The Joy of the Promise
Christmas season is a great time to be reminded of the promises of God because there are so many promises in the Bible concerning the coming of the Messiah.
It is also a great time to be reminded that with that promise comes great Joy! Joy is something that is so needed today. The Joy of the Lord is our strength!
So over these weeks in December we are going to look at the promises that God has made to individuals in a a very private and intimate way and how that they were intended to bless the whole world. My prayer is that we will see that God is still making these promises to us and that they are meant to bless others.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed 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 will be 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.
I just said this another way but let me say it again after reading our text:
God’s Promises are always personal to us
God’s Promises are always bigger than us
I think we can see how personal this promise was to Mary and yet the promise was so much bigger than this teen age girl.
- 15 year old boy at Kozy Kitchen in North Bend Oregon.
- What are some promises that God has made to you?
- One that I have lived with since January of 1981 As I was with Moses so shall I be with you.
- faith cleaves to the promise as a true and faithful word, and then hope lifts up the soul to wait for the performance of it.
I always felt that I had a promise that someday I would return to India to minister there in someway 37 years have gone by and the door just never opened until now George C our Missionary to India has asked Liz and I to come in February to preach for their Bible College Graduation and Convention. There was always a joy when I would think about doing this someday but the door never opened. I was almost shocked when the invitation came.
- Mary gives us the way to respond when God gives us a promise.
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.
Hear Davids words from the Amplified
Remember fervently the word and promise to Your servant, in which You have caused me to hope.
This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your word has revived me and given me life.
2. Who runs out to meet someone that he believes will not come?
The promise is God’s love letter to His bride in which He opens HIs very heart and tells everything He will do for her. Faith reads and embraces it with joy, while hope looks out of the window with a longing expectation the see her husbands car coming toward her.
The promises from the Christmas Story should have us looking out the window every time God’s Word makes us a promise
Look at a small sample of the promises He fulfilled in coming as a babe in the manger:
- The Messiah would be the seed/offspring of a woman and would crush the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15).
- He would come from the seed/offspring of Abraham and would bless all the nations on earth (Genesis 12:3).
- He would be a “prophet like Moses” to whom God said we must listen (Deuteronomy 18:15).
- He would be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Micah 5:2).
- He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
- He would have a throne, a kingdom and a dynasty, or house, starting with King David, that will last forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
- He would be called “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” “Prince of Peace,” and would possess an everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7).
- He would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, righteous and having salvation, coming with gentleness (Zechariah 9:9-10).
- He would be pierced for our transgression and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).
- He would die among the wicked ones but be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9).
- He would be resurrected from the grave, for God would not allow His Holy One to suffer decay (Psalm 16:10).
- He would come again from the clouds of heaven as the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14).
- He would be the “Sun of Righteousness” for all who revere Him and look for His coming again (Malachi 4:2).
- He is the One whom Israel will one day recognize as the One they pierced, causing bitter grief (Zechariah 12:10).
The prophecies about the Messiah were not a bunch of scattered predictions randomly placed throughout the Old Testament, but they form a unified promise-plan of God, where each promise is interrelated and connected into a grand series comprising one continuous plan of God. Thus, a unity builds as the story of God’s call on Israel, and then on the house of David, progresses in each part of the Old Testament.
And although the promise’s were made to specific persons, such as Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Mary it was cosmopolitan in its inclusiveness. What God was doing through Israel and these individuals was to be a source of blessing to all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3).
3. What are somethings that God is speaking to you as promises?
Is it something personal that He is making a promise to you about?
- Your relationship with Him as a Son or a Daughter?
- Your family?
- Your career?
- Your business ?
- Your calling?
Now see that as you walk out to meet that promise it is meant to bless your world
Jesus birthed in you can change the whole world just like when He was birthed in Mary
That is the joy of the promise