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

2024 Prayer and Presence Conference | Heidi Baker, Joseph Harris, and Leif Hetland

Demonstrations of the presence of God were manifested at The Prayer and Presence Conference this past weekend. Guest speakers Heidi Baker, Joseph Harris, and Leif Hetland shared what was on their hearts, and a definite theme came forth—we are at the threshold of a great awakening to God. The flames for world evangelism were ignited by three different videos: 1) an update on Living Word’s church planting mission, 2) a video of how Iris Global Ministries is in the midst of violence and persecution, yet they bravely continue their work, and 3) a video of a great outpouring of God’s Spirit in Asia!

Grace Unveiled: How to Get a Reprobate Mind #4 | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim gave his fourth installment in his series entitled, “Grace Unveiled,” with the subtitle being “How to Get a Reprobate Mind.” This is a series on the book of Romans, a book considered to be the greatest writing of Christian doctrine in all the Bible. Pastor Jim says it has multiple themes on redemption. It touches on our inability to work for the favor of God, the guilt that we have to deal with on a daily basis, and the fact that salvation is only to be received by believing. Romans 1: 24–32 is the subject of this message.

FOCUS FOR EFFECT: Love | Mac Hammond

Pastor Mac taught the third installment of his series entitled, “Focus on Effect,” based upon 2nd Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The apostle Paul said the hardships in our lives can be light and momentary. It all depends on what we place our focus upon. Paul says we are to focus our attention on what is eternal, rather than what is temporal. There are three things that are eternal: faith, hope, and love. We are to focus on that.

FOCUS FOR EFFECT: Hope | Mac Hammond

This series is all about focus, meaning where do you give your attention. This is important because whatever you give your attention to will determine how hard or difficult your life will be. And conversely, it will determine how easy and carefree it will be. Teaching on 1st Corinthians 13:13, Pastor Mac says you can gain the clarity you need to succeed in your life by focusing on matters of faith, hope, and love.

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.”