1. Don’t worry! God’s got plans! He thinks years ahead of you! God chose a young, beautiful girl to be the Mother of His Divine Son. The Bible says the angel tells Mary* that though she is a virgin she will be “overshadowed” by God’s Spirit in order to give birth--this was not a forceful "take-over” but a gentle and powerful movement of the Spirit because of Mary's Yes.
Amazingly, this is the same language used for the way the golden cherubim’s wings “overshadowed” the Mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. In this we see a type of Mary with Jesus in her womb found in the Old Testament about one thousand years before Christ's birth. The Ark contained the Tablets of the Ten Commandments, a jar of Manna and Aaron’s Rod. Let’s see how these point to Jesus: Jesus is the Word of God made Flesh, the Bread of Life come down from heaven and our Great High Priest. Mary is the vessel in which He was kept.
What joyous news! God had our Savior's birth in mind since the beginning of time as Jesus is called the new “Adam” and Mary the new “Eve” because through Mary’s Yes to God and Jesus’ obedience-- all things are made new!
Worried about your future in 2019? Don’t! God’s got this! He is waaaay ahead of you! Thank Him that He is here, right now and that He will meet you there in the future as well.
2. Need more gumption? You got it! I never took much time to ponder exactly how Jesus came to earth--I just knew He arrived. But think about it--Jesus’ Father was God- Who is Spirit! And so Jesus’ flesh must have looked like Mary’s! Jesus was fully God and fully Man. He came to show us how to be both as well. His lived humanity shows us how to be kind, gentle and forgiving-- all the beauty and innocence of His mother Mary—and He also came to teach us to be Divine--like His Father.
What joyous news! You too get to be a mix of human and divine, you + the Holy Spirit living inside of you!
Don’t think you got what it takes? Think again! You+ God is always enough! Need more God? Open wide the doors of your heart and let the Spirit of God come fill you with His power! Do it now! And thank Him that He lives inside of you!
3. "E.G.R's"? No problem! Because Jesus came in the flesh to redeem all of mankind-- that makes us all one in the Body of Christ. How do you feel about the other members of Christ’s Body? Over the Holidays you may get a chance to be up close and personal with many you don’t see too often--and quite frankly, are very happy with this situation. Some of these people are what Rick Warren calls “EGRs”- “Extra Grace Required” individuals.
What joyous news! We do not have to love the EGR’s in our own strength but can ask for the grace (unearned favor) from God to come and love them through us! Ask for this grace now and then thank God for all He will do to enable you to love even the most unlovable this Christmas.
“The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” Luke 2:10-11.
What joyous news! Thank You for coming to earth, freeing me from anxiety about the future, giving me Yourself that always makes me "enough", and sending me your Holy Spirit enabling me to love all the EGR’s in my life! Thank You that Joy is Born on this earth! Let it be born in me!
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*Want to see the very spot where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary!? Come on the Holy Land Pilgrimage with me March 16-29 (with Petra extension to March 31). More details HERE!
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