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Accepting the Favour

Luke 1:26-33
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 descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; his kingdom will never end." (NIV)

The old, childless couple had a baby on the way, because God said it would happen. Elizabeth was 3 months away from delivering John when a teenage unmarried relative, Mary, encounters the same angel who spoke to Zechariah in the temple. Gabriel surprises her by saying that God had chosen her so that He might pour out His grace on her. As with Zechariah, the angel commands Mary not to fear and then announced that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

No descendent of Adam deserves God's favour; we are all sinners and included under the curse of Genesis 3. That is why we need a Saviour, to rescue us from God's wrath (see 1 Thessalonians 1:10). Mary's privilege was to give birth to the Saviour of the world, but she and Joseph did not create Him: God did. How did God select Mary for that task? Well, He has the right to choose to give His grace to whoever He wants; and He chooses those who will receive His gift. Mary was a great 'receiver': indeed, she received the Son of the Most High into her body.

Jesus was to be the greatest person ever, the promised King. Unlike all other rulers, His dominion would last for ever, and that means that He reigns over all the world today, and therefore we are all accountable to Him. Even Mary was accountable to her son (see Matthew 12:46-50, John 2:1-5). Wherever you are, at work, at home, on holiday or in church ... you are accountable to Jesus Christ, because He is the King. He will come back again to call everybody to account, but all those who have received Him will also receive His favour (see www.crosscheck.org.uk to know more).

Dear Father God. Thank You for sending Jesus to be my Saviour. Mary was indeed favoured to be able to carry the physical body of Christ, and all who believe in Him can also be favoured as they receive Jesus. May I be more conscious of Your indwelling presence every day, and give thanks to You. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams