A young virgin by the name of Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that by the Holy Spirit she would conceive in her womb and bear the Son of the Most High. Mary’s responded to the angel, “Behold, I am the bondslave of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word.”
Think about what Mary’s obedience could potentially cost her. She was betrothed to a carpenter by the name of Joseph. Her reputation in the community would be damaged beyond repair. What would her parents think and how would they treat her? What would Joseph think and how would he treat her? What would Mary’s relationship with Joseph and her family be from here on out?
This was going to be hard for Mary, but God with whom nothing is impossible, is going to confirm it. Along the way, He is going to give confirmation and assurance in Mary’s humble obedience. Along with the greatest task that takes the most determined obedience comes the greatest joy and the greatest assurance and confirmation that this is of God and that He will perform it.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you." 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." 34 Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. 36 "And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." 38 And Mary said, "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
This message contains practical ways to tell your own stories of faith. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are commanded in Scripture to tell the stories of how God has worked in our lives in a way that we declare His mighty works (See Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 78:1-8). We are to tell stories of who He is and what He has done so that faith might be passed on to the next generation.
Did you know that during that first winter in America, half of the Pilgrims died and half of those who died were children? Also, fourteen out the eighteen wives who came to these shores died as well.
The story of the first Thanksgiving is the story of a people of the Book. Listen to the message to hear how their commitment to the Word of God affected their faith and their lives in the worst conditions possible.
Why do we study and teach history? Why do we tell the stories of the Bible and stories of faith from history?
Romans 15:4 gives us the biblical purpose of history, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
This is the first message Pastor Bill’s expository preaching series: “The Power of Stories of Faith.”