Friday, December 30, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 15

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25  but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.           Matthew 1:24-25

Joseph called His name Jesus.  That seems so natural but it’s spiritual and supernatural.  Later, people will call Jesus other derogatory things and names.  It’s easy to lose sight of the significance of what God is doing when we lose sight of the sacredness of what God has done.  Joseph called Jesus by the name God gave Jesus.  Keep what’s sacred, sacred!  If something or someone is sacred, speak sacredly about that person or thing.  God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are sacred, let your speech voice what you value.  Life is sacred, it’s a gift from God and so are people including your family, spouse, kids, and friends.  Joseph had several reasons to call Jesus something other than God’s gift, but he called Him, Jesus, and the rest is history.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 14

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25  but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.           Matthew 1:24-25

This statement “but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son” tells you something about Joseph and something about living for God.  It’s in living for Him that we find the life He has living for us.  It’s when we make this life about ourselves that we lose sight of the life He has for us.  Joseph not only received Mary as his wife, but he also reverenced her in his life as a gift from God.  What would happen in our relationships if we began to reverence each one as a gift from God, for God?  When we make this life about ourselves, our lives become small but when we make living about Him, life explodes with wonder and wonderful.  See the gifts of God sacred and they will always have meaning, keep the gifts of God sacred and they will always have the muscle to accomplish the marvelous.

Wednesday, December 28. 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 13

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25  but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.           Matthew 1:24-25

Waking up is just the first step to living in God’s love and light.  Joseph woke up and took hold of Mary to be his wife for his life.  We can learn something from this story.  After we wake up, we must take hold of God’s word, work, and will.  Take hold of it, possess it, for yourself.  Make it yours.  Take hold of it confidently, not carefully.  We take hold of the things of God by faith and there’s power through faith to take hold of God’s promises and plans.  Joseph took Mary to be his wife for his lifetime, not as a friend or charity case.  He made a commitment that set the course of his whole life.  That’s how we take hold of God’s word, work, and will, by faith that acts in obedience to God.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 11

“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 1:23

When God speaks, the universe stands at attention.  When God speaks, there is nothing anyone or anything can do but watch and wait.  When God acts, it is amazing.  We can say “no” but His word will be “yes”. God can do anything He wants without us, but He chooses to do everything He wills with us.  When God speaks, all of heaven works to see it happen.  The Holy Spirit and His holy angels work to accomplish His word in this world, and it is amazing when it happens.  God has chosen and spoken that He will be with us and He does just that through the heart that observes and obeys what He has said.  Through simple faith God does the most fantastic things in us, through us, and all around us.  Why does it happen?  He is with us.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 10

Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “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 1:22-23

Want to find out what to do?  Find yourself in what God is doing.  Once Joseph found himself in what God was doing, everything else changed.  His heart became committed, and his head became clear; Joseph was part of something bigger than himself and it gave him discernment and direction.  Find yourself in what God is doing and you’ll find yourself doing what God created you to do.  Right now, God is speaking to you through a person or a prophet the Holy Spirit is using to speak to you.  Listen through the filter of God’s word and you will hear God’s voice and see God’s hand.  It’s awesome.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 9

She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”         

Matthew 1:20-21

As much as God loves you, His plans are always bigger than just you.  He is doing something greater than you and me, and He is going to do it through you and me if we will let Him.  We can’t let fear and frowns keep us from what God is doing; it’s going to be wonderful.  Let’s recognize that what God wants to do in us and through us is bigger than what God needs to do in us and to us, and let’s roll.  Believe it or not, God heals us and keeps moving, taking us with Him.  We can’t allow ourselves to be stuck and staked to pain and the past, God has bigger plans than our past.  God revealed His big plans to Joseph and Joseph had to decide to go on with God or go back without Him.  God will take us on to bigger and better things if we will put our faith in Him and for Him.  Don’t stay in the house of fear and frowns.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 8

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. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”             Matthew 1:20-21

If you’re going to fear something, fear the right thing.  What God is doing is greater than anything we can do.  Don’t be afraid to participate in what God is doing in yourself or in others.  Be afraid of missing it, missing what God is doing.  He loves us and sent His son to save us.  Don’t be afraid to love, be afraid of not loving.  It’s a scary thing to love who God loves and love what God is doing, but it’s even more fearful to think about what this life would be like without God’s love.  Faith meant loving Mary anyway, trusting God all the way., anything else is scary to think about.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 7

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. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”             Matthew 1:20-21

We cannot live in fear and enjoy the fun of the season.   Fear robs us of the freedom to enjoy the fun of living for God.  It’s easy to find fear.  Fear was all around Joseph.  There was fear of people’s opinions, fear of the problems, and fear of the pain involved in marrying someone who had dishonored and humiliated you by their actions.  There’s fear on the inside and fear on the outside.  In times like this, we need a word from God.  Don’t be afraid, I’m in this!  We miss the fun of living when we live in the fear of losing.  The word of God and the work of God is worth living for to live in.  It’s here and He is working.  Let your faith rule your fear.  God is in this, and He is true and able to do all that He has promised.  Fun is on the other side of faith.  You might not like the word fun, but I do.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 6

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. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

We never really remove the emotions from an event.  What we feel is a real feeling but it’s not always a factual feeling.  Emotions are God-given, woven into the fabric of creation.  Feelings are like fingers, they help us know what we’re touching or what is touching us.  Can you imagine the feelings associated with this story?  Feelings of rejection, remorse, regret,  and restlessness had to filll the hearts of Joseph and Mary.  Feelings might show us the facts about what we’re thinking but not give us the facts about what is really going on.  Mary confessed the truth and Joseph considered the truth, two key elements to discerning God’s direction.  Don’t be pushed around by the pressure, paranoia, and problems of the season, ponder what God is saying and doing.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Kitchen Table Devotions

Christmas 2022

Day 5

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. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

Never count out the heart of God in your situations.  If we’re looking, we will hear Him, and see Him.  He is here in every moment waiting for us to want Him.  God can do anything He wants without us, but He chooses to do everything He does with us.  Think about when the Christmas story is read.  God is working His will through people who believe in His word.  It sounds so dangerous, but it’s so divine.  There is always the hand of God where there’s a heart for God.  We are never alone; if we seek Him, we will find Him.  His presence is the gift of Christmas.