November 18, 2020
Matthew 1:20-23
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
New International Version (NIV)
                Babies are the best!  To all of you who tried to tell me how good grandparenting is, I can only say, you undersold it.  It is better than I could have imagined.  We celebrated a first birthday this weekend.  Tonight I will babysit one of our granddaughters while Melanie is spending time with our other granddaughter and her parents.  We give thanks to God for these good gifts from above.        
                When Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit there were no special “reveal parties.”  Joseph the betrothed husband of Mary knew he was not the father.  As he pondered his options, an angel came saying what angels always seem to say, “Be not afraid.”  In fact they didn’t even have to choose a name:  God named his son Jesus, meaning Savior.
                God works behind the scenes.  Through Isaiah he predicted a child would be born bearing the name Immanuel, God with us.  Jesus fulfilled that prophecy.  Again and again, Matthew shows us that God was always working toward his greater purpose of redeeming humankind. 
                God had marvelous plans not only for his son but for all of our children.  Jesus came as a baby to give hope and life to every baby ever born.  Children are not mistakes, but gifts from God.  So we care for the unborn and for the born, for the young and for the old.  God’s Son is still the answer for the pervasive problem of our sin.  And for those who feel alone, Jesus is still, “God with us.”  Be not afraid.
Please join me in prayer:         
Father, in the name of Jesus we confess our sin to you today.  We need to be forgiven.  Though like Adam and Eve we are tempted to run away from you, today we do the opposite.  We run to you.  Thank you for Jesus our Savior who came as a baby, grew up and died on a cross for our sins.  “God with us”,  help us to live with a constant consciousness of your presence today.  Deliver us from fear.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:17-18
Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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