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

Unchanging God Holds us Steady

How do you do with change?  Making resolutions for change are very common this time of year.   It is a hope within us that with a new year we can have a new beginning,  a redo, or a fresh start.  Psalm 102:25-28 came to mind as a place to reflect on change.     “Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
psalm 102 2626 They will perish, but you will remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
27     but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
    their offspring shall be established before you.”   

We can rest assured that God’s plans for you and me have not changed since the foundation of the world.  Psalm 33:11 “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”   Our heart attitudes, desires, plans and schemes change from year to year but God is unchanging.  Knowing that God does not change His plans, love, mercy, compassion, guidance, help…in the ever changing world that surrounds us gives us hope.   

It is good to plan and try to incorporate change into our lives like spending more time in prayer, studying and reading God’s Word, exercising, eating healthy, spending more time with family, working on projects to help others, etc.   All of those can be good things to help us reach a world in great need of a Savior.  Ponder these words from Proverbs 19:20, 21 and 23 today as you pray about plans and change in the New Year.

Listen to advice and accept discipline,
    and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

23 The fear of the Lord leads to life;

    then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

god-has-a-plan-and-purpose-for-your-story.-trust-him-many-are-the-plans-in-a-persons-heart-but-it-is-the-lords-purpose-that-prevails.-proverbs-19-27May God bless you today with a renewed spirit of love and devotion to our unchanging God.

Linda