“Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” Mary heard these words from the Angel Gabriel recorded in Luke 1:28. They “greatly troubled” her, as she didn’t understand what they could mean (v. 29). Favored one? The Lord is with me? “And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (v. 30). And the prophecy came. She would be the Mother of the Messiah, the King. She was told that day, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (v. 32).

So she submitted herself to the spirit, calling herself a servant, and went on her way with the Light of the World growing within her. She believed. This was said of her by Elizabeth, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (vs. 45). And she praised. She said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant, For behold, from now on all generations will called me blessed” (2:47-48). Mary, Mother of Jesus, believed the Word of the Lord and was blessed.

And in that stable, fleeing from harm, she birthed the Messiah. As she took that journey in faith and then laid this tiny Savior baby in a manger, in the midst of all the uncertainty, she must have trusted that what the angel said was true, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” She had found favor: “perfect love that casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).

A Savior had come. This was foretold. And now, there would be a king who would reconcile sinners to God. The Word made flesh (John 1). A king whose life brings grace, unmerited favor. ‘Perfect love that casts out fear.”

And so, as Mary, we abide in this love, have confidence in this love, speak of this love, and give this love….

14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:14-19 (ESV)

There will be a day when the Lord will come again to judge the world, and for those who abide in this Love, the Lord will say as he did with Mary when Jesus came the first time, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.” Covered by Grace, the unmerited favor found in Jesus, those who believe In Him will have confidence on that day. And so we can rest in that Love today knowing that just as Mary knew when she held baby Jesus, “perfect love casts out fear.” The Word has come to bring Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love. Through Jesus, we live in these things and by these things until He comes again. Believe the Word of the Lord and be blessed.

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