In honor of mother’s day, our Pastor Jeff Maness gave a sermon about the mom who brought our savior into world. Mary, the young woman who was chosen to bring Jesus into the world, was just a little more than a child herself. She was at the age where you start making plans for yourself and start sorting out how to follow the dreams you have in your heart. I’m sure Mary had a vision of what she wanted her life to look like. Were there places Mary wanted to see and things she wanted to do? Were there talents and passions she wanted to put to use? I am sure there were.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendent of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-28
Mary was a young woman who had done everything right, who had protected her reputation, who had followed all the laws and most importantly who had loved her God with all her heart. The angel refers to her as “highly favored” by God. That tells me Mary was exceptional in the way she lived. She was excellent not only by human standard but by God’s as well. Even so, when she understood what was being asked of her, she didn’t hesitate to lay all her hard work, her dreams, her reputation, and her future down to obey her God.
“I am the Lord’s servant, ” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38
What a sacrifice sweet Mary made. Mary didn’t have the New Testament. She didn’t know how it would all unfold. She had no clue she would be forever known as the mother of the Savior of the World. All young Mary knew was God was asking her to trust in him and to have faith. She new conceiving a child out of wedlock would result in public scrutiny, the possibility of a broken engagement, and at worse death by stoning. Her obedience to God would throw her life out of the perfect order she had worked for an into a chaotic cycle of events. Never the less, she said yes to God.
Pastor Jeff made a couple points in his sermon that I want to share:
- When we are faced with uncertainty in this life, the key to being confident is to surrender control to God. Mary surrendered her future to God. She surrendered her desires, her dreams and her decisions to the one who created the world. She was confident that His plans were better than her own and she had faith He would work everything out for her good.
- God is more concerned with the decisions and actions we make today then what our life all adds up to in 20 years. This really spoke to me. I get so caught up in my purpose and what I will make of my life, when all God is asking me to do is surrender daily to his will. The choices I make today are all that matter. I can have a long term vision I am working for, but I can’t be so focused on it that I fail to notice what God is calling me to do right now. I must be so in touch with God that I can ensure I am letting him lead me in my daily decisions. I must say yes to the things He asks of me today even if it seems like it will wreck my long term goals. Let God be in control.
“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart — they do no wrong but follow his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! That I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.” (do not give up on me) Psalm 119:1-8 emphasis added.
Yesterday’s sermon has inspired me to focus on surrendering daily to God. I know the Lord has given me big future plans that I will hold onto with open hands, but I will make sure I am not so focused on my future plans that I am not opening myself up to what He wants me to do now. I pray to be more like Mary. I pray to have her faith and her trust so that I can lay my own ways down and follow God no matter what. I commit myself to following God each day and in each decision I make. Lord I am a work in progress, please don’t give up on me.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
Have a blessed week friends,