Tag Archives: Mary

Walking With God In 2016

Following Jesus includes times of great joy and wonder. Imagine what Joseph felt as he watched the wise men present their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, worshiping the baby Jesus!

That mountaintop moment with the wise men’s worship was soon a wonderful memory. And Joseph’s delight turned to anxiety when he had to flee the country in order to protect Jesus from the murderous King Herod.

As followers of Jesus, we will sometimes face circumstances that require us to flee. Scripture warns us to flee sexual immorality, flee idolatry, and to flee greed. Some things we do not hazard. But when we submit to God, Satan will flee from us!

When the paranoid King Herod realized that the wise men had slipped away without telling him Jesus’ whereabouts, he was enraged. He had all the baby boys in Bethlehem aged two years and younger slaughtered. How tragic for the families in that small town. . . .

Following Jesus does not mean that we will avoid all the sadness of this dark and broken world. We will experience times of mourning and times of questioning. But we do not mourn as the world mourns. We mourn without losing faith in God’s goodness.

Herod died. Joseph could safely bring Jesus and Mary back to Israel. But instead of returning to Bethlehem, God led the young family to Nazareth, a town of very little renown.

Why would God choose such a despised place for the upbringing of the Messiah, our Savior? God has a preference for using people, places and things that look small and unimportant in order to win great victories. In doing so, he focuses attention on his mighty power.

There may be seasons when we feel weak and small. At times we may think ourselves to be incapable of doing much at all. But our Lord Jesus assumed humble beginnings, despised and rejected by men, yet he won the victory.

From Bethlehem to Egypt to Nazareth, Joseph was directed by God’s angel. We too may flee, mourn and feel small. But when we follow God’s Spirit, he will direct us so that we can share in his inevitable triumph.

May God’s Holy Spirit inspire and enable us to follow him faithfully this year,

Brother Richard Foster

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The Appointed Time

God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son, but nothing happened. They waited for years, until Sarah was physically unable to bear children and Abraham was closing in on 100 years of age. They remained childless.

Then a miracle happened. The Bible says that God visited Sarah, that is, God enabled her to have a baby with Abraham. More than that, the Bible tells us that God blessed the couple with a son at the very time he had promised (Genesis 21:2).

Some people might think that God was a bit late in blessing Abraham and Sarah, but Scripture assures us that he acted at the appointed time. The boy was named Isaac, which means “he laughs.” Sarah was laughing. She was filled with joy.

Some two thousand years after Isaac was born, God promised a miracle baby to one of Isaac’s descendants. She was a young lady named Mary. She was soon to be married to a man named Joseph.

God promised Mary that she would have a boy before she was married to Joseph, before she and Joseph came together, and without knowing any other man. She was understandably confused.

Sure enough, God’s Spirit visited young Mary and she was carrying a baby. Joseph was stunned. He drew the logical conclusion that Mary had been unfaithful to him. But the Lord spoke to him personally and cleared Mary of any wrongdoing.

Some people might think that God was a bit early in the case of Joseph and Mary. Was he not putting Mary in an awkward position? What would people say? But Scripture assures us that God acted at the appointed time. When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem us (Galatians 4:4-5).

God’s great work of salvation started thousands of years ago when he chose a man named Abraham and promised him a son. It seemed impossible, but God does the impossible.

Centuries later a prophet named Isaiah wrote that a virgin would be with child and give birth to a son, calling him Immanuel. It seemed impossible, but it happened. And all who heard it were amazed.

Laugh with Sarah, rejoice with Isaiah, and treasure up all these things in your heart with Mary. Our Savior has come!

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to all,

Brother Richard Foster

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