God does not do things as we expect

December 11, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” –which means, “God with us.”

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 1:18-25 (NIV))

Could you imagine the confusion that Joseph must have felt? He wanted to do what was right according to Jewish society, and at the same time, he wanted to do what was right in the eyes of God. At the beginning, he must have thought that the two desires where one and the same. He thought that he knew what was right in the eyes of God, after all, Israel was God’s chosen people.

I can imagine how Joseph felt when the angel of the Lord appeared to him and told him to do the opposite of what he thought was correct in the eyes of God and society. Confused and, yet, obedient, he obeyed what God had told him to do instead of what society said to do. Because of this obedience, we have been granted two wonderful gifts: 1) the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, and 2) the knowledge that God does not do things as society expects.

The next time you hear someone say, “That’s not the way we used to do it,” stop and think how Joseph felt and remember that God does not do things as we expect.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What if you knew?

December 3, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
(Isaiah 53:6 (NAS))

This time of year is when we think about the birth of Jesus and celebrate what God set in motion in these simple events.

We realize that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Have you ever stopped to consider what that entails or have you thought about it from the view point of Mary, His mother?

Could you honestly feel no emotion if you knew that an infant would suffer and die for something that you had done?

What did Mary feel when she held Jesus for the first time? Did she see what was to come, or did she see only a baby? We may never know the answer to that question in this lifetime. We can know what we would feel if we were placed in that situation where we know that an infant was born to suffer and die for us. Thinking of Jesus as an adult, as the Son of God, makes it easier to comprehend and think about.

Think about Jesus as the infant who was sent by God to suffer and to die for us. Think about being the parents of that infant and having knowledge of the prophecies of what is to come. Jesus was fully God, yet He was fully man. He had earthly parents who loved Him and fully understood what was to happen.

What if you knew?

Could you face that in the life of “your” child?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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A woman who fears the Lord

May 14, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
(Proverbs 31:30 (NIV))

What is it about your mother that you remember the most?

Chances are that it is not worldly things such as how charming everyone may have thought her to be, or how beautiful everyone thought her to be. These things fade with time. In addition, the outward trappings of life, such as charm and beauty are soon gone. Time fades them all too quickly. Women who focus on these aspects soon find themselves forgotten or tossed aside.

I would venture that the things you remember of your mother are the things that no one else really saw as well as you saw them. Things such as compassion, integrity, honesty, and love. Things such as Bible stories and taking the time to teach principle such as the fruits of the spirit. The women who focus on these aspects of life are the ones that make a positive impact in the lives of the people around them, especially their children. It is these inward characteristics that often are remembered. You never hear of someone saying that their mother was a beautiful woman and the men would not leave her alone. You hear people talk of their mothers as loving and caring people who have instilled a moral fiber within the family. You hear of people speak of women of faith who never gave up on their children. You hear of women who taught us the concepts of right and wrong and who lived out these concepts in their daily lives.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I am grateful that we have set aside a day to honor women who are worthy to be praised. During the remainder of the year, we must not forget the integrity, values and love that these women show every day. We must look upon them as Jesus looked upon His earthly mother. We must look upon them with love and praise.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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