My friend, may I ask you a question? Obedience to God, especially when that obedience requires a huge sacrifice our lives, perhaps even persecution and shame, is never easy in that sense. So, why do we do it? In the end is it just a small price to pay for eternal life?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
"When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary to be his wife." (Matthew 1:24) God spoke to Joseph in a dream that Mary, his young wife to be, had not been unfaithful to him. Mary, according to the angel, had "conceived" of the Holy Spirit. There was no sin here at all. Joseph was commanded to take her and marry her. He was also to name the child Jesus. Joseph, the carpenter and son of David, had a dream. In that dream God spoke to him through an angel. He asked Joseph to believe something that was incredible, unbelievable in every sense. He wasn't asking him to make something with his hands. That would have been believable for Joseph. He was a carpenter. He wasn't asking him to walk a different path in life, perhaps to change vocation or even his home. Even that would have been believable for it was doable. He wasn't asking Joseph to give all his money to the poor or anything else quite doable by human standards. No, He was asking Joseph to believe that a virgin could conceive and that this conceiving was by the Holy Spirit. And, if that wasn't enough, the child would be God's own son.
God could have easily done all of this in another way, in a much more believable and doable way. Yet, He chose to use a miracle. An unknown writer has put it this way. "If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior." (Source Unknown.)
As unbelievable as all of this was, Joseph took it to heart and did what the angel had commanded him to do. Undoubtedly, there were consequences. When we undertake to do that which only makes sense to God and not to us, there will be. No doubt there were many innuendos that pierced the air behind Joseph's back. In Joseph's day a man had three options when his wife was unfaithful. He could have her stoned or brought to the town square and humiliated. Or he could quietly divorce her. He did none of these things and, without a doubt, he paid the price for his believing heart. Obedience to God, especially when that obedience requires a huge sacrifice, is never easy. In that sense, Christmas is unbelievable. God asks us to believe that which is impossible. As Christians we will always be ridiculed for that belief, especially at Christmas time. But, when you think of it, it is a small price to pay for eternal life in heaven. Merry Christmas!
We pray. Dear Father, You could have chosen any number of ways to deliver us from ourselves. You could have simply given us great leaders who would lead our nations, restore peace, pursue economic equity and bring material and mutual peace on earth. In the end we all would have been judged fairly for our imperfections and that would be the end of us. It would have been fair, just and faithful to Your creation. But, Lord, You are a gracious, loving and giving Lord. Life on earth was not enough. You wanted to give us eternal life in heaven hosted by Yourself for an eternity. You sent us a perfect Savior instead of perfect leaders to make sure that our sin debt was paid in full so that we could spend eternity in Your perfect home in heaven. All praise, honor, glory and power be unto You O Lord. You chose a Savior when anything or anyone else would have been far more than we deserved in the first place. In Jesus Name! Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.