Moses had difficulty getting Israel out of Egypt — those slaves did not have a mental mode to fit their transformation. Transformation announces to us that now is the time for a change of mentality. A teenager was invaded by the word and Spirit of God. Her mentality for transformation changed quickly. Mary’s acceptance of the invasion of heaven was intoned in the submissive, “be it unto me according to thy word.” (Lk.1:38)
Mary said to the angel,”How shall this be?” -Lk.1:34. It is interesting that Zachariah, in Lk.1:18, asked “How?” also, but the question got him in big trouble! Luke 1:18-20 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” (RSV)
There were obviously some major differences in the two questioners. Mary was a young girl with little experience in spiritual matters, but Zachariah was a seasoned spiritual leader. There is no indication Mary had prayed for a child, and there is definitely no evidence she had prayed to birth Immanuel. However, Gabriel had come with an answer to Zachariah’s specific prayers for a son! Mary was a virgin with no known means of approaching her mandate. However, Gabriel did not bring a mandate that Zachariah did not know HOW to complete. So, technically, Zachariah was asking, “How can I be sure it will be worth the effort for me, an old man, to pursue this venture?” That really was not an innocent request for confirmation, rather a rebuttal gathered through undeniable years of “tried and couldn’t” disappointments. —Kathy
Let’s look at the confirming presence of God in the details of Mary’s life. Her family, even when they had no knowledge of the behind-the-scenes workings of prophecy and purpose in their lives, dwelled in Nazareth. I’m certain that Mary’s parents had no idea their grandchild would be the Messiah! Perhaps one, if not several generations had made the choice to live or continue to live in Nazareth (which means the guarded one), but it is certain that God was working with all details to position Mary for destiny. She was called to conceive and bear the ultimate gift of God to man. Luke 1:30-34,”Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be . . .’” (RSV) Even in the midst of this angelic visitation and undeniably Divine encounter, still Mary asked for more information, more understanding to confirm the next steps in her life. —Kathy
As the people of God assemble today may all ye faithful come, assemble today and be joyful and triumphant as we adore Him: CHRIST THE LORD, JESUS, KING OF THE JEWS, SON OF THE MOST HIGH, THE HOLY CHILD, SON OF GOD, GOD MY SAVIOR. (Luke Chapter One) We will be joyful in considering His names and titles and all their implications for Israel, for us and for the nations as were Gabriel and Mary. Let us give voice to those names and titles today with expressions of hope.
Groaning for the sons of God to be revealed is met with the power of Holy Spirit in bringing the realm of heaven into history. Holy Spirit brings what exists in the realm of heaven into history… just like Jesus was. How was that done? Mary asked, “How shall this be?” The answer: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon you and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you.” (Lk.1:35) It happens the same way today.
When David showed up at the scene of the battle where a giant prevailed, he only had two skills: playing the harp and shooting a slingshot. But somewhere thru the years it would appear that a father had taken time and interest and taught the boy how to use a slingshot (Lk.1:17). The will of God has a way of taking on very practical aspects.
As the people of God assemble today may they tremble at the Word of God (Isa.66:2) and declare before the Lord “be it unto me according to thy Word” so that His redemptive purposes may be performed through willing hearts in this earth. Isa 66:2 “…to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Luke 1:38 “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
As the people of God assemble today, may they find the Lord Most High breaking through every barrier to their hearts and minds and even dividing asunder of soul and spirit. May the Lord break through every barrier of disappointment, every barrier thrown up to protect ourselves after we were hurt, every barrier of resolve where we have decided not to be vulnerable to others again. (Lk.1:78, Msg) “Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, 79 Shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.”
(Melissa Gabler)—Yes, it has come to this: Be vigilant – keenly watchful to detect danger; ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful. Let me go ahead and say, this is not a “you deserve a spanking for allowing the world to go down the toilet” post. Rather this post is aimed at being an alarm clock to wake up God’s sleeping giants to war! Is that you? Well, you’re the one reading this right now, and that is NO COINCIDENCE! So, here’s your wake up call, you beautiful heavenly-Change-Agent, you! What is a heavenly Change-Agent? It’s one who makes a difference wherever they are because they carry Heaven in them. When I say Heaven, I mean one who carries the original intent of God wherever they go. What is God’s original intent? Heaven on earth, a Kingdom without end (Luke 1:31-33). The difference between our Change-Agents and the ones making the news right now is that we cause life, healing, peace, hope, restoration—not death and destruction!
Emmanuel, “God is with us”, is the God-Man who was born of a virgin that God might dwell among men. Not only did Jesus, Emmanuel, live among men but He lived redemptively among men. He didn’t come to bring merely a message or a creed but He lived out redemptive acts through His life on earth. His disciples, those whom He has redeemed by His redemptive act of His shed blood on the cross must, in turn, live redemptively among men. There are too many and too much to redeem to simply live to go to heaven. “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matt.1:23, NKJV)
As the people of God assemble today, may they rejoice in the God of their salvation for He has provided us a King who rules in righteousness (Isa.32:1). May they practice the wisdom of seeking Him. “…Three wise men came from country far; To seek for a king was their intent…” “Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, Born is the King of Israel.”
“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you; He is [uncompromisingly] just and having salvation [triumphant and victorious], patient, meek, lowly, and riding on a donkey, upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech.9:9, Amp)
Kathy, Melissa and I invite you to join us live on Christmas Eve at 8:15pm Central Time for our annual family Christmas Eve Communion. We will be streaming live from our living room on Marty Gabler’s Facebook page reading the Word, singing, worshipping and taking communion. Join us live on Christmas Eve.