Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

"When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus." Matthew 1:24-25
I have been making the case for my claim that Christmas could have been called Christ-yes, because of the number of hard decisions that were required for the events of Christmas to happen.
If Jesus would not have been willing to commit to sacrificial obedience, Christmas could not have happened.
Then, Mary had to agree to forego all of her plans and dreams to be obedient to the will of God. A "yes" to God meant a "no" to her big church wedding.
One more principle needed to sign on the dotted line. That was Joseph.
God was asking a lot from Joseph as well. Basically, God's request of Joseph was this, "I want you to give up everything that you want to do in order to do everything I want you to do and you won't get much credit for any of it.
Would you make that deal? Who would?
Joseph did!
A "yes" from Jesus, and a "yes" from Mary, and a "yes" from Joseph allowed Christmas to happen!
That is why I made the statement, "Christmas could be called Christ-yes."
Their obedience allowed Christmas to become a reality.
You cannot enter this Christmas season without being confronted with the call to obedience. What is God calling to to do? Where is your point of obedience? What will you decide? What great thing could God accomplish through you if you would give Him an unconditional "yes"?

December 13, 2009

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Luke 1:38

Christ-mas could also be Christ-yes!

I mentioned in my last post that for Christmas to happen there where several who had to answer God in the affirmative. Had any one of them refused to cooperate with the will of God, Christmas would not have happened.
The first One who had to be willing to submit to God's incredible plan was none other than God's Son, Jesus. We talked about His attitude yesterday.
This morning I want to focus on Mary. God's messenger came to this teen-aged girl with the amazing revelation of the role she would play in redeeming mankind. It was hard to believe. She, a virgin, would become pregnant and give birth to the Son of God. Nothing like this had ever happened before - or since!
If she was to believe this story and if she was to agree to allow it to unfold, she would be required to make some serious sacrifices. Without her Christ-yes there would be no Christmas!
When the angel made this announcement, Mary was knee-deep in wedding plans. She was looking forward to getting married to her fiancee Joseph and beginning their life together. If she said yes to God, all of those plans would change. Was she willing to take that risk?
How would this affect her relationship with Joseph? He was such a good young man who had been working so hard to make it possible for them to have a life together. What would he think? How would he respond? Was she willing to live the rest of her life without him?
Saying, "Yes" to God's plan meant saying "no" to all of hers. Saying, "Yes" to God's plan meant putting her relationships and her future at risk.
She didn't have a lot of time to think about it. She didn't get to make a phone call. She didn't get a night to "sleep on it". The angel stood there in front of her waiting for an answer.
Christmas depended on her Christ-yes. All of Heaven was waiting and all of earth hung in the balance.
Her response?

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."
Your walk with God is a series of "yes" or "no" answers. Everytime you say "yes" to God and "no" to yourself, you move closer to God and allow Him to move through you.
What is the next "yes" you need to give? Will you say "yes" to Him right now?