Unwrapping Christmas • Waiting – 12/4/22

Through God’s Word we know that when Adam and Eve sinned and were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, God put in place a plan to repair the gulf that sin created between man/woman and God. The assurance of that promise is related throughout Scripture. Isaiah prophesied 700 years before Christ’s birth, and for all those generations of Jews who lived and died before Jesus was born, they waited for the promised Messiah, the Savior. Some gave up, but there was a remnant that stayed true and eventually, “…when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son….” In general, we don’t wait very well. Long lines at the grocery store, backed up traffic, waiting to get a doctor’s appointment or test results all strike a nerve of irritation in most of us. When we are praying for God to move in a situation and we don’t see results, we easily become discouraged and wonder if He’s paying attention or even cares. God’s timing is perfect, and He has a plan for your life and mine. We cannot rush His plan, nor can we hold it back when He says the time is right. Trust His timing!

Scriptures – Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14, 64:4; Galatians 4:4-5; Matthew 1:21-23; 2 Peter 3:9

Verse – “I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring’s heel.” (Ge 3:15) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Is 7:14) But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption as sons and daughters. (Ga 4:4-5) For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! (Is 6 4:4) 

Thought – There are many reasons why God doesn’t move when and how we want. The Jews prayed, believed, and hoped for the promised Messiah. Many generations did not see that prayer answered, but it didn’t mean God wasn’t working. During those waiting years, Alexander the Great conquered the world and Greek became the common language. The Bible was translated from Hebrew into Greek. The Socratic Method of learning emerged which encouraged education through inquiry, asking questions. And there was an unprecedented time of peace that allowed for the development of roads and transportation systems never seen before. Also, the Jews were scattered throughout the Roman Empire. All these things contributed to God’s timing. God was allowing the world to change so that Jesus would be born at exactly the perfect time of history when the news could be quickly spread throughout the Empire. If you are waiting on God, remember that He is working. Also, He may be waiting on you. You may be under spiritual construction, so to speak. You may need time to learn, to grow, to be ready for God’s answer. Most importantly, God is waiting for all to come to repentance. That is the reason for Jesus’ birth, the reason we celebrate Christmas. God’s perfect gift, sent in God’s perfect time! God’s timing is perfect for your life too!

Questions – As a child, how anxious were you for Christmas? Did you snoop for gifts? What is most memorable to you about Christmas as a child? How anxious are you now for Christmas? What are you waiting for God to do or reveal? In hindsight, when has waiting proven to be God’s best plan? Share a story about God’s perfect timing in your life. 

Response – Journal your prayer requests. Record the process of waiting and praying. Recognize the things you learn along the way and God’s hand in the wait. Thank God for his perfect timing.

Prayer – Dear God, help me to grow spiritually and as a person during the times of waiting. Thank you that your timing is perfect. Help me to rest in your will and your plan for my life. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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