The Promise Of God

He Has Done Great Things – Part 4

The Promise of God- Luke 1:54-55

Crosspoint – Michael Allen/Dave Spooner –

December 24th/ December 25th, 2022

 

Intro:

  • Each year contains 365 days, and some are more special than others. For example, we have days set aside that are special to us, like our birthday or anniversary. We have significant days set aside nationally, like Presidents’ Day and Jul. 4th. And we have some under-celebrated days, like Jan. 21st – squirrel appreciation day, or under-observed, like May 9th – which is lost sock memorial day.
  • Some days are so significant that the world sets a day aside, recognizes, and celebrates it. Christmas is one of those days. It is so significant that we prepare for it through advent and anticipate it on Christmas eve. Christmas is the day the world recognizes and celebrates the day in which the word became flesh, the King of Kings and the savior of the world was born, Jesus Christ, who came to save His people from their sins and who will make everything new. A day that we sing “Joy to the word, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King.”
  • This is the day that Mary sang her song proclaiming, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . . for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Luke 1:46; 49). My hope is that as we have spent time together in this passage, that God has been magnified in you, that you have praised God for His salvation and His blessing, that you have revered God for His mercy and His strength, that you have trusted God for His justice and His comfort and that today you will believe God for His help and keeping of His promises.
  • Let’s turn together to our final verses of Mary’s song and this series, Luke 1:54-55.

 

Luke 1:54-55 ESV

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

 

  • From this passage, we must ask and answer some questions:
    • How has he helped his servant Israel through Christ?
    • Why did Israel need mercy, and how was it fulfilled in Christ?
    • What did he speak to Abraham and his offspring forever?
    • What does this mean for us?

 

Believe God will help His servant

 

Luke 1:54a  ESV

He has helped his servant Israel,

 

  • Mary saw the coming of the messiah as the help promised to the people of Israel. Jesus was indeed this and more than this. Because in Jesus, God opened the door that through Jesus, all who believe will be grafted into Israel (See Rom. 11:11-24). So the help that is given in Christ is to all who believe. God chooses us to be in Him, and we choose to serve our great King.
  • When we think of the role of a servant, they are to help those they serve. In the kingdom of God, the King helps His servants (not the other way around)!
  • Listen to what God offers to those who serve him:

 

Isa 41:8-10 ESV

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; 9 you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

 

  • God calls His servants “friends.” – once he calls us, He will not cast us off. That because we are servants of His, we are not to be afraid. Why? Because He is with us. We are not to be dismayed. Why? Because He is our God. Because He is our God, He will strengthen you, help you, and uphold you with His righteous right hand.
  • What King serves His servants? Our God. The God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God who has become flesh in Jesus. While He was physically on the planet, He did these things. And He continues to do so by His Spirit in many ways now on earth.
  • Believe God will help His servants. Call to Him for help, do not fear or be dismayed. He is with you. He will strengthen you, help you, and uphold you.

 

Believe God will remember His mercy

 

Luke 1:54 ESV

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

 

  • We must all be grateful that God remembers His mercy because we are all in need of it, because all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and in it, we have comfort and find the strength to keep moving forward in faith. The good news is that God is rich in mercy.
  • Dane Ortlund observed in his book Gentle and Lowly how God is “provoked to anger,” but never once, not once, is he “provoked to love” or “provoked to mercy.” “His anger requires provocation,” Ortlund writes, “his mercy is pent up, ready to gush forth.” (p. 148) When God is describing himself in Exodus 34, as He passed before Moses, He declared, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious.”
  • The prophet Micah records this about God:

 

Micah 7:18-20 ESV

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

 

  • And the Psalmist writes:

 

Ps 98:3 ESV

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

 

  • The mercy of God was given to us in Christ. Mary sang that in Christ, God had remembered His mercy. That Jesus was the salvation of God that will extend to the ends of the earth, even to us. It is a mercy that we have already received in Christ. It is new every morning for us and will be extended to us eternally on the last day.
  • Believe God will remember His mercy. Stand in confidence and move forward in courage toward Him and in Him as you continue to follow and serve Him in this life.

 

Believe God will keep His word

 

Luke 1:54-55 ESV

He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and to his offspring forever.

 

  • God will keep His promises, He always has, and He always will. Mary saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham. This is what God promised:

 

Gen 22:17-19 ESV

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

 

  • The apostle Paul says this very thing that Jesus was the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. He broke it down when he wrote to the church in Galatia:

 

Gal 3:16-17 ESV

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

 

  • So the promise of possessing the gates of the enemies and all the nations being blessed came not through the many but through the one, who is Christ. Christ is the one who possesses the gates of His enemies, and Christ is the one in who all the nations of the earth will be blessed. And those who are in Christ also possess the gates of the enemy and are blessed in Him.
  • Again, scripture tells us:

 

2 Cor 1:20

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

 

  • All of what God has promised has been fulfilled in Christ. Christ is our salvation, Christ is our resurrection, Christ is our life, Christ is our strength, Christ is our mercy, Christ is our helper, Christ is our Friend, Christ is our redeemer, Christ is our counselor, Christ is our shepherd, Christ is our great king.

 

Conclusion

  • “For He who is mighty, has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Luke 1:49). And He asks us to believe. Believe He will help you, believe He will remember His mercy, believe He will keep His word.

 

John 3:16-17 ESV

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

  • Today we celebrate the birth of Christ. Remember all that you have in Him and what God has done for you through Him.
  • And today, as you celebrate His birth, you can also celebrate your re-birthday. If you have not put your faith in Christ and chosen to follow Him, today I urge you to do so.
  • Closing prayer