On this Christmas morning, we gather together to thank the Lord for coming as a babe so many years ago.
We have looked at the Advent Candles these last four weeks.
We started with the first candle representing Hope.
We saw the hope that we have in the coming of our Messiah.
In the second candle we see the representation of Joy, and we saw that Joy comes when we yield and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In the Third candle we saw as a symbol of Peace.
Something we all long for!
But just like those other attributes and gifts, we can only have Peace by yielding to the Holy Spirit each and every day.
Today we are looking at the greatest of all these virtues - The Candle of Love.
In today’s passage, Mary has come to her cousin Elisabeth to stay for a while.
She has found out that she is carrying the Christ Child.
Upon hearing Mary greet her cousin, Elisabeth’s child leaps for joy within her womb.
The Bible says that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost...
Luke 1:42–45 (KJV)
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
Then Mary responds with what many call a song, or Mary’s Song.
In this song I see four Aspects of God’s Great love toward us.
After all that is what Christmas is all about! Love
We show our love to each other by spending time together.
We show our love to each other by giving each other gifts.
We share love over a meal together.
Christmas just isn’t Christmas without love.
So Let’s take a closer look at Mary’s praise song to God and see in it four aspects of God’s love to us.
I. Love Has Come to Everyone
I. Love Has Come to Everyone
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Mary said she was a woman of low estate.
and yet because of God’s love, all generations would bless her.
This shows me that God’s love comes to everyone…
whether rich or poor,
male or female,
no matter the race,
no matter the genealogy,
no matter the social standing
God loves you!
And because God loves you, He sent his Son.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God proved His love to us by sending Jesus to die for us.
We, like Mary, ought to respond in obedient praise!
No person on this earth is without love.
Christmas is a time of joy for many as they spend time with their families, but its also a time of sorrow and depression for many who do not have families around them.
We need to be mindful of those around us who do not have family near by.
But if you are one who feels the sting of loneliness most during this time of year, hear me…you are not alone!
We just need to seek the Lord.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
The Bible says
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
And just as this verse tells us, once we have received this comfort, we need to pass it along to others around us who need it.
God’s Love is available to Everyone!
II. Love Gives Unending Mercy
II. Love Gives Unending Mercy
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him From generation to generation.
The Bible is full of verses that speak of God’s great mercy.
This verse said that his mercy is on them that fear him, from generation to generation.
The same mercy that was available to those great Christians in the Bible, is the same mercy that is available to me today!
22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
I am so grateful that God is a God full of mercy.
I don’t know about you, but I know that I need God’s mercy!
Mercy means that we don’t get what we deserve.
I remember growing up my parents threatening us with returning our Christmas presents. As far as I know, they never were returned. I’ll tell you that was mercy!
Love is the very basis of mercy.
So because God loves us, He is merciful to us.
Mary recognized that God’s mercy was not something that would die away.
His mercy is here generations later, just as it was when Mary sang this song.
For those hearing my voice today that do not know Jesus as your Savior, His mercy is here for you!
Come to Christ today, yield your life to Him and accept the greatest Christmas gift you could ever receive - Salvation through His Mercy!
For those of us who know Jesus, who have experienced this mercy first hand.
We need to be reminded to praise Him everyday.
don’t take it for granted that His mercy is new every day!
Praise Him, and thereby be reminded to walk in that mercy.
Oh the Love of God!
It comes to Everyone!
It Gives Unending Mercy!
III. Love Gives Unending Help
III. Love Gives Unending Help
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, And exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; And the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, In remembrance of his mercy;
As Mary continued her song of Praise to God, she began to give examples of the numerous ways that God has helped His people.
And although love is the basis of His help, it is His mighty power that is used here.
She says He hath shewed strength with his arm.
A figurative way to say that by His mighty power he has done these things.
Here specifically Mary mentions:
the scattering of the proud (disperse like chaff)
Put the mighty down from their high seats
Exalted those who were humble
Filled the hungry
Those who depended upon their riches were sent away empty
She says that He helped His people in remembrance of His mercy.
Now I’m not going to get into the specific interpretation of these verses, however the overall view of these give evidence that God helps His People because He loves them.
Wherever you find yourself this week or coming weeks, remember that God loves you! His Mercy is new every morning, and He is here to help you!
And boy do we ever need God’s help!
I heard about a man who prayed
Dear Lord, So far I've done all right. I haven't gossiped, haven't lost my temper, haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I'm really glad about that. But in a few minutes, God, I'm going to get out of bed. And from then on, I'm going to need a lot more help.
We need His help to stand strong in the Power of His might against all the devil throws at us
We need His help to say no and take the way of escape that He has provided us.
We need His help to remain faithful when the world, the flesh, and the devil are coming to devour us.
We need to daily come to the throne of grace and seek His help, knowing that because He loves us, He will give us the help we need!
Don’t wait and try to figure it out on your own…you will be classified with the proud who is scattered, or those who think they are mighty who are removed.
No, we need to humble ourselves before a mighty God and accept His Love, His Mercy and His Help!
When talking about Hope, Joy and Peace we talked about things that we needed to do, like yielding to the Holy Spirit or Obeying His commands.
But there is nothing we can do to earn God’s Love - It is already there!
He already loves us!
His Help is there for us as we go through this life of trials.
His help is there for us when we are grieving.
His help is there for any situation we may face.
In verse 54 Mary says that God had helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
God made a promise to Abraham, His seed, and all of us who have been born spiritually into His family.
This led me to the fourth point today:
IV. Love Keeps It’s Word
IV. Love Keeps It’s Word
Just as he had promised Abraham that He would bless him and the many descendants after Him, and he kept His word through the birth of Jesus.
So we too can take comfort in the fact that God keeps His word!
After all he has told us
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
So, If He keeps His Word, then that means when He says:
He will always be with us — He means it.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
When He says He has a purpose for us— He means it
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
When He says He will provide — He means it.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
When He says he will give me power to live this life for Him — He means it.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
When He says he will strengthen us and uphold us—he means it.
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
When He says He will give you wisdom — He means it!
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
When He tells us to trust him because He is faithful - He means it!
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Mary is just at the beginning of her story.
She is just barely pregnant with this child that will grow up in her home.
Her child that will leave to travel the countryside preaching
Her child that will feed thousands with five loves and two fishes.
Her child that will make the blind see again, the deaf hear, the dead raised to life again.
But she doesn’t know any of this yet.
She doesn’t know yet of the heartache she will feel one day as she sees her son struggling up Golgotha’s hill.
She doesn’t know yet of the heartache of them laying her child in the tomb.
All she knows is God has chosen to Love her!
He has chosen to work through her to bless all people.
So she sings forth her praise!
My friend, God has chosen you!
From a time before the foundations of the world were laid, God chose you and has loved you.
What will you do with this Love?
What will you do with this mercy?
What will you do with His Help?
He is faithful to keep His Word!
What He says, He will do!
This Christmas morning, may we take Mary’s song with us.
May we let it encourage us to put Him first in everything we do!
Oh the incredible, magnificent, wonderful, amazing, Marvelous Love of God!
No one can comprehend it
No one can contain it
No one can describe it
No one can erase it
No one can deny it
No one can remove it
No one can keep you from it
No one can No one can hide it
No one can do it justice
Oh the amazing Love of God
1 The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell. The guilty pair, bowed down with care God gave His Son to Win His erring child He reconciled, and pardon from his sin.
2 When years of time shall pass away, and earthly thrones and kingdoms fall; when men who here refuse to pray on rocks and hills and mountains call; God’s love so sure, shall still endure, all measureless and strong; Redeeming grace to Adam’s race the saints’ and angels’ song.
3 Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made; were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
Refrain: O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure— the saints’ and angels’ song.