Revelation

by Carolyn Hope

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Matthew 11:25-26)

Paul says in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 that, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God … But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” (verses 18 and 27). In essence, the Gospel does not make sense to human reasoning. It seems foolish and ridiculous; yet upon belief, it suddenly makes sense.

Children are willing to believe crazy, impossible things. You can tell them that you came from an alien planet and once had blue skin, and they would be amazed. Their trust and faith don’t rely on mental reason. Often we call them ‘gullible’ and ‘naïve’ … yet the simple believing nature of children was applauded by Jesus. He said that it pleased God to reveal things to little children which even the wise could not comprehend.

Revelation doesn’t come through reason but through faith. It is when you believe that Holy Spirit begins depositing truth in your heart. You are called to have a child-like faith. Will you be brave enough to simply believe what God says? Will you take Him at His Word and not try to figure everything out? Will you trust Him to fulfill His promises when they don’t make the least bit of sense?

Your Father is trustworthy. He is true and faithful. He has much more to give you, and much more to show you. As you rest in His promises, I believe you’ll find a deeper well of revelation and understanding. God delights in sharing secrets with His children. In order to hear His whispers, you must draw near. In order to draw near, you must believe (see Hebrews 11:6).

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Supporting Actor: Joseph

by Carolyn Hope

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. … When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-19, 24-25)

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. (Matthew 2:13-14)

Joseph came up with the best plan he could think of, to divorce Mary quietly. He didn’t want to make a scene. He may have feared the public scandal and shame that would fall on them, and on the child Mary was carrying. He may have feared that by marrying her, he was owning to being intimate with her before they were married; certainly, that’s what many would assume. God had different plans. As kind and careful as Joseph’s plan was, God wanted more. He wanted Joseph to be Mary’s wife, and He wanted him to be Jesus’ father on earth. The Lord planned for him to be part of this holy family. This plan wasn’t clean, or quiet, or pretty. It was risky and scandalous. In following God, Joseph and Mary found themselves in a messy situation. They were willing to be accused of wrongs they did not commit for the sake of the Lord’s plan.

Joseph was obedient. Simply yet scarily obedient. He obeyed faithfully, trusting in whatever the angel told him and heeding the warnings in his dreams. He didn’t question or object, but simply submitted in full and quick obedience. He followed instructions word for word and step by step. Though there was much danger involved, Joseph and Mary had no need to fear being killed or cast out. God was with them, and He blessed their obedience.

Going after your King and trusting His plans may put you in scary situations, but you are never unsafe when you are in your Father’s will. It may feel that way. It may appear so. However, the Lord will always protect you on the path He leads you through. Are you willing to risk it all in order to obey Jesus? Will you trust Him unshakably? Will you let Him direct your life and follow Him no matter what it looks like?

You can be a Joseph. You can be a Mary. All you have to do is believe God’s promises and trust His leading. When you surrender all for the sake of His Kingdom, you’ll see Him do mighty works through your life. You have the capability to make an incredible impact on the world. Are you willing to embrace the life Jesus has for you?

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Script Writers: The Prophets

by Carolyn Hope

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” – which means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:22-23)

So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23)

One of the major roles in the story of Christ’s birth, which often gets overlooked, is that of the prophets. We like to focus on the prophecies while forgetting that those who spoke them were people just like us. Isaiah, Micah, Hosea, Jeremiah, and all the other prophets were powerful vessels of the Lord who spoke His Word and decreed the future long before it was in sight.

What must it have been like to speak things into being and not be able to see them with their own eyes, in their own lives? Can you imagine proclaiming the word of the Lord, and then dying hundreds of years before it comes to pass? How much faith that must take! How much courage and strength!

You may or may not be a prophet, but regardless, God calls you to be a visionary in His Kingdom. We are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Romans 4:17 tells us that we serve a God who “calls things that are not as though they were.” We are to be like our Father, and He sees beyond the natural. His eyes aren’t confined to the present, current state of your life. Yours shouldn’t be either.

Dear one, have courage. Believe the impossible. See with eyes of faith. As the prophets of old, you can be a vessel of the Lord. You can peer into the future and call things forth that still have yet to be.

Don’t be discouraged because you haven’t seen the promise come yet. It’s on its way. Look past your present and behold all that can one day be.

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