God’s promise to Israel : Isaiah 7:14 -Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Chosen to fulfill The Promise
When the angel Gabriel first told Mary she was going to have a son, she was in disbelief. She couldn’t understand how she could bear a son since she hadn’t been with a man. To her it seemed impossible.
Gabriel said the Holy Spirit will come upon her and the Most High will overshadow her. Once he mentioned that Elizabeth, her cousin, was also having a son in her old age she was accepting of God’s will.
Sometimes when we get a glimpse of what God wants to do in our lives it seems impossible, we feel inadequate, we doubt ourselves and we doubt God.
Once Mary was pregnant I can just imagine how she must have felt. God’s promise was being fulfilled through her. She must have been afraid and excited all at the same time.
Faith In The Promise
Mary had faith that God’s promise would come to pass. So much so when Jesus was at a wedding, Mary suggested that Jesus do something about the wine since it finished.
Jesus said “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not come yet”. But because of Mary’s faith in God’s promise, she commanded the servants to do whatever Jesus instructed.
Mary’s faith in God’s promise to her, resulted in Jesus turning water into wine. We may not see the promise in our lives but our faith will move us closer to it.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see
When Jesus was born there were shepherds that witnessed many angels coming down to earth to give praise for the Messiah being born. The shepherds went to Bethlehem to see what was going on.
After they saw Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the manger the scriptures say they spread the word amongst the people.
Accepting The Promise
How is it then that when Jesus reached his season there were people that doubted that he was the Messiah? Especially the scholars of the time, the Pharisees and Sadducees?
The Pharisees and Sadducees had different views and doctrine. They were so stuck on their own views, their own self-righteousness, their own importance, their own knowledge… they could not see that the Messiah was right in front of them.
Division, self-righteousness, puffed up pride can block our view and we cannot see what God is doing in someone’s life. If Jesus would have picked them over the twelve disciples maybe they would not have rejected him.
The Pharisees and Sadducees kept testing Jesus, asking him so many questions to find out how much he knew. Jesus was confident in who he was; he never swayed in the mission that he was on.
Our confidence in Him is all we need to move toward the promises God made to us. Do not let the Pharisees and Sadducees in our life derail us off course. Their opinions of us do not matter. There is nothing that can be said or done to change what God has ordained.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have a need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Our gifts are the tools that we need to fulfill God’s promise in our lives. Why would we give anyone the power to put our gifts on hold?
Focused On The Promise
How did Jesus persevere and keep himself aligned with the promises God made to Israel?
- He avoided temptation by knowing the word of God: When Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness Jesus would rebuttal him with “It is written”. Read the word daily to build your strength. This is your guide to life!
- Matthew 4:1-11: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him
- He spent a lot of time with God alone : How many times do we avoid being alone, filling our time with mundane activities because we think we are filling a void. We should embrace that time with God. He may have something for us.
- Luke 5:16 “ but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”
- Matthew 5-7 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words
- Jesus knew his purpose – We need to find out what our gifts are and what our purpose is in the Kingdom of God. Jesus was focused on his purpose. The people of Capernaum wanted him to stay because they loved him and he was performing so many miracles. Can you imagine leaving a place where you are so accepted and so loved? That must have been hard for Jesus but he knew his purpose, that was his priority.
- Luke 4:42-43. At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.
Grateful For the Promise
Our Lord and Savior is our promise from our Heavenly Father. He sacrificed His only son on our behalf, for our salvation and redemption.
On top of that, He also promised a Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor and Strengthener in the Holy Spirit to abide with us forever.
As parents, we expect our kids to show gratitude when we fulfill a promise we made to them. How much more should we show our gratitude to God. After all, He promised to be like a father and calls us His sons and daughters.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.