In pranced my grown daughter striking a model’s pose. Her arms swept over her torso with a grace I didn’t know she possessed. She tilted her head back smiling as if revealing knowledge withheld from others. She glanced from one older brother to the next as she displayed her newest t-shirt proclaiming, “I am my dad’s favorite.” I will let you imagine the dialogue that followed. It wasn’t pretty but it was funny.
The impact of the t-shirt would have been greater if her dad had bought it for her instead of her buying it for herself.
Unlike my daughter, Mary didn’t need to announce the Lord God’s favor in her life. He sent an angel to declare it. Now, that carried impact.
“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured,
the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying…” Luke 1:28-29.
The Greek,CHARITOO, translates into favoured and is derived from the word CHARIS meaning grace. Further explanation from Vine’s Expository Dictionary reveals not Mary’s grace but God’s grace given to Mary.
As a follower of Christ, you are favored in much the same way as Mary? No, the Lord’s favor doesn’t manifest itself the same way in you. But you are the recipient of His grace.
How do you know Mary and Christ’s followers are highly favored?
- The word states it.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favour with God.”
For Christ’s followers;
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” Eph. 2:8.
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2Tim. 1:9.
- There is evidence of God’s grace in Mary…
God is with her.
“…Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee…”
”…And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matt. 1:23.
- And in the Lord’s followers:
God is with us.
“And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee, he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deut. 31:8.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as he have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”Heb. 13:5
- God entrusted Mary with the gospel, the living Word.
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35..
- God entrusts His follower with the gospel.
“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.” 1Thess. 2:4.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” 1Tim. 1:12-14.
- Mary was made worthy to suffer for the gospel.
“And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34,35.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother…When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother…” John 19:25-27.
- The follower’s call to suffer:
“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake:” Phil. 1:29
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling…For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” 2Tim. 1:8,9a,12.
- Mary’s response to God’s favor:
“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38.
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.” Luke 1:46,47
- Our response to God’s favor:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:2.
- Mary responded to God’s grace with obedience and praise.
- What is your response to the grace God offers you?