Wednesday, December 23rd

Wednesday, December 23rd

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. Luke 2:4-5 (NASB)

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

In one sense our verses for today are all about compliance by Joseph and Mary to the dictates of outside forces upon their lives which were entirely beyond their control. On the other hand they are about reliance on God for strength and provision for handling a major detour that has been thrust upon them. In reality compliance and reliance go hand in hand. Imagine how the typical citizen of Israel may have taken the news of this decree when it was first issued. Freedoms under Roman rule were quite reduced and non-compliance was probably not something anyone would consider seriously. However, you can be sure there were a lot of non-compliant thoughts, feelings, and words.

Sounds a lot like our lives. Sometimes things come at us that would interfere with our flow of life and we are able to ward it off so to speak. But sometimes there are things that come our way that we can do nothing about because they are beyond our control and our resistance can only be thoughts, feelings, and words. We don't know what the initial reaction of Joseph and Mary was to the decree. We do know they went forward in full compliance. They embraced and faced all that the decree brought to them (which was extremely demanding) and you can be sure they went forward in full reliance on God for strength and provision. What a great example for us to emulate for whatever we are facing as we move through Christmas, wrap up the year, and go into the next.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, thank you for Joseph and Mary. Their compliance and reliance allowed you to fulfill your plans for the birth of Christ in exactly the way you wanted it to happen. Help me to be in step with you like Joseph and Mary were so that you are able to accomplish the plans your have for me as fully as you possibly can. I bow before you in full dependence and surrender. Amen!

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