(Friends: Most Saturdays for the duration of this year, I plan on sharing a message that relates to the character and nature of God, and our response thereunto. I hope you will find it helpful, and as always, thanks for allowing us to send the devotionals to you. Glen).
The Saturday Series - 35
"Expecting the Unexpected"
With God, one must always expect the unexpected.
"Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12).
The most important reality of our lives, the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ, presents itself in terms beyond anything we could anticipate. The story is so familiar to believers that we may fail to realize how counterintuitive the Gospel is to human understanding. However, if we had never heard of Christ and the Bible, we would likely find difficult to fathom the notion of a Divine baby wrapped in human garb, lying in an animal's feeding trough.
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are My ways your ways, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 55:9).
Regardless of how long we have known the Lord and His Word, wonder, surprise, and even bewilderment often await us in this present life. Indeed, that which often seems to be God's working is actually not. And that which seemingly could not be His working often is. Had the Lord not prophesied of Christ's advent regarding place, miracle, and heritage, no one would have had the slightest notion that "God was manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16). We must accustom ourselves to this unlikely Way in our lives, expecting the unexpected and finding our Lord where it seems He could not possibly be. As Nathaniel sneered in response when told by Philip of the Savior's hometown: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?!" (John 1:46). The answer was a resounding "Yes!" It remains so in the Nazareths of our lives.
A friend was once unfairly forced to resign from a job she loved, and colleagues she loved even more. Devastated, she nevertheless opened her eyes and through many tears chose to see, as it were, the Babe lying in a manger. She trusted God in the knowledge that His perfect way often means determinations and allowances far beyond our understanding. It wasn't long before a new job and new people graced her heart and life with blessedness far greater than her previous employment could ever have provided. The unexpected, with its very real pains, proved to be Lord Jesus and His blessed way of working in a manner "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). Surely we all have our experiences and testimonies of such grace. We need to remember them, and even more, remember the Bible that calls us to expected the unexpected regarding God's perfect way. Or, in terms of this present consideration, to see the Babe, lying in a manger.
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
Weekly Memory Verse
"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."