LOUISVILLE–When Joseph heard of Mary’s unexpected, miraculous pregnancy with Jesus, he was in a dilemma, grappling with love and law, so he planned, Charles Frazier, newly elected Kentucky Baptist Convention president and pastor of Zion’s Cause Baptist Church in Benton, told members of the KBC Mission Board during their meeting on Monday, Dec. 11.
“This righteous man developed a plan to take care of Mary, but his plan was not God’s plan,” continued Frazier. Joseph, legally, could have had Mary stoned, he noted. Yet, his choice was the loving option of quietly divorcing her.
Still, God changed Joseph’s plans for His own, sending an angel in a dream to tell Joseph to marry her, Frazier said, speaking from Matthew 1:18-24.
Frazier emphasized that Joseph needed to learn that there was “a greater plan, and that was God’s plan.” God’s plan for Mary’s pregnancy had a specific cause and character, one that Joseph’s plan could not account for.
Much as Joseph had to change his plans, “sometimes we are tempted to do it our way, but we must listen to the counsel of the Lord,” he added.
“As we embark to do God’s work for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, let us do His work and not our own,” Frazier concluded.
Continuing the Christmas theme, Nate Bishop, first vice president and pastor of Forest Baptist Church in Louisville, addressed the Mission Board on Tuesday, speaking on “The Timeliness of God” from Galatians 4:4-5.
“God knows what He’s doing and He’s always on time when He’s doing it,” Bishop said. However, “the right time isn’t always a good time.”
Bishop explained that during the time of Jesus birth, Israel was not in a good place. They were under Roman rule and they were in a time of spiritual barrenness, brokenness and despair. The Jews had not heard a word from the Lord in centuries.
“Though it wasn’t a good time, it was the right one because Jesus shows up,” he continued.
“Beloved, the God-man came to do God-sized work!” He does the same in the lives of his children, Bishop added. Amid trials and tribulations in personal life and ministry, “when Jesus shows up, He makes things better.”
He pointed out different hard times that people experience, such as the moment a person realizes the gravity of their sin. Still, “When we see our sin for what it is, it’s not a good time, but it’s the right time.”
Another example of God’s right time is difficulty in ministry. “In those hard times, it is the right time for Jesus to demonstrate His power,” he said.
Bishop continued, “God puts us in hard times for us to realize we’re not as strong as we think we are.”
He concluded, “Though it may not be a good time, it’s God’s time.” (WR)