Bible Reference: Luke 2:4-7
Bible Text: 4-5 Mary’s fiancé Joseph, from Nazareth in Galilee, had to participate in the census in the same way everyone else did. Because he was a descendant of King David, his ancestral city was Bethlehem, David’s birthplace. Mary, who was now late in her pregnancy that the messenger Gabriel had predicted, 6 accompanied Joseph. While in Bethlehem, she went into labor 7 and gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped the baby in a blanket and laid Him in a feeding trough because the inn had no room for them.
Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)
Time, Place and Availability are three things we tend to look closely at this time of the year as we plan our parties and family meals. But these are some things that require our attention in the Christmas story also! I would suggest that you click on the Scripture for today and read the first 7 verses of Luke chapter 2. You will notice in this short passage that God had a perfect plan for the birth of His Son, Jesus. Here are some points that I believe you will find fascinating:
- The Time: Was it coincidence, or was it God’s perfect plan that the very time for Joseph to go to his family’s birthplace (Bethlehem) to be registered for the census, was also the time in Mary’s pregnancy that her baby would be born?
- The Place: Was it coincidence, or was it God’s perfect plan that when Isaiah prophesied that the Son of the Most High would be of the lineage of David, that God would actually align a plan to place Mary and Joseph in the same birth-town of David at the time of Jesus’ birth?
- The Availability: Joseph broke all traditions to take Mary as his wife, even after learning that she was pregnant – and not bearing his child. He was available to the call of God, in spite of the mockery he would receive. Mary openly accepted the call of God to carry His miraculous One, in spite of the possibility of losing her fiancé Joseph, and losing all respect from her family and townspeople. They both were available to the will and plan of God. However, this was not the way it was in every case during the pregnancy and birth of our Lord, for much like many of us today, there was no room for Joseph and Mary to rest their head and prepare for the birth of their child – the Savior of the world; the King of all kings; the Redeemer sent to save all mankind from the grip of sin on their life. There was no room for Jesus.
Friends, I believe that there is an enormous message in this short Scripture for us today. At times, it appears like there are circumstances in our lives that we would just rather not deal with, and for the life of us we just can’t understand why some things happen to us. I believe you can see from the above that our awesome God has this whole delicate life of ours perfectly in the palm of His hand and under His awesome plan and care, even if we sometimes may think in terms of coincidence, or happen-chance. Here is a personal experience that gives me confidence in this powerful truth: almost 30 years ago I sat before my aging parents in the Bahamas, and told them that my wife and I had been approved by the US Government to reside in the USA. It really saddened and frustrated my dad that his oldest son would move that far away from his aging parents. In less than 2 years after that meeting with my parents, my dad thanked God, in my presence, that He had opened that door for me, that now led to his life being saved through medical intervention here in the US. Friends, when we allow room for Jesus in our life, we had best hang tight for the time of our lives. Yes, there will be circumstances we don’t understand, but notice that there is no recorded argument by Mary or Joseph with God over His perfect plan. God just needs our availability. Have you found time for Jesus in your life? Have you surrendered to His perfect plan for your life? Ours is not to question or reason, just to surrender and obey. One of these days, when face to face with Jesus, I look forward to the voice of my Savior saying “well done, good; faithful; and obedient servant, welcome home!” This can also be your outcome, if you have surrendered your life to Jesus. Please read my Footnote and follow the referenced scripture to identify the need in your life today.
Heavenly Father, even at Your birth we marvel at the perfect plan that had been aligned to announce Your coming, Your birth and the heralded welcome by so many. There were many who surrendered to Your call, and who stopped what they were doing to allow Your guiding hand upon their lives. Perhaps as we stop and listen this Christmas, we will hear; we will understand better; and we will be more obedient to Your call on our lives. Lord may we learn to place You as high priority in our busy lives this Christmas and in the year ahead. Often we tend to blame our neglect on not having time (for You). May we learn to change that to openly confess that You were just not a priority to us. I sincerely believe that to be the case, and pray that You might help us to get our priorities straight, beginning with me, and beginning today. For I surrender myself afresh to You precious Lord, AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!