December 3: Biblical Joy!
December 3, 2015
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
by Josh Moody Each year our family has a tradition of opening one Advent Bible reading starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Day, December 25. This year I am sharing those Bible readings with some thoughts based on them for use as a devotional during this season. Luke 1:35-38:
The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.How is this possible? A simple answer: God is going to do it. Simple, perhaps, but not without verification. The angel points to the astonishing fact of which Mary was familiar, that Elizabeth was having a child at her advanced age. Contemporary medical science would have predicted that such a birth was, practically speaking, impossible. Mary’s birth was impossible by all medical science ever conceived by man. Yet, nothing is impossible for God. And in pointing to Elizabeth, verification is given to Mary to help her with faith. But not only that: she is also given a text from the Old Testament which (perhaps?) would also have been familiar to her. Another remarkable birth had been promised, a foreshadow of this far more remarkable one. And the angel’s words then were an echo of these: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14). If that word had not fallen to the ground, and had not failed, then Mary could be confident that this far greater Word from God would not fail too. Oh, Christian, trust in God’s Word. In the midst of all the tinsel, and fairy dust, of Christmas, do not get so distracted by the glamour that you forget to even glance at the God whose Word made it all possible, and whose Word was made flesh. If any time of year is a time to remember to read the Bible, it is the time of Christmas. If any person is a person to remind us of the power of the seed of God’s Word, it is the person and story of Mary. She who was “highly favored” was faced with a challenge to her faith greater than any that will ever face any of us. She was graciously given confirmation. And with that evidence before her replied “May your word to me be fulfilled” (as the word had been fulfilled to Sarah so long before). What time today could you carve out to give to God’s Word? What time this week could you utilize for the purpose of hearing God’s Word? What promise is there in God’s Word that you could today rest upon, knowing “No word from God will EVER fail”! (Luke 1:37).]]>
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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