An unexpected complication – Joseph’s fiancée was pregnant! Could her story be true? As Joseph worried, God reassured him in a dream. ‘Don’t be afraid. This baby is given by the Holy Spirit…He will save his people from their sins.’
The long promised Saviour would be born to Mary – What an honour!
Happy anticipation had slowly given way to deep disappointment. Zechariah and Elizabeth had no longed-for baby – it seemed their prayers would not be answered.
Then, in old age, Zechariah had a startling vision of an angel! ‘Your wife will bear you a son. He will make people ready for the Lord!’ Praise God! His ways are amazing!
It is good to remember where you came from so that you can appreciate what has been done for you. The guilt of sin has gone. All the sins of the past can be forgiven. When feelings of guilt come then there is forgiveness. Also, we must always remember that we have a new life in Christ
2 Cor. 5 v17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
What a joy to have this new life and to have a personal relationship with Jesus. We must remember to cultivate and deepen our relationship with the Lord.
Jesus desires to bring us into a personal love relationship with Himself. That is what starts when we accept Jesus as our Saviour and we are born again. We are in a “first love” relationship – this can be pictured in the realm of human relationships. Think back to your earlier days a Christian and of being in that first love relationship with Jesus. Sadly with many after a period of time, they lose that first love relationship. This was the case with the Church at Ephesus. Jesus said to them:
Rev. 2 v 4 – 5 “You have left your first love, remember from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works”
We must come back to that first love relationship and greater.
Hebrews 8v12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness & their sins I will remember no more”. There are many who grapple with the fact of sin, and they have difficulty in accepting the fact that their sins are really forgiven. But, because of what Jesus did on the cross, in His complete and fulfilled work we know that our sins are forgiven.
Micah 7v19 "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea".
The days are shorter, and as we are about to turn the clocks back to compensate we realise just how precious the light is. But Jesus is The light of the world, an exclusive source of spiritual light we need to share with others however and whenever we can.
Luke 1 v79-8 "because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace"
The rains in September remind me of God’s promise to provide his support at just the right time and season when we need it. To the Israelite’s living in a dry land, he made a promise of spring and autumn rains to make sure their crops were well nourished, for as long as they obeyed and served him. In our times he rains down blessings through the Holy Spirit who is always with us, in and out of season provided we obey and serve him. And often the change we seek in ourselves comes easier when we focus not on the change itself, but on giving ourselves to helping His people, growing His kingdom and spreading His word. Try it and see.
Our God is the God for a fresh start – not just calling us to bring our lives in line with His values but working within us to do it. Obey and serve him, then watch and see how you will change.