December 19, 2014

Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

Solid faith is a huge blessing, for the one who believes and for those around them as well. (The Japanese translates this, “What a blessed thing it is when a person firmly believes that what God has said will absolutely come to pass.”) God doesn’t tell us to believe because it somehow boosts Him; He doesn’t need our faith. However, when we believe, we step into the flow of His grace and blessings and power, and they not only affect us, they flow through us to those around us. Mary’s faith, so beautifully displayed in yesterday’s passage, brought blessing to all mankind! When we refuse to believe – and that happens more often than we care to admit – we step out of the flow, and the results are the opposite of blessing, not because God is mean but because we have chosen it. Faith is an interesting thing. Little children haven’t yet learned to doubt, which is why they are so utterly charming. That’s why Jesus said we have to become as little children if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3) Betraying a child’s trust is a very serious thing. At the same time, faith is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) We can never rightly be proud of our faith! However, we do have to choose to receive the faith that God offers us; this isn’t some fatalistic thing. Because God sees the end from the beginning He already knows what we are going to do, but that doesn’t mean He forces us to do it. We are all free to choose to believe, if we will, and the benefits are incalculable.

Following my parents’ lead, I have always held to never telling a child an untruth, unless the context was clear that I was playing a game. People have accused me of all sorts of things for not getting on the Santa bandwagon, for example, but why set children up for the inevitable sense of betrayal? The real story of Christmas is marvelous enough! When I was growing up, I can honestly say I got as much or more delight from seeing my family members opening the gifts I had chosen for them as I got from what I received. That in itself was a wonderful gift my parents gave me. Christmas can and should be a time of wonder and delight for adults and children alike. We don’t need falsehood to build up to a letdown.

Father, thank You for Your truth that is more wonderful than any fairy tale. I’ll have another opportunity today to tell the true story of Christmas to a group of people who probably don’t know it at all. I pray that many would choose to believe what You say through me, for their own blessing and ultimately the blessing of all with whom they come in contact. They are student nurses, so the potential is absolutely enormous. But then, the potential with You is always huge! Help me be fully yielded and obedient to You, so that Your works may be manifested through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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