Worship: To Obey the Grace of God

Mary was troubled at the sight of the angel and at the news that he had for her. But she found grace in the eyes of God. She could let the impossible happen to her because of that grace. (Luke 1:26-30)

Speaker(s): Pastor Dennis White, Pastor Steve Andrulonis
Sermon # 11378
6:30 PM on 12/3/2017

 

P. Steve Andrulonis

See the moon? I love the moon when it’s that big. It’s a super moon. It comes up over the horizon and startles you. I was captivated by the sea of tranquility once again.

I’m going to drop you in the middle of the story of David and Goliath. A verse I’ve been thinking about, writing about and talking about, 1 Sam 17:28.

Elder brothers. I am the elder brother. Elder brothers have an issue in the Bible. Esau, prodigal son, Goliath. He came to the battle with some food for these guys and they weren’t very thankful. David was upset that Goliath was mocking the God of Israel.

1 Sam 17:28 that’s a lie because no one was fighting. Goliath was doing a lot of boasting but there was no fighting going on. One guy was stomping his feet and Israel was pretty terrified. With whom have you left those few sheep? Jesus came small. Few sheep. Who did you leave those few sheep with?

Lk 1 and 2 Mary, Zacharias, and Elizabeth were a few sheep.

Lk 12:32 little flock verse. Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Not North Avenue, the kingdom. It’s the Father’s good pleasure to give that to the little flock. This whole idea of how God came small. Jesus came small to the womb of a teenage girl. Very confused person, Joseph, about the whole situation. A carpenter, a small girl, a virgin, a town with no reputation but this is where Jesus does his work, with the few sheep.

We had a great Christmas present in Dundalk. A guy showed up, 48 years old, sat through the Bible study and decided to receive Christ. We’re talking to him to make sure he was open hearted about it. I could lead you in a prayer but you don’t have to do that. Do you want to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and yes, I’m putting this off too long. In a bakery in Dundalk, a stable in Bethlehem. The bakery is kind of messy too, flour and sugar.

Jesus came small. A few sheep, a little flock. Lambs following the lamb is where we belong. Lambs need to be led to be fed. The Spirit has come to guide us into all truth.

Jn 16. Mary was part of a little flock. The angel announced something to her and she said let it be according to your Word to me. Jesus promised sending the Spirit. The Spirit will guide you in all truth. A lot of things out there are not truth. Try to go through the maze of our mind to find something out about ourselves. God never asks me who are you. He asks where are you to Adam in the garden. Who do you think I am? Peter answered the Christ the son of the living God. He knows who I am. He knows I’m a little lamb that needs to be led by the shepherd into all truth. What am I reading? Why don’t I just come to the one who knows who I am? He can guide me into all truth. Jesus came small. The super moon is cool but Jesus came small.

We have to search for him, listen to him and let him guide us as the shepherd into all truth. Let’s not be so concerned about how accepted we are, how popular we are. We don’t get to have it any better than Jesus had it. It’s good we have 12 or 800. It’s good to be the few sheep, the little flock. It’s going to make a big difference.

 


 

P. Dennis White

Lk 1, I love this time of year, don’t you? I love the cold weather. I love Christmas.

Luke 1, this is one of my favorite stories about the Christmas season. This is about Mary and the angel who comes to Mary. I love how personal. God is speaking to us as little lambs. It’s often this way God is speaking to someone else who is small.

vs. 26-38. I had an idea to speak about worship. Worship is so beautiful. In the initial response we’ll talk about that but the end response is worship. She’s agreeing with the Word, obeying, praying.

vs. 29. Here’s a young lady. Really she is nobody, but an angel comes to here and here’s a great thing he’s saying to her. She is troubled. I love that. She considered what manner of greeting this was. How many times before God are we troubled? Am I troubled enough? When I am before God, how comfortable am I? I should be comfortable because he’s my Father. Here’s God saying something to Mary and she’s troubled. Imagine a bowl of water and at the bottom is sludge but at the top the water is clear. You look inside and say look how clean this water is. All that sludge rises to the top and can’t see through anymore. That is the Greek word for trouble. Something in her soul. Joseph was a just and good man. We could say that about Mary. She was probably a good Jew, a nice person. You look into the pot of her life and see the clear water. Then a situation came not so comfortable and a stick that mixed the water and all these things deep in her heart rose up.

We are loving life and our church and something happens in our life and it stirs the pot. All that stuff rises to the top. Sometimes we even scare ourselves. Is that me? Who is that man in the mirror? We shock ourselves. This shows the demonic warfare.

Then she considered what manner of greeting. Here is a young lady going to bear J.C. the Savior of the world. Do you think there is demonic warfare going on? This is Satan’s one little window…she was satisfied with her life and this situation came and mixed it all up. She saw something she didn’t like and she considered something different than ever in her life. A situation comes and stirs the pot.

Before you thought you were loved God and had a good standing, you had all these things that are true and something stirs the top and Satan sends projections. Look what rose to the top of the bowl. How can you call yourself a Christian? Anyone ever heard that before? How can you call yourself a Bible college student? How can you call yourself loved, sanctified? The projections come from inside and not without. You’ve already had that thought. It’s not until you are secure with who you are. Then it starts coming from the outside. You deal with your dirty pot inside of you and others project those thoughts. It seems it never ends.

She has this thought I’m ok with God, in my community. This situation brings something she didn’t see.

Often times our life is good and we seem good but the stirring of the pot reveals something dirty in our life. This revelation prompts us to question am I saved? Am I justified? To be troubled and cast in mind have the same beginning, DIA, in Greek. A channel of act it means. Something sent by God to be a blessing can be a channel to cause something inside of you to be troubled. To consider something never designed to think about outside of God. God says you are loved. The situation sent from God and in this case was designed to bless her. That very blessing was causing her to have trouble. These projections from Satan that had nothing to do with the thoughts of God. We need to look at what God sends our way as they are. We can’t turn it into a curse. This all happened quickly. What God sends us we have to receive it from God himself, from the character of God, not our own character or the character of the world. You must realize it is sent by a God who loves you. Not sent by a God who wants to curse you or destroy you or kill his sheep. To draw his sheep into a place where being blessed. It is so amazing.

Can you imagine you have all this fear in vs. 29 and an angel says fear not.

Why would I not fear? Do you realize what you are telling me? I have never seen this before. Look at what you are telling me. I don’t know if I believe it or want it. It’s what follows the next statement is the reason we don’t fear. We don’t fear because of who God is. We don’t fear because she found grace in the eyes of God. That’s a good reason not to fear. Pull up your bootstraps. You’ll make it. That’s not a good reason. I’m still afraid. Only reason not to fear is we have received grace from God. When it says don’t fear there are only three areas. You don’t fear because the presence of God is there, the provision of God is there, or because God has heard your prayer.

What is Mary doing here? She is in the presence of God. Here is an angel speaking with her. She is receiving a provision from God. And God has heard the prayers of Israel, of the world, the crying out for salvation. You can look it up in the Bible. Fear not and all three of these reasons can be summed up why not to fear. She found grace in the eyes of God. This is a very special circumstance. None of you will give birth to Jesus. Some of us will give birth to demons, but not Jesus! I am not Mary. I have not carried Jesus but I still have grace in the eyes of God.

You have found grace with God, 1 Pet 5:10. You see what the angel was telling Mary. You can look in the N.T. and find the same kind of words being used about us as his children.

Acts 2:24 we have the gospel of grace. It belongs to me. Acts 11:23 we are witnesses of his grace. If you say I have never witnessed God’s grace, you have to open your eyes. You have to look at your husband, wife, and family. I am a witness of God’s grace because we are. Our life isn’t over yet. We can say I witness God’s grace and I’m not done witnessing God’s grace. He is so faithful to me.

Col 1:6 we understand grace. Do you understand grace tonight? On one hand we say, yes; on the other we say, no. We have experienced grace with God over and over again. I know it’s true for me. I understand grace because I’ve experienced it in the Body of Christ over and over again. The Body of Christ is a place where we are drawn to experience the grace of God.

Heb 2:9 Christ’s death was a gift of grace. The death of Christ was a gift to you and a gift of grace.

Rom 5:17 abundance of grace, greater grace.

Gal 1:15 called in grace.

Eph 2:7 grace is ageless. Do you have grace with God? What is your answer? Doesn’t matter your answer. The Truth says I have grace in the eyes of God. I find I’m highly favored also in the eyes of God thanks to the grace of God. I can see I am called. I am abiding in grace, receiving grace, functioning in grace, standing in grace.

Mary was a special woman. She had a great opportunity presented to her but only by the grace of God.

In many ways I am no different. You could say you are good relatively or bad relatively. It doesn’t matter who I am. It doesn’t matter my actions. It matters the grace of God being given toward me. If it matters who I was I could never stand before God. I would stand before the angel and be troubled for good reason. What came to the top of the bowl is true in my life and that will define me. If it weren’t for grace, there would be things cast into my mind and they would be true. That projection from Satan is true. The reason I live in defeat is absolutely true. It is in the flesh, in your experience maybe. You look at how we are favored in God and all those things have a new perspective.

She received these evil thoughts for a moment. But they didn’t have a place in her life. She knew there was something greater happening. She knew God was greater than her own kind of thoughts.

How many times do we live in defeat because we don’t go beyond our trouble? How many times do we live in defeat because don’t go beyond our projections. God is saying I have a gift of grace. I died for you. I have called you in grace. I have an abundance of grace. You are a witness of grace. Why are you denying the fact I have given you something so beautiful. That’s what we do when we live in defeat. When we are bound by our trouble and projections, we’re denying the grace of God. We can accept the grace of God.

I love how this story ends. The angel ends nothing will be impossible with God.

What is your anthem today? Is it the same the angel said? With God nothing will be impossible. Or are we living in defeat because we believe in our possibilities not God’s impossibilities. Behold the maid servant of the Lord. Let it be according to your Word. Worship is obedience to the grace of God. So many times we think it’s singing a song and getting lost in our praise. That’s not worship. Worship is when you see the grace of God and obey it.

I have a gift for you Mary. You can fill in your own name. Are you going to live in obedience to that gift of grace? Thank you Lord for what you have given me. I know in my own possibilities this is impossible.

With God there is a whole new dimension of life. Go back to the idea of being troubled and having those thoughts in your mind. What happens when I receive trouble? When there is something in my life that stirs the pot and all that life about myself comes to the top. What do I do about that? Sometimes at work and something happens and you flesh out. It happens in our life. The flesh comes out. What do we do with it? Does it become our identity, our new habit, the way we are thinking or do we bring it to the Lord. Lord, with you nothing is impossible. Lord, you already dealt with that. That’s what grace is. You have already dealt with that flesh that just came out. Because you dealt with that I never enter into a place where receiving projections from Satan. It’s that beautiful. You receive projections because you never dealt with those situations or your flesh according to the grace of God. God has brought it to the Cross. Being at the Cross is being taken care of by the grace of God. We are constantly receiving projections and it hinders our walk with God.

Here’s Mary and as she has these projections she runs away from the angel.

This kind of stuff happens. God is speaking to us and we have received something from God and we are troubled so we run from God. God says I have a gift for you. One time when I was soul winning in China, I stand out because I’m white and they are Chinese. I walked up to this guy and he started walking faster. I was determined to tell him about the grace of God. He started walking faster and I did. He started running so I ran too. I finally caught up to him. It wasn’t violent or anything. I said God loves you in Chinese. He looks at me with the strangest look. Oftentimes our connection with God is like that. God has something he wants to bestow on us and we walk away from it. You are not secure in your position God has given you by his grace.

Was Mary good? I don’t know but we know she was in the eyes of God because she found grace.

Am I good? Somedays yes and some days no. Some days really good and some days really bad and next day try to do something good to make up for it. We are insecure and never able to receive the gift of God. We are not giving birth to Jesus but the H.S gave Jesus Christ to Mary and He is living in us. One author said we are pregnant with the H.S. What comes out is the fruit of the H.S. That’s what happens when we deal with our trouble according to the grace of God, when we deal with projections according to the grace of God. If not, you’ll live your life spiritually messed up and according to your abilities and not God’s abilities.

I want to live my life according to the ability of God. That’s what God wants. He doesn’t want you to live your life according to your ability but his and receive it by his grace. We are highly favored. Yes, we are little sheep. But God loves us and that’s all we need.

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

Comment(1)

  1. Reply
    Giedrius Valaitis says

    Wow; Pastor Dennis, such an immensely practical message.
    God’s grace was presenting Mary something very high and wonderfull, and for a while she was troubled by it. But then she defeated the negative projections by encouraging herself in the presence and love of God.

    I look back on my early Christian life when God was calling me to something very high and wonderfull, but I gave in to the projection that it was too high for me, and missed a great opportunity in my life with God.

    His grace does call us to another dimension of life, as Pastor Dennis put it, and this is unsettling to the natural man.
    God’s grace is still working in our lives.
    I am encouraged by this message to be loved by God and live in the grace and favor God affords us, as Mary did.

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