By Pastor Ronald Bernier, Master Builder Ministries Inc. , Fall River MA
Six months after Zacharias had his encounter with the angel Gabriel and Elizabeth his wife conceived her soon to be born son John, in another city Mary has an angelic encounter. For her, the greeting was somewhat different, it did not focus so much on her answered prayer. It was to announce something new, extraordinary, a revelation of God’s plan and purpose for her life. The angel Gabriel first words to Mary were:
“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Luke 1:28
Mary, troubled with his greeting wondered what manner of greeting this was. The angel continued to say, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30). Before we consider the rest of the announcement, let us focus on two key words: favored and blessed. These words describe God’s action toward Mary, His great grace bestowed on her life. While she might have had a character and devotion that made God smile, the focus is more on what He has done and will do through her life as she responds to His call.
Here is where we can get some understanding. No, I am not implying that we will have an immaculate conception, but understand that God does birth vision and purpose in our lives. It is not so much that we have earned the right to it, as to His grace bestowed on and through us. Yes, we, too, can find favor with God and be blessed by Him. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). But these works were preceded by grace as we have been saved through faith. It is God’s gift to us.
We can also rejoice as highly favored by God. He wants us to receive His word into our spirit and understand His ability to perform it. What seems impossible with men is not impossible with Him. He has a purpose that He initiates in our lives. Let the seed of His purpose grow. In due time there will be a birthing process that will cause us and others to magnify Him.