Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Luke 1 (selected)
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.
32 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, 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end."
34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God."
38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the Child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Assuming that Gabriel [the angel sent to tell Mary this news] was of the male gender, my apologies for the photo of the [female] angel. Perhaps we need to get someone to make one that looks like Gabriel. What that might look like - is your guess as well as mine.

On the serious side. I am amazed at this Scripture for several reasons that are not always the obvious. First, Mary's joyous belief of this angel who brought her news that was now going to complicate her life drastically. In fact, it would most likely alienate her and cause her to be looked upon with disgrace even though she was quite innocent of all thoughts and charges. Second, among the angel's first words are, "Do not be afraid, Mary..." - and the angel bookends it with "You who are highly favored... do not be afraid, are favored!

[In case you were wondering why I'm here, Mary - You found favor with God - so don't be afraid - you are favored!"] .........Ponder that one more time.

Still, Mary does what any of us women [young or old] might do. She asks, "How's that gonna happen?" Then the angel explains all the details along with telling of Elizabeth's miraculous conception as well.

Now Mary is so excited... she does what most women would do. She packs her bags and goes off to relate with the closest friend/relative she has - one whom God Himself has provided to share the experience with her. Isn't that just like God? When we are trusting HIM - He never leaves us alone to ourselves. He always surrounds us with someone to comfort and cheer us - and have joy in the journey with us.

Lastly - look at the encouragement that Elizabeth was to Mary. Both women understood [perhaps in their limited human form] God's plan for the birth of both of their children. They - and both of their husbands - had been visited by an angel - and now all four would trust GOD to bring about all that the angel had said.

And so it was..................that while they were there................... the days were accomplished that she should be delivered................... and she brought forth her firstborn Son.

Looking Upward and Choosing GREAT JOY,

[Following the Star]

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