September 24

Luke 1, Psalm 112

We live in a world that craves for the supernatural. Our media, in terms of movies, television shows, books, magazines is full of this topic. Unfortunately in our nation it tends to focus on superheroes, vampires, and demonic entities. Sadly, I don't know if it is still on , but I remember seeing a billboard featuring a TV series called Lucifer. God's supernatural reach is alive and strong, but it is not used to stimulate our curiosity or entertain us. Millions of Muslims all over the world are giving their lives to Jesus Christ, and in many instances this is because of dreams, visions and other supernatural encounters. One ISIS fighter began having dreams of this man in white, who was telling him, "You are killing my people". This began to make him sick and uneasy about what he was doing. He remembers shortly after this, just before he killed one Christian, the man said, "I know you will kill me, but I give you my Bible." He actually took the Bible and began to read it. Then in one more dream, Jesus asked him to follow Him, and that is what he chose to do.
 
We must always be careful whenever we read portions of Scripture that are so familiar to us. If we believe we already know something well and gloss over it, then God can not speak to us through these Scriptures. We must approach each portion of Scripture with fear and trembling wondering what God will reveal to us. Along with Matthew's story of Joseph, we read of a specific angelic encounter for Mary, Joseph, and Zacharias. We see his greeting to Mary in Luke 1:28, "...Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" After the usual startled response to the presence of an angel, we see Gabriel respond to her in 1:30, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." Was Mary just lucky to be chosen? Was she just arbitrarily chosen? Notice the response from this young country girl, probably between the ages of 13-15, after she is told that she will conceive supernaturally the Savior of the world, in 1:38,"Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." Mary was a young woman of faith who was faithfully prepared to be used by God. In Mary's song or Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55, though it may just seem like a song of praise, Mary quotes and alludes to multiple portions of Scripture from the Torah, Psalms and Prophets. This was a young girl who knew and loved God. 
 
We must never forget the words of Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:37, "For with God nothing will be impossible." The supernatural world of God is all around us. For some like Mary it was a direct angel encounter. For others like the ISIS fighter above it may be in the form of visions and dreams. The author of Hebrews states in 13:1-2, "Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." For all of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is a very real and powerful gift. His power is limitless. Mary lived a life of faith and was open to be used. Do we live a life of faith and avail ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit? Are we giving God a sliver of our life or are we allowing Him to fill every area? We may never audibly hear Him or know without a doubt that we have encountered an angel, but we all can be used supernaturally if we allow Him to use us and step out in faith daily. Isaiah rightfully saw himself in relation to God in Isaiah 6:5, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips,". Humbling himself before God, we see the result in Isaiah 6:8, "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." If we want to see God move through us, may we adopt this attitude of Isaiah.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster