But This Doesn't Feel Like Christmas!

We need to be like Joseph--the earthly father of Jesus. No, I don't mean that we need to become carpenters--although some of us might have more time on our hands to attempt projects around the house. And no, I don't mean that we need to pack up our families and flee to a region in the south like Joseph took his family to Egypt. But I do see some helpful insights for today from Joseph's life found in Matthew chapter 1.

When Joseph is first introduced outside the genealogy, we find him quietly thinking about how to handle the major problem in his life--Mary was pregnant and they were not married, and Joseph knew that he was not the father. I couldn't help but think that many of us are spending many quiet moments in our hearts trying to sort out what to do during this baffling and difficult time of COVID-19. The Bible says that Joseph was a just man. He wanted to do what was right. Hopefully, this sounds like us, right?

It was during this quiet time of reflection that God gave His instructions to Joseph. First, don't be afraid to do what is right. God told Joseph to not have fear to take Mary as his wife because God was the One Who was at work. We also can take courage that God is the One at work during this time. God told Joseph that his fear should not cause him to shy away from what God was busy doing. We too must not let fear keep us from what God is accomplishing today. Is God working in your heart calling you to love Him more? Is God using this time to expose idols in your life? Maybe God is exposing your selfishness or insecurity? Could God be calling you to prioritize your prayer life and Bible reading? Lean into God's work.

The part of God's instructions to Joseph was to obey his calling. Joseph followed God's call and married Mary and became the earthly father of Jesus. Joseph did not back out or hesitate. He did exactly what God wanted to the best of his ability. God wants us to focus on obeying the simple things we know are right today, and He wants us to do it to the best of our ability. Are the family members in your home seeing your love for Christ and for others grow? Are you seeking God's face daily? Are you digging into the Bible? Are you addressing the challenges of today and leaving the evils of tomorrow to God?

The result that we find in Matthew 1 is that God promised Joseph His salvation and power would become evident. "You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." "They shall call His name Immanuel (which means, God with us)." God's working in Joseph's life would result in revelation of the salvation of humanity and the presence of God with mankind. Maybe God's work today in your life and my life will result in the salvation of sinners and the presence of the Holy Spirit within the hearts of more people.

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