Last year for Advent, our church decided to put together a devotional and Chantel and I were asked to write one of the entries. We were given a verse relating to the birth of Jesus and we were to write an entry based on that verse.
Here’s the verse that we were given:
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18 (NLT)
This is the long version of what we drew from that Scripture:
This passage is the first in the New Testament to talk about the conception and birth of Jesus. This verse and the verses to follow fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah, which reads: “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us).” (Isaiah 7:14, NLT)
Of course, this would be something potentially devastating to both Mary and Joseph, as they were engaged to be married, and she suddenly became pregnant while still a virgin. What would their families think? What would friends and neighbors think? What do they do from here? Mary and Joseph had a big decision to make. Thankfully, God was with them and the decision to get married and have their Son was made.
While none of us will ever have to go through this same situation, we find ourselves with decisions every day. Some of those decisions aren’t earth-shaking, like deciding on what to eat for lunch; some of our decisions will have lifelong consequences. With prayer and wise council, we can make the right decision and know that God (through the Holy Spirit) is with us.
Our family was faced with a decision in May of 2006 that would have lifelong consequences. Not only would this decision impact us, but both of our entire families. College graduation was approaching and I found myself in need of a job, a real job. One that would be long term, steady, and secure enough that I would be able to support my new family. My wife and I prayed about it and decided that there was nothing keeping us in one place and “the world was ours”. We made a list of places we would like to live and I applied for jobs in those cities. We also made a list of places we did not want to live. We prayed that God would put us where He wanted us and that he would guide us along the way. Well, I did not get a single job offer in any of the cities that we wanted to be in. I did, however, get an offer in a place we wanted to avoid - Florida. We said to each other, “Well, this must be where God wants us”, so less than a week after graduation we packed up the biggest Budget® rental truck we could get, put the car on a trailer, and headed to Fort Myers. My wife knew no one and the person I knew best was a future co-worker that I met twice.
We put our faith and trust in God and He led us to where we are today. God did not make our path easy or quick, but He did make it right and true. Our journey together with God leading us is not over, but we know in our hearts that He is with us and our journey is on the right path.
How appropriate is it that Isaiah said that the virgin was to call her Son Immanuel, God with us! When we have faith in God and put all of our trust in Him, he truly IS with us! When your journey in life seems like it’s going astray, always remember Matthew 1:18 and the decision that Mary and Joseph had to make and how their faith in God led them to the birth of their Son, Jesus - the Savior of the world.
We offered this prayer to those that read the entry:
Dear Lord, we come to You in praise for all you’ve done for us and for all You are going to do. Guide us, oh Lord, in all of our decisions whether large or small, and remind us often that You are indeed with us always. Amen.
When did you have a big decision to make and how did God help lead you along the right path?