She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. – Matthew 1:21
Scripture reading: Matthew 1:18-25
Even before Jesus was born, His coming to this world caused hardship. Mary was looked at as a sinful woman and Jesus was seen as an unwanted baby. This aptly foreshadowed the life Jesus would live. But God still sent His Son knowing this would be the case. Only through great hardship and suffering would Jesus save His people from their sins. This hardship would not only be for Jesus, but it would also be for His people.
Jesus would not only save His people then but use His people in every generation as instruments in His hands so others would be saved. But this ongoing saving work of God would also involve suffering by Christ’s body, the church. Jesus once said, “If they do this to Me, they will also do it to My people.” Why is this the case? The devil is still roaming this world seeking whom he may devour. He does not want people to be saved. But the incredible thing is that even through the actions of the devil, God brings forth His plan to save His people. For example, the devil’s influence was behind Jesus going to the cross, but His death brought about our salvation!
The devil is still roaming the earth. He seeks to influence us in a way that causes us to feel foolish talking about our faith. Remember, Jesus was willing to look bad and be rejected and as one of His people, we should be willing to look foolish in our desire for others to be saved.
Suggestions for prayer
That we would not fall to the devil’s schemes and threats, but would speak to people around us of Jesus, trusting that He saved us and is still saving people through His Word and Spirit.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Richard Bultjes is pastor at a church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, called River of Life.