Focal Passage: Luke 2:3-20
A pastor tells of a time that Billy Graham attended his church’s morning service in Florida. When the minister saw Graham, he said his entire focus during the sermon was to impress him. He watched as Billy nodded at the points he made, and laughed at his jokes.
At the end of the service, the pastor was at the door shaking hands as usual. Billy Graham took the minister’s hand and smiled. “Wonderful message,” he declared.
That minister said he was elated, until he sensed God’s voice speaking – “That’s all the reward you will get for that message.”
Too many times we are focused upon what people think, rather than focusing upon what God desires. It is when we are obedient to the desires of God that we truly praise Him. Mary and Joseph both accepted God’s will, but more than that, they both were faithful to it.
When we are faithful to what God has called us to be and do, we become an example for others to follow. We must admit that often following God is hard. When everyone around us is doing what the world says is OK, we feel like we are standing out like a sore thumb. Yet our sticking to what God calls us to often opens the door to minister in ways we may never imagine.
I worked for 26 years in a secular school system in an extremely “politically-correct” environment.
During that time, I stayed true to my beliefs and worked according to them. The director of the division became very aware of my beliefs through my work efforts. For the last 10 years of employment, every time there was a death or crisis, he would personally call me to go and minister to the family and co-workers. God was glorified because I remained steady.
Each one is provided individually unique ways to bring glory to God. Some do this by the words spoken. Some can sing for His glory. However, everyone is provided with opportunities every day to praise God by how we live in the experiences of our lives.