A King Who Reigns Forever

It never ceases to amaze me why God would choose to show favor to fallen humanity. To show favor assumes the idea that God knows us—He intentionally and purposefully sees you and knows everything about you, from your greatest flaw to your most virtuous strength. And yet, despite our inherent sinful disposition, God gloriously demonstrates His love towards us in the person of Jesus Christ. What is the required element to effectuate this marvelous reality? Faith. The apostle Paul is clear in Ephesians 2:8—“For by grace you have been saved through faith…” Likewise, Paul told the Philippian jailer to simply “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Faith is a curious thing. It’s not something we do in terms of a task or action since Paul explains to the Ephesians that faith is not a work for us to boast in (Eph 2:9), but rather it’s a response of the heart that reveals a trust and a belief. A great example of this is found in Luke 1 where the angel of the Lord comes to Mary and announces God’s favor for her and His plans to use her to bring about the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Israel, and the Savior of the world who would ultimately accomplish the means by which man could experience this everlasting favor of God (1:31-33). What makes Mary’s response to Gabriel so different from the previous angelic encounter with Zechariah? They both asked “How” (Lk 1:18; 1:34), but Mary was the one who simply believed. As a result, Mary praises God while Zechariah is struck dumb (literally). What makes this whole narrative so ironic is that Mary was a nobody—a young single woman living in a small obscure village. Meanwhile, Zechariah was a law-abiding, older married man and temple priest with high regard and status. From all appearances, his “credentials” would seem to commend him as the more likely recipient of God’s favor (grace). Yet, in the end, God chose to bless both these individuals regardless of who they were. He miraculously provided them with sons who would go on to be the greatest men who ever lived (Matt 11:11; Phil 2:9). Praise God that His grace does not depend on age, sex, status, or merit. He pours out His grace freely and abundantly across the spectrum of humanity. May we rightly respond in faith to the promises of God and never stop trusting in the God-man King-servent who came to take away the sins of the world and provide lasting favor to all who will believe. –Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Secluding Prayer–Matthew 6:5-13

10AM: Pastor Nate–A King Who Reigns Forever–Luke 1:26-38 (sermon notes)

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