Text: Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:1-21
Event(s): Jesus’ birth is announced to Joseph; Jesus is born; The Angels Proclaim His Birth; The Shepherds Visit Jesus
Matthew 1:19 This verse really speaks to the strong, admirable character of Joseph. Of course Joseph later found out this was in fact an act of God, but before that revelation, regardless of how bad things appeared, he absolutely would not let himself treat Mary in a way that would cause dishonor or humiliation to her. Sometimes when people wrong us, we think we are justified in treating them badly. But it is never okay to take on the characteristics of the kingdom of darkness – either in our hearts, our words or our actions.
Matthew 1:20 God establishes things at the hands of two or more witnesses. (2 Cor 13:1) Yes, there’s great confidence in knowing we’ve heard from God, but when facing major life-altering decisions – especially one that impacts other people – we must be humble and wise enough to seek counsel from other mature, wise believers and ask God for confirmation before we act hastily.
Luke 2:3 Never underestimate that even the most practical of situations that take place in our lives may have significant meaning. God used a census to fulfill the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. What may seem mundane and even inconvenient for us to deal with right now may have greater purpose than we realize.
Luke 2:7 “because there was no room for them in the inn…” If the plans and details don’t work out quite as nicely as we would like them to, we must not let that keep us from doing what God has given us to do. Don’t let perfection be a stumbling block to obedience.
Today’s Takeaway: Are you facing a major life-altering decision right now? Has God spoken to your heart or brought an opportunity to you that you are considering? Are there other people who may be affected by this decision that you may need to consider? Who, in your circle of influence, is a mature believer that can pray with you about that decision and perhaps offer some wisdom? Wherever you may be in the process, take the next step towards making sure you’re surrounded by godly counsel.
Additional (optional) reading: Proverbs 15:22 and Proverbs 11:14