Weekend Rewind: Ancestors & Heirs: Mary

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This past weekend, Pastor Micah looked at Luke 1:46-56 CSB.

46 And Mary said:

My soul praises the greatness of the Lord,

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

48 because he has looked with favor

on the humble condition of his servant.

Surely, from now on all generations

will call me blessed,

49 because the Mighty One

has done great things for me,

and his name is holy.

50 His mercy is from generation to generation

on those who fear him.

51 He has done a mighty deed with his arm;

he has scattered the proud

because of the thoughts of their hearts;

52 he has toppled the mighty from their thrones

and exalted the lowly.

53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things

and sent the rich away empty.

54 He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering his mercy

55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,

just as he spoke to our ancestors.

56 And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.

 

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Ancestors & Heirs Devotional: Mary

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Sermon: Mary

In the second sermon of our Advent series (Luke 1:46-56), Mary responded to the world’s most unexpected news. You read this angelic announcement in last week’s devotional (Luke 1:26-38). As a young virgin girl, she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the promised Messiah—the Son of God. What did she do, even when she couldn’t fully wrap her mind around it all? She praised God.

In this week’s devotional, you’ll read about what Mary did after praising God. As you reflect on this text, prayerfully consider what you learn from Mary’s response.

Devotional: Elizabeth & John

In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what he has spoken to her!”

Luke 1:39-45 (CSB)

All Scripture references are taken from the Christian Standard Bible. http://read.csbible.com/


The Bible is a rich tapestry of grace in which every storyline is woven together to reveal God’s glorious plan of salvation. Jesus is the common thread throughout history, holding everything together in his sovereign goodness. We see traces of past stories in the lives of Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth. God chose to work in miraculous ways through women like Sarah who gave birth to Isaac—the promised child of a covenant people from Abraham—and Hannah who gave birth to Samuel—the anointer of Israel’s first kings, including David. Now, Elizabeth is pregnant in her old age with John—the prophetic forerunner of the Christ—and Mary carries Jesus—the long awaited Savior King.

After learning of her conception by the Holy Spirit, Mary immediately goes to see her cousin, Elizabeth. We can only imagine the mixture of emotions swirling in their hearts and minds; but good news always longs to be shared. In the midst of any uncertainty, Scripture is clear that Mary’s confidence and trust in God was evident. She believed God’s Word would be fulfilled.

Elizabeth praised God for Mary’s faithful example. The testimony of her young cousin resulted in her own worship. Even the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt with joy! What power! What discerning hearts! What a mighty God!

These two women were overflowing with joy and praise for God’s work in their lives. He was quite literally at work in and through them, accomplishing his redemptive purpose for all nations. They joined a long line of women (and men) who were part of the greatest story ever told. Now, their stories continue to be told. Their testimonies continue to inspire worship in others. Why? Because their stories are not about themselves; they point to our heavenly Father and His only begotten Son.

2,000 years later, how does your heart respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ? Do you remember when you first heard it? Take time this week to rejoice in God’s blessings and favor, especially for faith in the gospel of Jesus. Praise God for weaving you into the story of redemption. Someone brought the Good News of Jesus to you. Share the Good News of Jesus with your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers this Christmas season!

Prayer

Pray that God would give you a joyful heart of praise this Christmas season. Seek opportunities to encourage others, asking the Holy Spirit to stir their hearts to “leap” with the joy of Christ.

 

 

 

 

Ancestors & Heirs Devotional: Joseph

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Sermon: Joseph - The Promise

In the first sermon (Matthew 1:18-25), the angel Gabriel revealed to Joseph that Mary would give birth to the Son of God. The Gospel of Matthew begins with a long genealogy, showing God’s faithfulness to keep his promise to provide a Savior and King. This promised Messiah, or Christ, would be born in a miraculously unexpected way—to a young virgin girl who was engaged to a humble man who had to believe the unbelievable. 

In this week’s devotional, you’ll read Luke’s account of Mary receiving the news of her miraculous pregnancy and forthcoming birth of the promised Messiah.


Devotional: Mary

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be.
Then the angel told her: Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son,and you will call His  name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,and His kingdom will have no end.

Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?
The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow  you. Therefore, the  holy One to be born will be called the Son  of God.
And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
“I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38 (CSB)

All Scripture references are taken from the Christian Standard Bible. http://read.csbible.com/

Imagine being Mary or Joseph. The Bible doesn’t tell us that they were seeking to change the world. They didn’t audition or sign up to play the part of Mom and Dad to the Son of God. These were two ordinary people, engaged to be married, receiving life-changing and history-changing news. The world was about to be turned upside down (or rightside up) and it would start in their own lives.

Both Mary and Joseph faced a radical decision. The decision was not whether or not God would do what he planned on doing. The choice wasn’t even whether or not they’d be part of God’s plan. The choice they faced was whether or not they’d trust and obey.

This is the same choice we face every day.

It might be easy to think, “I’d believe and do anything if an angel appeared to me.” But we have the Word of God in our Bibles to read any time we want. What a gift! There’s no second-guessing what God has said or meant. We have the same Holy Spirit that conceived baby Jesus, actively working in the hearts and minds of men, women, and children. The Good News of Jesus Christ is just as shocking and true for us as it was for them.

God chose to work in and through Mary and Joseph 2000 years ago. God has chosen to work in and through us today. We don’t get to decide whether or not we’re part of the story. We’re in it. We’ve been given the Good News. The mission of God is being accomplished.

We have to decide what to do with the Good News about Jesus. Will we trust God? Will we obey God’s Word? Even when the promises of God seem too good to be true—impossible by human understanding—will we believe?

Life may feel turned upside down right now. But the Gospel of Jesus turns everything right side up again. God is good. He is in control. He can be trusted. Jesus is proof of God’s love.

This Christmas season, let’s decide to trust the heavenly Father: “May it be done to me according to your word.” Let’s believe the promise: “Nothing will be impossible with God.”

Prayer

Pray that God would give you hearts of faith and obedience. Thank God for his faithfulness to make and keep promises—especially the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

Weekend Rewind: Ancestors & Heirs: Joseph

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This past weekend, Pastor Micah looked at Matthew 1:18-25 CSB

18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit.  
19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. 
20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 
22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 
23 See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son, 
and they will name him Immanuel, 
which is translated “God is with us.” 
24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her  
25 but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.

 

Sermon Video

Life Group Notes
Life Group Guide
Life Group Leader's Guide

Sermon Podcast
We publish new sermons to our podcast feed on a weekly basis. If you are traveling on the weekend, have to miss the sermon due to work, or just want a refresher before you go deeper on the text in your Life group, the Brainerd Baptist Church podcast will be a helpful resource for you.