Thursday, December 21, 2017

12.21.17 // Expecting the Messiah: Surpassing Expectations

Let’s read the following verse together:

Isaiah 55:9
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

This verse is one that should be hung on the wall of every room in our houses. It should be the first thing that we see in the morning. To continue on in the theme of humility that we discussed yesterday, let’s think about some aspects of the Christmas story that occurred in ways that we probably wouldn’t have planned ourselves:
-    Choosing a teenage virgin to bear the Messiah
-    Allowing the authorities to call for a census right in the middle of Mary’s pregnancy
-    Planning for Jesus to be born in a stable
-    Calling to lowly shepherds to visit Him
-    Allowing Herod to attempt several evil plans to end Jesus’ life
-    Coming to earth as a baby, taking on the form of human likeness
-    Being a humble servant instead of an earthly military ruler who would relieve Israel from oppression
-    Associating with sinners, adulterers, tax collectors, Samaritans, Pharisees, etc.
-    Not speaking out when people were falsely accusing Him

There are many things about Christ’s life, from His birth to His death, which seem mind-boggling to our little finite human minds. Surely a stable is not the best place for a king to be born. Surely dirty shepherds and barn animals are not the prime candidates for a welcoming committee. Surely a young teenager who just got betrothed is not the best choice to be the mother of the Messiah. Surely Jesus could have done something in order to relieve Israel from the political oppression of the Romans while He was here. Surely it’s not proper or necessary for Him to associate with sinners, tax collectors, etc. Surely Jesus had a right to speak up when He was being falsely accused.

But actually… Everything that occurred in Jesus’ life was just as God planned, because in His sovereignty, He knew what would bring Him the most glory. He knew every detail that needed to occur in order to accomplish His will. A young virgin mother. A stable. A manger. Shepherds. King Herod. Etc. All of it was in God’s plan for His Son.

Evaluating Christ’s birth, life, and death in this way reminds me that God is sovereign over every detail of my life. He’s sovereign over everything that happens to me. He’s sovereign over everything that happens to my loved ones. He’s sovereign over everything that is happening in our country and our world. His thoughts are greater than ours, His ways are higher than ours, and His mind is inconceivably wiser than ours. He knows and sees all things. He sees the big picture which, by the way, is about Him, not us! And He is good and trustworthy! So whatever you’re facing, whatever a loved one is facing, whatever uncertainty our country and world seem to be in, God is bigger than all of those things and He has the power to use everything for His glory. We may not understand why He chooses to work in the way that He does. Being born in a stable doesn’t seem fitting for a king, or speaking to a Samaritan adulteress doesn’t seem proper to a God-fearing Jew, but we have to remember that God’s ways are higher than ours. His plans are perfect. His timing is perfect. His methods are perfect. His Spirit in us in perfect. We can trust Him even when we don’t understand His ways. I pray that you will worship Him this Christmas season because He is sovereign, wise, good, and trustworthy!

Merry Christmas!

Always, Jacquelyn

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