FAVOR @ Christmas :: The LORD is with you.
From Luke 1, NIV
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Rhoades family Christmas card 2008, front
Three things catch my eye, no, four…
Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.
Though Gabriel does not show up at our doors daily, or probably even ever, today my prayer is, for those of you who read (yes, YOU!): Psalm 90.17 AMP “And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.”
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
What I notice is that Gabriel came with the plan. But when she asked, most certainly, I would imagine, with trepidation, “How will this be?…” He explained how it would happen – meaning the Lord was giving Mary a chance to receive the promise. God doesn’t just bull-doze us. He waits for us to receive and obey. Makes me wonder what the next few days were like for her as she anticipated such an incredible work of God within her?
No word from God will ever fail.
This was really about Elizabeth as an example. Regardless of the time we have waited or how absolutely impossible something seems in light of our circumstances, these 7 words – wow! No word from God will ever fail. Besides the ones he has spoken to my heart personally over the years, He has given us His amazing life-giving words in the scriptures. And not one will ever fail.
May your word to me be fulfilled.
What a great example Mary was. I think I’d have kept the angel arguing for awhile. I probably would have been zooming through endless what-if scenarios. Pretty sure I’d have been more troublesome. The old King James Version quotes Mary, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” I think God is hoping to hear that a lot more from me this next year. I may have to make myself a graphic to hang on my cubicle wall. Haha.
Rhoades family Christmas card 2008, back