“Yes, Lord!”

2 Comments

Read  Matthew 1:18-25.   This remarkable passage speaks volumes about Mary and Joseph’s love for and commitment to God and each other.

Not to mention trust! Their level of trust in their situation being from the Lord is amazing. It certainly wasn’t their plan and dream for their future life together.

Can you imagine the chaos had either one of them thrown up their hands, ranted and raved, and ultimately rejected God’s sovereign plan for their lives?

Isn’t that our first reaction sometimes to our plans not going our way? At first, anyway? I know it has been my experience to react that way.

I usually settle down, stop fighting it and eventually give up my plan for His, but how much better it would be if I learn to take a deep breath in and breathe out the words, “Yes, Lord!” His plan is always better than mine anyway!

In this short account of the conception of our Lord Jesus Christ, we see in v. 19  that Joseph had his mind made up about how to handle this unexpected situation. He had made his decision.

But once the Lord had let His will in the matter be known to Joseph (vv. 20-21), there was no arguing on Joseph’s part. There was no offering up of numerous excuses as to why he simply could not do what the Lord was asking Him to do. “But, God, what will my friends and family think? Will I lose my standing in the community? How will this affect my business? God, are you sure Mary didn’t … ? Lord, do you know what you’re asking me to do?”

No! There was none of that. Joseph believed God! He and Mary both knew their God could be trusted and that He had a plan far greater than either of them could imagine. They faced making the decision to obey or not obey God in the midst of their confusion. Thankfully, they yielded their hearts, their hopes, their expectations, their plans; yes, their very lives to His and said, “Yes, Lord!”

Think of the eternal things that happened because of their obedience!  May our prayer be like Mary’s (Luke 1:38), “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”

Blessings, Becky

The Joy of the Lord

3 Comments

415974_304134249681211_1208228728_o

“The joy of the Lord is joy that comes from the Lord. It is a joy that is fueled by being in a right relationship with God through Jesus. It comes because we are living the life Christ intends us to live not going off on our own.”

Read Lamentations 1:1-11. In these verses, Jeremiah is overwhelmed by the consequences of Judah’s sin. He is grieved over the people’s suffering and their broken relationship with God. God values His relationship with His children today just as much as He did when Jeremiah wrote these words. His heart longs for us to repent so that He can restore us to Himself. My pastor said that God restores us so that He can reuse us! Isn’t that great?

There are some warnings in this passage as well as predictions for those who do not follow the Lord but instead try it their own way. God’s children, who were “queens (or kings) among the princes” now have become “slaves to sin” (v 1). Those who let sin overtake them and enslave them and ensnare them “bitterly weep at night… there is none to comfort them” (v 2). Verse 3 says they “go into exile” and “will find no resting place.” They will be overtaken in the midst of their distress. They will be in bitter anguish (v 4). Their enemies will become their masters. The Lord will bring them grief because of their many sins. Their children will go into exile “captive before the foe” (v 5).

It just gets worse as time goes on. All their splendor will depart, they will be weak and will flee (v 6). They will have days of wandering and affliction. They’ll wish they could go back and do it differently. Boy, have I been there! There won’t be anyone to help them (v 7). They who were at one time honored will become despised. They themselves will groan and turn away (v 8).

Verse 9 describes more devastating results of being unrepentant. It says, “… she did not consider her future. Her fall was astounding; there was none to comfort her.” Then she herself says, “Look, O Lord, on my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed.”

Reading this reminds me, “Sin will always take you farther than you wanted to go. It will keep you longer than you wanted to stay. And it will cost you far more than you were ever willing to pay.”

Disbelief, fear, anger, and helplessness are some of the feelings associated with the consequences of your gradually drifting away from God and His will for your life. If the drifting goes on too long, it will lead to running far and fast from God and what you know He wants for your life, to possibly a complete rejection of the Holy Spirit’s convicting power.

True repentance is a change of mind resulting in a change of action. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

God may allow you to continue down the path of self-destruction for many years, but all the while He is softly and tenderly calling you home. He longs for you to come back to Him. His arms are wide open. He’s watching and waiting for you. He loves you, no matter what. He wants you to love Him, no matter what.

Jesus is by His Father’s side even now, praying for you, that you may have the full measure of His joy within you (Jn. 17:13)!

Offering up prayers for you today, too, my friend… that you may find that complete joy which can only be found in a right relationship with Christ.

~ Blessings, Becky