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WHAT ARE THE ODDS

All right then, the Lord Himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel (which means God is with us). (Isaiah 7:14 NLT)

I read recently that the birth of Jesus fulfilled 108 prophecies and the odds of even 8 prophecies coming to pass would be like 1 in 100 quadrillion! This particular one was given 680 years before it came to be and was given because a king would not pick his own sign.

Without computers or calendar reminders, this promise was passed down in such a way that people were looking for it to be fulfilled and each year we make plans to celebrate this miraculous birth and the amazing life that followed. Jesus is broadly advertised, and still, what are the odds that people will worship, appreciate, and seek Him whole-heartedly?

For 680 years, the people were looking for their victory. They were looking for God to relieve their burdens. They were looking for God to give them a break! But the truth is they had everything they needed in Him all the time. All He asked was that they love Him, believe Him, and honor Him. He was always available if they would just seek Him!

They were like we often are; they wanted more from Him than they wanted Him. Jesus came and we know that he was rejected by most of those who wanted something from God more than they wanted God. David had written psalms about the peace in the secret place. Prophets had exhorted them to call upon the Lord and draw near to Him. They heard that He was all they needed, but they wanted more. How would you feel about being told you are not enough?

God was too hard to understand! They did not want to talk to Him; they wanted the prophets to talk to Him. Then they wanted the prophets to tell them what they wanted to hear rather than what God had to say. When they did not get their way, they turned away.

Does this sound anything like we might be guilty of even today? We have Jesus to guide us. We are reminded that we must have childlike trust as we mature in our faith. We should learn that in His presence we find everything we really need. When we were little, we wanted presents! We demanded presents. We had fits if we did not get what we wanted. With encouragement, we calmed down, but presents were important. We still enjoy them, but we should get over the fits!

As we move toward the celebration of Christmas, what are the odds that we will keep Jesus on the throne of our plans? Give Him frequent moments of your attention. Let Him know that He is your focus. Encourage others in the way you give glory to God. After all, He did say to seek God and His righteousness and He might just add a little something for you to His list. That is of course my own paraphrase, but truly we have His promises and they are all fulfilled in His presence. We do not have to wait 680 years; we have Him today and every day. Praise Him!

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