“God’s Grace”

Luke 1

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him,she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Point 1.

God sent Gabriel the archangel responsible for the children of Israel. He sent him to Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph.

The angel told her to rejoice for she was highly favoured. She was amazed and wondered what the greeting meant.

Firstly she had found favour and grace before God. That’s why she’s blessed above women. And truly she was blessed to have found favour and grace before God. She was not like all the other women.

Was she the only one to have found favour with God?

If you think about sermons virtually every sermon is about God’s grace upon one’s life. Yes you can say that her case was different and that’s true, but let’s not take God’s grace lightly.

One might even reason that we have received greater grace if we’ve been truly born again, for with her the Lord Jesus was conceived in her womb, but with us that are truly born again, we have the resurrected Lord born in our life.

The question remains, ‘have you yet received God’s grace?

Romans 5

20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Have you experienced this?

So whether you were a prostitute or in whatever sin you were bound, there God’s grace appeared if He had set you free from that.

Is there greater grace than that?

Now if you’ve found such grace, what type of a person ought you not to be, even as a small child?

John the baptist even leapt in the womb of his mother and was filled with the Holy Spirit, when he heard the greeting of Mary, the mother of our Lord.

Such children know and differentiate what is truly important. Words fail one to describe such grace.

Titus speaks about this grace.

Titus 2

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

So this marvellous grace has not just appeared to Mary but to us as well and indeed to all men, but not all have received Him.

So if you personally have received such grace, you should be a person, so to speak walking on air. But if you’re down in the dumps and depressed, constantly feeling sorry for yourself, you’re indeed a child of heil.

When you meet people and greet people, are they filled with the Holy Spirit just by meeting you?

If your life is full of gossip and slander then you have not received that grace and you’ll end up in hell.

We read in Titus that this grace teaches us to deny the evil and live righteously and soberly and uprightly.

Some speak lightly of this grace. That’s why their life is as it is.

What do you say and do about your children that go into the world and is swallowed by the world? It’s obvious that they have not received the grace of God.

When you read these words, as in Titus, does it mean anything to you? If you’re truly alive it should fill you with awe.

So this grace teaches us and instructs us, as a teacher teaches a child.

Point 2:

Luke 1

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

It was no small thing for Mary to be pregnant before she was married. They lived under Moses’ law, where if a girl should fall pregnant out of wedlock, she and the man should be stoned to death. It was not like today where it was common.

It was a disgraceful thing, and she could have worried what people and her future husband would say.

But she was prepared to die to that and be God’s servant so that His will be fulfilled in her life. There was no trace of resistance to God’s will for her life. She simply bowed to God’s will.

Paul also, when Jesus revealed Himself to him simply said, ‘what is Your will for my life’. And he kept to it till the end of his life.

Paul didn’t consult with flesh and blood, wondering what his father or brothers will say, but his only concern was God’s will for his life.

So too may what God had spoken to you be your only guidance and not the opinions of men.

Are you fully dedicated, fully decided, that it would be God and God alone in your life?

Mary went to Elizabeth, much older than she was and stayed with her for six months. Although Mary was young, her best friend was an elderly, godly woman.

We also read that Mary was small in her own eyes.

Luke 1

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

No wonder God could do this through Mary, for she was small in her own eyes.

King Saul once was small in his own eyes and God made him king over Israel. But he became big in his own eyes, lost his kingdom and eventually committed suicide.

Why is pride such a problem in the lives of Christians? One can understand that the heathen, those in the world are proud. But if you remember who you were, what Christ saved you from, and that all undeservedly, how can you be proud?