mary Scripture Reference:  Luke 1:25-56

Introduction:

Greetings to you, Christlike Ministries NWA Family.  I wasn’t sure there was going to be a Christmas Series this year…but there’s five days left…and since I’m not planning to write on Christmas day…I needed something a bit shorter.  So, here’s a quick four message series titled “The Rhythm of Christmas” that I found on The YouVersion Website.

As many of you know I sensed that God was leading me to take a bit of a hiatus, and only write when I sensed the anointing to do so.  I wrote Out Of The Box earlier today, and thought I was done.

However, as I sat and ate dinner I felt that the Lord was leading me to find a Christmas series…and here is one I found.  So, let’s see what the Holy Ghost will anoint me to write-through this series.

As always, my prayer is that God would make my fingers as that of a pen of a ready writer…writing only of the oracles of God.  Writing only with the supernatural anointing and ability supplied by the Holy Ghost.  As for you…I pray that you have ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts that are receptive and responsive to what the Lord is about to speak to us through these four messages.

So, with all that said…let’s get into “The Rhythm of Christmas”

Today’s Message: The Rhythm of Christmas

I wasn’t sure what to title this message, and as I was selecting the scriptures so that I could copy the link verse 37 stuck out to me. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

At the center of the Christmas story was Mary. She was a young girl who was chosen by God with one of the most important tasks ever given to a human being: carrying and giving birth to God’s one and only son who would become the Savior of all mankind. Can you imagine the feelings Mary must have had?

As the writer of this devotional series says…at the center of the Christmas story is Mary…the woman who God would choose as the mother of the Savior of the world…Jesus Christ.  I started to title this message “There’s A Little Mary In All Of Us” before settling on a paraphrase of verse 37 because most of us are chosen by God to serve Him in some capacity…and just like Moses and Mary and I’m sure others…there was first the question to God of “Are You sure You want me?”

I think of my own life and when I learned that God had chosen me to serve Him.  The first thing I said to Him wasn’t “Of course, I’ll serve You, Lord.”  My first response was; “Are You sure?  You do know what a mess I’ve made of my life, don’t You?”  As if He wasn’t aware of my life at all.  The point being that part of Mary in all of us that first has to come to the place where we understand that God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called.

Paul writes about how God can take the foolish things of the world to confound the wisdom of this world. I remember one day reading that (before I actually got serious about serving God) I said to God that He sure found someone foolish.  I mean literally a year before I finally launched Christlike Ministries NWA I was still trying to convince God that He made a mistake by picking me.

I certainly don’t have the task that Mary did, but the concept is the same whether you’re called (like Mary) to birth and mother the Savior of the world or (like me) to establish a blog to reach people through social networks…God never makes a mistake.  He always knows exactly what He’s doing and exactly what He is calling you to do.

The question was asked: “Can you imagine the feelings she must have had?”

Well…no.  I remember the feelings and thoughts I had when I knew God was speaking to me about serving Him, but this…giving birth to Jesus is something that I couldn’t imagine the feelings she had.  I can, however, relate to feeling like God was picking the wrong person, and trying to make sure He knew why I thought I was the wrong person.

Do you have a burning in your heart to serve God, but like Moses have given God the reasons why you’re the wrong choice?  I now know exactly why God had me start this series…and it’s because there are many of you reading this that are struggling with the concept of being chosen by God to serve Him…I can relate to those struggles…and I’m here to encourage you to not allow them to keep you from God’s chosen destiny for you.

Before I get much further I just want to say that I’ve been doing this for nearly two years, and it’s been nothing short of amazing.  When I started doing this my posts were rough and hard to read…and now thanks to the training of the Holy Ghost…they’re getting better…they have less errors…and I have to say that I’ve started to stop being surprised by the amount of good, solid content that I write…because God’s taken my gifts and talents and grown them all the while growing and maturing me as a man, as a Christian, and as a pastor of an online ministry.

So, I know it sound almost cliché…but I just want to say that if God can take my life and use it the way He has (and it’s only going to get better)…then He can and will do the same in your life.

At times she was likely overcome with joy for the life God had given her to nurture and shepherd. While other times, she was likely overcome with fear, unworthiness, and uncertainty. Basically, Mary was just like us.

I was first given the reality that God wanted to use my life for His glory back in 1999.  I dabbled in Bible studies a little bit, but I really wasn’t sure if it was God speaking to me or if it was me making myself into something I thought God wanted me to be.  So, naturally I chalked it up to the later and went on with my life for another couple of years.  Then came January of 2001 when I knew for certain God wasn’t fooling around…He really had work for me to do.

The problem was He called me while I was in the Kenosha County Jail’s blue uniforms in the cell blocks looking at myself in what they call a mirror.  I can identify with the overwhelming feelings of being unworthy because all I had to do was look at myself and where I was…and think how in the world am I going to be useful to God.  Y’all…I officially launched Christlike Ministries NWA in February of 2012.  If you’re keeping time.  That’s 2001 to 2012 which means it took God every bit of 11 years to get me to where I found myself like Mary saying “Not my will, but Yours.”

Now I’m going on nearly two years and I can honestly tell you that I’ve kicked myself a few times for not getting my head out of my hind quarters sooner.  That’s not to say that everything has been rosy and perfect, but what I can say without hesitation is that this has literally been the best two years of my life.

The Bible talks about those who find a wife find favor with God.  I found a fantastic one who is supportive, and like I’ve said many times…I firmly believe that had my wife not come into my life that I would still be floundering about serving God.  God needed her to get me to see myself the way He saw me so that I could finally embrace what He was asking me to do.  Not because I was so great, but because HE is so great.

At times her faith was strong, but other times she probably struggled to push forward in the great task God had given her. Listen to the words of Mary today as she recounts her story and how she felt as she carried within her the baby that would one day grow up to become the very rhythm of redemption.

Eleven years between the call and me walking in the vocation in which God has called me to.  Truth be told, there are still times that I struggle to believe I’m making a difference, but God always seems to find a way to encourage me.  It might be a comment from someone reading my post, a message from someone I went to high school with who said they really needed to read what I wrote, or a letter from a church in the Philippines that wants to be an extension of my ministry in the Philippines.

I remember the beginning days of this ministry.  I can remember struggling to get to 20 people.  I remember looking at my Facebook fan numbers and Twitter followers and WordPress followers too. I remember thinking many a time that maybe I was just making this all up…but today God has drawn over 1,000 people to Christlike Ministries NWA.  We reach over 100 countries, and there are pastors in nations that take these messages and use them to teach their tribes and people who have never heard of the internet or a Bible…and these messages I write are being used to teach people…and bring them to decide to become whosoever’s that call upon the name of the Lord to be saved.

I will even admit that when I started this I thought I’d mainly minister to friends, family, and maybe a few stragglers through word of mouth.  I never imagined that I’d reach places that I’ve never even heard of or seen on a map.  I never thought I’d have an impact in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Canada.  I never imagined that what I started as just a way to write some things that I thought people would like and as a way to be obedient to what I thought God was calling me to do would turn into a ministry that is not just impacting my family and friends but people throughout the world.

No, I haven’t been given the responsibility of giving birth or carrying or being the mother of the Savior of the world.  I have, however, been given the responsibility to be the best ambassador for Christ I can be, and to obediently follow what He’s chosen for me to do.

After all, the Bible writes that many are called, but few are chosen.  It’s an awesome privilege, responsibility, and honor to be chosen by God to represent Him. The best part is I’ve only just begun, and have a real sense that 2014 is going to be something special.

So, I just want to say to you that if you feel like there’s something God has chosen you to do…don’t shrug it off like I did.  Don’t wallow around wondering if it’s your own imagination or if it’s something God really wants you to do.  If you have a skill or talent or gift…just do like I did…and find a way to use it to glorify God.

He will help you do the rest.  I know this because that’s what happened here.  I’ve written over 300 messages here on WordPress, and several more between my personal and ministry Facebook pages…and each one I write gets a little better.

The key, friends, is to just obey the call of God, and trust Him with the results.  Remember it’s not by our might and power, but His.  It’s God that will do the work in us, on us, and through us.  All we have to do is be willing and obedient…and that’s what Mary was.  She was willing and obedient…and she became the mother of the Savior of the world.

What has God chosen you to do?

In Closing:

Well.  I went from feeling like I was supposed to take a hiatus from writing until next year…unless I felt the Lord laying something on my heart to write about.  This is really a short Christmas countdown series, but I have the writing bug again.  Some times, we have to remove all the distractions and quiet ourselves so that we can tune back into the leading of the Holy Ghost…and that’s what I did over the last few weeks.

There’s really only a few weeks left in 2013, and I don’t know what God’s going to have me do after Christmas.  For now, however, I am just going to focus on this series, and allow the anointing for this series to flow.

I like the way this series started, and I am already looking forward to writing tomorrow’s message.  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it…and I hope you’ll come back for tomorrow’s message.

Blessings & Grace to you.

Bryan J. Kizer
Pastor/Founder Christlike Ministries NWA

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