Thanksgiving came and went, ushering us into Week 3 of “It Could Only Be Jesus“:
Our days unfold aligned to God’s plans. In Luke 1:5-17, the story begins to unfold with the prophetic word about the birth of John the Baptist. Both Zechariah and Elizabeth were “righteous and careful to obey God’s commandments and regulations”, and yet they were childless. Zechariah, a Jewish priest, was chosen by lot to enter the Temple to burn the incense. He was chosen by lots – but not by chance. There were so many priests, this privilege of entering the Temple to serve and burn the incense, might only come once in their lifetime. Yet this all perfectly aligned in time by God’s sovereign and great plan. And so it is in the life of each of us. In Ephesians 1:5, 1:11 and 2:10, Paul reminds us we too, have been chosen in advance and God makes everything work out according to His plans for our lives. Our lives are not happenstance or accidental. Nothing occurs in our lives by coincidence.
- We can be righteous and godly, and still experience suffering. Zechariah and Elizabeth were faithful people, yet they were suffering because they were childless (Luke 1:6-7). Children were considered a blessing and being childless caused them to live with a stigma upon them … but they were remained faithful. Going through tough times doesn’t mean that God has forgotten us.Â May God help us not to expect a life of ease but to develop a life of faithfulness to Him.
- Our weaknesses are often opportunities. In Luke 1:26-33, we find Gabriel coming to Mary to deliver his message. Gabriel’s word affirm Mary, tell Mary what is about to occur, and tells her what to do and who her son will be. Now I don’t know about all of you but … I often think I would just love if I were to be told straightforward God’s plan for my life. Instead we find Mary feeling “confused and disturbed” (verse 29). God’s plans probably are always overwhelming, as they are a stretch for us to fulfill on our own. But the purpose of His plans is not necessarily for us to be able to do them. Perhaps it is so He can be seen in the midst of them. It is in our weakness, our frailty, our brokenness, and our inability that He is seen more clearly and He alone gets the glory. Paul’s words remind us: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9b, NLT). Paul saw his human weaknesses as opportunities for God’s power to work through him. May we come to discover how our ordinary days fit into His extraordinary plans.
- A submissive response positions us best. Submission. We can so get our feathers ruffled by this word, can’t we? Luke 1:34-38 shows us the beauty of submission as seen in Mary. She had to realize how difficult the days ahead would be as a unmarried pregnant woman. Joseph surely knew he was not the father, so she had no idea how he would react. Yet her words are that of humble submission. May the Lord’s will be done. May our heart be to have this same attitude of submission. “May the Lord’s will be done” in my life and each of yours.
- Precious is The Name. Matthew 1:18-25 and Isaiah 7:14.Â Immanuel – “God with us”. God began to impress upon me Immanuel – “the God who saves”.Â In Isaiah 7:14, we are told the Lord himself will give the sign. Then it says, “Look!” (in the NLT). We must look for Him or we will surely miss Him. He is with us, among us, in fact, He is in us and we can miss Him if we aren’t diligently looking for Him. He has come to save us – from our sin, from our situations, for ourselves, from anything which will cause us to miss Him. He not only came to be among us, He came so that we would be able to be with Him. Today may we, “Look!”
By the end of this week of study, the words to this old Christmas carol rang in my heart:
“O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”
It could only be Jesus.
The first week of this study can be found > HERE ”“ One Sufficient Sacrifice.
The second week can be found >Â HERE – Faith, Hope & Assurance.
Today I am joining … Trekking Thru the Week and Tell His Story and Grace Full Tuesday and #RaRaLInkup .