We have the awesome privilege to celebrate the birth of Jesus in just a few days. It is easy to look at this time as just another Christmas or just another opportunity to hear a “story” of how Jesus was born in a manager. Truthfully, God used ordinary people like you and me to bring forth the greatest miracle of all times. Mary, Joseph, and everyone who had a part in the very first Christmas were not actors. They were not even angels. They were normal, every day people like us chosen by God to give hope that miracles are available for each of us.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
Mary was a teenager when the angel, Gabriel, visited her….an ordinary teenager who found favor in God’s eyes. There was nothing spectacular about Mary…she lived a simple life and was engaged to Joseph. She probably had very little experience and was even afraid when Gabriel first came to her. The kicker…she was highly favored.
Perhaps you are young or even inexperienced in a certain area and maybe God is asking you to do something totally out of the norm? Do you feel highly favored by God?
Because Joseph, her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Let’s not forget Joseph. Joseph had a choice to make. He initially thought he would secretly divorce Mary. His faith, however, kept him from doing so. He believed that he heard from God in a dream and because of that, he decided to stick things out. No doubt, he endured ridicule for his decision because it is not every day that a virgin gives birth.
Maybe God has given you a dream that has even caused you to doubt that it was even from Him? Are you going to believe even though it may sound a bit farfetched?
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After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Next on the scene are the wise men who actually followed a star to locate Jesus. There was not a GPS system or even a map to direct them. They were lead by a star and despite there being many stars in the sky, they kept their eyes on the one star that led them to our Savior.
Is God directing you in a way that you feel is questionable? Are you able to keep your eyes on Him despite other distractions?
As we approach the Christmas holiday, let’s remember that God used people like you and me to bring forth a great miracle. Each person had a choice to make just as we all do. Will you believe God for the many ways He wants to use you and the many miracles He has in store for you?
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