As you reflect on the Christmas narratives this year, notice how personal God is in revealing Himself. Over and over again he sends an “angel (messenger) of the Lord” on a personal call to bring a message one on one. Gabriel confronts Zechariah in the temple (Luke 1:11), An angel visits Joseph in a dream (Matt 1:20). It is Gabriel again who appears to Mary (Luke 1:26), Three other times an angel delivers messages to Joseph through dreams mainly (Matthew 2:13,19,22), and also brings a warning to the wise men the same way. Finallly we see a host of angels appearing to the shepherds in Luke 2. This was not second hand information for Joseph and Mary, Zechariah, and the shepherds. They heard God’s message, from God, God’s way. God is still His own P.R. man, because public relations is His specialty. He does His own advertising and outreach, because in truth, He is a self-revealing God. The only way to have a relationship with God……is to have a relationship with God. That requires some personal interaction which, according to what God has shown us in the Bible, is initiated by God. And thank God it is! Those messages from God through the angels included comfort, information, instruction, or warning. What this means for us is that God knows what you need to know, and he knows when and how you need to come to know it. If someone can talk you into something, then someone else can talk you out of it, but if God does in you what He did in me, no one on the planet will ever be able to talk you out of it. It’s got to be personal, and God is just as able to communicate as He has ever been. Jesus said “no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him….” (John 6:44). That sounds pretty personal. Don’t panic about the people in your life that are running from God. Pray that the One who alone can totally light up the sky, will surprise them personally and make it real. It can happen no other way. And don’t be tempted to be an amateur providence, or to help God out. Simply listen to the One who gave the gift to you and do whatever He says, even if it is nothing. Trust Him, believe Him, wait for Him, and be ready to go to Bethlehem when he says go!
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