Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Countdown to Christmas Part 4 – Life Lessons


Luke 1
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.

Life Lesson #1

God calls greatness out of obscurity
1.   Mary was a nobody living in a small town, going nowhere
2.   Like her great, great grandfather David, living in obscurity
3.   The only thing special in her life was that she was special to God

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.

Life Lesson #2

God does not first seek our permission before He interrupts our plans.
1.   God may have a different view of our life than we do
2.   But whatever God’s will is … you will be outfitted for the job
3.   God knows what He is doing
4.   Not every time does everyone affected hear from God.
5.   The Bible does not intend to tell the whole story
a.   Mary’s parents’ response for example

30  Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Life Lesson #3

One moment of favor is worth a 1000 days of labor.
1.   Chose favor over fear …
2.   Right now there are a bunch of nobodies God is preparing to be the next somebody He uses.

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."

Life Lesson #4

When God fulfills His Word in one person’s life, it fulfills His Word in many people’s life.
1.   God affects many by affecting one
2.   Zacchaeus’ changed life changed the lives of many
3.   The Word to Mary was a Word that touched many more than her

34  Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

Life Lesson #5

God is not limited by those things which limit us.
1.   Customs and culture, thoughts and traditions or doubts and beliefs
2.   Your rod will outstretch your ability.

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.

Life Lesson #6

God always has a plan
1.   Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture until you put all the pieces together.

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.

Life Lesson #7

There is always time for a testimony
1.   Revelation 12:11 They overcame by … testimony

Life Lesson #8 kind of stands alone and no one could say it better …

37  "For with God nothing will be impossible."
1.   Remember Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane – He said, “Father I know that all things are possible with You … If it be Thy will …”
2.   All things are possible but not all things one wants are God’s will
3.   One Word from God changes everything … or it should!

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.

Life Lesson #9

We are often limited by our unwillingness or inability to lose control
1.   The true test of a servant is how you react when treated like one
2.   Krystal McCullough heard someone teach this point several years ago and shared this truth with me. I have found it to be a valuable reference to keep my perspective in stressful times.
3.   Life should be a script which only God can write.
4.   It can be difficult to appreciate the big picture when focused only on one piece.