Choosing Christ By Nathele Graham Christians live a double life, but we aren’t to be…
By Nathele Graham
Do you ever wonder why God chooses certain people to do great things? For instance, why was Noah chosen to build an Ark to save mankind from God’s judgment? The best answer to that question is that he was obedient to God.
“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” – Genesis 6:9.
He wasn’t sinless, but he didn’t give into the evil world around him; his human genome was pure and not tainted by the fallen angels. His forefathers had been pure in their choices. In fact, his family throughout their generations honored God. Noah’s great-grandfather was Enoch, who is a picture of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” – Genesis 5:24.
The way you serve God will affect generations to come; Noah’s line follows through King David to the birth of Christ. The key to being used by God for great things, is following Him in the way He prescribes. Instead of telling God what you will do for Him, be willing to do what He asks of you. Another example is King David. David was a shepherd boy, the youngest son of Jesse. While he watched over the flocks, he learned skills that would prepare him to lead the nation Israel to greatness. He learned to fight and defend what was his. He also had time to observe the things around him and was amazed at the creation of God.
“[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” – Psalm 19:1.
He saw God’s handiwork in the stars, sun, moon, and all of nature. He didn’t worship nature, but he worshipped the Creator. As a child, do you think he would grow up to be king? God saw the strength in him. Queen Esther was another person who had a heart for service to God. She was taken captive by King Ahasuerus when he was looking for a wife among the young women of his kingdom. Esther was Jewish and shouldn’t have been among those under consideration, but she was chosen to be queen. It’s amazing to see how God is able to make circumstances work for His glory. Many events took place, and the Jewish people were about to be wiped out by Satan’s evil servant Haman, but because Esther honored God, the plan was thwarted.
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” – Esther 4:16.
She trusted God and courageously went before the King and the annihilation of the Jewish people was averted. What do all of those people have in common? In spite of what the world thought, they were obedient to God.
For centuries, God’s prophets had foretold of the coming Messiah, and through the ages He was anticipated. As happens quite often, people became discouraged while they waited. Isaiah had foretold that a virgin would give birth.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” – Isaiah 7:14.
Over the years, the religious leaders began changing what God said, to what seemed more logical How could a virgin become pregnant? As the Pharisees became more powerful, they didn’t want to share their power with anyone. Not even with God. The Scribes should have been aware of the truth, because they were skilled in the Law and prophets. They were the ones who “taught and developed the Law”. If they had been true to God in their interpretations of the Scriptures, they would have been much wiser leaders, but they put personal preferences and understanding into their interpretations. Sort of like what lawyers and politicians do today. God’s word should be pure and unaltered. Had God’s prophecy been taken as truth, they would have been looking for a virgin who was with child. Instead of believing mis-truths and looking for a mere man, they would have found God. Still the question remaubs, “Why Mary?” It’s true that she was a virgin engaged to Joseph. Both Joseph and Mary were from the Tribe of Judah and the line of King David, but I’m sure she wasn’t the only one who fit that requirement. She was human, which was another requirement. That may seem odd to say, but some hold to the erroneous belief that she was not human, but that she herself was of God, and therefore able to be a fourth member of the Holy Trinity. That can’t be. Scripture describes Mary as a humble young woman and she probably would have been mortified over the way some people have elevated her to an object of worship. If she had been anything other than a mere human, there would have been no way for Jesus to be our Kinsman (fully human) Redeemer (fully God).
I can’t imagine what it would have been like for Mary. She lived in Nazareth, and a carpenter named Joseph had asked to marry her, and her future seemed certain Like other engaged men, Joseph went away to build a home for the two of them to live in with any children that would come along after the wedding. Meanwhile, Mary was learning the responsibilities of being a wife. Nothing unusual about this arrangement. One day Joseph, her bridegroom, would surprise her and take her away to live with him. Sounds like the Rapture, doesn’t it? That was the traditional Jewish wedding, and a “picture” of our Bridegroom, Jesus, gone to His Father’s house to build a place for His Bride…Christians. One day He will come for us, and we need to be ready. The Rapture will surprise us, but there are signs happening that tell us it will happen soon. Now, back to Mary.
Mary seemed to have a very normal life, but one day she got a huge surprise. The angel Gabriel paid her a visit.
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” – Luke 1:26-27.
Can you imagine how you would feel if an angel suddenly appeared to you. I think This was the angel, Gabriel who always brought tidings regarding the Messiah. This visit was no different.
“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.” – Luke 1:28.
That’s quite a greeting. Mary, was favored, but not because she was anything other than a sweet young Jewish woman, who loved God. The message Gabriel had for her was astonishing. God had chosen her to give birth to His Son. She could refuse to be part of the plan, but if she accepted, it would mean she could be stoned to death. Children are only to be conceived inside of a marriage. At the very least, it would mean Joseph would no longer be under any obligation to marry her, and her prospects for any marriage would be very dim. The message Gabriel delivered invited her to give birth to the Son of God.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear Not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” – Luke 1:31-33.
Wow, what a message. How would you react? For centuries, all of Israel looked for their Messiah, and now Gabriel told Mary, she had been chosen. Still, she had to agree to this offer.
Mary wanted to understand She knew that she was not married, so becoming pregnant was not possible. She asked questions.
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” – Luke 1:34.
God can make anything happen. People might not understand how He works, and may make up stories about how God should do things based on human understanding. If we would just believe God, we would be so much better off. Gabriel explained how it would happen.
“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. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.” – Luke 1:35-36.
Elisabeth was having a baby? Elisabeth was past the age of child-bearing, and Gabriel had delivered the message to her husband, Zacharias, that Elisabeth would bear a son. That was surprising, but that son would be known to us as John the Baptist. We should never doubt God.
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37.
To answer the question, why Mary, we only have to look to Scripture.
“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.
She didn’t spend a lot of time speculating, or questioning, she just accepted the message from God, and went forward in obedience and humility. Just like Noah accepted the task God put to him, though he didn’t fully understand. He was to build a huge ark because it was going to rain. It had never rained before but, by faith he obeyed God. God was right. It did rain and the entire world was flooded. What if Noah had refused? King David could have refused to be king of Israel, preferring to quietly tend his sheep, but in obedience to God he became a wonderful king of Israel and the most respected king of all. David loved God and served Him with joy. What about Queen Esther? She was a woman, which meant she was totally subject to her husband’s whims. Because she also loved God and her fellow Jewish countrymen, she put her fear aside when she discovered a plot to kill them. Now it was up to Mary. She chose to be obedient to God’s plan for her.
We all have the opportunity to humbly submit to God’s will. First, we have to believe God and His word. Then we need to submit our will to His even if we don’t understand all parts of the plan We all need to step out in faith and trust God to work out the details. You can be sure that God will not ask you to give birth to the King of kings and Lord of lords. That was done once. Still, you could be the one that God uses to share the Gospel with someone who needs to come to salvation through Jesus. Do you know that there will be one last person come to salvation before the Rapture?
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” – Romans 11:25.
Can you imagine the joy of being the one to share the Gospel with the final person who needs to hear before the Rapture.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him who they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans 10:14.
Even if you’re not the one to share with the last one to accept Jesus before we are all taken Home, everyone needs to be given the offer of salvation. Then it’s up to them. They can accept or reject the offer, but you need to share.
Why Mary? Because she was obedient. Why you? Hopefully you will be obedient.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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