to the Gospel of John.  You don't have to turn there.  I'll read it to you.  But apparently, Mary had a sister, not only one.  She could have had many sisters and brothers, but we only know of one that is written.  This is now John Chapter 19, Verse 25.  "There stood next to the cross of Jesus his mother," that's Mary, "and his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas."  So apparently, Mary had a sister named Mary, which sounds weird to us, but it's not terribly uncommon in those days.  Merriam was the most common Jewish name for girls and you could carry a couple of them per family.

We also know that Mary was related to the priesthood because her older cousin, Elizabeth is married to a guy named Zacharias who was one of the priests that served in the temple at Jerusalem.  But what is probably more important than any of those facts is that she was engaged.  She had a fiancée named Joseph.  Verse 27, "A man whose name was Joseph."

Now, if we know little about Mary, we know even less about Joseph.  In fact, we only have one word in the entire New Testament that gives us the description of what he was or who he was.  And it's the word carpenter.  Jesus is referred to as the Carpenter's son twice.  Matthew and Mark recalled that.

Now, that's probably not a great translation.  The Greek word, tekton simply means a craftsman and typically referred to those who were stonemasons.  I know that blows your whole Christmas scene in your head of Joseph the stonemason rather than the carpenter with wood, but you just got to go back and realize that when they build homes in those days, they didn't build with wood, they built with what?  Stone, bricks.  So if you were a tekton, a craftsperson and you were to build a house, you would have to be a brick layer, put the stone up, as well as work with wood to frame windows, doors, make furniture.

And so Joseph probably worked with those and both of those things -- young, hardworking, both poor living in Nazareth.  What is important to notice in Verse 27 is a single word, betrothed.  She was betrothed.  That's not a word we use much anymore.  A better word would be engaged, but what does it mean to be betrothed?  Does it mean that Mary wore Joseph's ring on a chain around her neck and she wore his leather man's jacket around town?

Now, it meant actually a formal type of an engagement, so formal that the only way to break that engagement was a legal divorce.  Here's the background.  Jewish wedding had two phases.  Number one called the Kedusha, which was the formal engagement, the betrothal.  Second was the Hupa, which was the wedding ceremony itself.  Here's how it worked.  Parents would make a deal with each other.  My son, your daughter sign the agreement, have a cup of coffee -- they do in these days anyway.

Then a 12-month betrothal period ensued.  Twelve months to prove her virginity, 12 months to prove his and her fidelity to each other.  They would be examined by the community.  If she turns out pregnant within that year, you know, they know, we all know, they can't keep their promise.  Incidentally, during the engagement, the betrothal, they had no physical relationship whatsoever and little social contact whatsoever.  It was simply a period of waiting and preparation.

And then came the wedding -- that was the Hupa, and the Hupa was where you bring the neighborhood over.  Dads, do you think it's bad today to fund a wedding for your daughter?  Back then, imagine having the whole neighborhood over for a week and you had to pay for it.  That's what the Wedding at Cana was all about.

Go down to Verse 28.  And having come in, the angels 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.  A better word, agitated.  Maybe a better term, freaked out.  Well, you would be, too, if an angel showed up at your house and considered what manner of greeting this was.  And 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 Yeshua, Jesus."  God is salvation.

 "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."  And then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be since I do not know a man?"  That's a fair question.  "I've never had any intimate relation with any boy, any man, how is it even possible that this could take place?  You say I'm pregnant?"  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 is called barren.  For with God, nothing will be impossible."

Wow!  What an incredible announcement for a young teenage gal from hayseed Nazareth to get.  She is going to be the mother of the Messiah.

So here she is, she gets this announcement, she is pregnant and she knows why.  The poor Joseph, he didn't know why.  And when Joseph found out, you've got to know, Joseph was absolutely flabbergasted, shocked beside himself at a whole different level of being freaked out for different reasons.  Matthew 1 says that he was mindful to put her away or divorce her privately.  The reason he was shocked is because Joseph knew her, her standard, her righteousness, her purity.  He knew the kind of girl that she was and he knew Deuteronomy 22 well enough to know the punishment for such activity, being pregnant before marriage is what?  Stoning.

So she was in quite a spot, Mary had no way to protect her reputation.  Do you ever think about that?  Ever tried to think of what it was like to be Mary, walk out of the house with that news?  You're pregnant, you're going to have a baby, it's going to be really cool, but you're not married yet.  And imagine trying to tell, how is she going to protect her reputation?  She has no way on earth, she's going to go tell people, "Okay, I know this looks bad, but you got to know that I'm pregnant by God."  How's that going to go over in town?  So they're going to go, "Yeah, right, we've heard lots of excuses, Mary.  But that takes the cake."

Verse 39, "Now, Mary arose in those days," now watch this, this is interesting, "And went into the hill-country with haste to a city of Judah and entered the house as Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth."  It's interesting to me that she, with haste, it means she hurried, she hightailed it down to Elizabeth and Zacharias' house.  Why do you suppose she was in such a hurry?  She needed to talk to Elizabeth.

Think about it.  Who else would understand a 13-year-old girl being pregnant by God?  Who would understand that?  Only a woman who had been barren and couldn't conceive and miraculously has a conception miracle of her own with her up and coming baby, John the Baptist.

Who else is there who would understand a girl who said that the angel Gabriel visited me?  Only one who had the angel Gabriel visit her and her husband, and say they too are going to have a baby.  What person is there who is going to understand, "I'm going to be the mom of the Messiah."  Oh, there's only one lady on earth who could get that one and that is the one who is told she's going to be the mother of the forerunner of the Messiah, and if the forerunner is in the womb, the Messiah can't be far behind.

So it was imperative that they get together.  It was important for Mary, because Mary is between 13 and 17, never knew a man, now she's pregnant, all sorts of emotions swirling around in her head and she needs those emotions, assuage(ph) settled.  She needs these confirmed.  And so she visits Elizabeth down in Judea.

So that's her history.  We know not much but we know enough to kind of get a composite view of who she was.  Let's look at something else about Mary.  Her humility, I skipped over Verse 38 on purpose so we could get to it now.

After the angel says, "Look, this is what's going to happen.  Nothing's impossible with God."  Listen to what Mary says to the angel, "Behold, the maidservant of the Lord.  Let it be to me according to your word," and the angel departed from her.

Isn't that amazing?  She submits herself completely in humility to the will of God, to the Word of God for her life.  She says, "Okay.  I'm up for this.  Be it done to me according to your word."

Now women, how many ladies do you know if they got this kind of an announcement would say that?  Okay, you're pregnant.  I know you can't figure this out.  I know this is impossible but you're pregnant and your belly's going to grow so you know you're pregnant.  And that means, if you think about it, the rest of your life, you're going to have to live with that stigma and she did, even Jesus, they called him born of fornication, if you remember.  How many ladies would say, "Okay, great, whatever, I surrender, I humbly surrender."  Most ladies, if they were married would say, "Joseph, I had this weird dream and it was really weird.  I think I need to see a counselor and talk this over."  She didn't do that.  She just has resigned in her heart in faith and in humility, "Whatever God wants is what I want."

Every Jewish girl had thoughts as she grew up of becoming the mother of the Messiah.  It was the hope of every Jewish girl approaching the age of betrothal and marriage.  "I know the Messiah is coming.  God is going to choose some Jewish woman to be the mother.  Maybe I'll be the one."  So the day comes where Gabriel goes, "Guess what Mary?  You're the one.  Out of all the Jewish gals in history, out of all the women on the earth, you have been singled out to bring forth the son of God."  And what would that do to your head as a young teenage girl?  It could get pretty big couldn't it?  It could swell up to several sizes.  You're going to have a lot of pride over that one.  "Well, I must be someone special because there's lots of gals out there, but I'm the one God picked."  It would be very easy to get into that.

It didn't happen.  She surrenders herself to it.  And then she comes to grips(ph) with it.  In Verse 46 down to Verse 55 is the beautiful prayer of Mary, which we'll look at more in detail in just a moment, but I want to take you to a couple of verses.

Mary said in Verse 46, "My soul magnifies the Lord.  My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant."  That's what Mary says about herself, "I'm a nobody from nowhere and God has singled me out.  For behold henceforth, all generations will call me blessed."  All generations will call me blessed.  So here she goes again, "I'm a nobody, I'm from nowhere.  But from now on, everybody's going to look down through history and say, 'That's the girl that God blessed and singled out to be the mother of the Messiah.'"  It's beautiful.

Verse 52, again, I'm skipping ahead.  She prays, "He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly."  So Mary's own description, "I'm lowly.  I have a lowly state."  It's one of humility.  Mary hits an important note in Verse 52.  It's a principle found throughout the Bible.  That is that God exalts the lowly and puts down the prideful or the mighty.  That God just has a way of doing that.  If you think you're something great and something special, God has a unique way of putting you down and humbling you very quickly.  If you are lowly before God and submissive, God has a way of raising you up.  He did it with Jesus, right?  I mean, that's the whole point of Paul in Philippians when he says, "Jesus who is the exact nature of God.  He was God."  He didn't think it (00:24:25) to be equal wit God.  He made himself of no reputation, humbled himself and became a servant.  Therefore, God has highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name that the name of Jesus every knee will bow, every time will confess.

He humbled Himself.  The Father exalted Him.  Mary humbled herself and she realizes in that lowly state, "God is giving me this blessing."  It's beautiful.  That's her humility.

Let's look at her spirituality.  I think Mary is a model believer.  She's really an astonishing gal.  She hears God's word, she believes it and now she sings a song of praise beginning as I said in Verse 46 down to Verse 55.  This is called the Magnificat.  Some of you may already know that.  That's the church term for it, the Magnificat.  That's a Latin word.  That is the translation of the third word of her prayer in Verse 46, magnifies.

And the Latin I think is Magnificat anima mea Dominum, my soul magnifies the Lord.

It is her song of praise, it is her Advent song.  Or if you will, it is her grate ADVENTure song.  And she comes to grips with what she has called to do.  She lifts up her voice in spontaneous praise and prayer and says these verses.  Now, this is an amazing prayer.  And if you really want to get to know somebody, listen to them pray.  You'll learn a lot about what they believe, about themselves, about God, the kind of relationship they have just by listening to them pray.

I remember when I first dated my wife, Lenya, on one particular occasion, I've been dating her off and on and then one night, we went to dinner at this steakhouse in Southern California and we prayed afterwards, I prayed.  I thought it was a pretty cool prayer and then I listened to her pray.  And the depth of relationship that I heard in that prayer with the Lord, I walked away more attracted to her than ever.  I remember going, "Wow!"  In fact, I said it backwards, "Wow!"  I was really impressed.  This gal knows the Lord and I wanted to know her.

Well, as we get to know Mary, we see two things.  We see her personal relationship with the Lord by just a few other things that she says, go down to Verse 49.  "For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."  Now, this is what Mary thinks about God.  He is mighty, he is holy.  He who is mighty.

See, a lot of our problem is we don't really know God is mighty.  We would say, well, for he who is well intentioned, but incapable -- here's something I discovered.  The bigger the concept you have of God, the smaller your problems are in front of the mighty God.  The bigger the problems are in your life, it's because your view of God happens to be very, very small.

Here's a girl who has just been told, this never happened before Mary, but you're pregnant.  The Holy Sprit did it and you're going to have a baby in your womb.  That's impossible.  The angel said, "With God, all things are possible."  She goes, "Okay, I'm into that, I believe that.  I submit to that."  And now, she adheres what she believes about God.  He is mighty and probably mightier that week than the previous weeks in her life.

Remember when you were a kid and if you had a normal up-brining, mom or a dad, especially a dad.  There was a period in your life when he was superman, he could do anything.  I remember at least my dad, I thought my dad is like better than all of their dads and my dad can do anything and then you come to a stage in your life where you realize your dad can't do everything.  That's just called growing up.

The more you grow up, the more you realize dad is like anybody else, makes mistakes, has good points about him.  Mom makes mistakes, has good points about her.  That's called growth.

Well, here's what happens when you grow as a Christian.  You realize your Heavenly Father can do everything and more so than what you believe before.  So she always believe, but now she's experiencing this and meeting with Elizabeth, and she says, "God is mighty and he is holy," shows her relationship with her God.  Not only does it show her relationship with God, it shows her regard for the scripture.

Now get this.  This is to me, the greatest part of this prayer, it blows my mind.  There are no less than 15 quotations of Old Testament passages in this little prayer or references, too, echoes of them, a part of Hannah's prayer in 1 Samuel one and two are echoed in Mary's prayer.  Maybe Mary was pouring over that passage, but there's a lot of others like the quotes from the law, the Psalms, the writings of the prophets, all laced in the fabric of her prayer to God.

Here's a couple of samplings.  Look at Verse 46.  Look at the phrase, "My soul magnifies the Lord."  Now listen to Psalm 34, Verse 2, "My soul shall make its boast in the Lord."  She was echoing that.  Verse 47, she says, "My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."  That's an echo of Isaiah 45, "There is no God beside me, a just God and a savior."

Look at Verse 48, "For he has regarded the lowly state, or state of his maidservant."  That sounds a lot like what Hannah prayed in 1 Samuel Chapter 1:11.  She said, "If you will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me."  And again, Verse 48, "For behold henceforth, all generations will call me blessed."

Now, that sounds a lot like what Leah prayed in Genesis 30, she was one of the wives of Jacob, she finally got pregnant and she said, "Happy am I for the daughters will now call me blessed," echoes of all of those Old Testament scriptures.  Here's another one, Verse 49, "He who is mighty has done great things for me."  It's an echo of Psalm 126, Verse 3, "The Lord has done great things for us."  Verse 49, "And holy is his name," is a direct quote from Psalm 111, Verse 9, that says, "And holy and awesome is his name."

Why am I belaboring this?  Because this is what I want you to get, this blows my mind.  We're dealing with a teenager, she's 13 to 17 years of age and it's not like she has a concordance to look up all these verses before she prays.  This is flowing out of her heart spontaneously.  What an example of a young woman who had been taught the word of God by her parents, so that it became a part of her fabric.

Charles Spurgeon says, "We could do the same.  We could so internalize the word of God," he says, "So that your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord and so that your blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from you."  So, don't you think that's amazing, a young girl from Nazareth, from the age of 13 to 17 knows that much scripture?  Not only that, she knows a lot about her own history, the history of Israel.

Here's the sampling of it.  Verse 50, "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 in the imagination of their hearts.  He has to put down the mighty from their thrones, exalted the lowly, he has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers to Abraham and to his seed forever."

She not only knows the scriptures, she knows her history, she knows about the Abraham a covenant, she knows the eternal nature of that covenant.  My goodness, this teenager knows theology.  This young teenager knows more than many pastors I've met as part of her life.  Question, if you bumped into a bucket, what comes out of the bucket?  Whatever is inside, that's the easy answer.  If there's nothing, nothing comes out.  If there's water, water comes out.  If it's salty water, it gets all over you.  Whatever is in, it comes out.

When people bump into you, what comes out?  Same answer, whatever is inside.  Jesus put it this way, "From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."  What's in Mary's heart?  This God's truth, God's principles, God's word, the history of her own people, the knowledge of God.  When people bump into you, what comes out? That's in there, it came out.  No wonder Paul said in Galatians 3, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."  People bump into you, that's what comes out.

Now, let's close this off and look at a couple of verses.  Let's end with this, her necessity -- because in her history, her humility, her spirituality.  But Mary says something about her condition and expresses her own need and I think it's very timely and important to look at.  Verse 47, I got to take it in context and just like that.  Verse 46, Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God," my what?  Savior.  Who needs saviors?  Only sinners need saviors.

Mary by her own admission, in saying, "God is my Savior," admits her need for salvation and in so doing admits that she is the center indeed of salvation.  I'll follow that up with the next verse, Verse 48.  "He has regarded the lowly state," that's who she is.  "The lowly state of his maidservant, for behold henceforth, all generations will call me blessed."  Notice that?  And didn't say, "All generations will ask me to give them a blessing, but all generations will recognize that I have received the blessing.  All generations will call me blessed."

Mary is never the dispenser of blessing, always the recipient of blessing.  In Verse 49, "The Lord has done great things for me," and then she says, "And holy is his name."  Here is Holy, righteous, transcendent, separate God who has condescended to me."  To bless me, to love me, to show me favor and in contrast to her sinfulness, she recognize God's holiness.  And so must we all.  So must we all.  That's okay to put it best when you said, you don't impress the officials at NASA with your paper airplane.  You don't boast about your crayon sketches in the presence of Pablo Picasso.  "Hey look at Pablo, look what I drew."  You don't claim equality with Albert Einstein because you can write H2O, and you don't boast about your goodness in the presence of the perfect one.

Mary in the presence of the perfect one said, "Whatever you want, you're the Lord, be it done to me according to your word, I have a lowly state, I have received your mercy, the Lord has blessed me and then great things for me."  So all of these to say, never in the New Testament was Mary considered an object of worship, but she was the subject who worshipped the great God.

Remember that passage in Luke Chapter 11 when a crowd of people are around Jesus and one woman yells out from the crowd.  She says, "Blessed is the woman who gave you birth and nursed you."  You know what Jesus said immediately?  He turned to her and said, "Rather blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it."  So Jesus never told the world to worship his Mother.  Mary never became an object of adoration, she never allowed that.

The disciples, the apostles, the Book of Acts, the Epistles of Paul, none of that described anything to Mary, she's not to be prayed to, she didn't have an Immaculate Conception, she's not the co-redemptress of the human race.  All of that is not found in the scripture and all of those things misrepresent Mary who would be appalled if she knew that people were worshipping her.

Listen, do you want on to honor Mary?  Then you honor her God that she loved by worshipping him.  You want to honor Mary?  Then you honor the Christ that she bore by receiving him into your life as your savior who is also her savior.  Let's say you honor Mary.  She was blessed beyond all women on the face of the earth and if you want to honor her, then you worship not her, you pray not to her, you worship God and you receive Christ.

There's a famous song that was put out by my Mark Lowry some years ago that comes every Christmas called Mary Did You Know?  Ever heard of that song, Mary Did You Know?  Great lyrics.  Here's just a sampling of the few.  "Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?  Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?  Mary did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new and that this child that you delivered will soon deliver you?  Mary did you know?"  Did she?  Oh, you bet she knew.

The question is, do you know?  She knew it.  She was humble, she was spiritual but she had a need of a savior.  And if that's true for Mary, I guarantee it's true for every one of us.  We also need a savior -- His mercy, His grace.

Additional Messages in this Series

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12/25/1983
completed
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Christmas 1983
Luke 1:26-33
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas 1983 - Luke 1:26-33 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/23/1984
completed
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Those Who Found Christmas
Luke 2:8-20
Skip Heitzig
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Those Who Found Christmas - Luke 2:8-20 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1985
completed
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Christmas Eve Service 1985
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1985 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/21/1986
completed
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A Gift for Jesus
Matthew 2:1-12
Skip Heitzig
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A Gift for Jesus - Matthew 2:1-12 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/20/1987
completed
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What Child is This?
Luke 2:1-14
Skip Heitzig
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What Child is This? - Luke 2:1-14 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/25/1988
completed
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Simeon's Christmas Present
Luke 2:25-35
Skip Heitzig
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Simeon's Christmas Present - Luke 2:25-35 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1989
completed
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Christmas According to Isaiah
Isaiah 9:6-7
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas According to Isaiah - Isaiah 9:6-7 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/23/1990
completed
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Kinfolk of Christ
Matthew 1:1-17
Skip Heitzig
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Kinfolk of Christ - Matthew 1:1-17 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/22/1991
completed
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The Man Who Missed Christmas
Matthew 2; Luke 2
Skip Heitzig
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The Man Who Missed Christmas - Matthew 2, Luke 2 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1992
completed
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Strange Birthday Gifts
Matthew 2:1-12
Skip Heitzig
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Strange Birthday Gifts - Matthew 2:1-12 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1993
completed
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Christmas Eve Service 1993
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1993 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/15/1994
completed
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Can Christmas Lead You to Christ?
Skip Heitzig
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Can Christmas Lead You to Christ? from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1994
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Christmas Eve Service 1994
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1994 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/25/1994
completed
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The Crisis of Christmas
John 1
Skip Heitzig
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The Crisis of Christmas - John 1 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/9/1995
completed
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What Makes Christmas So Right
Skip Heitzig
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What Makes Christmas So Right from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/17/1995
completed
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O Holy Night
Skip Heitzig
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O Holy Night from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1995
completed
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Christmas Eve Service 1995
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1995 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/28/1995
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Christmas Outreach 1995
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Outreach 1995 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1996
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Christmas Eve Service 1996
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1996 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1997
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Christmas Eve Service 1997
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1997 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/20/1998
completed
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Four Names for God's Gift
Matthew 1:18-2:5
Skip Heitzig
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Four Names for God's Gift - Matthew 1:18-2:5 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1998
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Christmas Eve Service 1998
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1998 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/1999
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Christmas Eve Service 1999
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 1999 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/2000
completed
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Christmas Lessons From The Family Tree
Matthew 1
Skip Heitzig
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Every year many folks buy a Christmas tree and place it in their homes, bedecking it for the holiday festivities. Meanwhile, the real Christmas tree is too often left out of the celebrations. I'm talking about the family tree - the genealogical record of Jesus' ancestry which forms the beginning of the Christmas story. If you've never considered it before, you're in for a pleasant (and shocking) surprise!
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12/23/2001
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The King of Christmas
Isaiah 9:6-7
Skip Heitzig
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The King of Christmas - Isaiah 9:6-7 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/2001
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Christmas Eve Service 2001
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 2001 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/2002
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Christmas Eve Service 2002
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 2002 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/2003
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Christmas Eve Service 2003
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 2003 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/19/2004
completed
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The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Matthew 1:18-2:6
Skip Heitzig
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The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Matthew 1:18-2:6 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/2004
completed
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Christmas Eve Service 2004
Luke 2:1-7
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 2004 - Luke 2:1-7 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/17/2005
completed
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Merry CHRISTmas
Matthew 1:18-25
Skip Heitzig
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Merry CHRISTmas - Matthew 1:18-25 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/21/2005
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A Classic Christmas
Skip Heitzig
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A Classic Christmas from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/23/2005
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Christmas Eve Service 2005
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas Eve Service 2005 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/25/2005
completed
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How Did Jesus Celebrate Christmas?
John 10:22-31
Skip Heitzig
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How Did Jesus Celebrate Christmas? - John 10:22-31 from our series of Christmas Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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12/24/2006
completed
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A Not-So-Silent Night
Luke 2:1-20
Skip Heitzig
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The Christmas season with its familiar carols wafting through the air evokes emotions of peace, tranquility and serenity. The birth of Jesus Christ was hardly that kind of an event. It was not a "silent night" but rather a boisterous and busy one. It's been that way ever since hasn't it? Into our busy world stepped the Son of God. Let's consider what lessons we can learn from the busyness of the first Christmas and how God wants to connect with our busy schedules.
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12/24/2006
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Christmas Eve Service 2006
Skip Heitzig
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12/24/2007
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Christmas Eve Service 2007
Skip Heitzig
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12/21/2008
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Christmas in a Nutshell
John 1:14
Skip Heitzig
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12/24/2008
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No Fear - Christmas Eve 2008
Matthew 1:1-25; Luke 1:1-80
Skip Heitzig
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12/28/2008
completed
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A One-Star Hotel in Bethlehem
Matthew 2:1-12
Skip Heitzig
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12/20/2009
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Is It OK To Celebrate Christmas?
Matthew 2:1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Every year timid yet sincere believers ask this question. They can see the commercialization of what was intended to be a celebration of the Lord's birth. They've heard about the paganization of the ancient Babylonians and Romans. Perhaps they're worried about putting up a tree or giving gifts because they, like their Puritan predecessors, feel that this would be compromising their faith. So let's take a brief look backward to the origin of some these traditions and chart a reasonable and biblical course forward so we can celebrate with a clear and joyful conscience.
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12/24/2009
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A Christmas Island - Christmas Eve 2009
Skip Heitzig
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The circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus form a paradox to the identity of our Savior -- the God who created heavens and earth born as a helpless baby in Bethlehem. Let's travel together to that Christmas Island of old, and consider the greatest gift ever given.
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12/8/2010
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Is It OK To Celebrate Christmas?
Matthew 2:1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Every year timid yet sincere believers ask this question. They can see the commercialization of what was intended to be a celebration of the Lord's birth. They've heard about the paganization of the ancient Babylonians and Romans. Perhaps they're worried about putting up a tree or giving gifts because they, like their Puritan predecessors, feel that this would be compromising their faith. So let's take a brief look backward to the origin of some these traditions and chart a reasonable and biblical course forward so we can celebrate with a clear and joyful conscience.
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12/12/2010
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The PRESENTS of God
Matthew 6:25-34
Skip Heitzig
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No matter how generous you may be this Christmas or at any other time, you will never be able to out-give God! His lavish kindness can be plainly observed, but it is too often overlooked. Let's consider during this season just how openhanded God is to us and the nature of some of His presents that He gives to us who are His children.
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12/24/2010
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The Light Was About to Shine - Christmas Eve 2010
Matthew 4:13-17
Skip Heitzig
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As the prophet Isaiah peered through his prophetic lens, he could see a small glimmer of light in the future. At the time of Jesus' birth the world sat in darkness--politically, economically, and spiritually. But when Jesus Christ was born, God Turned on the light! Let’s consider the beautiful source of illumination and learn that while we may be sitting in darkness, God is calling us to step into Son-light.
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12/15/2013
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A Baby in an Old Man's Arms
Luke 2:25-35
Skip Heitzig
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To speak about a gruesome death seems out of place at Christmas time, doesn't it? Why would we take Communion (the elements that speak of Jesus' death) at a time we should be celebrating Jesus' birth? An old man answers that question for us: Simeon of Jerusalem takes the baby Jesus in his arms and tells us the rest of the Christmas story.
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12/22/2013
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It's Darkest Just Before Dawn!
Matthew 4:13-17
Skip Heitzig
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A well-worn adage from the 1600s declares that it's always the darkest just before the dawn. Christmas is a celebration of light: Lights are strung everywhere both indoors and out. If you've ever wondered why, it's because Jesus, the light of the world, pierced the darkness of our world, making it possible for us to see clearly enough to escape one world and move into the next.
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12/24/2013
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The Light Has Come
John 1:9
Skip Heitzig
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I love early mornings when sunlight first comes up over the eastern sky. But if you've ever had the experience of the sun suddenly shining into your eyes, it's not so pleasant. Most people wince when light is shined in their eyes. Jesus is presented here as being "the light of men" and "shining in darkness." But the world cries out, "Turn off that light!" How can Jesus enlighten your life and how will you respond to Him?
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12/24/2015
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Jesus: Hope for All
Luke 2:4-14
Skip Heitzig
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The birth of Jesus Christ fulfilled prophecy and brought hope to all. In this Christmas Eve message, Pastor Skip explains how Jesus' birth is a preview to what His life and death means for us: Jesus was and is accessible to all people from all walks of life who believe in His name.
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12/24/2017
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Christmas Under the Tree
Skip Heitzig
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With roughly 30 million sold every year, Christmas trees are one of the most popular and cherished Christmas traditions. Decorated trees adorn our homes, shops, and churches during the holiday season. The question is: What does a tree have to do with Christmas?
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12/23/2018
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Christmas Through the Ages
Romans 1:1-4; Galatians 4:4-5
Skip Heitzig
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Christmas stands as one of the major holidays within the church. On Christmas Day, we celebrate the incarnation, God coming to earth in human form through the person of Jesus of Nazareth. In this teaching, Skip Heitzig reflects on the unique aspects of Jesus' birth, looking to Scripture to find where Christmas began and why.
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12/24/2019
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Ornaments
Luke 2:8-11; John 17:6-12; Revelation 5:8-10
Skip Heitzig
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The night Jesus was born, an angel of the Lord invited all people to meet the newborn Savior, starting with the lowliest and most overlooked population: shepherds. This extraordinary invitation to the most ordinary people was a preview of the humble birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ. In this Christmas Eve message, Pastor Skip Heitzig explains how Jesus is God's gift to us and we are God's gift to Jesus for all eternity.
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There are 52 additional messages in this series.