What surprised you most in 2016?
- Was it the National Presidential Election?
- Was it the number of God-seekers that came our way to worship with us?
- Was it having 8 nations represented in many of our Sunday morning services?
- Was it the appointing of both shepherds and deacons for the first time ever?
- Was it welcoming 4 newborns into our midst between October 2 - November 10?
- Was it Patti leaving Minnesota for 5 months to teach one semester in Indiana?
(That last one really surprised me!)
Perhaps the world’s greatest surprise ever was when a young virgin girl, around 13 or 14 years old, gave birth to the Creator of the world! Although in retrospect it shouldn’t have been such a surprise; Christ’s virgin birth was announced over 700 years beforehand by the prophet, Isaiah (7:14). "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
The Gospel writer, Matthew, refers to Isaiah’s prophesy when he documents Christ’s birth:
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:18-23)
While the exact day of Jesus’ birth is unknown, the forever effect of the Incarnation, God coming in the flesh and living among us, is almost as life-changing as God’s ultimate desire to live within us! WHY? GOD’S INTENT HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO TRANSFORM US FROM THE INSIDE OUT (1Corinthians 6:19-20) INTO BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKE HIS SON! Surprised?
LIFE-CHANGING! God is good all the time. Mr. Steve