I had a crises moment last evening about an hour before we turned in for the night. I had gotten up to get something when Piper erupted with a hacking cough. She hadn’t coughed since lunch and I had been relieved thinking that she was over it when this happened. Well… I was tired and as I spun around in the hallway to return to her side, I started to get angry (and probably a little afraid) that she seemingly wasn’t getter better.
In the midst of my turn I started to loudly complain to God about the situation and was just about to ask what He was going to do about Piper, when He arrested my thoughts and said: “It’s not up to Me… It’s up to you!” That immediately caused me to stop my spin and almost fall over from the motion. In fact I had to reach out to the wall for a little support!
I stood there for a moment in shock and in embarrassment. When I was finally able to find my voice, I simply replied “You’re right!” You see, I’ve been speaking the Word of healing over my wife for years and ramped it up with the on slot of the Bronchitis. His glass of ice cold water to the face remark quickly brought me back online with my faith in Him and His Word. Either I believed Him and His word on healing for my wife or I didn’t…
So before I moved another muscle from that spot in the hallway of our new home, I made a quick adjustment of my confession and began to reiterate my thanksgivings to Him for His promises of healing for my favorite girl! And you know, she didn’t cough again until 1:30 in the morning. Except this time and a few others through the night, were gentle coughs removing the phlegm from her throat.
His Word of instruction to me last night highly encouraged me and reignited my expectations for His best for my wife and I. When I got up this morning, I felt a bit like the people who filled that manger in Bethlehem on that cold winter night and the ones who were fortunate enough to be in that temple about thirty years later when the man Jesus began His formal ministry on this earth. As I stood up from the bed, I found myself with a smile on my lips and thinking of God’s promises, declared: “Prepare to be amazed!”
Do you expect to be amazed when you study and then act on the Word of God? Let that question rattle around in your head and heart today as you read the amazing events and words spoken in our Advent story today!
Excitement and Expectation!
Friday, the second week of Advent
Today’s Readings: Luke 2:15-20 / Luke 4:16-22
I can’t help but sense the excitement that must have prevailed in that tiny stable when the shepherds arrived in order to “see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:15 NKJV) When the angels returned to heaven the shepherds were left with a burning expectation of the word that they had just received. You’ll notice that there were no misgivings of what they had heard. They didn’t say “let us go and see if this thing be true.” No, there was no doubt in their minds that this supernatural intervention of God was true and had, in fact, taken place! God’s rhema Word spoken to them through the angel had stirred them up and they were ready to go see it and spread the good news to all who would listen!
Can you imagine the unity and fellowship that was experienced between Joseph, Mary and the shepherds? For the first time in a year or more, Joseph and Mary could share freely with others who could fully understand all that had occurred to them! I bet everyone was talking at once, sharing their experiences, their feelings and their thoughts on the future events that would come from that night’s activities!
Luke 2:19 says that Mary “kept” and “pondered” everything that they talked about in her heart. (NKJV) How important it is for each of us to ponder, consider and weigh the word that God gives to us. Vincent’s Word Studies explains that the term “kept” is “a very expressive verb” implying as Robertson’s Word Pictures says, that “she kept on keeping together all these things. (that) They were meat and drink to her.” Just like Mary, we need to keep the Word alive and fresh within us. God’s Word builds expectation and excitement is us, just like it did with our cast of players on that night in Bethlehem many years ago.
The shepherds reacted to the overwhelming event by returning to their flocks “glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.” (Luke 2:20 NKJV) They were bursting with glee and could not contain themselves! Verse 18 states that all “those who heard it marveled (or were amazed) at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” (NKJV) The Word that was being shared that night was different than most people had ever heard before. Some thirty years later, the people would respond identically to the Word that Jesus shared as He began His public ministry! (See; Luke 4:16-22)
We should always be in a place where God’s Word amazes us! Jesus said that “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63 English Majority Text Version) When He said they are life, He was talking about “Zoe” life, which in the original Greek refers to “the absolute fullness of life!” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions) When we read or hear the Word of God, our spirits should jump with excitement as we look forward with glee to the expected fulfillment of that Word in our lives!
Take some time this weekend to keep and ponder the thoughts of the atmosphere of excitement and expectation that prevailed in and around that little stable after the birth of the Christ child. As you do, allow yourself to become overwhelmed with His love for you and be like the shepherds who clearly saw that “Everything happened the way the angel had told them,” (Luke 2:20 God’s Word ©) or like Mary who was assured by the angel Gabriel at the very beginning that “No word from God shall be void of power.” (Luke 1:37 ASV) Remember Hebrews 13:8 profoundly declares that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (God’s Word ©) And if He was faithful to His Word for those back then, He will do the same for you and me today! Have a super weekend. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting to AMAZE me today?”