Tuesday, December 15th
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25 (NASB)
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We continue today with our passage for the week. Yesterday we put our focus on Joseph being afraid to take Mary as his wife and today we focus on the words of the angel that are given to set the record straight. The angel says, "The child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." Now for Joseph these words are initially words that tell him what is not true. In other words, it is not true that Mary has been involved with another man and it is not true that he has to give up on their plans for marriage. Up until now Joseph is simply engaged to a woman who is pregnant and the prospects don't look so good. Conception by the Holy Spirit alleviates his dilemma, but this is so much bigger than Joseph's dilemma.
This is a vital point for us. What God is doing is always bigger than the dilemmas we face. We are so wrapped up in ourselves, our circumstances, the dilemmas they create, and the solutions we want. We talked yesterday about Divine explanations and Divine solutions. The narrowness of our field of vision has much to do with the narrowness of our being caught up in ourselves. We are often limited to human explanations and human solutions because we only see our human dilemma. Divine conception is more about the provision of a Divine Savior (God's means of reclaiming a lost humanity for himself and his purposes) than it is about alleviating Joseph's dilemma. Divine intervention for us is always more about Divine purposes than it is about alleviating our dilemmas,
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I confess that I am more "me" centered than I should be and less "You" centered than I should be. Please deliver me from my orientation toward "you existing for me" instead of "me existing for you." Forgive me for all the ways I have looked to you as a spiritual Santa Claus. I know you care about me and my dilemmas and that you do help me in wonderful ways. But today, I choose to care about You and your Divine purposes more than I do about me and my dilemmas. I bow before you in total surrender and submisssion. Amen!
Posted on Tue, December 15, 2015
by Alan Porter