THE GOD WHO SEES YOU
A few years ago, I had the privilege of going to the Holy Land. It was my second trip to Israel, and it was extra meaningful. One afternoon, we made the trip to Nazareth, a very busy, bustling Islamic city today … but, at the time of Christ, a very small Jewish community with a population estimated at a few hundred.
In fact, Nazareth was so small, forgotten, and disrespected that Nathanael even said, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). (I believe we know the answer to that one.)
Mary was a young Jewish virgin, excited about her upcoming marriage to her older fiancé, Joseph. Since the girls married young in those days, we can safely guesstimate that Mary was only about 15 years old or so. Here is Mary, an unknown girl living in an unknown grease spot of a town, with a seemingly small future ahead of her … and God sends the angel Gabriel to visit her in Nazareth. God chooses her—her!?—to be the mother of His Son. Wow! Strange are the ways of God.
HE IS EL ROI
You and I would never have chosen Mary of Nazareth. What’s more, you and I would never have even noticed Mary of Nazareth, because Nazareth was a place so remote you couldn’t even find it on your GPS. But God saw her and chose her.
One of the great names of God is El Roi, “the God who sees me.” Sarah’s young Egyptian maid, Hagar, gave that name to God when He found her in the desert. She was pregnant, cast out (Sarah didn’t like her), and all alone. God lovingly came to Hagar to help her, encourage her, and provide for her needs. After that meeting, Genesis 16:13 says, “Hagar thought, “Have I really seen God and lived to tell about it?” So, from then on she called him, “The God Who Sees Me” (El Roi).
Have you ever felt alone, forgotten, and thrown out like yesterday’s trash? Have you ever felt like a total nobody, living on the backside of nowhere, thinking you have no future or hope?
El Roi sees you there. He sees the castaways and notices the forgotten. He saw Hagar … He saw Mary … He sees you.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
1. Stay faithful. Because God sees you and me, it matters that we stay faithful to the task He has called us to in the place He has called us to do it. Mary was faithful to the Lord, even in the dinky, nothing town of Nazareth. 1 Corinthians 4:1 teaches, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Faithful servants are successful servants in the eyes of the Lord.
2. Stay hopeful. Because God sees you and me, we can live life to the full and make a BIG impact for Christ. Mary certainly did. You and I can too, in His way and in His timing.
3. Stay joyful. Because God sees you and me, we can rejoice in the plan He has for us. We can live for His glory, even if we live on the backside of nowhere. Life is not about us, it is about Him. Let us live it for Him every day.
Remember the Christmas lesson in Luke 1:26-27. God sees you! He has a plan for you! He will do great and mighty things in you and through you as you trust Him.
Love and Merry Christmas,
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to [email protected].
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Impact Christmas: Making an Impact for Christ
Christmas is coming! As the song so rightly says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" But what is Christmas really all about? Is it merely about tinsel and toys, food and festivities? In this series, Dr. Jeff Schreve shares the true meaning of Christmas, the meaning that can change your life forever!