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When Your World is Rocked

When Your World is Rocked

 

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14, NASB
 

DDoE_Christmas_2014_mary_and_gabrielWhat do you do when your world is rocked? You know, when something happens and everything, at least for the moment, changes. In that respect, most of us can identify with the young Mary.

Since 2012, I have become quite familiar with unexpected events forcing me to rearrange my life. While on a Zookeepers’ mission trip to Nicaragua this past March, I noticed a dark area in my field of vision. Because we were so busy with ministry activities, I tried not to think about it but prayed for God’s protection and healing.

Upon returning to the states, I immediately scheduled an appointment with my optometrist that day. Long story short, I had a retinal tear necessitating emergency surgery that evening. The realization that I could have lost my sight in that eye compelled me to change my daily routine drastically for the next few weeks.

With Christmas just a few days away, I find myself pondering the immense life changing experience of the young virgin Mary. She was engaged to marry Joseph; I expect her excitement in becoming a wife was like that of most of us.

However, an unexpected visit and a ringing announcement from the angel Gabriel would forever alter Mary’s life. Chosen by God Himself, she was to be the mother of His son, Jesus, the Savior of the world, the Messiah. The conception would be a miracle performed by the Holy Spirit. Wow! Talk about rocking her world!

I can only imagine the anticipation, uncertainty, and ridicule she must have experienced during the next nine months. This young girl had to grow up in a hurry. She not only experienced the joy of pregnancy, but most likely the shameful gossip and unkindness displayed by those not aware of God’s purpose for her life. Yet, according to what we see in the Scriptures, she hung in there, never giving up or losing her faith.

Yes, Mary’s precious Child would be the very One to bring hope, help, and healing in her time of need and chaos, as well as ours. When our world turns upside down, rest assured Jesus is the Rock on which we can stand.

[Digging deeper – Ps. 18:2, 62:2; Matt.1:18-25; Luke 1:30-31, 2:7, 19, 33-35]

Because of Him,

Beverly <><

God’s Light

God’s Light

 

I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel! 
Luke 2:30-32, NLT
 

God_s_LightI’ve always enjoyed Christmas programs that re-enact the birth of Jesus. Often the scenario is one of great anticipation. Auditorium lights are turned off while the audience waits faithfully for the darkness to be pierced by bright light and an awesome scene. Some have waited for hours, having even arrived early in order to get just the right seat and best view of the event. Finally the moment arrives and a hush falls over the crowd. Shadowed outlines of participants in the nativity scene emerge in the darkness.

But that’s not what the people are waiting for. A few more minutes, and then, you see it—awe-inspiring, mesmerizing, bright light! The light is focused on the most important person in the nativity scene—the baby Jesus! The crowd oohs and aahs with delight and approval at the wonder before them. He is the one that people came and waited in the darkness to see, the one that brought them out of the darkness and into the light.

Today’s Dose contains words spoken by a godly Jewish man named Simeon. He waited for years, faithfully believing God’s promise that he’d see the newborn baby Jesus before he died. (Luke 2:25-29)  After Simeon held the baby in his arms he exclaimed, I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. Luke 2: 30-31 

As the program light revealed the baby in the manger to the audience, God has revealed His Gift of salvation to us through the light of His son, Jesus Christ.

Just as the light in the auditorium was bright enough for all the audience to see the baby in the manger, God’s light, Jesus Christ, is bright enough to reach to all the people in the world, Jews and non-Jews. Simeon faithfully believed that God’s light could pierce anyone’s darkness. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel! Luke 2:32 

Everyone experiences periods of darkness in their lives that they’d gladly trade for light and contentment. Maybe you are in that situation right now. Dear one, Jesus is the light that is able and willing to shine down in the midst of your darkness and give you peace. He accepts all those who faithfully believe in him.

Light up your life this Christmas and let Him lead you out of darkness.

God’s riches blessings to you and yours this Christmas,

Rita

Christmas and the Faith of Mary

 
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. Luke 1:38, NLT
 

Christmas and the Faith of Mary

 

Mary_Statue_Photo_by_Allison_K_FlexerEach Christmas, I find myself thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. When I was 15, I played the part of Mary in a Christmas play at our church. Since then, I’ve always loved reading her story in the first chapter Luke and thinking about her life.

In recent years, my admiration for Mary has grown as I ponder her response to the angel of the Lord and the greatness of her faith. Mary must have been scared when an angel appeared and told her she would give birth to a son. And not just any son, but “the Son of the Most High.” I often wonder if she thought, “No one is ever going to believe this story!”

As shocked and confused as she must have been in that moment, Mary made a choice to say yes to God. In complete faith, she said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” Mary believed and accepted the Lord’s plan. Thank goodness she was so brave and faithful. Mary was a crucial part of God’s plan.

What about you? God has a purpose for your life and designed a journey that only you can fulfill for His Kingdom. I’m not suggesting an angel will show up and reveal that path to you in person. In a way, that would be nice, right? As we draw close to God, he reveals the next steps to us. He nudges us in the right direction if we keep our eyes on Him.

Will we say yes to God like Mary did so many years ago?

In Luke 1:45, Mary’s relative Elizabeth confirms Mary’s great faith. Elizabeth told Mary, “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

This Christmas, I want to have that kind of faith. I want to trust in the Lord and believe He will do what He has said. As we prepare our hearts for this Christmas season, I challenge each of us to look at Mary’s story with fresh eyes and ask God to give us a Mary-like faith.

Joyfully celebrating the birth of our Savior,

Allison