THE PURPOSES OF GOD

by Pat Anderson | Dec. 19, 2018

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David…”

LUKE 2:4 ESV

In October of 2013, my wife and I found ourselves in an interesting yet exciting situation. I had just accepted a job as a worship pastor at Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas. This would be my first full-time job, our first time buying a house, we were pregnant with our first child, and we were moving away from our families for the first time ever! On top of all that, I was finishing my seminary degree which required weekly travel, and my wife had to keep working as a nurse at a hospital in Conway so we could keep our discounted rate during the pregnancy of our firstborn son, Cohen. Looking back, I think maybe that was too many “firsts” during one season of life!

Luke 2:1-5 took me back to that  time in 2013 as I read about Mary and Joseph in a different, yet similar situation. Mary was pregnant and surrounded by the scandal that accompanied her divine pregnancy. In the middle of that, her husband was called to return to his hometown – Bethlehem, the City of David – for a census and Mary went along. Now our trip from Central Arkansas to Northwest Arkansas was about twice as far as Mary and Joseph’s trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but we got to ride in an SUV and a moving van. Mary and Joseph, according to tradition and Scripture, traveled by donkey. In Bethlehem, Jesus would be born and thus fulfill the prophecy given to us in Micah 5:2: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient of days.”

In December 2013, the due date for our son was fast approaching and I vividly remember leading an Advent worship service at Fellowship with my phone in my pocket awaiting the call from my wife that the time had come. I was ready to leave the stage mid-song if I had to! But I didn’t, and my son was born on December 18th that year.

Looking back over the past five years I see God’s sovereign hand guiding us every step of the way.

I see the purposes for that move clearly now although it used to be a mystery to us. Luke 2 reveals that God fulfills His promises and uses all circumstances to accomplish His purposes. How have you seen God move in the midst of your story? Are you on the other side of a challenging season or are in the middle of one right now? God is good. God keeps His promises. God is in control. God loves you. Take some time today to thank God for all His blessings.

Today’s Reading: Luke 2:1-5 ESV

6 Comments

  1. Laura Wilson

    Pat-Great devotional and reminder. Thanks for sharing. You do a great job leading worship at FBC!

    Reply
  2. Darla Beller

    Pat, though I’ve never met you personally, you and your family are a blessing to our church family corporately, and to me and my family individually. Thank you for spending your lives in service to God for our benefit. We are a blessed body!
    Your message is a great reminder that though we may not have all the details of our journey, we, like a trusting child, put our hands in His and walk with Him wherever He’s going. I know that while I cling to His hand, I am not afraid no matter what else may be going on around me. I think that must have been how Mary and Joseph made it through that first Christmas.

    Reply
  3. Rhonda

    Encouraging word this morning!! Thank You for sharing the devo and telling your story! We sure are glad you and your family are here to lead us in worship. The Lord’s presence is so evident.

    Reply
  4. Colene and Gordie Zaiset

    Pat, thanks for sharing. We thank God for sending you our way. In your obedience to come even in a full season of life, God has used you in many ways here at Fellowship. Merry Christmas and happy birthday Cohen. God bless you all.

    Reply
  5. Robyn

    Love this!

    Reply
  6. Beth

    It’s been a tough 16 months, but we were able to call out SO many blessings as a family! Thank you for the great devo!

    Reply

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The Purposes of God

BY: Patt Anderson | Dec. 19, 2018

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David…”

LUKE 2:4 ESV

In October of 2013, my wife and I found ourselves in an interesting yet exciting situation. I had just accepted a job as a worship pastor at Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas. This would be my first full-time job, our first time buying a house, we were pregnant with our first child, and we were moving away from our families for the first time ever! On top of all that, I was finishing my seminary degree which required weekly travel, and my wife had to keep working as a nurse at a hospital in Conway so we could keep our discounted rate during the pregnancy of our firstborn son, Cohen. Looking back, I think maybe that was too many “firsts” during one season of life!

Luke 2:1-5 took me back to that  time in 2013 as I read about Mary and Joseph in a different, yet similar situation. Mary was pregnant and surrounded by the scandal that accompanied her divine pregnancy. In the middle of that, her husband was called to return to his hometown – Bethlehem, the City of David – for a census and Mary went along. Now our trip from Central Arkansas to Northwest Arkansas was about twice as far as Mary and Joseph’s trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but we got to ride in an SUV and a moving van. Mary and Joseph, according to tradition and Scripture, traveled by donkey. In Bethlehem, Jesus would be born and thus fulfill the prophecy given to us in Micah 5:2: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient of days.”

In December 2013, the due date for our son was fast approaching and I vividly remember leading an Advent worship service at Fellowship with my phone in my pocket awaiting the call from my wife that the time had come. I was ready to leave the stage mid-song if I had to! But I didn’t, and my son was born on December 18th that year. Looking back over the past five years I see God’s sovereign hand guiding us every step of the way. I see the purposes for that move clearly now although it used to be a mystery to us. Luke 2 reveals that God fulfills His promises and uses all circumstances to accomplish His purposes. How have you seen God move in the midst of your story? Are you on the other side of a challenging season or are in the middle of one right now? God is good. God keeps His promises. God is in control. God loves you. Take some time today to thank God for all His blessings.

Today’s Reading: Luke 2:1-5

6 Comments

  1. Laura Wilson

    Pat-Great devotional and reminder. Thanks for sharing. You do a great job leading worship at FBC!

    Reply
  2. Darla Beller

    Pat, though I’ve never met you personally, you and your family are a blessing to our church family corporately, and to me and my family individually. Thank you for spending your lives in service to God for our benefit. We are a blessed body!
    Your message is a great reminder that though we may not have all the details of our journey, we, like a trusting child, put our hands in His and walk with Him wherever He’s going. I know that while I cling to His hand, I am not afraid no matter what else may be going on around me. I think that must have been how Mary and Joseph made it through that first Christmas.

    Reply
  3. Rhonda

    Encouraging word this morning!! Thank You for sharing the devo and telling your story! We sure are glad you and your family are here to lead us in worship. The Lord’s presence is so evident.

    Reply
  4. Colene and Gordie Zaiset

    Pat, thanks for sharing. We thank God for sending you our way. In your obedience to come even in a full season of life, God has used you in many ways here at Fellowship. Merry Christmas and happy birthday Cohen. God bless you all.

    Reply
  5. Robyn

    Love this!

    Reply
  6. Beth

    It’s been a tough 16 months, but we were able to call out SO many blessings as a family! Thank you for the great devo!

    Reply

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NWA Christmas