When Gabriel appeared to the young virgin Mary so many years ago he said to her:
Luke :30 So the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”
Mary was faced with a decision. Her decision required faith because it came with great risks. As a betrothed young girl who had not known a man, to become pregnant would mean that her espoused husband Joseph could have her brought before the Jewish council and she could have been stoned. If he put her away privately, she faced humiliation before her family and village. Her decision couldn’t have been an easy one.
COST OF FOLLOWING CHRIST
Today many who are called to follow Christ face equally difficult decisions. Muslims who trust Christ risk their lives. A Jew who chooses to place faith in Christ as their Savior risks being disfellowshipped and shunned. Depending on circumstances, following Christ always comes with a cost. See “If I Convert to Christianity”
BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE
Mary was blessed because of her acceptance of God’s will:
Luke 1:46 Then Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48 For He has looked with favor on the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed. 49 For the Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His name.
TRUSTING GOD MEANS RECEIVING CHRIST
When we are called to become Christians, we are called to trust God and believe in Christ as our personal Savior. Jesus said:
Mark 8:34-37 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.
All who choose Christ are blessed:
Ephesians 1:3-5 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure…9 And He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ. 11 Him we were also chosen as God’s own, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything by the counsel of His will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, would be for the praise of His glory. 13 And in Him, having heard and believed the word of truth—the gospel of your salvation—you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory.