Monday, December 20, 2010

December 21, 2010

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6
You are likely familiar with Murphy's Law which says, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". If there is any time of the year when Murphy's Law is most likely to happen it is surely at Christmas time! During Christmas there are so many plans made that something is certain to go wrong. And usually does.
When we think of the first Christmas it conjures up sentimental pictures of a sweet baby in a manger with mother Mary and Joseph looking on in wonder surrounded by shepherds and wise men. Such a tranquil scene!
But in real life, as the Christmas story was unfolding there was a series of things that seemingly went wrong. For Mary and Joseph it might have seemed like Murphy's Law was in play! What do I mean?
What a terrible time for the Caesar to get greedy and decide on a tax increase!
What a terrible time to get pregnant! Mary was engaged to be married to a fine young man and was waist deep in wedding plans when the angel showed up with his incredible announcement. If she went along with this amazing plan, there would be not dreamy wedding. She not only would forfeit her wedding, she would risk her reputation and her relationship with Joseph. In a matter of minutes her life went from great happiness to hardship.
What a terrible time to have to take a trip! Just days before Mary was due to deliver her baby she had to climb on a donkey and ride 60 miles on a donkey over rugged terrain. How hard is that? What else could go wrong to complicate things?
And what a terrible place to have to go! Bethlehem was a tiny out of the way place that happened to be the ancestral home of Joseph. Why else would anyone go there?
What a terrible time to go to Bethlehem! The place was crawling with cousins and aunts and uncles who had also come to register for the census and be taxed. There was only one place to stay in the whole town and by the time Mary and Joseph arrived, all the rooms were filled! They came all this way only to find themselves without a room. What else could go wrong?
What an awful place to have to deliver a baby! In a stable? Inside a manger? How humiliating! What else could go wrong?
And what a terrible time for the King to get parnoid and launch an assault against all baby boys in the land! What else could go wrong?
What a terrible place to have to flee! Just when they should have been heading back home to set up their lives, they had to make a midnight trip to Egypt!
For Mary and Joseph it must have seemed like Murphy's Law was in full effect! And yet the Scripture tells us "at just the right time Jesus was born"! What certainly looked like terrible timing was in fact, God's perfect timing! There was a greater law that Murphy's Law! What law was that? Mercy's Law! Mercy's Law says, "When everything seems to be going wrong - a miracle can still happen!"
Are things tough for you this Christmas? Does life seem to be going against you? Do circumstances seem to be conspiring against you? Are you asking, "what else can go wrong?" Have you convinced yourself you are a victim of Murphy's Law? Child of God, let me remind you of a higher law that is at work in your life - Mercy's Law. God's plan is right on time for your life!
Mercy's Law trumps Murphy's Law everytime and Christmas proves it!

December 20, 2010

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." Luke 2:16-20
I am still focused on the good news this morning! This "good news of great joy" has never been more needed than it is at Christmas 2010 - and it has never been more powerful! I am rejoicing this morning in the fact that bad news ends but the good news only gets better! Forever! There is a day coming when we will only know good news!
So, what do we do in the mean time? How do "good news" people operate in a bad news world?
BELIEVE the good news!
I talked about that yesterday. Everyday you must awake and decided which you are going to believe and which you are going to allow to define your reality. Will you choose to be overcome by the bad news or will you stand firmly on the good news? Only you can decide and what you choose will shape your awareness, your attitude and your actions.
BEHOLD the good news!
The shepherds believed the good news but they still went to see it for themselves. Believing the news got them to the stable, but drove them into the world! Hearing the news charged them but seeing the good news changed them!
Every day you must SEE the good news! How?
See Him in your spirit as you pray. See Him in His words as you read and study. See Him in the beauty of nature and in the grace of other believers. See His Spirit as work through your hands. Sense His Spirit dwelling in your heart!
If you BELIEVE the good news. And if you BEHOLD the good news. You will naturally BECOME the good news!
That is exactly what the shepherds did! They told everyone they knew about what they believed and what they had beheld. That is what you must do! It is what I must do! How can you believe the good news and behold the good news without becoming the good news? I am not sure that is possible. If that happens either you don't believe or you are not beholding on a regular basis. OR there is some dysfunction or a disconnect in your faith.
Believe it. Behold it. Become it!
Christmas 2010 will change and Spotsylvania County 2011 will change when you decide to become the good news!