Summary: When YOUR plans get messed up, maybe God has something better for you!
• SLIDE #1
• Do you get frustrated when you plan something out only to have something mess up those plans?
• Maybe you were traveling somewhere for Christmas only to have storm come through that did not allow you to get to your destination?
• You send out gifts that do not make it on time?
• Maybe you had grand plans for decorating and your Christmas lights from last year do not light up.
• You purchase gifts for your children that say “some assemble required”. You know what that means, or even worse, “easy assembly’. Better get ready for a long night of major construction.
• The first Christmas, the birth of Jesus was all about messed up plans for many people.
• The Jews were planning for a Messiah to come who was going to be a great political leader who deliver them from the tyranny of Romans.
• Mary and Joseph, a young couple who were engaged to be married who were most likely full of hopes and dreams of having children and spending their lives together, they had no plans of raising the Messiah of mankind.
• Mary was an engaged girl who was going about her daily routine when we have the following exchange in Luke 1:26-30.
• SLIDE #2
• Luke 1:26-30(ESV) 26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed£ to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”£ 29But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
• Next we have poor Joseph. Joseph was working extra shifts at the Bethlehem Lowes to save enough money for a nice honeymoon! Mary drops a bombshell on him. She is going to have a child; he KNOWS he did not cause it.
• Joseph is not sure what to do. In Matthew 1:20-21 Joseph gets an answer an angel of the Lord give him a new plan for his life!
• SLIDE #3
• Matthew 1:20-21(ESV) 20But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
All of us can relate to good plans that do not work out. Maybe the baby came before we had as much saved as we wanted, maybe the job ended before we wanted it to.
Your retirement account did not do as well as you would have liked. Maybe and illness came and totally changed your plans for life.
What do you do when plans get messed up?
The Christmas story shows is what to do when plans get messed up.
Today we are going to look at three realizations to come to when plans go awry.
When your plans get messed up you need to realize…
I. God wants to get your attention!
• You can be sure God had Mary and Joseph’s attention when their plans got messed up!
• Mary and Joseph were gearing up for a nice ordinary life together. God got their attention when their ordinary plans got messed up.
• Every messed up plan is not God’s fault. God is not the author of evil or the designer of bad plans. God does not cause people to be mistreated.
• We live in a broken world that is full of hurt, abuse, and pain. These things are as prevalent as love, compassion, and caring.
• Messed up plans, no matter what the source is a way for God to say, “Hello! I want you to focus on me.”
• Look at what Psalm 81:11-13 tells us.
• SLIDE #5
• Psalms 81:11-13(ESV) “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!
• God has always tried to get our attention. Too many times we ignore God. When things are going well, it is very easy for us to ignore God, or forget our need for Him.
• We think we are the reason for our successes instead of God.