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December 3, 2022



At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.

Luke 2:1-6 NLT



The timing and working of God. If you were Mary and Joseph, it would appear an order from Rome to return to your ancestral hometown to register for taxes would be the worst possible thing to happen. Why would God make a pregnant woman travel 70 miles on the back of a donkey through dusty roads to register to give hard earned money away? But God was working a plan. It was a plan that Mary and Joseph did not understand at the time. God was putting Mary in the right place at the right time. Hundreds of years earlier a prophet named Micah had declared the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). God didn’t choose Rome—the center of power and might. He didn’t choose Jerusalem—the center of the Jewish religion. He chose a farming community that seemed obscure and isolated. But it had prophetic significance. Bethlehem was a part of God’s plan. Sometimes in our lives we are forced to take what appears to be detours in our life plan. In the moment we don’t understand why we lost that job and had to move to a new area for a new job. We don’t understand why we had that physical set-back or difficulty. But we rest in the faith that we serve a God who works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). God is working today in our lives if we are willing to listen. If we are obedient to follow His direction, even when it is difficult and confusing, we will discover His will being lived out in our lives.



Holy Spirit please help me to see Your hand working in my life. Help me to follow Your will—even when it appears difficult or confusing.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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