God is still accomplishing His plans and purposes through His people today. Do you want to be one of them? Friends, you don’t have to miss out! For many years God pursued my full surrender for the call He placed on my life. The stretching was years long. He made adjustments in my heart until a shift took place where the vision unfolded into a crystal-clear picture.
Imagine being instrumental in fulfilling God’s plan in the earth today with the same heart from the righteous men and women from the Bible. Nativity sets come in wood, clay, and more creative materials, but when I look at the unmoving pieces, I imagine their hearts come to life. How did they respond to God when they were walking the earth?
Let’s look at the “people from the Nativity” and learn how they turned their hearts in reaction to God’s call for them to carry out His mind-blowing plans. And then apply their wise behavior to our lives.
We Can Respond Like Mary
The angel Gabriel visited Mary and that short meeting changed the course of history forever. Why? God said it, and she believed it. Mary said, “let it be” (Luke 1:38).
Mary allowed the Holy Spirit to come upon her to do what God wanted done. What if she didn’t believe God’s plan for her? Thank God she did and was obedient! She birthed a big deal!
I look at this and see a spiritual parallel—a “spiritual birthing” that God does through us. First, we need to believe what God is saying He wants to do through us, then be intentional with whom we spend our time.
Mary immediately visited Elizabeth—someone she knew would believe in her. But she only stayed for awhile before going back to Joseph. Don’t be afraid to go back to the ones who may not believe in you at first. God will speak to them soon enough, just like He spoke to Joseph.
We Can Respond Like the Shepherds
The shepherds were probably a very attentive type of men. I would have been lulled to sleep in five minutes out there in the field. But they had to watch for those animals that would come to devour the sheep. God is often speaking; it’s those who are attentive who will not miss it.
The sky was suddenly ablaze with the glory of the Lord. The message the angel of the Lord told them was that the Savior, Christ the Lord was born. As soon as the heavenly host had departed they decided to “go and see” what the Lord had made known to them (Luke 2:15). After they went and quickly found Mary, Joseph, and the baby in the manger, they glorified and praised God for what He was doing (Luke 2:20).
We Can Respond Like Joseph
Joseph had to be utterly bewildered—and disappointed—when he learned of Mary’s pregnancy. It probably wasn’t the way he had planned for his life to go! He was going to quietly divorce her, and try to move on. But additional news interrupted his life once again when God used an angel to speak to him in a dream. God gave him specific instructions to follow—radical instructions.
Joseph replied with immediate obedience in marrying Mary (Matthew 1:24-25), then continued being obedient to God when he moved the family to Egypt and later Galilee in response to the warnings he received in dreams from God (Matthew 2:13-14, 22).
When we first hear God’s instructions, it might seem absolutely crazy. We will probably be inconvenienced. But after we obey, in hindsight, it makes perfect sense.
We Can Respond Like the Magi
The wise men went through quite a journey to find Jesus, and what they did when they finally found Him is delightful. They fell down and worshipped Him, and then offered Him gifts (Matthew 2:11). The gifts served a specific purpose:
In addition to the honor and status implied by the value of the gifts of the magi, scholars think that these three were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of his death and embalming. (1)
Preceding giving the gifts of our time, talent, and treasure to God, we humble ourselves in worship. In essence, that is saying we submit all for His glory.
Friends, today you are part of God’s bigger picture. Join His holy adventure and be responsive to what He wants so this coming year will bring Him glory.
I’d love to know: What is your part in God’s plan and purpose in the earth today?
I’m thrilled that so many of you have taken time to share your opinions and needs in the SURVEY! You still have a chance to add your voice for 2 more weeks!
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What is your part in God’s plan and purpose in the earth today? [Tweet this]
The Living Nativity Speaks…and we can respond in the same way. [Tweet this]