- Lorie Hedgepeth
First Words 12-19-22
“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."
The angel, Gabriel bore the message that changed Mary’s life. Isn’t it amazing how a Word from God can change our life and alter our destiny? It’s still true: The taught, preached or sung Word of God is incredibly powerful! When we speak the Word of God, it goes past the external and touches the very core of one’s spirit and soul. The Word of God is precious to those who walk with God. Jesus said, “The words that I speak, they are Spirit and they are life!” The prophet Jeremiah said: “Your words were found and I did eat (consume) them, and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16). Take some time during this next week to slow down, read God’s Word and let Him speak into your life.
This passage of scripture affords us more than the basis for the traditional Christmas story. Consider with me three timeless truths from this passage of scripture that are relevant to our life regardless of season or circumstance:
We, like Mary have the favor of God on our life (v. 28). Psalms 5:12 says, “For you Lord will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield”. I’d rather have the favor of God than the fortune of this world. His Favor never runs out! Psalms 30:5 teaches us that God’s favor lasts a lifetime. Through every season of our life the people of God have the favor of God. God loves all people…but He has placed His favor on His people. Thank God for favor!! Stop, look, and see all the ways that God has canopied your life with His amazing favor.
The Lord is with us (v.28). The Lord said He would NEVER leave us or forsake us. I can get through what I am going through when I know He is with me! We can walk through difficult places, dismal places, and dry places when we know He is with us. Isaiah 41:10 says, “FEAR THOU NOT…..for I AM WITH THEE! Christmas will come and go…but HE remains. Family comes and goes…but HE remains! This Christmas may be painfully different from last Christmas…but HE is with us! We can get through what we are going through because Jesus…the Son of the living God is with us.
Like Mary, Jesus, the Son of God lives in us (v.29-32). We don’t visit God at Church—He lives in us. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “..Christ liveth in me”. The promise of Revelation 3:20 is that when we open our heart’s door to Christ, He comes IN! Paul said in Colossians 1:27 that Christ in you is the hope of Glory! Christ in us is what makes Christmas more than just a religious observance. He, the Christ of Christmas resides in us! I don’t know what you are facing…what you are dealing with this Christmas but know this: this same Jesus whose birth we celebrate can heal broken hearts, heal sick bodies and make a way even in the most desperate of situations.
Sharon and I extend to each of you our love and prayers during this very Sacred Season. May you experience God’s sweet Presence as you gather with family and friends for Christmas.
For The Harvest,