Pastor Mac Hammond | December 19, 2021

Recap:
One of the miracles we celebrate every Christmas is the miracle of Mary’s pregnancy. She heard the word of God from Gabriel that she would become pregnant with Jesus, and she chose to believe it would happen just as Gabriel said. Carrying Jesus to full term was a process that God prepared Mary for through surrounding her with godly relationships. She had Joseph by her side, providing the support and encouragement she needed, and during the most fragile time of pregnancy, she visited Elizabeth, another mom who had become miraculously pregnant. Godly relationships are vital to helping us deliver Jesus into the world around us.

Dive Deeper:
How do we get to the point where we will deliver Jesus into the world around us? First, we follow Mary’s lead and receive God’s Word both to our hearts and through the Bible. We say, “Be it unto me according to your will, Lord!”

Second, we let our expectation of God’s coming promise become bigger and bigger on the inside of us. We can do this through our thought patterns as well as our words. Yes, our words are that important. Prior to Mary’s pregnancy, Zechariah was told by an angel that his wife would become miraculously pregnant, but Zechariah was uncertain that it would really happen. So the angel silenced him until his son, John the Baptist, was born. The angel didn’t want to take the chance that any unbelief or doubt-filled words would sabotage the miracle of John the Baptist’s birth.

Next, know that our relationships matter. When we are connected with likeminded believers, they can strengthen us and encourage us as we walk toward fulfilling God’s will for our lives. Consider how encouraging it was for Mary to hear from Elizabeth’s experience. She was a few months ahead of Mary and could provide advice and friendship during Mary’s pregnancy and the early days of raising Jesus.

The marriage relationship is also key. Joseph provided stability and strength to Mary during her pregnancy and eventual delivery. Now, remember, holiness is not infectious. Never marry someone with the intent of changing that person to become a believer. Marry someone who believes as you do, so you can position your marriage for success.

Mary received the promise of God, allowed the promise of God to grow big on the inside of her, and eventually delivered Jesus into the world. As we celebrate this Christmas story, remember that God wants you to deliver His promises into the world as well!

Read More:
Colossians 1:26-27 TPT
There is a divine mystery—a secret surprise that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded and manifested for every holy believer to experience. Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it!

Matthew 1:18-25 KJV
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Luke 1:39-45 KJV
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Discussion Questions:
1. Has God given you an idea or promise that you are expecting Him to fulfill in your life?
2. Do you have some friends or family who are supporting and encouraging you as you pursue God? (If not, join one of our Life Groups!)
3. What can you do today that will increase your expectation of God’s promise being fulfilled in your life?

Rewatch or catch up on the full sermon with the link below!

Recent Sermon Notes

Focus on Effect | Mac Hammond

Pastor Mac began a new series entitled, “Focus on Effect.” He started off by telling us the topic of the new series is something we probably think we already know about, but in fact, we don’t know enough about it as we probably should. The scriptural reference was 2nd Corinthians 4:17–18: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Though Pastor Mac has taught on this passage before, he said he’s “gotten a glimpse of a different side of this mountain. And I’m seeing it from a perspective that has really impacted me in a positive way.” He added, “And I want it to be that way for you all as well.”

Are We in the Days of Noah? | Jim Hammond

Jesus’ disciples asked Him what the signs will be of His coming. Jesus said it will be like it was in the days of Noah: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Fellow believers, we are in the days of Noah. All they thought about in the days of Noah was eating and drinking and the like. They were not thinking about the flood that was coming. So it is today!

A Deception of Palestine | Jim Hammond

This past weekend, Pastor Jim ministered a special God-directed message for the congregation entitled, “A Deception of Palestine.” He talked about how there is a division in the body of Christ worldwide, where believers are allowing themselves to become deceived when it comes to the present and ongoing deception regarding the Jewish people and Israel. It’s important that Christians do not allow themselves to be persuaded by worldly and ungodly leaders and news systems. It’s important they know what the Word of God says and exalt it as God’s truth.

The Seven Mountains of Influence Lance Wallnau

This last weekend, we had a very special guest minister, Lance Wallnau, at our weekend services. Lance is well known for his revelation of the “Seven Mountains of Influence” and how these mountains of influence shape and change the world. He preached about how God is calling the church to make disciples of nations. And in order to do that, we need strong, territorial churches that are raising up believers to go out and become the “head and not the tail.” Lance basically taught on the same thing at all three services but much of the information he shared in each service differed. So in light of that, if you want to hear his full message, it would be beneficial for you to listen to all three messages.

A Symbol and a Source of God’s Blessing | Dennis Burke

This past weekend, Living Word’s Guest Minister Dennis Burke taught a message entitled, “A Symbol and a Source of God’s Blessing.” He shared that it is understood that as members of the body of Christ, we have a clear sense that we are living in the last days. And even if these are not the last of the last days, we understand that these are our personal last days. So we must treat this time with a sense of commitment and a sense of design from the Spirit of God for our lives to make an impact, to make a difference. In fact, that’s what we’ve been designed for!