Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Shepherd's Example of Witnessing

During this season of Advent, we have been looking at the lives of the main characters in the Christmas story in order to learn from the examples they set for us. In Mary, we saw a wonderful example of trust. Joseph’s life was an extraordinary example of obedience.

What can we learn from the shepherds? A host of angels appeared to these simple sheep herders, announcing the birth of God’s Son and telling them to go to Bethlehem. The shepherd’s exhibited both trust and obedience because they went to Bethlehem and indeed did find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The shepherds also exhibited a striking example of witnessing for God.

In Luke 2:17 we read, When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed.” The shepherds didn’t waste any time sharing God’s message of hope with others.

How often do we worry about finding the right words, or possessing enough biblical knowledge before we feel “Qualified” to share God’s good news? Pray and ask God for opportunities to share your faith with others. Then follow the shepherd’s example of witnessing.

Prayer Focus:

Christian Fellowship



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joseph's Example of Obedience

This Advent season, take some time to read the events surrounding Jesus’ birth in the first two chapters of Matthew as well as in Luke. One of the most notable characteristics of Joseph’s behavior is his obedience to God. When an angel appeared to Mary, she displayed great trust in God’s plan. Over the course of Jesus’ birth and earliest years, Joseph received three angelic visitations. All three of these “angel-grams” required Joseph to take actions that were quite extraordinary.

Joseph’s faith was not a passive mental agreement, but rather an active and immediate obedience to God’s message. In each case, Joseph “did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him…” (Matthew 1:24). No doubt, Joseph had been praying about his engagement to Mary. Perhaps he had even been asking for God’s direction.

How often do we pray and ask for the Lord to lead us? How often do we respond to God’s leading in the way that Joseph did—by actions of prompt obedience to what God is asking us to do?

Spend time this season in prayer. Then be prepared to follow Joseph’s example of obedience.

Prayer Focus:
Letting the Christmas story speak to our hearts

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mary's Example of Trust

As we journey through the Advent season, it is a fitting time to examine the attitudes and actions of the main characters in the Christmas story.

Let’s begin with Mary, a soon-to-be-married young woman. She is visited by an angel who tells her God is pleased with her—so pleased in fact that He has chosen her to give birth to His own Son. To say Mary was taken by surprise would no doubt be an understatement! She could easily have rebelled or grudgingly seen this as some type of punishment. She could have said, “No way, I have other plans for my life!” But, she did none of those. I

Instead, she asked for some details and then responded with “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38) A short time later, we find her praising the Lord in the beautiful words of the “Magnificat”.

Does this Christmas season find you facing unplanned circumstances? Follow Mary’s example of trust in God. Look for His plan instead of your own. Praise Him for giving you a new life within and pray for that new life to grow within you each day.

Prayer Focus
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