Wednesday, December 7, 2016

When A Godly Man Almost Missed God~

I had never noticed it before.

But, Monday,
as I sat outside
soaking in the sunshine
and reading again the story of Jesus' birth,
I saw it.

Tucked into the first chapter of Matthew,
right there in the very first gospel,
God opened my eyes to see something
I hadn't seen
until that day,
until now.

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born.  His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

And when Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

~Matthew 1:18-21, 24-25

Sometimes,
the people of God,
those righteous and wanting to honor God,
those who may share a pew with us,
those who might even share a name with us,
discover we are "expecting",
only they don't understand
that it is God, Himself,
who has impregnated us
with this dream,
with this ministry,
with this "new" soon to be birthed through us.

All they see is something is happening
that they were not a part of,
and not knowing what to do,
they choose to
either walk away
or push us away.

Just look at this story again.

Just look at Joseph.

Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

Joseph, a righteous man,
was ready to walk away from his relationship with Mary
because He didn't recognize that it was God, Himself,
who was at work in her and through her.

Thankfully,
being a man of God,
before he walked,
he took the time to think about it.

And, as he did, the angel of the Lord came to him in a dream
explaining to Joseph what he,
in the natural,
didn't understand.

Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

Joseph decided to stay,
to say "yes" -
not only to Mary,
but to what God was birthing inside her.

And just look at what happened to Joseph
because he decided to be part of what God was doing.

He was given the honor of being the earthly father of the Son of God.
And, by choosing to be the husband of Mary,
Joseph was included in the lineage of Jesus.

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.  
Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
~Matthew 1:16

And, it was Joseph who was given the honor
of naming this precious baby, JESUS, as instructed by the angel.

And Joseph named him Jesus.
~Matthew 1:25

How different things would have been for Joseph,
if instead of saying "yes",
he would have followed through on his initial idea to walk away.

Sometimes,
as people of God,
we miss what God is doing,
and consequently,
by choosing to walk away,
by choosing not to think and pray about it first,
by choosing not to be a part of what is being conceived in our midst,
we miss out on being a part of what God is doing.

We miss out on being a part of the story of the Messiah.

We miss out on the "new" God is doing
to reach a lost world with the precious name and love of His son, JESUS.

Maybe one of the messages of Christmas this year is this:
God is at work.
God is always at work.
May we, through fervent prayer,
always seek God for further revelation,
before we decide to walk away,
before we decide to quietly disassociate ourself from someone else,
before we decide to have no part of the move of God happening in our very midst.










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