Lessons Of A Lifetime

A MESSENGER SENT BY GOD
OR
THE MESSAGE IS JESUS
SUNDAY MARCH 4, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed [promised in marriage] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’ But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.”

“Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing is impossible.’ Then Mary said, ‘Behold, the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1.26-38

Something To Consider:
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to Galilee to a virgin named Mary. The word angel means messenger. Therefore, God sent Mary an angelic messenger with a monumental message that would both bless and bewilder mankind for millenniums to come. The message of the miraculous virgin birth of the Messiah was prophesied and promised many years earlier by God through the prophet Isaiah. The message had been divinely prepared by God and was now being delivered.

Isaiah, under the influence of the Holy Spirit wrote in Isaiah 7.14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel [God with us]”. Therefore, the messenger Gabriel, sent by God, delivered God’s message and the message was Jesus. His name was to be Jesus but His title was Immanuel, God with us! The angel declared, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you.” What more could a person desire than to know that the Lord was with them?

Joseph, of the Old Testament, the son of Jacob, who was sold into slavery down in Egypt by his brothers, is a biblical picture of Jesus, of whom we are told three times that the Lord was with Joseph. In Genesis 39.2 when Joseph was purchased by Potiphar as a slave we are told, “The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man.”

In Genesis 39.21, when Joseph was placed in prison because of false accusations of foul play by Potiphar’s’ wife, we are again told, “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and God gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” And finally, again in prison, the keeper of the prison gave much authority to Joseph, “The LORD was with him; and whatever Joseph did, the LORD made it prosper.” Prison was for Joseph just another classroom of preparation to learn more much needed lessons of a lifetime.

Something Else To Consider:
Leaders in training in our generation should consider themselves end time messengers of God. And as messengers of God we are being divinely prepared by God, possibly to be sent out with a message of spiritual significance for us and for others to glean much encouragement and instruction. Will the message we carry cause others and ourselves to rejoice in Christ, or to recoil and reject Christ?

Will the message we carry create a positive and biblical impact in the lives of others and ourselves? Will the message we deliver be rejected because what we say does not rightly represent how we live? May the Lord help us to rightly represent Him at all times in these end times as we attempt with His help to endure to the end!

The angel declared to Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” The name Jesus is a Greek form of Joshua, which means Jehovah is salvation. Jesus, the eternal One who is salvation, has been sent by God with a most important message for mankind. Will we be found by Jesus listening with ears to hear what the Spirit of God is declaring to the true end time church?

That message for the times in which we live is, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” His message for these last days remains, “And because lawlessness [secular and religious lawlessness] will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” We must remain present tense believers in Jesus while enduring to the end!

Something More To Consider:
But how shall they hear the message of Jesus unless one is sent? That is the premise of Paul’s message of Romans 10.14-15. “How then shall they call on Him [Jesus], in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him [Jesus] of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” And ever since, called by God messengers, sent by God, have answered the call to carry the message of Jesus to others!

What part will we play in the heralding of this gospel message of Jesus? And if we decide to play our part we must remember, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Our response to the call of God to be sent should be as was Mary’s response, “Behold, the maidservant [or manservant] of the Lord! Let it be according to your word.” God’s message will be preached, either by us or by others.

Paul continues his message in Romans 10.17, by stating, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Time is too short for us not to do our part, whether that is being sent by God or being of help to others who have been sent by God. Either way, God gets the glory!

A Few Final Words:
Several places in Scripture we are reminded that nothing is impossible or too hard for God. No more fitting way to close a message entitled “The Message Is Jesus”, than to look at Matthew 19.23-26. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ Whenever I read that I picture Jesus borrowing a tent maker’s needle and lifting the tail of a nearby camel in creating a living forever spiritual object lesson of a lifetime.

We are told further by Matthew, “When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ Therefore, Jesus’ message is “With God All Things Are Possible!” This message of Jesus is most important especially as we contemplate our part as messengers of the Almighty being prepared on a daily basis by God as we attend this classroom of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, Gabriel was a messenger sent by God with a most monumental message of the birth of Jesus to a lowly virgin named Mary of which changed the course of history. And the message is Jesus and will remain to be Jesus even into eternity whether men, women, and young people believe it or not. The truth concerning Jesus Christ does not change or become any less truth if the majority of mankind never believes.

What is important is that we believe in Jesus with a present tense belief and obey Him by enduring to the end, thereby correctly answering the disciple’s question, “Who then can be saved?” According to Jesus’ words three times in the gospels, “But he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” 

Properly prepared leaders and leaders in training are often called upon to carry the God breathed, God conceived message of Jesus to their generation. Will we accept that call of Christ, or be of help to others who have been called and who have been prepared by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives? God is awaiting our answer and co-operation. And according to the signs of the times there may not be much time left!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, prepare us with the message of Jesus as the salvation of the world. May His message of Jesus, become our message. In Him Always, Amen!

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