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Great Things HE Has Done

The First Songs of Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:45
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In All of our Being We Magnify Him (46-47)

Mary bursts into this amazing hymn of praise to the Lord above because of what Elizabeth stated to her. She was bragging on the Lord alone and not herself at all. All glory is given to the Lord. We see he magnifying Him and we can do the same.
Magnify and praise the Lord for all you have. We can easily sing here
Joy to the World
Glory to God on High
Praise His Holy Name.
This is magnifying the Lord. This is giving honor and praise to Him in all things. This is taking any glory and honor from us and giving it all to Him.
This is what Mary does in Luke 1:46-55
Luke 1:46–55 ESV
46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
When we read this text we see that Mary states that Great things God has done and He is for, or will do 10 times.
Mary is praising God for what HE has done. She is giving Him great glory and praise because He is worthy and only He is the reason why anything good and wonderful happens.
We see major reflections in this hymn of praise from an earlier hymn of praise from another woman who received great blessings from the Lord. That woman is Hannah and her hymn is in 1 Sam. 2:1-10. In that hymn Hannah says her heart exalts in the Lord, she rejoices in the Lord, that He is holy, that he brings down the mighty and arrogant, the hungry are fed, the poor are made rich, the rich are brought low, and that all who are against the Lord will be broken and scattered.
There is much similarity and connection in this. Each of these hymns show us how to praise the Lord and magnify Him with our all. Mary does this because she has received the greatest blessing of all; to be the mother of the Son of God.
She says my Soul magnifies God–focuses on the greatness of God and Her Spirit rejoices in Him–he has taken thought of her. She is praising the Lord for the amazingness of what He has done and what He will continue to do.
When we praise the Lord with our soul, we are praising Him with our everything in us because our soul is our life it is who we are. We are giving everything to Him in praise because He has given us great things.
Her Spirit rejoices in Him. This is her passions and desires. What drives her and what drives her drives her because that drive is set on rejoicing in the God who gave it to her.
She is committed to Him in all she does because He is great and wonderful. He looked down on her humble estate and said that she is the one.
We will use her to bring the Son to earth as man. We will use her because she has served me well and been humble in all she does. She is chosen for this amazing blessing to the world.
Mary praises the Lord, as we should because Great Things HE Has Done.
In this text we will look at ten ways that God has done great things. Each of these are coupled together in five points that demonstrate why God is Great and worthy of these amazing Praises.
The first thing we see is that...

He Blesses the Humble (48-49)

God desire humility. He wants us to be humble in all we do. He does not want an arrogant hair brained half cocked fool as the one He will give great blessing.
No, He desires a humble person because a humble person will give Him all the praise because they know that what has happened has only happened because God has allowed it or made it possible.
Too many today find themselves as the one who has done great things in their lives and their ways. When instead they should look at the Lord and be like Mary here and say, “he who is mighty has done great things for me.”
One writer has stated,
Do you not hear some of this same amazement in the words of Mary’s song? She, too, was just an ordinary young woman. Nothing indicates she’d been born into a wealthy, famous family. By all accounts she was an average, small-town teenage girl, and likely no one within the small orbit of her acquaintances envisioned a spectacular future ahead for her. Yet watch what happened: “God looked on the humble estate of his servant.” He shook this young girl’s world one day, and everything changed. (Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, The First Songs of Christmas, 42).
One could say she was a nobody but that nobody received a great blessing from the Lord.
She could have become arrogant and bragged.
She could have built herself up because the Lord had selected her to give birth to the Son of God.
She could have become prideful, but she did not and that humility is why God selected her.
Humility is what God desires from us.
He desires humility because a humble person will be obedient to Him because they know He is great and mighty.
God desires humility and obedience and when we are both we have no idea what blessings may come but we do know that when we are humble and obedient we fear Him and worship Him.
When we do this...

His Mercy is upon those who Fear [Adore, Worship] Him (50)

We receive His mercy. He will do many mighty and blessed things for us.
We are His alone when we fear and adore Him.
We are committed to Him alone.
We want only what He wants.
We are sold out for what He wants and we will go and do what He desires and wants.
When we fear Him and adore Him and Worship Him alone we have a deep and abiding relationship with Him.
“Having a relationship with the God of heaven makes any life extraordinary—and it’s all that makes a life extraordinary. Mary’s experience of amazement can be yours as well when the Lord is with you and within you.” (Wolgemuth, 43)
He is what blesses and glorifies us. It is not us. It is not what we do.
No, it is all in what He does.
His mercy is to us and to all who fear Him. When that is done many people will realize who He is and how wonderful life with Him is.
Too many today want to live life their way.
They do not want to submit to the amazing merciful God.
They want to go and be arrogant and be a glory hog for themselves.
Then people will come along behind them and take up for them and their crude and evil actions.
People follow people and will act as they do and defend them if they think they are great.
When they do this they miss the mercy and blessing of God because His blessings and mercy extend to those who Fear Him and Adore Him and Worship Him.
His mercy extends to generation and generation of those who fear Him. What a wonderful praise this is. We have His mercy when we are His and it will extend forever.
That is worth praising but you must be His before this happens.
Yes, there is mercy for all but this mercy is beyond the common mercy that all people receive.
Even those who are all about themselves will receive some form of mercy, but their mercy does not extend for generations, that is only for those who fear Him.
This is because...

His Power Brings Down the Proud and Arrogant (51-52)

He has shown strength. He has scattered the proud. He has brought down the mighty and exalted those of humble estate.
This means that the proud and mighty will be punished because they rest in themselves alone. They do not care about God.
They only care about themselves and what they do. It is all about them.
These are the people who get angry on TV and let out foul words that they should not even say anyway.
They only do that because that is cool and what we do. We use these foolish words rather than using proper ways of expressing ourselves because we are too caught up in ourselves to think of other people.
Arrogance and pride will make us to act in ways that at one time we never would have. This is the type God brings down.
Think if you will of the man who you have worked with for years. He is a good guy, he works hard and always is there with you.
Then he gets a promotion because of his work ethic and knowledge. He becomes the boss.
All of a sudden he doesn’t talk to you except to look down on you. He is too good for you now.
Whereas a few days ago he was cutting up with you.
Pride and arrogance took over and now you are nothing more than a grunt to him.
These are the types that the Lord’s arm is stretched out against. These are the types that will be brought low.
Yet those who keep their head down and stay humble will be exalted by the Lord which is far better than any exaltation this stupid, bitter, hate-filled, sin loving, God hating world can offer you.
We may suffer for a time but God will scatter the proud and arrogant. Do not fall into the trap and join them.
Do not follow the old mantra of “If you can’t beat them join them.”
We will beat them because we serve the All-Mighty All-Powerful God of heaven and earth and He will scatter and decimate the proud and arrogant and all who think they are mighty will fall.
Only the humble faithful worshippers of the all mighty God will stand in the end.
God is good and God is faithful. You can trust Him and rest in Him and sing praises to Him because of who He is.
We see this once again when we read that...

He Will Fill the Poor but Rebuke the Selfish (53)

The hungry are filled with good things but the rich/selfish are sent away empty.
We as believers receive the best thing one can be filled with, the Holy Spirit.
We also receive the peace, joy, comfort, strength, power, grace, love, self-control of the Lord.
These are good things.
This text does not say the poor will be filled with food or drink but good things.
Christ is the greatest thing to be filled with. We receive Him.
This text is not saying that poor people receive while all rich people lose.
No, it is saying the same as the beatitudes say about the poor in spirit. We are poor in spirit when we admit we are not worthy and we cannot save ourselves.
We are poor in spirit when we realize that nothing we do is going to get us anything but grief and more grief.
We may struggle and fight all of our lives but,
“if you’re a child of God, no matter what may be going on in your life, you can lift your eyes upward from your circumstances. You can look beyond yourself and see that the God of the Bible is the God of today. He is sovereign over every moment of your life—past, present, and future. And He is always at work redeeming you. He is always actively engaged in giving you reason for rejoicing. Even if your eyes are legitimately, understandably filled with tears, He is still doing “great things” for you—great things worthy of your notice and worship, great things worthy of being told and talked about” (Wolgemuth, 46).
What a blessing to know. We have Him and He is worth more than anything this world offers. We can rest in Him when insulted and assaulted.
We have the faithful and powerful Lord and the world has the devil and his minions.
They have nothing because they seek empty dreams and desires. They have their blessings here because they reject the great blessing that is the Lord and His amazing grace.
What a reason to praise Him and seek to get as many as we can to praise Him.
This hymn should be sparking a joy in you and a praise in you. We should all be jumping and shouting and singing hallelujah because we have the all-filling gracious loving God as our God.
We have the power of the powerful creator with us and the world has nothing but thinks they have it all.
We should be able to walk by them and their glories with a wisdom that far surpasses us seeking to defend their sin and desires.
We will be filled with good things and they will be sent away empty.
We can rest in this and sing these praises because...

His Blessings Remind all of His Faithfulness (54-55)

His blessings remind us that He is faithful and will do all He has said.
If He has told us we have everlasting life through belief in His Son, we have everlasting life through belief in His Son.
If He has told us we will receive treasure in heaven for the sufferings we have endured here, we will have treasures in heaven.
If He tells us we will be filled with good things we can rest in the fact we will be filed with good things.
His blessings remind us to constantly turn our eyes to Him.
Swindoll wrote, “When confronting circumstances beyond our control, a vertical perspective is essential. Submission to the will of God becomes much easier the more we turn our eyes from the horizontal plane to look deeply into His character. Do as the old gospel song invites:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace.” (Insights on Luke, 52).
His blessings remind us of this. He has said and He will do look back at the blessings he gave many in the Bible.
He said and he did what He said. Those blessings are reminders that He will deliver.
The fact that Mary shifts from the praises attributed to God for her alone to praising Him for what He does for all shows us that God is for us if we will rest in Him and fear Him.
Turn to Him in struggles and strife.
Give it to Him look to him.
Stop looking to people and things of this world to help. They will fail you.
But the God who blesses will fill you, keep you, shine mercy on you, protect you from the wicked, and care for you in ways you can only dream of.
Will you struggle and suffer in this world?
Yes, we all will. But we have the faithful and fulfilling God on our side.
I want to add this one tidbit here.
Our happiness is not number one on God’s desires for us.
Our happiness is not what Jesus came for.
Our happiness is not what should drive us.
No, God desires us to have Joy in Him, Jesus died for us so we can delight in the Lord alone and be with Him forever, it is this joy of the Lord that should drive us.
We should praise Him for the Great Things HE Has Done because He is great and mighty and He has looked on the estate of us wicked depraved people and sent us a savior to die and rise again so we can live with Him forever.
Jesus wants you to be His and not the worlds. Rest in Him after you have believed in Him for the salvation that only He can offer and you too can sing the hymn of praise like this one from Mary.
You too can magnify the Lord with your whole being. And when we do this at all times, we can cause others to begin to do the same.
Those who are bitter may be released. Those who are hateful, may become joyous. Those who are arrogant and proud may become humble. We do not know but what we do know is that when we live in this praise filled way, many will see and that will impact them in some form and God will be at work.
When God is working in and through us we will see amazing things and be like Mary and sing great praises to Him above all things.


I want to end with this powerful statement of what this hymn of praise teaches us.
God’s work on behalf of his people produces praise and thanksgiving in our hearts. It may seem that evil will triumph when the rich are prospering and mistreating the godly. Mary reminds us that the Lord is faithful to his covenant promises, that the promises given to Abraham will be fulfilled. In fact, they are fulfilled in an inaugurated way in Jesus the Messiah. Ultimately, the wicked will be defeated and the righteous will triumph, for the Lord’s kingdom will come in its fullness in Jesus Christ’s return. Goodness will finally triumph, the evil will be judged, and the Lord will reign forever!
Thomas R. Schreiner, “Luke,” in Matthew–Luke, ed. Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., and Jay Sklar, vol. VIII, ESV Expository Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021), 744.
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