December 6, 2017

Matthew 1:21 (NLT) — 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

I remember way back in the ’70s I was dating a girl who over the course of a few months began to suffocate me. Not with a pillow over my face but she just had to either be with me all the time or call me and she even followed me in her car where ever I went. I tried most everything that I could think of to get her to back off even to the point of saying that our relationship was over and that I didn’t want to see her anymore. All of this was to no avail. She still followed me and called and came by my apartment.

So one day I got this brilliant idea. There were a couple of single gals living in the apartment next door who I had a good friendship with. I told them about my dilemma and that I had an idea how one of them could help me. I told them that this girl was going to come over to my apartment that night and I asked one of the girls if she would be willing to sit on the couch with me and when this other girl walk in would this gal kiss me and pretend that we were ‘making out’. There was nothing in this for my neighbor but she agreed to do it so that I could be set free. She agreed and boy was that good news to me. And so that is what we were doing when this gal walked in. Well when she saw us she turned around and stomped out of the apartment slamming the door behind her. I never saw her again.

God was experiencing just the opposite of what I was experiencing back in the ’70s. He wanted to be smothered by our love love but we were ignoring him. So God comes up with this brilliant plan, sort of like mine because it involves a girl saying ‘yes’, and he sends an angel to talk to Mary. The ‘she’ in our verse is of course referring to teenage Mary. I am pretty sure that God’s plan didn’t sound any better to Mary than my plan to my next door neighbor, but like my neighbor, Mary said, “Yes.”

The plan Mary agreed to was that she was to allow herself to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit.  So far so good. But then how does she explain this to Joseph, her parents and everyone else that knew her. Now not so good. And then her son would only be allowed to with her for 33 years before he would be tortured to death. Really not good. The torture would include mocking, being spit upon, whipped, thorns pounded into his skull, being nailed to cross, absorbing the sins of everyone who had and would ever live on his body, and feeling every sickness and disease imaginable and carry all of those sins and sicknesses to the grave when he collapsed in death! And by doing this her son would set us free from being suffocated by our sins and sicknesses. Really good new for us.

My plan was selfish because it really was only for me. God is so unselfish and so loving and he proved it with his plan which benefited us.  Mary was also unselfish and obedient because she went along with the plan believing that it was the best plan. Jesus, who really had the most to lose, proved how much he cared for us also by going along with the plan.

The point? God has the best plans. They may not look like the best plans. They may not be very popular plans. They may not always look like they are going to succeed. There may be periods of pain along the way. They may not be understood by the majority of the people; however they are the best plans.

It is because of God’s plan that you and I can even celebrate Christmas. I hope what I said today helps you to really celebrate like you never have before. It’s God’s plan:)

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) — 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Be Inspired Hilltop!