Thank goodness! Plans and Timing=we see Perfect God!

Since Joseph is such a major character in the story of the birth of Jesus, I wanted to spend another day pondering the scripture in Matthew 1:18-25, , today I used the New Living Translation.

 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

matt 1 2120 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
    which means ‘God is with us.’”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

Looking again at our scripture, I was struck by Joseph’s compassion and consideration of Mary.  He knew that divorcing her was what was expected of him, but he wanted to do it quietly so as not to cause Mary further embarrassment.  He also thought about what to do and did not jump into action.  God knew Joseph was struggling with his decision,  so an angel appeared to him in a dream giving him direction on how to move forward.  The principle here is  that God knows the society in which we live and realizes we need His encouragement and reassurance to do His will when in opposition to worldly standards.  Joseph’s encouragement came in an angel dream but we have the Bible today which we can reference, search and rely upon as well as the indwelling Holy Spirit of God for direction and guidance.  Joseph did not have either of these so God took care of his needs in a different way which gave him exactly what he needed.

How do we see God in this appearance?  We see God’s omniscient knowledge of all that was happening, His realization of Joseph’s fear and need for encouragement and reassurance, God’s plan and forethought to bring Messiah into the world at exactly this time in history.  God is perfect.  Everything in this event is perfect.  What God says, does and plans is without fault.  Because God is unchanging and faithful, the measure of what perfection is begins with God.  What God wills is good and perfect.  His ways are flawless and righteous.  All scripture is included in God’s perfection.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 ” All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”     

plan and timing GodAs you consider God’s perfection, think about His creation, His plans for our redemption, and the plans He has for your life.  All good things reflect His perfection.  Remember the promise of  Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

perfectGod has all your circumstances handled perfectly, relax and let God work in and through you today.  He can do it for you just as He did for Joseph.

Linda

Are you doubting God? Careful…He knows.

Our story continues today in Luke 1:18-22 with Zechariah, the priest, talking with the angel Gabriel.  His first words to the angel were words of doubt.  He doubted God’s ability to make a child happen for he and Elizabeth.  His doubting heart and words of disbelief brought condemnation from Gabriel in the form of muteness that would last until the child was born.

zechariah hold on“Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.  19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

After leaving the temple, the people Zechariah met could tell he had seen a vision and realized he could not speak.  Consider Elizabeth’s reaction to the impossible news, “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” Luke 1:25  By contrast Elizabeth accepted as possible the impossible since it came from God.

What is your reaction to God’s power, His plans, His blessings?   Do you doubt that God can do what He promises?  Do you question His plans?  Do you accept His blessings with grace?  God knows our hearts.  There is no hiding from Him or disguising our motives, tone or real feelings.  Being honest with God, brings immediate blessing and a lightness to our souls.

Where do we see God in today’s story?  We definitely see God’s power to make Zechariah temporarily mute,  but we also see God’s Omniscience;  He is all-knowing.  God knew what was in Zechariah’s heart, what his doubts were about His power and ability to make things happen as He ordained.  God is Omniscient meaning He is never surprised by things that happen, He know all there is to know and nothing can or is hidden from Him. David described God’s Omniscience in Psalm 139:1-4 “You have searched me, Lord, Omniscient and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise;  you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down;  you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue  you, Lord, know it completely.”  David knew what Zechariah forgot that God knows all and can do all things.  Zechariah let his human doubts cloud his judgement as he spoke with Gabriel.

As you ponder this story today, look at your heart.  Is your response one of faith and trust in our Omniscient God?   Be honest with God and open yourself to trust in His loving care and blessings of peace and assurance will flood your soul.

Linda

I AM… the Alpha and the Omega

Revelation 1 8Jesus used this phrase to identify himself three times in the New Testament book of Revelation.  As John opens his revelation about Jesus Christ,  Jesus appears returning in the clouds and says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  Revelation 1:8  Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and would signify the beginning of all things and the end of all things.  The designation of ‘who is and who was and who is to come’ tells us Jesus was with God in the beginning of creation and will be with us in the future.  He is the Almighty God.  He is all knowing (omniscient), ever present (omnipresent) and all powerful (omnipotent).  Only God is all these and He began all creation and will be there at the end.

revelation 21 6At then end of Revelation, these words appear again in John’s vision.  After the description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:6 “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.”    Jesus, himself, will see to the creation of heaven and the new city of Jerusalem.  In that city the water of life will be given freely to all who dwell there.   What a glorious promise for us about our future home.

revelation 22 13Lastly, Jesus reveals to John that He will be returning soon in Revelation 22:12-13 ““Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”   Here Jesus specifically says He was there at the  the of beginning of creation and He will be there at the end of times.

What a powerful God we serve that from the beginning of time and creation to the end He will be unchanging and faithful.  Hebrews 13:8 tell us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”   He created all things and will see them through to the end of all time. He is unchanging in His character and purposes so we can rely upon Hebrews 10 23Him.   I love Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”  We can cling to the promises in God’s Word that He is unchanging and faithful.  He will see to us in the future just as He has done in the past.  Praise God!

Linda

 

David follows God with his Heart

Understanding, guiding and using our heart in a way that is pleasing to God is a life long process.  David was called a ‘man after God’s own heart’ in Acts 13:22 by Paul when speaking in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch.  He was relating history to the assembled Jews as to how David became king.   “But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’   When God chose him, 1 Samuel 13:14, He knew David was a man after his own heart.   But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

Psalm139 1David gives us a glimpse into his heart in Psalm 139.  He knew he was an open book before God and that God knew all about him.         Lord, you have examined my heart       God knew his motives.
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.     God knew his daily actions.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.                                 God knew where he went.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say               God knew what he was going  
even before I say it, Lord.                                                        to do or say.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.     God knew him inside and out.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

psalm 139 1-6Where are you with God?  He knows you too but do you readily acknowledge that fact and if so how does it change you?  David said that God knowing him was too wonderful and too great to even understand.  Are you awed by God’s love and knowledge of you- your wants, desires, needs, sorrows and joys?  Perhaps David’s acknowledgement of God’s true knowledge of himself was his beginning.  He knew he was not the guide and motivator of his life- God was.  He knew God knew him, all of him, and it gave him comfort and assurance.  God is indeed omniscient and David rested in that fact and encouraged himself with it.  How about you?  Will you trust in God’s all knowing power to give you what is best for your life?  I claim Jeremiah 29:11’s truth in my life.  May you also gain comfort and assurance as you cling to God’s Word.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   God had good plans for David and He has good plans for you and me!   Open your heart and follow Him in obedience as David did- you will be blessed.

Linda