< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: An Advent Devotion

Friday, December 12, 2008

An Advent Devotion

Our church put out an Advent Devotion book and different members wrote the devotions. Here’s the one I put in:

What Mary and Joseph can teach us about faith

Luke 2:1-20

We’ve heard their story so many times we don’t really think what it would have been like. To be so young, with marriage ahead of them within a year. Their plans in place; they expected to get married.

They did not expect to have a child right then. And they were certainly not expecting Mary to give birth to the Son of God!

Neither was expecting to be approached by an Angel. And they didn’t expect to play a major role in God’s plan of salvation.

But, God had greater plans for them then what they expected! He brought a radical change into their lives and they showed total trust in God, which led them to respond with courage. It wouldn’t be easy, but they trusted that God was in control.

The Lord’s Prayer doesn’t promise that faithful people will never experience the consequences of evil in the world and neither does the rest of scripture. Even Jesus, the perfect one, died on a cross as the result of evil. But, great good came of that.

And that’s God’s promise to us as well. We aren’t promised trouble free lives, but we are promised rewards in the age to come. And the expectations of those rewards can give us confidence in the midst of problems and tests we face.

Christian speaker and writer, Beth Moore, wrote, “No perfume has ever been sweeter to God then the faithfulness of believers who are suffering.” In other words, He sees what we are going through and He knows how hard it is and fully appreciates what it takes to stay faithful during those times.

We don’t always understand what God is doing in our lives, but sometimes our best plans are far inferior to God’s plans for us. He created us and knows exactly what it will take for us to finish the race.

And every year at Christmas we are reminded with the story of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus that He loves us so much He wants to spend eternity with us!

So if we stay faithful and keep trusting, we, like Mary in the stable, will one day look into the face of Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, we thank You for a love so great that You sent Your Son to die for us. We thank You for Your promise of an eternity spent with You. We thank You for Your constant presence that keeps us going and gets us through. We thank You for being who You are.

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