What does God want from you?
This Sunday we are going to look at Luke 1:39-45 and see that He wants you to believe Him.
To answer that question, you have to think about what it means to believe God. And, Mary gives us an example, doesn’t she? It means you submit to His will.
And Mary said, ‘Behold, the bondslave of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your Word.'
More than that though, it means you trust He is seeking your good through Jesus.
And Mary said, ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold from this time on all generations will call me blessed.'
John Calvin once described faith as an inward embrace of God’s promises. And you see that in Mary.
If you read her praise song in Luke 1, you see she understood God was acting to save through Jesus, and so even though it was difficult for her, risky even, she submitted to God’s will and trusted God, not just to accomplish this salvation through Jesus for others, but for her. She saw the promises of mercy that God was offering, as true for her personally.
'For the Mighty One has done great things for me.'
And this is so key.
Again, John Calvin explains,
Here, indeed, is the chief hinge on which faith turns: that we do not regard the promises of mercy that God offers as true only outside ourselves, but not at all in us; rather that we make them ours by inwardly embracing them. Hence, at last is born that confidence which Paul elsewhere calls peace…It is an assurance that renders the conscience calm and peaceful before God’s judgment.
So, do you believe God?
In Luke we are seeing, He’s done great things through Jesus Christ. And you know what, He’s not done. Jesus has come to provide a complete and total salvation. And what God wants you to do is to trust in the fact that He is faithful and going to keep His promises to provide that complete and total salvation through the work of Jesus Christ. On Sunday, we’ll see that’s priority number one for us as Christians and a church.
Come ready! Come expectant! Come praying!
This Sunday I am going to look at what Luke wants us to learn from Mary’s example about following Jesus.
For your older children you might prepare them by asking them to listen for three ways the gospel revolutionizes the way we think about life. (You might also need to explain for some what the word revolutionizes means.) I am going to point out what didn’t matter to God about Mary that would have mattered to most people in the world, what did matter, and what God wants us to learn from her example.
There are going to be some good life lessons you can sit down and talk with your children about afterwards.
One big one is that what makes a person significant in the world is not at all what impresses God. Take some time to communicate with your children that God is not first and foremost looking for people with good grades or who went to an important school. Another big lesson is how big the salvation God is providing through Jesus really is. There are a lot of problems in this world, and our hope as Christians, is not that we are going to be able to solve them all, but that God through Jesus is. And then finally, you can talk to them about the importance of faith. God wants you to respond to the gospel, and the primary thing he wants you to do is believe He will keep His promises. You might spend some time talking with them about what it means to believe.
For your younger children, you might have them see if they can write the notes down from the Powerpoint.
In the link in the email where I put the sermon brief, etc. I’ve included a "Fill in the Blanks Listening Aid". Now they will have to really listen to be able to fill in the blanks. I think that’s a positive, but if you have a child that wants the answers and is frustrated because they weren't able to get it because I spoke too quickly or whatever, I am sure I can help them later! Hopefully!
Also there are some after-sermon listening questions that are intended to help as a check to see if you or your children were able to hear some of the more important parts of the message. Some of the questions will be too difficult for the younger children, and even the older ones might not get them all, but that’s ok, it’s just a sample of the kinds of questions I would hope people would be able to get answers for from the message.
Welcome, Announcements and Call to Worship
Worship in Song:
Scripture Reading (Luke 1:39-45) and Pastoral Prayer
Preaching of God’s Word: Luke 1:39-45
Response Song: No Other Place