UNCOMFORTABLE OBEDIENCE by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson (A Christmas Eve Message, Christmas 2018) Introduction: Thank you once again for being here this evening. For the next few minutes, I want to talk to you about “Uncomfortable Obedience.” There are many things that God commands us to do that we can do with a joyful and a... Continue Reading →
Have you seen the news lately? More ISIS beheadings; Ebola claims more victims; unemployment on the rise; further attacks on traditional marriage; and the list goes on. One wonders – where is God in all this? Is He just sitting up there twiddling his thumbs? Has He abandoned us to our own destruction? These were the same questions that people were asking in the first century and just when it seemed as if all hope was gone, Jesus was born as a little baby in a manger. Who would expect God to show up in such innocence, humility, and simplicity! He came in the most unexpected and simple way and the first invitees to His coming were humble shepherds. So where is God in this crazy world? He is working in the most unexpected places and in the most humble manner. He is saving those who are willing to hear His voice.
When God gave the promise that a virgin will give birth to a child who will be the Savior of the world, the people did not understand its meaning. In fact, they dismissed it as a foolish idea. How could a little child save us from the coming Syrian-Ephraim invasion? Instead of listening to the prophet Isaiah, King Ahaz of Judah sought the help of the king of Assyria. In the end, they all suffered. Sadly, we look everywhere else but towards God during times of trouble. We want God to work in our life but we want Him to do it our way and in our timing. What we fail to realize is that God’s ways are much higher than our ways. All we can do is humbly submit to His authority and when we do, we see God’s size results in His timing.
In Matthew 1 we meet Joseph the unsuspecting participant in God’s divine plan of redemption. The Bible refers to him as a righteous man who did not want to publicly humiliate Mary. He had been advised by his friends and family to leave her quietly. God sent His angel to talk him out of it and be the earthly father of Jesus. Joseph could have refused but he didn’t. What an amazing sacrifice he made! If there’s one attribute lacking in present day Christianity, it is sacrifice. We do what is expected of us and a tad bit more but that’s it. Sacrifice is putting our plans, goals, dreams, and comfort on the altar for the kingdom of God and His people. Bottom line: we can never sacrifice too much. Jesus did that!