House Fellowship for week commencing 13th December 2015


Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 13th December 2015
Quarter Theme: Living by Faith

Topic: The Christmas Story: The Triumph of Faith.

Texts:  Luke. 1: 26-55

Memory Verse: Luke 1:31 “ And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus”

INTRODUCTION

The passage tells the story of Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary to announce that she will conceive by the power of Holy Spirit and give birth to Jesus. That must be a perplexing announcement. But when Gabriel told her that God had chosen her to bear the Christ, she was open to things she could not have considered possible before. Her experience with God, nurtured in worship and prayer, had taught her that God was able to do great things. She knew the stories of God’s interaction with people for generations. If God had led David and all the others whose stories she knew, then who was to say that God would not lead her, too. That is a triumphant faith.There must have been many other questions in Mary’s mind that day- What would people think? What would they say? How would Joseph respond? What about her family? Would they be shamed or supportive? Whatever apprehension Mary experienced, her focus on God and confidence in God’s ability to care for her overcame  them. If your aim to impress people this Christmas, you will be overwhelmed, unless you stay focused on Jesus,  the reason for season. As difficult as it must have been for her to consider what lay ahead, Mary’s asked the right question (Vs. 34) to a call that will change her life and she was willing to accept it. The response from Angle Gabriel to Mary’s question in Verse 35, was that she will conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives that enables us to live out our lives for God. He births the life of God in us.

The impossible will become possible because of God’s power.It is instructive that Mary visited Elizabeth, her cousin, immediately after the encounter with Angel Gabriel as if to confirm the message given to her about Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Her presence and encounter with Elizabeth lead to Elizabeth being filled with the spirit (Vs. 41). Her act of faith has led to the encouragement of another. When we act in faith and obedience, we encourage and become a blessing to others around us.Mary sang a song unto the Lord (known as Magnificat), and poured out her heart to God for the visitation. She is overwhelmed at what God did and praised him. Mary’s words quickly turn from her own situation to describe what God is doing through her for the benefit of all people.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. What was different about Mary’s “How?” question (1:34) to the angel from Zechariah’s “How?” question (1:18)? Why was Mary rewarded and Zechariah disciplined?

2. The message from Angel Gabriel changed Mary’s plan and course of action. Discuss how she responded to this call by faith. How can we respond to God’s call in our life when it will change the course of our life? Give practical examples.

3. What does Luke 1:48 say about Mary’s position? What lesson do we learn about grace?

4. Luke 1: 46-55 records Mary’s song, How many of her descriptions of God came from the circumstances she was in and how many came from her faith in the character of God revealed in the Bible? How does that help us understand how we can enter into the joy of making much of God, regardless of our circumstances?