In this final month of the year, we usually find ourselves giving and receiving gifts. After all, it is Christmas and many people say I want this or that. If possible, they get it all wrapped up with a bow on top. Desire and fulfillment may arrive at the same time and place.
More than two thousand years ago, God gave some people choices to make around the events of our Lord’s earthly birth. It’s interesting to look at a few. Some made the right decision, and some did not. What could have been good for some wasn’t because of their choices. Others decided to trust God, and God recorded their names or occupations in the Bible.
Joseph was just a man wanting to do the right thing when he found out that his fiancé was with child. He was willing to pray and ask God what to do. God showed him in a dream that it was right to wed Mary. How would scripture be written if Joseph had said no to God?
Mary, a teenager, was told by an angel that she was going to have a child—the Savior of the world. She asked how? The reply was the Holy Spirit will overshadow you. That’s all she needed to know, and she said yes to God. What if she said no? Her name would never appear in God’s Word.
Another individual, the innkeeper, said he had no room for the young couple. Mary was about to give birth to the Son of God, and he said no to them. What would the Bible say if the innkeeper made accommodations for this travel weary couple? Praise would be part of the accolades about him. Maybe his name would be recorded in the Bible. Today his name would be a familiar name among men.
When you think of the shepherds, what do you think? It’s a respectable occupation that may be lonely but not looked upon with low esteem.
How about Herod, the local ruler, who felt threatened by a young man, Jesus? Because of jealousy and his insecure personality, his name was not respected by the societies of the world. Scriptures would have recorded compliments if Herod rejoiced over the King of Kings being born in his territory. But no, this man wanted to stand in the way of our glorious King.
The wise men traveled from afar to worship our Lord. They even brought gifts in appreciation as they worshipped our Savior. The gold was used by Joseph and his family to go to Egypt which prevented Herod from killing the Messiah, our Savior. These wise men are portrayed as true worshippers today in every Christmas play. What if they said, “It’s winter and it’s cold, the trip is too far?” The Bible probably would have never mentioned them.
When God brings an opportunity to you for helping others, what will you do? What will be your choice? Eternity will record your answers. May we, by the grace of God, be willing to say yes. Yes, to God, and no, to everything else. It may be our only chance to make a difference for some for all eternity.