Preached on 6/2/07 at Village Church
Series: “Women in the Bible”
In the past three weeks we explored the lives of just a few of the many female characters of the Bible.
We started with the amazing story of a mother by the name of Hanna, mother of Samuel [faithful to God through hardship – Blessing: her son anoints the first King of Israel]
Then we looked at the life of Deborah, a strong woman of admirable leadership skills [judge- political ruler and prophetess- spiritual leader]
Last week we walked together through the rough life journey of Naomi, Ruth’s mother in law. She was another extraordinary leader. Naomi exercised her leadership more by being an example in her family circle, she was a mentor. Although, pressed by terrible life events, she never lost focus on God’s power to turn things of 180 degrees and bless a life through and beyond hardship. [blessing: she was a good mentor for Ruth, who became an important figure, in the line of David, which is the family line of Jesus.
This morning we will survey what I consider the highlight of the life of a woman that was entrusted with a very important ministry, her name is Mary, she was the mother of Jesus.
There is much to say about the life of Mary. The Lord has called many women to the ministry throughout history. We reviewed a few instances in the past few weeks. God needs men and women to accomplish his work on earth. The almighty has work for everyone who answers yes to the calling.
It could not be more simple. God has a plan to liberate the world from evil. God calls on his children to be the extension of his physical presence on earth. We call it the body of Christ, the Church. There are a variety of jobs, positions, tasks, and goals that need to be filled, accomplished, and fulfilled.
Kingdom-building is a serious business. If your job is important to you, imagine how important is the work for the Kingdom.
NO ONE has the capability to cover by themselves all that there is to do.
Kingdom building is not a wholesale sort of business, where one goes and buys large quantity of a certain item and for a month, we don’t need to go shopping. Kingdom building rather needs everyday care and it takes the sensitivity of different people that come from different perspective.
That is why God calls not people from one specific background, gender, ethnicity, age, or philosophy… God calls people from a variety of situations, and each one called brings in a talent and an emphasis to the Kingdom that Goes beyond our human design – Kingdom building is really a divine process.
So how does it affect us? Well it affects us greatly, because leaves no excuse for not answering Jesus’ call.
See, God is the kind of God who calls the wise men from the east in order to bring Glory to His name, Jesus himself called humble fishermen, he called people like Peter who denied Jesus, but still had a significant role in building Kingdom. Jesus called the Samaritan at the well, going against all assumptions, customs, and guidelines of that time. She too became one of the hardest workers for the Kingdom.
There are no excuses left. When God calls your name, he wants you.
It is not a mistake. God knows exactly how week you are, he knows exactly how broken you life is, he knows the sin that you don’t even dare to admit to yourself. He knows you.
And I guarantee you, when God calls one of us to add a piece to His Kingdom he is not mistaken.
The mother of Jesus lived that truth and put it in practice in her own life. We know she believed in the truth that when God calls, there find no excuses in the way she responds to God’s calling… let us look at the answers she gives [read luke 1:26-38]
The scripture says that Mary was greatly troubled at first. That can only partially describe the way the visit of the angel must have stirred her life around. Imagine this glorious messenger popping from nowhere, that would be a bit confusing.
But if you look carefully the fear Mary experiences is not about the message of the angel, but was with the preoccupation that the angel was a messenger from God.
The angel introduces himself and tells her about the good news. She was about to receive a baby from God. She would become the mother of the very son of God.
Motherhood can be a painful privilege. For Mary that privilege was expected to be particularly intense. I can only imagine what was going on in her mind. How am I going to explain this to Joseph? If he decides not to leave me how are we going to face the people in town? How do you raise a child that is the son of God?
I am sure her mind was full of troublesome questions. But her answer was simple, and loaded with a heavy dose of faith:
“I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.”
With this statement of faith she opens her heart to God, lets Him handle the burden that comes with the decision of carrying the promised messiah in her womb. She surrenders to God’s will, LET IT HAPPEN AS GOD WILLS, not her will, but God’s.
Mary is the only one we know that saw Jesus arriving as a baby and she watched Him die as a savior. She is an example of discipleship from the beginning to the end. She becomes a faithful disciple of Christ by accepting the important ministry that she was entrusted.
She mentors Jesus in the first years of his life and she is a strong and loving motherly figure for him until the end.
This spirit of submission, is what makes the life of a Christian a better way of living. The type of submission we are talking about is not repressing relationship with God, in which our life is constricted and limited. It is rather the opposite. Submission to God is the gateway to a liberating relationship, in which we can relieve ourselves of the burden of sin, and evil and become part of a fulfilling divine purpose.
The practice of the footwashing is to remind us of that humbling spirit of submission. The best way to allow God to enter our lives and heal wounds, and take over our being. Is by submitting to one another. Invite you in a few moments to take part in this service.
Choosing God as your master is the most liberating choices you can make – following him is the most fulfilling choice you can ever make, answering YES to his calling will assure the longest lasting impact in your life and the life of the people you are ministering to.
What are you going to answer when God calls? Are you going to find excuses of will you courageously answer like Mary did?
God may have knocked at the door of your heart lately. Maybe you felt a whisper in your ear and you are not sure what God is trying to communicate with you. I would love to take advantage of the next 15 minutes to pray with you.