THE GOD WHO SAVES - December 7, 2022

Wednesday, December 7th


Advent Devotional #11 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton




To read today: Matthew 1:18-21


She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21


If you’ve spent any time around teenagers, you know they’re not always the most mature among us. They live in the space between childhood and adulthood. We all survived middle school and are painfully aware of its awkwardness. Yet, God chose a teenager—despite how challenging this season of life can be—to carry out his perfect plan.

Historians believe that Mary was somewhere between twelve and fifteen when she found out that she was going to have a child and that this child would be God’s Son. When the angel explained to her what would happen, Mary showed amazing maturity by responding, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)

What we sometimes miss in this story is the historical context. Mary was betrothed to Joseph. In today’s terms, Mary and Joseph were engaged. Back then, engagement was even more serious than it is today. It was as if the couple was already married; that’s how serious betrothal was.

Mary knew what would or could happen if people found out she was pregnant. People would have assumed she’d been unfaithful to Joseph. If Joseph chose to accuse her of adultery publicly, their betrothal and, ultimately, marriage would be over. Mary knew all of this, yet she chose to respond in faith to the angel’s message from God. She didn’t let fear control her. She understood that she was simply part of a greater plan—a centuries-old, prophetic plan.

God was making a way to save His people from their sins; He wanted to redeem what was lost all those years ago in the Garden of Eden. God’s ultimate plan was to save His people from their sins. Sin makes it impossible for us to enter his perfect Heaven because there can be no sin in Heaven. Mankind was doomed.

Still, God, in His infinite love and mercy, chose to make a way to overcome this problem. He sent His Son, His perfect Son, to pay the price for our sins.

We don’t know how much of God’s plan for salvation Mary understood, but she understood enough to know that she had to step out in faith and trust God to protect her. This young teenage girl chose to trust God during extraordinary circumstances and under some of the most intense personal scrutiny.

This Christmas season, you can choose to trust God in the middle of your circumstances. No matter what comes your way, you can choose to know that God has a plan. The same God who planned to redeem all of humanity is the same God who knows your name this Christmas. He sees what you are going through, and He understands what you’re facing. As He did for Mary, He will walk with you and protect you as you step out in faith to follow His plan.

Today: Remember that the God who saves all who come to Him is the same God who sees you and loves you.

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