Matthew 6:33 (NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
God’s Way and My Way are not the same. It’s hard to put God’s Kingdom first. It’s almost impossible not to worry about the stuff of this world, our wardrobes, our diets, and our needs in general. But that is exactly what Jesus commands us to do. Jesus wants us to live in such a way that the Kingdom can invade our schedule at any time.
What if You Had A Plan?
Luke 1:6-7 (NLT) Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes,…7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had an Expectation. It would appear that Zechariah and Elizabeth were grieving their Dream. At one time they wanted a family. Elizabeth longed to be a mother. Zechariah hungered to make an impression upon the world, to have a son, and for his name to carry on. But, like Abraham and Sarah, the children never came. Yet, they remained faithful.
Matthew 1:18-19 (NLT) …Mary, … became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
Joseph had a Plan. Joseph wanted a Family and a Son to carry on the family business and the family name. Consider that it wasn’t as easy to marry in 4 b.c. as it is today. Joseph had a great deal invested in this moment and then his “bride to be” tells him the incredible news.
Luke 1:26-28 (NLT) … God sent the angel Gabriel … 27 to a virgin named Mary. …28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Mary had a Plan. A Big Wedding!!! Sweet Mary! Her reaction to the news is an indicator of her character. After the initial shock, She just accepted that God wanted her to give birth to His Son.
So do you have a plan? You’ve got Christmas figured out right? You have your life on track right? You know what you are going to do right???
What If God’s Plan Wrecked Your Plan?
So Much for Retirement. Would you put your retirement plans on hold for God’s plan? God chose Zechariah and Elizabeth to raise a child in their old age.
So Much for a Big Wedding. At that moment Mary and Joseph become what every Christian would become when the Holy Spirit came. She was pregnant with and bringing forth the Son of God!!! And her response is, Luke 1:38 (NLT) “ May everything you have said about me come true.” …
Mary just said, “Do it, Lord!”. And Joseph just let go of his dreams.
So Much for Miserable Mediocrity! God may not want the same life for you that everybody else lives. What if God wants to be on an adventure with you? Would you go?
According to Isaiah, Jesus was sent for “The People that lived in Darkness.” Why would He do that?
Because, God Wants a Relationship!
Luke 1:46-47 (NLT) 46 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
Built on Righteousness, not Rules. Modern Christianity has for a long time defined your faith by the things you do. Do you give, serve, go to church, do you pray? God doesn’t want a rule based righteousness from you. God wants a relationship with you that reflects and duplicates the one He HAS with Jesus!!!
Filled with Love and Worship, not Guilt, Shame or Condemnation. Mary praised from her Soul, and She rejoiced in her Spirit. Mary was Good with God. Do you have any kind of idea what kind of miracle that is? God doesn’t want a relationship with us where we are always filled with guilt, shame and condemnation. Isn’t that GOOD NEWS!!!
Charged with Glory! Not guesses. God wants to be with you. This is why a little teenager in Israel got to give birth to God’s Son., so God could be your friend and you could have a righteousness that made you free from guilt and shame.
Simplify your life for Relationship with your Father! Make time for your Father.
- What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions with family and friends?
- Why do you think the Christmas holiday has become universally seen as a time to connect with family and friends?
- Read Luke 1:5-20. Why do you think Zechariah doubted Gabriel? What do you think about Gabriel’s reaction to his doubts.
- Read Luke 1:26-31. Mary moved from being “confused and disturbed” to being willing to follow God fairly quickly. What do you think made this change in her attitude?
- Read Luke 1:39-41. Why do you think Mary chose to go visit her cousin Elizabeth? Do you believe that it’s important to prioritize others during Christmas? Why or why not?
- What are some practical ways to make God more of a priority during the Christmas season?
- Read Luke 1:46-53. What are some of the ways Mary acknowledges God’s heart for the lowly and the outsider in these verses?
- Who are some of the outsiders in your life? How could you “bring Jesus” to them this Christmas?