14 Dec

"The Difficulty of BELIEVING"

In today's devotional, Steve Arterburn points out that Faith is somewhat difficult to come by since BELIEF in some things doesn't make sense to our human intellect.  As we approach the real reason for the season, let's look at the shock that came to the earth family of Jesus Christ!  Here is what Christ's mother had to contend with: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)  Mary was a sixteen-year-old, totally pure young lady, betrothed to an older man and she was given this message by a supernatural being!   Mary had a cousin who was a bit older and this was included in the visit by that supernatural being: In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:26-28)  And now, consider how this whole thing shook up the man, Joseph.  Pregnancy, outside of marriage, was a definite taboo in those days.  Joseph's dilemma was just what to do about Mary's condition.  He knew "he" wasn't the father and since that was true, he had a very difficult decision to make.  In Matthew 1:18-25, he made a brave decision:

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