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God Is Gracious

God Is Gracious (Luke 1:57-66) It must have been a funny scene as neighbors and relatives busily gestured to Zechariah. His baby boy would be circumcised today and what was supposed to be his name? Then again, this was how they had communicated with Zechariah for the past nine months. Remember the event that had changed Zechariah's life dramatically. He had been on duty ...

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Mary Did You Know?

Mary Did You Know?(Luke 1:46-56) The song "Mary Did You Know?" is a well-known contemporary Christmas song that raises an intriguing question. What did Mary know about the child growing inside her? Luke tells us that when the shepherds left, Mary pondered all that had taken place (Luke 2:19). Mary had her thoughts. Our text unveils a few. After her exchange with Elizabet...

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The Greatest Story

The Greatest Story (Luke 1:39-45) Today we witness a joyful reunion between two women, both with unexpected pregnancies. Elizabeth, who was barren and of age (Luke 1:7), now carrying John the Baptist. And then there is Mary, still trying to wrap her brain around the miracle of her conception. The Holy Spirit had come upon her. Her womb was now the temporary home of the ve...

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How Will This Be?

How Will This Be? (Luke 1:26-38) That the entry of King Jesus would be unusual was clear from the start. God did not dispatch Gabriel to Jerusalem but to Nazareth, an obscure rural village with a poor reputation (John 1:46). And God did not select a princess to be the mother of Messiah but a lowly servant girl (Luke 1:48). Welcome to God's upside-down way of doing things...

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A Common Journey

A Common Journey(Matthew 1:18-25) I have always felt a little bad for Joseph. Among all the cast members in the Christmas Story he tends to be easily forgotten. We zoom in on Mary, the shepherds, the Magi, and the host of angels. But Joseph? He easily gets lost in the shuffle. But his predicament was quite serious. His fiance Mary was with child, supposedly of the Holy S...

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Sure Deliverance

An Advent Devotional on Isaiah 9:1-7. The kingdom of Judah was religious on the outside but rebellious on the inside. God's people offered the prescribed sacrifices and prayed the appropriate prayers, but they were just going through the motions. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, the people walked in darkness (2) and judgment was ahead. The Babylonians would come, ransa...

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Rebellion Overruled

An Advent Devotional on Psalm 2. How will future commentators and historians look back on 2020? What words will they use to describe this most unusual year? I doubt the word "humbling" will appear on their list, but it should. We can put a motor vehicle on Mars and unravel the mysteries of DNA. But one virus appears, and it effectively shuts down our entire world! I call ...

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Everlasting Kingdom

An Advent Devotional on 2 Samuel 7:8-16. One day David decided to build a house for the Lord. He felt it was not right that he lived in a lavish palace while the Lord dwelled in a tent. God said no. David had too much blood on his hands (1 Chron. 22:18). Instead, the temple would be built by his son, Solomon. But God did have some good news for David. The Lord would make ...

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An Advent Devotional on Genesis 49:8-12. In Genesis 49 the patriarch Jacob is on his death bed while he addresses each of his twelve sons. He looks back on their past deeds and prophesies about what will happen to them and their descendants in the future. Judah, Leah's fourth son, is commended for his leadership. Jacob even predicts that Judah will be held in high esteem ...

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Promise Made

An Advent Devotional on Genesis 3. After Adam and Eve's catastrophic fall in Eden, God pronounced judgement on the serpent (14,15). This serpent is clearly not an ordinarily snake because it talked and deceived. It was the devil, Satan himself, the father of lies (Rev. 12:9; Joh. 8:44). God prophesied that from that moment on there would be warfare between Satan and the w...

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