James Merritt - Humility, It's Not About Me
There was a fifth-grade girl, and she came home from school, she was so pumped and so excited. And her mother said, "What happened"? She said, "Mom, today I was voted the prettiest girl in the class". She said, "Oh, that's great". Well, she came home the next day, she's even more excited, and the mother said, "Well, what happened today"? She said, "I was voted the most popular girl in the class". Her mom said, "Man, that's great". Well, she came back the next day super pumped. She said, "What is it"? She, "Mom, today I was voted most likely to succeed". And the mother said, "That's just fantastic". Well, a week later, she came in, dragging through the door, she was crying, tears coming down her cheeks, she was just totally shattered. And her mom said, "Well, what happened"? She said, "Well, Mama, today we had another contest and I won that one, too". And she said, "Why are you so sad"? She said, "Because I was voted most stuck up".
Now humility is hard to come by. And I'm gonna make a confession today. Not only is humility hard to come by, pride is hard to admit. Most of us in this room, most of us listening right now, if you were honest, you would say, I don't really have a problem with pride. I know people who do, but I don't really have a problem with pride. And I'm gonna do something right now, it's not in my notes, I thought about it last night, 'cause I was thinking, how do I apply this message? The middle letter in pride is the letter what? I, right, that's the middle letter in pride. So I was talking to the Lord last night about my message, I said, Lord, it's a good message, lotta good information, I hope people learn a lot, but how do you apply it? How do you deal with the whole problem of pride, and how do you really talk about humility?
So I wanna make a confession to you this morning about my own pride. I've had people say to me in my ministry through the years, you know, you need to be more vulnerable. You need to tell people more about how you struggle, and your weaknesses. And I've never said this in my entire ministry, but you know what, they're right, and you know why I don't do that very much? I'm too proud. I'm afraid. But I'm the pastor. They're not supposed to know that I've got weaknesses, they're not supposed to know that I struggle, they're not supposed to know that pride is a problem that I have, and I just wanna give you some examples, and just see if it fits. For me, I don't pray like I ought to. You may say, well, excuse me, you're the pastor. I know that, but I don't always pray like I ought to. Prayer is hard work to me.
And as I was talking to the Lord last night, I said, okay, I'm gonna admit this, then the Lord spoke to my heart and said, but why don't you pray more? And then it hit me, because of pride. Because when we don't pray, here's what we're really telling God. I can handle it. I got it. I don't need you. Go help somebody else. If I need you, I'll pray to you. As a matter of fact, here's what's true about all of us, so don't look too holy, now. You know when we really do our praying? When we really need God. We don't need God, we just kinda put prayer on the shelf. That's pride. I'll give you another example. We ask people to serve, would you help us in the nursery care for kids, would you help us teach children, would you help us work with our teenagers?
We say, well, I'm busy, or somebody else can do that. No, it's pride. No, I'm not gonna take care of my, listen, I'm a parent, or I'm a grandparent, and I did my time. It's somebody else's turn. That's pride. No, I'm not gonna work out, and I'm not gonna help park cars, because of weather like this, I could get sick, or I'm too old to do that. It's just pride. So we don't serve. Or here's a good one. Why don't we get into small groups? We talk about this all the time, and the majority of our people, majority of us, we're not in small groups. And you know why? It's pride, because here's what you're saying if you're not in a small group. You're saying, number one, even though Jesus felt like he oughta be in a small group, I'm better than Jesus. Or you know what, I don't really need anybody to encourage me. I don't need to be in a small group. I can do the Lone Ranger thing on my own. I don't really need to be in a... I don't need to encourage people, and I don't need people to encourage me. It's pride.
Why don't we read our Bible? Because deep down, here's what we're saying, I think I can guide myself. I think I can run my life on my own. I don't really need to read the, I don't really need to hear from you. I've got this, okay? I'm good. Go help somebody else. Or how 'bout giving? We say, well, I can't afford it, or I've got too much debt, I've got too much this, I've got too much that. No, it's really pride, because here's the reason we don't give, because we think it's our money. We think it belongs to us, we think the number-one reason why we have it is to bless us. So I could go on and on and on today, but I just hope I'm sharing with you today why this message is such a big deal. Because the truth of the matter is, beginning with yours truly, we all deal with pride more than we think we do. We're all filled with more pride than we think that we are.
That's why we're doing this series that we're calling "Mirror Image". It's a series about the most important part of any human being, and that is our character. Because at the end of the day, and at the end of your life, your character will trump everything about you. It will trump how much money you made, it will trump how famous you were, it will trump how popular you were, it will trump how high up ladder you climbed in your company. Because the mirror never lies. And so what we've been saying in this series is, if you had a mirror that would show what you looked like, not on the outside, but on the inside, what would you look like? What would you see when you look in the mirror ethically and morally and spiritually?
Now listen carefully. If so far, as we've been going through this, we've talked about integrity, we've talked about honesty, today we're talking about humility, if so far, you are going check, check, check, I'm a person of integrity, I am a person of honesty, I am a person of humility, I am a great, great guy, okay, would you do me a favor? Would you be humble about that? Because nothing will take you lower than pride, and nothing will lift you higher than humility. And we're gonna look today at a person that I believe absolutely personified humility. She was a woman. In fact, practically the whole world knows her by her first name. I was just to read this the other day. There are 93 women in the Bible who speak. 49 of them are named. Together, they say 14,056 words. 11% of all the words spoken in scripture were spoken by women. But few, if any, would dispute that the woman we're gonna talk about today stands out above all the others with her character and with her communication, who she was and what she said.
And this is not my personal opinion, because scripture itself says, she is the most blessed woman who's ever lived, and the most highly favored by God, of all the women in the Bible. And even today, she is a universally-admired woman by billions of people around the world. We talk about her every Christmas. You know her name. Her name is Mary. And Mary is the epitome, she is the personification of humility, because what made her, here's the amazing thing. We think, well, I know why Mary is so great. I know why Mary was so blessed. I know why Mary was most favored. She was the mother of the son of God. That is not why she was so blessed. It was her humility that moved God to let her be who she was. If you got a copy of God's word, I want you to turn to the Gospel of Luke. There are four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke. We're in Luke, chapter one.
Let me tell you what's going on. God's people had not seen from God, had not really seen God, or they had not heard from God in 400 years. For four-plus centuries, there'd been no new revelation from God, no new miracles, and the silence from heaven was deafening. And then, to the least likely of people, in the least likely of places, at the least likely of times, God sends an angel to make an announcement that would shake the world and change the world forever. And the angel speaks first to a teenage peasant girl who couldn't even sign her name. As a matter of fact, he speaks to a lowly minimum-wage, after that, he speaks to a lowly minimum-wage carpenter who had no claim to fame. Then several angels speak to shepherds, who were considered so low on the social ladder, they couldn't even testify in court.
And so when you begin this story, it's almost like God is looking everywhere for people for whom humility would not be a problem. So as we look at Mary this morning, here's what we're going to see. We're going to see time and time again how God places a supreme value on a sublime virtue called humility. Now this may be hard for you to believe, we enjoy the blessings we enjoy today, I mean right now, we enjoy the greatest blessings of life today because of a woman who didn't go as high as she could go, she went as low as she could go. And because she got as low as she could go, she went higher than any woman's ever gone before or since.
So let me tell you how God looks at, how God values humility in the life of Mary. Okay, you ready? Number one, God looks for the presence of humility. God's always looking for the presence of humility. Now our story begins in verse 26 of Luke, chapter one. Many of you've heard it. We talk about it a lot at Christmas. "In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary".
Now if you were to go back 2,000 years, and you were to have read this for the first time, you would have been astounded, because remember, God hadn't said one word for 400 years, and now, after four centuries, he decides to interrupt the world's programming for the most momentous broadcast in history, and where does God decide he's gonna break his silence? Where does God decide he's going to reveal himself again? Where does God decide to say a divine word? Not in Judea, which was the heart of God's work for hundreds of years, not in Rome, which was the capital of the most powerful empire in the world, not even in Jerusalem, the city which was the apple of his eye. First of all, he announces it in Galilee.
Now if you ever get to go with me to Israel, hope you can go, I'm going again this year, if you ever get to go to Israel, one of the places we'll visit is the area of Galilee. Galilee was an area that was known as being on the other side of the tracks. Galilee was where the lower-class people lived. Jeff Foxworthy would've said, you might be a redneck if you're from Galilee. Okay, that's what he would've said, and it gets worse, because where in Galilee did this announcement take place? You know, if "Jeopardy" had been, I love "Jeopardy," you know, and , I love that show. Well, 2,000 years ago, if "Jeopardy" had existed, the answer would've been, where did God announce to Mary the birth of Jesus, and the question under the category famous cities would've been Jerusalem. No, it wouldn't've been. It takes place in Nazareth.
And again, Nazareth, Jewish mouths would've dropped and heads would've shaken, because the first time you ever hear about Nazareth in the entire Bible is in the Gospel of Luke. It's never mentioned in the Old Testament. You don't find it anywhere in ancient history, because nobody and nothing of any importance ever came out of Nazareth. Scholars estimate maybe at most it had 200 people. So in other words, Nazareth was the kind of town that you went through, not the kind of town you went to. Nobody vacationed in Nazareth. Nobody said, why don't we go spend a week in Nazareth? Nobody honeymooned in Nazareth. Nobody just hung out in Nazareth.
You know, have you ever had the experience, we've all probably had this, where maybe you're going on a vacation, you're going on a long trip, and you pull into one of those little towns, and all you wanna do is fill up your car, get a Slurpee and a corn dog, use the bathroom, wash the bugs off your windshield, and get away as fast as you can, thanking God you don't live in that town. We've all had that experience. Okay, that was Nazareth. If you ever went to Nazareth, when you left it, you would say, God, I wanna thank you I don't live in this town. It was the headquarters for a garrison of Roman soldiers. Pagan temples had been built there for the worship of Roman gods.
Many of the young girls, the young Jewish girls, they were known to date, fraternize, have relations with, and even marry Roman soldiers to the disgrace of the Jewish people As a matter of fact, there was a sign that you would see when you went into Nazareth, and it said this in the Hebrew language, "what happens in Nazareth stays in Nazareth". That was the kind of town you were dealing with, and listen, Nazareth had such a bad reputation that when a man named Nathaniel, when they were trying to talk to this man named Nathaniel, and they were saying, man, you need to come see this guy named Jesus, you need to meet this guy named Jesus, you have got to get acquainted with this guy named Jesus, Nathaniel said, well, where's he from? And when they said Nazareth, here's what Nathaniel said, "Does anything good come from there"? You're kidding me. You want me to meet this guy from Nazareth? That was a rhetorical question.
Now that raises a great question for me. Why in the world would God make the most momentous announcement in history in a region that is full of hillbillies, in a town that is full of paganism, in a town that's running over with Roman soldiers who would later crucify the son that came there? Well, one of the reasons why is because God knew in that humble town was a humble little teenage girl that was just humble enough for him to use. Now see, God, this is another thing about, it's just so amazing to me, how differently God sees things than the way we see things. 'Cause you know what we're really impressed with? We're impressed with big cities. I mean, many of you in this room can relate to this.
I remember when I was growing up, you know what my mom used to say, and my dad used to say, mainly my mom, my dad didn't care that much. Mom always wanted to go to New York, always wanted to visit New York City. When people come to America, there's one city they want to visit. Everybody wants to go to New York City. And it hurt my feelings. I grew up in a little town called Oakwood. Nobody ever said, man, I can't wait to get to Oakwood. Can't wait to just hang out in Oakwood. Man, I wanna go visit the restaurants in Oakwood. Nobody did that. 'Cause we tend to get real impressed with the big cities. 62% of Americans live in the major cities of this country, even though they only comprise 3% of the land mass, six out of 10 people say, I want to live in a big city.
You would've thought, if God was gonna make this announcement, you would've thought if God was gonna look for someone to carry that baby, you would've thought he would've gone to Jerusalem, or he would've gone to Rome, yet God doesn't look for a diva. He wasn't looking for a beauty queen. He wasn't looking for a movie star on Broadway. God's looking for a humble, no-name country girl in a one-red-light town. It's not the bright light of big places that really impresses God, it's the dim glow of humble places that impresses God. Matter of fact, you do something sometime. Go study the great leaders of our world, presidents, generals, CEOs, go study them. You know what you'll find about the vast majority? They came from very humble beginnings.
That's the way God does. God looks in humble places. He looks in places of humility. Secondly, God seeks people of humility. He doesn't just look for places of humility, he seeks people of humility, so we'll keep reading. "In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin's name was Mary". Now the first time we ever hear about Mary or meet Mary, an angel is talking to her. And by the way, contrary to what you see in the movies, we've all seen this, right? Mary was a young girl living in a poverty-stricken region engaged to a lowly carpenter. And I'm not trying to be condescending when I say this, but let me just be honest with you.
Had you been walking in Nazareth during this time, had you walked by Mary, you wouldn't have given Mary a second look, you wouldn't have given Mary a second thought. She was just a little old country girl, a run-of-the-mill average young girl, born to the lower class from a peasants' town in the poorest region of Israel, promised in marriage to a minimum-wage laborer. She is not a movie star. She is not a beauty queen. She is not a rich socialite. As a matter of fact, she wasn't even a full-grown woman. She was a teenager. Now by the way, it was the culture that, it was not unusual for a girl to become betrothed and to be married in their early teens. It was common practice in that culture. As a matter of fact, most Bible scholars say, and I'm not in their category, but most Bible scholars say that Mary was probably no older than 14 years of age when we're reading this story.
In other words, she wasn't even old enough to drive. And yet God comes to her, a nobody girl living in a nothing town in the middle of nowhere, face to face with an angel, and she hears these unexpected words. "The angel went to her, and said, 'Greetings, you'", now this is Mary, "'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'" Now you're Mary. First of all, you can't believe you're talking to an angel. I mean, that gets your attention. Nobody important's ever paid any attention to you. You weren't voted the most likely to succeed at your school, you weren't voted the prettiest girl in your class, you weren't voted the most popular, and this angel is talking to you. And she's just been told by this woman, by this angel, hey, Mary, of all the women on Earth, you enjoy the special favor of God. You enjoy the special presence of God.
Now you can certainly understand her response, right? Here's what she says. "Mary was greatly troubled at his words, and wondered what kind of greeting this might be". In other words, when the angel said this to Mary, she looked at the angel and said, you talking to me? You're talking to me? Do you know who I am? Do you know where I'm from? Do you know my family background? I mean, you're talking to me? Are you sure you don't have me confused with somebody else? I was reading the other day about a guy in high school, and he wasn't good looking, he was a dork, he was a geek, he had no athletic skills at all, he wasn't very smart, but he had his eyes on this homecoming queen. I mean, he was enamored with this homecoming queen. And so he decided he would ask her out.
So he walked up to her, and he said, "Beth, would you go out with me"? And I mean, she didn't even hesitate. She said, "Absolutely not". He looked at her, and he said, "But Beth, listen, I promise you, I'll show you a great time". She looked at him and she said, "Listen to me, I am not going out with you". He looked at her, and he said, "Well, why? Is there somebody else"? And she looked at him and said, "There's just got to be". Now Mary could've understood if she'd been a queen, or she'd been a princess, or she had come from a very wealthy family, or she had a scholarship to Harvard because she was so brilliant, but Mary's not royal, Mary's not rich, Mary has no fortune, Mary has no fame, and this is what makes the next two verses just mind boggling.
"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great. He'll be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever. His kingdom will never end, ever.'" I mean, it never occurred to her, ever, she would be the mother of God's son. She wanted to be a mother, hoped to be a mother, desired to be a mother, but not the mother of God's son, and by the way, Mary would've never chosen Mary. Mary would've never voted for Mary. Mary would've never selected Mary, and she can't believe God has chosen me. And what you see here is a great picture of her humility.
I want you to listen to this. Humility... and this is why it's so hard for us to do, it's so hard for us to have, humility is not thinking better of yourself than you should. Humility is not thinking of yourself at all. Did you hear me? Humility is not just thinking higher of yourself or lower of yourself than you should, it really is not thinking of yourself at all. 'Cause stop and think about this. Why did God's son come into this world through a pregnant unwed teenage girl in a culture that honored virginity and shamed pregnancy outside of marriage? And beyond that, why would Jesus be born, not in the comfortable surroundings of a palace, a royal palace, but into a feeding trough in a stable, not to rich and powerful people? Why would Jesus be born to people of the lowest socioeconomic class, who by the way, would suffer the apparent shame of having a child out of wedlock?
Why in the world would it be that way? Why in the world would God say to his own son, you're not gonna be born to a beauty queen, you're not gonna be born to a princess, you're not gonna start out in a palace, you're not gonna have a silver spoon in your mouth, you're gonna come to the lowest of the low. You're gonna be born in a place surrounded not by servants and soldiers, but by donkeys and cows. Why in the world would God do that? Because God values something we don't value very much anymore. God values humility. He puts a premium on humility. Listen, God disdains the proud, but he delights in the humble. Isaiah 66:2 said this, "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit".
I heard my mentor, Dr. Roger, say one time, "I've known some people that were so proud they could strut sitting down". People who get God's attention are not the haughty. They're the humble. People who get God's attention, they're not the people who see how high they can stand, but how low they can stoop. People that get God's attention, it's not the people that push to the front of the line, it is people who willingly go to the back of the line. God seeks people of humility. God looks for places of humility. And here's the last thing. God works through the power of humility.
Now I want you to go back and think about something. Remember, Mary was Jewish. She grew up in a Jewish home. She had gone to the synagogue. She had attended the Temple. And she had heard how prophets like Isiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel had foretold the coming of this king who would reclaim Israel's throne. He'd be a king like no other king. He would be the messiah. Now she's being told, this little peasant girl's being told, Mary, you're gonna be pregnant. I'm gonna make sure you have a baby. You are going to conceive, and by the way, you're not just gon' give birth to a boy, you're not even gonna give birth to just a king, you're gonna give birth to a one-of-a-kind king, the King of Kings.
Now let me just stop. Ordinarily, you would think, well, gosh, that would kinda make her head swell a little bit. I mean, that would pump her up full of pride. Man, look at me, I'm the one that God has chosen. I'm gonna be the mother of God's son. I'm gonna be the mother of the messiah. You would think, look, if Mary's just a normal person, I mean, lets give her some props here, if she's just normal, that's got to puff her up with pride. Well, but there's a big problem, a big problem. I mean, she's good to go, but she has this little question. "'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?'" By the way, what that literally says in the Greek language is "How will this be, since I've never known a man"?
Now this is one of those verses you kinda blow over and you don't even really realize what she is saying, but Mary knew exactly what she was saying. Mary knew exactly what she was about to get into. Mary knew exactly what she was about to face. She said, I don't understand, what are you talking about? Well, Mary was a peasant girl, but she wasn't dumb. Mary knew how babies were made. Mary didn't believe in the stork. She knew babies didn't come from FedEx. She knew how babies were conceived. And she knew she had never come within a country mile of making a baby with anybody. She had never had relations with anybody. And by the way, for those of you that do not know this, just as an aside, Luke was a doctor, and Luke purposely uses the word for virgin. He wants us to know, look, I'm a doctor, I know what I'm talking about. This is a girl who had never had relations with anybody, never had sex with anybody.
Now we've been told why she's been going to have a baby, we've been told that, you're going to give birth to the King of Kings, the messiah, but we've not been told how. And so then this angel said, well, Mary, it's not going to be by magic, but it is going to be a mystery. So the angel says, don't worry. "'The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" Now I want you to understand something. This is not a medical explanation, it is a spiritual explanation. It's not a natural explanation, it is a supernatural explanation. She's going to conceive this child in her womb still a virgin, so he's going to be the heavenly child of an earthly mother, and he's going to be the earthly child of a heavenly father.
Now today, not such a big deal anymore for babies to be born out of wedlock. Four out of 10 babies today are born out of wedlock, and in some ethnicities, that is now a majority, and it's commonly accepted. We just don't even pay attention to it anymore. Not so in that culture, different day. Everyone who knew Mary knew how to read a calendar, and people would realize, okay, Mary, you've gotten pregnant, and Mary, you're gonna have a baby, and there hasn't been a wedding yet. You've not been married yet. So there could only be two logical conclusions, only two. All right, either you and Joseph messed up... Or Mary, even worse than that, you have been unfaithful to Joseph. We have words for women like that, unfortunately.
So here's what Mary's saying. You're about to make me pregnant, and I'm a virgin. You're about to make me pregnant, but you know I've never had relations with anybody. I know I've never had relations with anybody. Joseph at least knows I've never had relations with him, so if I agree to this, if I say, okay, you can have my womb, you can have my body, she knew she would be called unsavory names. She knew that her children, particularly Jesus, would be made fun of. She knew that they would be considered second-class citizens within their own people. She knew, see, we don't know this about Mary, she knew women will cross to the other side of the street, Mary, when they see you coming. Women will whisper behind your back. Mary, you won't be invited to the neighborhood parties.
And by the way, if you doubt what I'm saying, if you think I'm kinda blowing this up, on one occasion, when Jesus was talking to the Pharisees about who really are God's children and who really are not God's children, they made a snide remark. Here's what they said to Jesus. "We're not illegitimate children". You are. In fact, there's B-word for you, Jesus, but we're not that. We know what you are. We know what your mother was. We know what your mother did. So don't be too holy and mighty with us. Malicious gossip followed Mary all of her life. See, common sense suggests, Mary knew this would be a double-edged sword.
Now the blessing is going to be, I'm gonna be the mother of the son of God. The burden's going to be, how am I gonna explain this? How'm I gonna explain this to my parents? How'm I gonna explain this to his parents? How'm I gonna explain this to my children? How'm I gonna explain this to my relatives? How'm I gonna explain this to the kids I went to high school with? How am I gonna explain this on my job application? How am I gonna explain this when people ask me? Oh, well, you see, I got pregnant by the spirit of God. How's that gonna work out for her? So she knew the cost of this birth. She knew the price she would have to pay if she bore this child.
See, you've never heard this side of the story, and that's why this response she gives is just awesome. She says, "'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'My your word to me be fulfilled,' And then the angel left her". Do you understand, my wonderful people, do you understand what a difference it would make in your life, do you understand what a difference it would make in your finances, do you understand what a difference it would make in your involvement in this church, do you understand what a difference it would make in the way you relate to other people if you just got up every day and just said one thing, I am the Lord's servant? Just whatever I have, it's yours. Whatever I can do, I'll do. Whatever you want, you can have it. I am the Lord's servant.
Now we see the true greatness of Mary, and by the way, the word servant refers to the lowliest kind of servant. The word literally means someone that would voluntarily sell themselves into slavery. In other words, it was the most humble act that a person could perform in that society. So you want to know what made Mary such a great woman, as a matter of fact, the greatest woman who has ever lived? It was that statement that put her at the top of the list, "I am the Lord's servant".
So let's just define humility, and let's just kinda all of us, let's all of us now, let's just see how we do on the humility test. Are you ready? "Humility is when obeying the word of God, doing the will of God, and fulfilling the work of God is more important to you than anything in life including your own life". So let's just, I'm just asking, so how humble are you really? I mean, is obeying the word of God more important to you than anything else? You can't say that if you're not even reading your Bible. Is doing the will of God more important to you than anything else? If you know right now you're living outside the word of God in some area of your life, is fulfilling the work of God more important to you than anything else in your life, serving God wherever you can serve?
See, humility means, now some of you, listen, if I haven't hit you yet, I'm gonna give it one more shot. 'Cause I'm hitting me, too. Humility means there is one word you have to, right today, immediately, forever eliminate from your vocabulary, and the one word you've got to eliminate from your vocabulary if you're going to achieve the humility you ought to have is a little word called if. You can't use that word anymore. Because every time you use that word if, it signals to God, I'm putting me first, and I'm doing it with pride.
Let me tell you what I mean. Pride is when you say things like this, well, I will do this if it doesn't inconvenience me. I will do this is if it doesn't cost too much. I will go to the back of the line if there's something in it for me, or I will give if I get what I want first. Because when if walks into the room, humility walks out of the room. That word is gone. Humility has no ifs, no ands, and no buts in its vocabulary. So yes, Mary did become the mother of Jesus, the messiah, the son of God, but being the mother, this is what I love bout this sweet little old lady, being the mother of Jesus, the greatest woman who ever lived, never went to her head, it went to her heart. 'Cause when you study about Mary, here's what you find. She never traded on her position. She never asked for a divine mother discount. She never called attention to her role in his birth. She never asked for the spotlight or center stage. She never signed her name Mary, MOG, Mother of God.
In fact, you wanna hear the last words Mary ever said in scripture, the last words ever recorded? Here's the last words she ever said. "Do whatever he tells you". Never changed. "I am the servant of the Lord," "Do whatever he tells you". But Mary did make a prediction that did come true, because speaking of her assignment from God, here's what she said, "He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on, all generations will call me blessed".
And Mary did become the most famous woman in history, and today, billions of people still rise up and call her blessed because of her humility. Mary was a nobody who became greater than almost everybody, because she simply said five words, and she not only meant them, she lived them. And those five words, or four words, "It's not about me". It's not about me. It's not about me. It's what Jesus said when he went to the cross. He said it over, and over, and over. Father, it's not about me, it's about them and what they need, and it's about you and what you want. And it's what we must say every single day if we want the blessing and we want the favor of God in our own life.
So I'll just close with a question. Where do you need to humble yourself today? Where's the area of pride in your life? I don't tell people about Jesus, I never do that, because I'm afraid I might get rejected. I'm afraid I might get embarrassed. I'm afraid they might get upset. I'm afraid they may ask me a question I can't answer. I, I, I, I. We will never have our one, and we'll never tell anyone about Jesus until we realize, it's not about me. It's about them, and it's about him.