ONCE UPON A TIME…..
We read about the birth of Jesus in Luke 1: 26- 36. We all know this Jesus’ story as we know all the other stories of the Bible.
Let me start with a question.. Are we the kind of those people, who read God’s Word just as a story book.. one story after another? Why I’m asking this because we can find so many around us, who read the Scripture as their daily routine. Are we concerned about what we’re reading? When we read God’s Word just for the sake of reading, then we may never receive anything from the Lord and this Living Word can never be a blessing for us too.
Because God has given us His Word, for us to read it, understand it, do things according to what it says.., and we can receive blessings, healings, deliverances, physically, spiritually, mentally, financially, emotionally, so on. In any aspect of our lives, where we struggle, this Word will work. Because this is a Living Word, as it’s written in the Book of John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
So, if anyone who’s reading this, can say that ‘I’ve never seen God, never heard His voice, I’m a sinner, I had a bad past, God will never speak to me,’ if so, let me tell you this good news that, ‘kindly don’t trouble yourself by thinking so, because the truth is whenever you open the Bible and start reading, God starts to speak to you, each and every word speaks to your heart and spirit. But if you don’t understand this reality, then you will miss the whole point of truth and live in believing the lies of devil.’
Let me share some important points with you in related to what we have read above,
1. The obedience of Joseph and Mary — Just for a moment, let me visualize this story for you. Just imagine Joseph and Mary got engaged and were going to be get married soon. In between, on a beautiful day, an angel named Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her the good news of the birth of a baby boy called Jesus. They had a brief conversation about the matter. Mary had to answer instantly, angel never told Mary that ‘you think about this very well and let me know your answer by this time tomorrow.’ Nothing happened so. She had to respond instantly.
The whole Host of heaven had been watching as the conversation taking place between the angel and Mary, they had been so eager to listen what Mary would say. Because, now everything depended upon how she would respond.
Just in a few seconds, Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1: 38). Taking her agreement to obey the message, the angel left.
Likewise, an angel appeared to Joseph and spoke to him, as we read in Matt 1: 20 onwards, there also we get to read that Joseph too obeyed what was instructed to him by the angel. Perhaps, this is how it might have been happened.
We see the obedience of Joseph and Mary, because of that the birth of Jesus happened according to God’s perfect plan.
The importance of being obedient to God’s perfect plans and His instructions for our life is the important point that we can fetch from here. As we read in 1 Samuel 15: 22, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
2. The importance of dreams — Joseph was struggling to take a very important decision of his life. Because he was a righteous man, at last he decided to divorce (Matt 1:19 NIV) Mary quietly. Without knowing God’s will in making decisions, he abruptly decided under pressure. But was that what God had intended for both of their lives? After knowing Joseph’s decision, God spoke to him in dream through His angel. Then what did Joseph do? As he woke up from his sleep, he understood God’s voice and immediately obeyed His instructions as he was commanded by the angel in the dream.
We find two things here, firstly Joseph’s obedience and secondly Understanding the importance of dream
What should we do? If we struggle in any area of our lives, God speaks to us concerning our decisions. Through dreams, visions, His Word, His people, our own thoughts, or through anyone, God tells us exactly what He wants us to do in every particular situation.
We need to be very alert to hear God’s voice concerning the decisions we make.
Always we must be careful to know that in all our decisions God’s will is involved or not.
Are we taking our decisions under situational pressure from our humanly perpsective?
3. The divine purpose of the birth of Jesus — From the beginning itself, due to mankind’s disobedience, the Lord Jesus Christ had to leave all the heaven’s Glory to be born as a human. Generally, it’s the most happiest thing that Jesus was born among us, but it’s also the most saddest thing that because of all of our sins and disobedience, He had to suffer such a painful and dreadful death, so that God could fill us with His Heavenly blessings and give us Eternal Life.
John 3: 16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Here we understand and feel God’s unconditional and eternal love towards us – His creation. Only because of this great love, God let His one and only Son to be born on the earth, so that His creation i.e. human beings and their souls should not perish and miss their eternity in heaven.
In this beautiful time of the Christmas season, when we think of Lord Jesus’ birth we celebrate it. As normally, everyone enjoying feasts, celebrations, gifts, wearing new garments, attending the church service, and visiting friends and relatives, and so on; we must notice that these kinds only please the human beings but not God. Rather let’s celebrate this beautiful occasion in such a way that it will ultimately please God.
For instance, after a child is born, usually we do celebrate that child’s birthdays each year. And when the child turns twenty years old big boy/girl, then do we celebrate his/her birthday in a new born child’s way? Likewise, we must understand that Jesus is still not a baby, when we receive Jesus Christ in our hearts as our personal Lord and Savior, then that’s the moment when Jesus’ birth happens in our lives. This is a spiritual activity that happens to a person, which means to be born again. We must keep on grow and increase spiritually in Christ (Eph 4: 15).
So, as it pleases the Lord, we may understand the true meaning of the Christmas season, the depth and the truthfulness of the Eternal Love of God. It’s important to be obedient to God’s Word, to listen to God’s voice to know His perfect will concerning our each and every decision; to really understand the divine purpose, why God sent Jesus on this earth.
Dear People of God, let me encourage you to consider God’s Greatest Gift seriously – the gift of the life of Jesus, to see your life as the most precious gift, for you are purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Dear ones, Time has come.., Jesus is coming very soon. We need to make sure that have we fulfilled everything what God wants from us – before it’s too late. This is not the time to spend on feastings and celebrating the birth of Jesus as the worldly do… rather it’s time to get ready to meet Jesus on the clouds at any time! God bless you!
Sheeba Robinson, Nagpur