The Christmas Miracle

Jack Hayford
Chapter 8: The Things Angels Say: God’s Call to You

Gabriel’s visit to Mary issued the heavenly Father’s invitation. And the things the angel said were laden with hope for Mary’s world and for glory to fill the future. Listen to these phrases because the things angels say give us a clue to God’s way of thinking when He calls us to His proposed plan for our lives.

– He will be great (Luke 1:32).
– The Lord God will give Him the throne (Luke 1:32).
– Of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:33).

I can’t urge you strongly enough to let these words settle into your own soul because, like the Mary miracle, they also are a genre—a “kind” of thing God does. Although they were spoken of Jesus, whom Mary would bear, the truer-than-ever truth today is that this same Jesus has come to dwell in us. And the purpose of His entry is not only to abide with us, but also to extend His kingdom through us.

So many dear believers only think of this “extending” in terms of religious duties, accepting Christian disciplines and trying harder to “be good.” Thus, attempting to master our limitations and trying to cultivate self-discipline becomes a wearying effort at spiritual achievement. But our Father’s plan is to birth Christ’s life in us, not demand His life from us.

I have an angelic “word” for you about this, the same one spoken by the shepherds: “Today a Savior is born to you” (Luke 2:11). There’s a new life resource available for every new day, and a new challenge, too. God wants to reveal His “surprise” workings at new dimensions of joy we couldn’t have thought possible. Whether you’re seeking to respond to His call to a new realm of service, or trying to overcome an old problem that has caused stress for you, I invite you to “listen to the angels.”

This Mary-miracle approach to growth and victory isn’t painless or problem-free—having babies never is. But it is alive and aglow, filled with joy, rather than with juggling the metallic pieces of a “Do-It-Yourself Christian Kit.” God’s surprise ways are superior to our best efforts at anything—even trying to live for Him. He is in the life-begetting, birthing business because it produces sons and daughters, not robots.

The good news of the gospel doesn’t end with our new birth. It continues by announcing the possibilities of periodic, additional surprise babies—birthings of blessing making possible new growth, and always through the power of new grace. Such a life-flow to us, in us, and through us changes things around us as we find:

– Release from life’s most besetting sin, as habits are broken and forgiveness drives out guilt;
– Brightness shining in life’s darkest corners, as love beams in and drives out fear;
– Provision unfolds for life’s deepest need, as God’s abundance drives out want;
– Strength flows to focus on life’s weakest point, as divine enablement drives out failure;
– Health springs forth at life’s sorest place, as the Healer Himself begins to drive out pain.

From The Christmas Miracle copyright © 1999 by Jack W. Hayford. Published by Regal Books, A Division of Gospel Light, Ventura, California

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