Body: Read Luke 1:46-55 I. Exuberant Praise. In the Sunday School material Mary shares beautiful words of praise. She talks about how good the Lord has been to her. She talks about how God has blessed those who fear Him. And God has chastised the unrighteous.
Applications – - Rejoicing about God’s goodness. Notice in vss. 46-49 of the Sunday School material that Mary glorified and rejoiced about the goodness of the Lord.
She thought about how God had been mindful of her. She thought about how God did great things for her. And her thinking about the goodness lead to soul and spirit based rejoicing.
In like manner, when we think about the goodness of the Lord, we should rejoice outwardly, not just in our private hearts. Saved people can always rejoice about being saved from going to Hell.
Many of us can rejoice about how things could be worst in our lives and we believe that things will get better. Our rejoicing is often helpful to others.
Let’s work on rejoicing about the goodness of the Lord. Of course, this means that we need to make time to be mindful of His goodness.
- Humble and fearful obedience. Notice in vss. 48, 50-55 of the Sunday School material that God blesses those who humbly and fearfully/respectfully obey Him. W
hen we think about how powerful and wise God is and how weak and ignorant we are, it should not be too difficult to be humble and fearful/respectful before Him.
Being humble and fearful should lead to obedient service. Too many lack humility and fearfulness and consequently lack obedient service and the blessings that follow.
Let’s work on humbling ourselves to fearfully obey God’s will for our lives. At the core of God’s will is for us to love God, ourselves, and others.
- Turning before it is too late. Notice in vss. 51-55 that God doesn’t only keep His promise to bless those who obey, but He also keeps His promise to punish those who don’t obey. In this case, God punishes those who are proud, instead of humble.
It is sad that too many people will ignore the preached and taught word of God and have to experience the pain of punishment, before they will turn from pride and arrogance to humility and fear.
Let’s work on turning to God’s will, before punishment is sent our way. Our lives are challenging enough, without God sending painful punishment.
Read Luke 2:1-7 II. Surprising Fulfillment. In the Sunday School material the government called for a census. Joseph went to his home town of Bethlehem. There his pledged wife delivered her first child and our Savior, Jesus.
Applications – - God’s moving in the mundane. Notice in vss. 1-4, 7 of the Sunday School material that God is known for working in the mundane. That is, God doesn’t limit Himself to always performing a miracle.
In this text, God works in the midst of taxes being imposed on Jews by the Roman authorities. God is working in the midst of there being no room for a pregnant lady in the inn. And God is using essentially working class people to bring Jesus into the world.
This should say to us that God can be working in our mundane lives. The question is, are we discerning what God is doing? Let’s work on being open to God’s moving in our ordinary lives and being obedient to His will.
- Marriage over co-habiting. Notice in vs. 5 of the Sunday School material that Mary is pledged to be married to Joseph. They were not known for shaking up or co-habiting.
There are too many people who excuse themselves from the clear teachings of either live a holy single life or live a holy married life, after you get married.
If a man and woman are in so much love that they cannot live without having sex with one another then they should get married.
If they don’t love one another enough to get married then they should not “play house,” especially with children around. Let’s work on keeping marriage sacred with our teachings and examples.
We are challenged to condemn the practice and sin of co-habiting without condemning the co-habitors or sinners, so much that they become hopeless.
Conclusion: Let’s work on praising God and being open to whichever way He wants to move. God has much for those who obey His will.
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