Ready for the busy speaker, minister, pastor or someone who needs a quick devotion, inspired by the Holy Spirit and infused with research and study.
'Reward' is the theme of this volume 1: Christian Service [there are many rewards], a Christmas message - God's reward; reward for sticking to Jesus; reward for seeking true riches and the reward for avoiding group sin.
Matthew Chapter 1 & 2: Luke Chapter 2
Central theme: God’s Eternal reward to those who love Him
Introduction: Use the bustling and activity surrounding the Christmas season as an example of preparation: how folk go to extreme lengths to make everything „just so‟.
What about God? Is preparation important to Him?
Primary Message: Preparation is very important to God: God must have spent eons [in eternal before time thinking] working out the fine and painful details of Jesus‟ journey far away from home [Heaven].
I have a huge question for God:
Why was Jesus born in a stable in Bethlehem?
Did God forget about Jesus and then it was too late to find a more appropriate place fit for God‟s only begotten son?
This question puzzled me for some time, even though I could always appreciate the story: little animals, baby in the hay etc; it sounds quite „romantic‟, even fictional! But the reality is truly pragmatic and wonderful. When we read that Joseph and Mary could not find anywhere to stay and baby Jesus was about to „pop‟:4 as a mother you cannot but feel compassion for Mary [Mariam]. It was a dreadful situation and I cannot imagine any woman wanting to step into Mary‟s shoes at that moment? She had made herself available for God‟s mighty plan; nine months later she is about to give birth and the couple cannot find anywhere civilized to deliver the baby; [today we have clinically clean hospitals or homes prepared, Mary had none of these available].
[Story time]: [Keep the tension high]
I remember hearing a story about friends who were in Papua New Guinea in the wilderness; baby was about to arrive and dad drove like an idiot to the hospital; in the end he delivered the child in the seat of the vehicle they were travelling in. How traumatic and even more so for Mary; she was „driving‟ a donkey! Was God out of His mind, asleep or what? These were my questions and maybe some of yours too. Can you believe that God always intended his son Jesus to be born in this very stable? Jesus: „King of Kings; Lord of Lords‟6; God‟s ways are past finding out, but if we look closely at the history of Israel and the Scriptures we will discover truth; gems that are priceless and the poignant reasons why Jesus simply had to be born here!