God Thought 12/14/22

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:18-21
This time of year can make us nostalgic of the past. For example, can you recall your favorite Christmas gift you've ever received?

If so, take a moment to really relive that experience. What sounds or smells do you remember in that moment? Do you remember the feel of the wrapping paper in your hand as tore into the package? What color was the paper? Who was there with you? Entering back into that story with your imagination is powerful and probably brings back those same feelings you experienced.
Now, what if you read Scripture in the same way? Granted, you weren't physically present at the biblical events; nevertheless, what if you engaged your imagination and inserted yourself into a passage of Scripture?

Approaching the Bible with sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch is particularly helpful for those who tend to connect to Scripture on a purely cognitive level, especially during the Advent season. Rather than view the facts from afar, we come up close. Using our five senses gives us the opportunity to engage our God-given imaginations by placing ourselves within the stories of Scripture. As we empathize with the people of the Bible, we understand their events in a more experiential way. We no longer just read a book; we live an event and, in doing so, awaken our souls.

Open your Bible to Matthew 1:18-21. Before you read, quiet yourself and ask God to prepare your heart and guide your imagination. Then read the passage.
Picture Joseph in a deep slumber. The world is quiet, and there's a coolness to the air. Imagine Joseph's surprise as the angel of the Lord suddenly appears to him. Does he cry out in surprise? Does he humble himself and change his posture? What is going through his mind as he hears that his people's long-awaited Savior is finally arriving? Joseph undoubtedly trusts God to fulfill His promises. Do you?

Ask God to fill you with the same trust and understanding that Joseph had when he was visited by the angel of the Lord. Ask God to reveal the areas in your life where He can use you to do good work for His kingdom.

YouVersion Devotional Plan
Abide in Jesus - 4-Day Advent Devotional
3 Days

We would like to thank HarperCollins/Zondervan/Thomas Nelson for providing this plan.

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