Can you believe it is December? My goodness!
This is absolutely my favorite time of year. I'm like other Christmas lovers.
Lights and music get me all time.
This time of the year we hear are you on the naughty or nice list?
I remember when I was a kid, at the beginning of December I knew it was time to be a good little soul because two things were coming - my birthday (December 24th) and the best day of all Christmas!
Most of the year, I didn’t think about my behavior because it didn’t usually determine if I would get a gift or not.
But when December rolled around I was the most obedient child you could find.
As I grew older, for some reason, obedience didn’t cross my mind. I’m an adult, I can do what I want right? I don’t have to answer to anyone any more.
I thought that until I actually started truly seeking my purpose in life.
As we look to Christmas and celebrating the arrival of the Greatest Gift of all time, I want to look at how obedience is an important part of the Christmas story.
Three people in this story show what it means to be truly obedient and their lives change forever because of it.
Here are 3 ways God calls us to be obedient.
Call #1 to Obedience:Move when God says move
Joseph is an example of obedience in moving when God says move.
Joseph had already planned to be married to Mary. But when found out she was pregnant he decided to end the engagement.
Joseph was a good man. He didn't want to embarrass her. Little did he know that God had a plan for him that would change his life forever.
God sent an angel to Joseph with a specific command. Marry Mary…
When the directive from the angel was given, Joseph didn't wait.
He acted immediately.
Because of his obedience, he would become the earthly father of the Messiah.
The prophesy that had been promised for hundreds of years came directly through his household.
Call #2 to Obedience: Listen when God Says Listen
Zechariah didn't listen and he had to suffer the consequence.
In Luke 1, the Angel of God meets Zechariah in the temple (He is called Zacharias in the KJV and NKJV of the Bible).
The angel comes bearing a miracle message: God has heard his prayers.
Zechariah and his wife would have a child.
This angel basically told Zechariah the whole life of the child that he and his wife would conceive.
People would rejoice with them at the baby's birth.
This child (when he grew up) wouldn't drink... and he would be filled with The Holy Spirit.
He would make a way for many to repent and accept Jesus as their Savior. Wow!
How amazing that Zechariah was told all of this before the baby was even born.
Unfortunately, he had doubts and expressed them to the angel.
Zechariah didn't have immediate obedience.
I don't know about you, but I can relate.
Because of his doubt, Zechariah would be mute (he couldn't speak) until after the baby was born.
Zechariah's story shows us that when God says listen that's exactly what we should do.
God wants to bless us, but we give Him so many reasons why He should do it our way. Maybe you don't but I'm learning to close my mouth and listen to what He has to say.
Zechariah's son did just as the angel said and he led many to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Call #3 to Obedience: Accept God's Plan for Our Lives
Mary accepts God's plan for her life.
Every Christmas movie I watch says this time of year is the time for miracles.
And this is true.
Our Savior was born in a manger to a virgin woman, who had found favor with God.
I don't know what her life was like before, but after her meeting with the angel sent from God, Mary's life would never be the same.
Look at her words from Luke: “I am the Lord’s servant. Let this thing you have said happen to me."
Her declaration of obedience was her direct line to witness one of the greatest miracles of all time.
She would carry in her body the Savior of the world.
That truly is a miracle!
She would be responsible for his well-being until he became an adult.
I couldn't imagine the pressure she felt. I know that God was with her, but I'm sure she was always thinking about her role in this miracle.
Even as the wise men spoke about what they heard from the angel that declared Jesus's birth to them, the Bible says she "pondered these things in her heart".
Mary's obedience not only affected her life, but it would affect the lives of all of us who would come after her.
It would affect the multitude of people that would accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
All three of these individuals had an encounter with God that changed their lives- and those of us who have accepted Jesus - and those who will accept Jesus.
When it comes to moving when God says move, listening when it's time to listen, and accepting God's plan for our lives we can see Joseph, Zechariah and Mary as examples of obedience.
We may not like the word obedience, but when it comes to serving God it is necessary for our relationship with God.
When God is speaking and directing we have to decide what we will do.
Will we do what we want or will be obedient to His call?
I pray that obedience is the only option we choose.
Until next time. God bless!