Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. – Luke 2:1
The ruler of the known world, the ruler of Rome, Caesar Augustus, puts out a decree that everyone must be registered in a census to the end of taxing them. However, we have to back up and remember that it is God who brought this to pass. God is behind Caesar; Caesar is not acting on his own. You see, history is the story of His glory. God is orchestrating all the events of history for His perfect ends and to manifest His exceeding glory.
We must not skip over the phrase “now in those days” in Luke 2. It has the same idea behind it as Galatians 4:4, “when the fullness of time came,” or in Ephesians 1:10, “in the fullness of time.” The phrase, “in those days,” means God had a time set aside in His providence to accomplish this particular event of His only begotten Son coming to earth, and now it is coming about. And then we have Joseph and Mary. Joseph, a descendant of David, travels to register at the birthplace of David, which is Bethlehem, just as the prophet foretold.
Now, some have speculated on why he took Mary along? I mean, she is much with child, and it is a difficult journey. Well, first of all, with the child's birth nearing the couple wanted to be together. Secondly, God providentially sent the angel who announced what God is doing with this Child who has been conceived of the Holy Spirit. I believe they knew the scriptures and were righteous young people. They knew the prophecy foretold that the Child was to be born in Bethlehem. And so, they journeyed. ‚Äč
O, how everything is coming to pass exactly as God intends. Listen, my friend, wherever you are in life today is according to the dictates of a sovereign God. Even the disappointments are divine appointments. A pagan tyrant’s decree; a common poor couple, Joseph and Mary; a journey to an ancestral homeland, Bethlehem; all are but participants in the hands of Providence to achieve His perfect end and bring Him great glory!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. – Psalm 136:1 Why do we lose our thankfulness? I think one reason is we don’t want to be answerable to God. You see, to genuinely be thankful to God is...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Make me walk in the paths of Your commandments, for I delight in it. – Psalm 119:35 Have you ever been here? “Lord, there is a part of me that desires the word, but I’m so full of me. I am so full of pride. I am so headstrong....[ abbreviated | read entire ]
This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me. – Psalm 119:50 Here, the psalmist reflects back on difficult seasons when God proved His faithfulness and how it helped and strengthened him. He knows that God’s...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. – I Corinthians 2:2 We as a church and we as pastors must be lashed to the truth that men are depraved, offensive, judged, condemned sinners, and they must...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 2:47b One way our confession of Christ is shown is through actively belonging to a biblically healthy church. I use those words intentionally. There is a...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
The Lord bless you from Zion, and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. – Psalm 128:5 If we honor the Lord and have homes that bless the Lord, we will more likely have a blessed church family. Jerusalem was the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. – Psalm 128:1 Someone said we have a weak nation because we have weak churches. Can you imagine what it would be like if our churches really got right? What would happen if...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them.” - Revelation 21:3 Just as there is a hell...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the boy and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear; fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you fear Him!...[ abbreviated | read entire ]