Highly Favored by God
by Dr. Paul Chappell
"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
God isn't looking for perfection, but for sanctification.
Years ago a young man worked hard in an investment firm in Boston. After several years, he met a woman and planned to marry her and move to Chicago. Wanting to stay in the same line of work, he found a prestigious bank and applied for employment. The bank sent a letter to the Boston investment firm, asking for a letter of recommendation about the young man. Overjoyed with the chance to recommend the young man, the president of the firm wrote back the bank, "This young man is one of the finest young people in Boston. He grew up in one of the most influential homes, was the son of a wealthy banker, and was liked by everyone. He comes from a long line of bankers and investment tycoons. I'm sure he will do well at your bank." The president sent off the letter and a few days later received a note back from the bank stating, "We aren't looking for a man of wealthy heritage; we're looking for a hard worker."
The bank didn't care that the boys' family had much experience. It didn't matter that his father was one of the most well-known bankers in all Boston. What mattered to them was his work ethic. Was he willing to work hard at their bank?
Our verses show us a similar story. The angel Gabriel approached the virgin Mary one day and revealed that she would be the one to carry baby Jesus and be His earthly mother. She was the chosen one who would bring Christ into the world.
For years Jewish women had looked for the coming of Christ. No doubt many wondered if they would be the one to bear Jesus. Yet Mary was chosen because as verse 28 says, "thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
Mary was favored among women. This doesn't mean she was better than others, but that she was a sincere, godly young woman. She lived a righteous life and obeyed her authority. She honored God with her life.
God doesn't use people based on their heritage, family name, or social status. He uses them based on their spiritual maturity. Mary, though she was young, was able to be used by God because she had followed Him, lived by His commands, and kept herself pure.
If you desire for God to use you, look at Mary's life as an example of a spiritually usable person. She wasn't perfect, and I'm sure she made mistakes, but she sought to live righteously each day. She was a humble, godly woman.
Right now God is looking for men and women He can use to accomplish His will. His requirements are few: saved, surrendered, and spiritually growing. He doesn't ask for perfection, but is looking for sanctification. He is looking for believers who are willing to be molded, willing to allow God to shape them to fit His task.
Do you desire to be used by God? Would you like to be a part of accomplishing God's perfect will like Mary? Take a spiritual check-up exam right now. Are you saved? (If not, take time to read these verses and find out what God has to say about eternity.) Are you completely surrendered to God in every area of your life? And are you growing closer to God through daily time with Him and living a righteous (not perfect, but spiritually maturing) life? God desires to use you today. Make sure you are living in line with His Word so He may use you.
Daily Bible Reading
Ezekiel 40-41 | II Peter 3