Thursday, December 12, 2013

Anticipating Christmas (Max Lucado)

As we anticipate Christmas, it is good to look at His story, "a collection of monumental moments that remind us that Christ cared enough to experience life with us. Christmas is the time to remember that Christ not only came, but he stayed, he lived, he cared." ~ Max Lucado, introduction from Celebrating Christmas with Jesus, An Advent Devotional  

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18

Joseph was perched firmly on his branch in the tree. It was thick, reliable, and perfect for sitting....Joseph had no intention of leaving it.

That is, until he was told to go out on a limb...

Common sense told him not to go out on the limb. "Conceived by the Holy Spirit? Come on!"

...But God told him to do it.

I have a feeling you can relate to Joseph. You've been there. Maybe you're in the midst of a decision. It's disrupting, isn't it? You've grown accustomed to your branch...And then you hear the call. "I need you to go out on a limb and...take a moral stand...forgive...sacrifice."

...Eventually you're left staring at a bare tree and a hard choice: His will or yours?

Joseph chose God's...As things turned out, Joseph's fears were justified. Life wasn't as comfortable as it had been. 

Have you been called to go out on a limb for God? You can bet it won't be easy...Ask Joseph. Or, better yet, ask Jesus.

He knows better than anyone the cost of hanging on a tree.

           ~Max Lucado in God Came Near and In the Manger, 25
Inspirational Selections for Advent, chapter 8

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