- SHEILA RHODES
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Jesus’ birth was and will forever be the most important event in world history. In Luke 1:26-28, it says, Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women! The first thing the angel told Mary was to rejoice, because she was highly favored in being chosen to conceive, carry, birth and rear the Son of God. God wanted His Son to be raised in an atmosphere of joy, and Mary was given this instruction to ensure He would grow in that environment. Jesus as the Son of God was instinctively joyful but God the Father trusted an earthly parent to rear Him in the earthly environment of joy. What we can learn from this is that when God births anything in your life, the environment of joy will bring it to fruition. Everything flourishes in an atmosphere of joy.
This announcement of Christ’s birth came at night and brought JOY to the shepherds. In your dark hours, God can bring you joy even though it may be struggling with some dark times right now in your own life.
Christmas is a time of rejoicing for us for the same reason given to Mary. It reminds us of God’s grace and favor in saving us, and the privilege we have of carrying Jesus in our earthly temples of flesh through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Christmas reminds us as that we have been impregnated with the presence of God, and have much to be joyful about. In 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the Excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We carry the message of joy at Christmas to the world, that they too might have the opportunity to receive and in a sense carry God’s presence everywhere they go.
As this year comes to a close, be reminded that you carry the Living God into 2014, knowing that with His abiding presence, all things are possible. If you know Who you carry, you can look forward to a new year. You might not always know where you are going or the outcome, but if you know Who is with you, it does not matter. You will get there and it will be good.