Sunday, March 22, 2009

God's Provision at Christmas

God's Provision at Christmas
Dec 22, 2008
Matthew 2:11 "...they presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."

The birth of Jesus was not as glorious a birth experience as we would have in today's society. Joseph and Mary had to travel away from their home and family at a time that was not convenient or conducive to giving birth. In fact, when they arrived at their destination, there wasn't even a place for them to stay. Hence the phrase, "no room in the inn." They had to sleep in a barn, where Mary gave birth to Jesus with cows and donkeys to greet Him when He entered into this world. She wrapped Him in cloth and placed Him in a manger, the feed trough for the animals. Shepherds were the first humans to arrive to see the blessed child; they had been told to look for a baby swaddled in cloths and placed in a manger.

The points of 'swaddled in cloths and placed in a manger' are significant. You wouldn't have to say those words unless those events occurred out of the ordinary. It suggests that Mary and Joseph didn't have the wealth to provide any better for Jesus. He was placed in the manger because there was no room for them in the inn. Had Joseph been rich or famous, someone would have MADE a place for them to stay, given up their own room, or even sold them their own room. The President of the United States would not have to sleep outside, someone would MAKE a place for Him to stay, but Joseph and Mary were "nobodies." They didn't even have money enough for proper newborn clothes. Jesus was wrapped in an adult's set of clothing or simply a large piece of cloth, maybe a blanket. Joseph and Mary were not people of means.

Enter the Magi, the wise men from the East. They saw the star above Jesus in the manger and decided to pay tribute. When they arrived to see baby Jesus, they presented Him with gifts. Aside from the gifts being tokens of honor, they were a way for Joseph and Mary to provide for Jesus in the days and weeks surrounding His birth, should the need have presented itself. It is probable Joseph sold or traded them for necessary provisions, either for travel, safety, or simply food. The Bible does not say directly how Joseph and Mary used those gifts for Jesus, but if they didn't have money, which was clearly the case, it is probable those gifts were a way to provide for Jesus' needs at just the right time.

The point, Christian, is this. The birth of Jesus was ordained by God. Since God ordained the life of Jesus, He also ordained the provision for Him and His family at Christmas. God used those Magi to make a provision for Jesus; God can do that for you. At a time when money is tight, it is easy to get scared about paying for groceries and the mortgage, but God will provide. This is not about getting gifts under the Christmas tree, but true provision for you and your family. If God has ordained something, He will certainly provide for it. Maybe your ministry needs provision. If God has ordained your work or your ministry, then He will provide for it. Christian, your life is ordained by God and He WILL provide for you. It may seem you don't have the means, but at just the right time, you can expect the "Magi" to show up. Trust me, God has ordained it.

1. Does it seem provision for your need is far off?
2. Are you trusting that God has ordained the provision?

Additional Scriptures for Study: Job 38:41, Psalm 65:9, Matt 2, Luke 2, Philippians 4:19, 1 Tim 6:17

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