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Words of Life with Pastor Barry Fraser Print E-mail
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Written by By Barry Fraser   
Thursday, 07 December 2017 00:00

At this time of year, our thoughts are about the mother of our Lord Jesus, Mary of Nazareth. Her story illustrates many of the characteristics of the kind of woman God uses to fulfill His redemptive purposes in our world.

There was nothing particularly unusual about Mary. She was not from a wealthy or illustrious family. When the angel appeared to this young teenage girl, she was engaged to be married and was undoubtedly doing what engaged girls do—dreaming of being married to Joseph, of the home they would live in, of the family they would have.

It was Mary’s relationship to Jesus that gave her life significance. “The Lord is with you,” the angel told her (Luke 1:28, NIV). That is what made all the difference in this young woman’s life. And it is what makes all the difference in our lives.

God did not choose this young woman because she was worthy of the honor of being the mother of the Savior. The angel said to Mary, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!” (v. 28). That phrase could be translated, “You who are graciously accepted.” If any of us is to be accepted by God, it will be because of grace—not because of anything we have done. It’s all because of grace.

When the angel said to Mary, “You’re going to have a child,” Mary responded, “How can this be? I’ve never been intimate with a man!” God had chosen her for a task that was humanly impossible.

The task for which God has chosen you and me is no less impossible. We can share the Gospel of Christ with our lost friends, but we cannot give them repentance and faith.

In response to Mary’s expression of weakness and inadequacy, the angel promised her God’s strength and adequacy: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (v. 35).

You need the Holy Spirit to enable you to do what God has called you to do. Without that power you cannot parent that child, love that husband, care for that elderly parent, submit to that boss, teach that Sunday school class, or lead that small-group Bible study.

Equipped with the promises of God, Mary’s response was simply, “I am the Lord’s servant.... May it be to me as you have said” (v. 38). In other words, “Lord, I’m available. You are my master; I am Your servant. I’m willing to be used however You choose.

In the same way we should be ready for our Heavenly Father to give us our next assignment, and be willing to do whatever he wants us to!

A blessed holiday season to you, and a prosperous New Year.

Your questions and comments are welcome. Write to: Pastor Barry, P.O. Box 707, Belmopan.