Today’s Scrip-Bit   8 December 2022 Luke 1:38.

Luke 1:38.        And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

Then Thursday came on board, a mixture of sunshine and cloud, but nice and dry. It’s also another day in the Advent Season, one day closer to that miraculous time of Christmas. And the incarnate birth of Christ was nothing less than a marvellous miracle! A woman becoming pregnant without knowing a man, what else could that be eh? And to be a true believer in Christ, that’s one of the first things we need to believe; that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, with the sperm of God planted in His mother Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit! 

And if you are unable to believe that, then whatever else you believe is of no consequence, for that’s the foundation of the whole Christmas story, and the basis on which Christ was able to die for us, to redeem our sins and give us His righteousness. As the Good Book says: ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ (2 Cor. 5:21) Yes friends, if Jesus wasn’t the de facto Son of God, but the son of a man, he would not have the power to pay for our sins, because a man born of a sinful man cannot pay for other men’s sins. 

Remember too that since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, all men have been born with a sinful nature, so how could a son of man pay for our sins eh? Impossible! But since with God all things are possible, He fashioned a rather innovative plan to redeem our sinful souls and reconcile us back to himself. 

And the whole situation is certainly extremely interesting. It all began with God sending the angel Gabriel down to the city of Nazareth in Galilee, where he appears ‘To a virgin espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came into unto her, and said, Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Luke 1:27-28) 

Now, you can imagine our consternation in such a situation, even in this day when we know so much about God. Just think how Mary, a teenager from a relatively low-level family in a backward town in Galilee felt when the angel approached her with such a joyful greeting. The Good Book tells us: ‘And when she (Mary) saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind (considered) what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.’ (Luke 1:29) Of course, we would all wonder why the address in such exalted terms. 

‘And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Yahweh Is Salvation). He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest (Most High): and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ (Luke 1:30-33) 

And you know what amazes me most about this whole story? Mary’s reaction! She didn’t go crazy and pull out her hair or shout and carry on. She simply took the whole thing in stride, especially knowing how her life would be terribly affected if she was found with child before she was married. And I just LOVE her cool, reasoned response. ‘Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ (Luke 1:34) She just got right down to brass tacks. How can I get pregnant if I don’t have sexual intercourse?

 ‘And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (Most High) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.’ (Luke 1:35) And that’s how Jesus could be sinless, because He was conceived by God, although He was human in every other respect! But Gabriel wasn’t finished with his good news. He continued to Mary: ‘And, behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ (Luke 1:36-37) 

Oh my people, another miracle. John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth had been barren until the Lord stepped in, until it was time for the prophecy as spoken by the prophet Malachi, regarding John the Baptist to be fulfilled. ‘Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.’ (Mal. 3:1) And the scholars tell us that prophecy is uniformly applied to John the Baptist, the only prophet besides Jesus who was the subject of prophecy. 

And Matthew in his gospel also acknowledged it, by writing of John the Baptist. ‘For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, (Is. 40:3) saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ (Matt. 3: 3) You see how our God had everything well planned, with John being born just before Jesus, so their paths could interact to fulfill His prophecy. But the best part of that whole conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel was her last words to Him. ‘And Mary said, Behold the handmaid (maidservant) of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.’ (Luke 1:38) 

Oh my fellow saints, that’s what you call mature faith, trust and surrender! And it’s oh so rare to be found in a such a young woman! She didn’t fight it, or throw any tantrums like so many of us would have done! She just calmly accepted the will of the Lord. Oh, how our lives would be so much better if we just accepted His will for our lives like Mary did. And it’s an interesting response, when contrasted with that of Zechariah’s, John the Baptist’s father. When the angel told hm the good news of his wife’s Elizabeth’s pregnancy and the important part his son would play, he doubted and was thus made dumb until the day of John’s christening. (Luke 1:11—25) 

Ah friends, if we’d only believe, if we’d only believe and act on our belief. But there’s still hope for us. And our faithful God has given us the tools to help us believe, build our faith and witness to others. We call them our Thursday Blessings. So, let’s activate them by declaring (steups!!!) them right now nuh. As one voice: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! 

I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to, will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and every day! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s use those undeserved blessings to go out and show others how wonderful it is to be a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ! Much LOVE!

…if God says to jump…our automatic reaction should be…how high Lord… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ     

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