God Sent Jesus at the Perfect Time
"But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." (Galatians 4:4)
Mom smiled. "Not till after breakfast. Would you like to help me set the table?"
Natalie gulped her food at breakfast. As soon as she finished the last bite of her cinnamon roll, she asked, "Is it time to open presents now?"
Dad pushed his chair back from the table. "Not yet, sweetheart. We'll read the Christmas story from the Bible and sing some carols first."
Natalie listened to Dad reading, and she sang with all her heart during the carol-singing time. But her eyes kept roving to that pile of Christmas presents wrapped in shiny, colorful paper.
Finally Mom turned from the piano and said, "Guess what, Natalie? Now it's time!"
Like Natalie, you might have a hard time waiting to open presents on your birthday or at Christmas-time. When there is something that we really want, the time that we spend waiting for it can seem like forever. God's people in the Old Testament probably felt the same way. God's prophets had told them that God would send a Messiah, Someone Who would be their Savior. But hundreds and hundreds of years went by. God's people waited and waited.
God had a perfect time for His Son to be born. He knew what that time was even before He created the world. Galatians 4 tells us that He sent Jesus into the world only when the time was exactly right – the time that He had planned. When Jesus came into the world, conditions were just right for all of the prophecies about Him to be fulfilled. For example, the Roman emperor at the time of His birth required everyone to travel to His birthplace for a census. Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem. Micah's prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem came true (Micah 5:2). The Romans were still in power when Jesus died. Crucifixion was their normal way of putting criminals to death. Jesus' death by crucifixion was also a fulfillment of prophecy (Psalm 22; Psalm 34:20). God made sure that His Word, given long ago through His prophets, would come true. His people had to wait for their Messiah, but God sent Jesus at the perfect time.
God sent Jesus at the perfect time to fulfill prophecies about His life and death.
» Do I believe that God has a perfect time for working out His plans in my life too?
Truth In Real Life
“Go all out for God, and God will go all out for you.”
There once was a woodpecker who flew to the top of a tall pine tree and began to peck on the bark like woodpeckers often do. A terrible storm moved in. Suddenly, a bolt of lighting struck the pine and sent the entire tree into a pile of splinters. After a moment of stunned silence, the bird said, “Well, well, well! Who would have imagined that just three pecks of my beak could have such power as that!” The bird truly believed that it was his strength – and not the lightning – that had destroyed the tree.
Jonathan Goforth heard the “woodpecker story” early in his ministry and it changed his life. He explained that, as Christians, we are like the bird and God’s power is like the lightning. We cannot take credit for God’s power any more than the bird can take credit for the lightning.
He chose as his personal motto, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6b).
Goforth was born on February 10, 1859, near Ontario, Canada. At a young age, he learned to love reading the Bible. People around him would find him memorizing verses and praying to God. Expected to help with the family farm, he worked a full-time job and attended school at the same time. At age 15, he was put in charge of all the operations of his family’s second farm. His father said simply, “Work hard. At harvest I’ll return and inspect.”
At age 18, Jonathan Goforth fell under great conviction over his sinfulness and need for a Savior. He gave his life to Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, he encountered a biography about the life of Hudson Taylor – a missionary to China – and determined to follow in Taylor’s footsteps.
Jesus Christ is coming back one day. Like Goforth’s father promised to return, so also Jesus Christ has promised to return. Are you working faithfully so that He will be pleased to see how you honored His wishes and carried on His work that He left you to do? Everything we do is able to get done only because of God’s strength. Are you relying on God’s power and grace to help you do what He’s given you to do?
Mark 13:33 – “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.”