December 22, 2021
“The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother, Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So, her husband, Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.’… When Joseph woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Jesus.” – Matthew 1:18-21, 24-25
Matthew Chapter 1 introduces us to Joseph, and we are told that he is a righteous man. But what makes a righteous man? I think we see two important characteristics in Joseph. First of all, he is loving and compassionate even toward a woman who he believes committed a very egregious sin. Joseph had every right to publicly divorce and disgrace Mary. But instead, his love and compassion drove him to show kindness to her. Second, Joseph is obedient to God. God has given Joseph a difficult command, but he immediately obeys this command, taking Mary as his wife and protecting her purity until the birth of Jesus. Because of his righteousness, Joseph got to play an intimate role in God’s plan for the Salvation of all mankind.
If we want to be used for God’s purposes, we can learn from Joseph’s example. You will never be perfect on this side of eternity, and your righteousness will continue to develop as you live life in Jesus Christ. However, a great place to start is loving others and obeying God. When you do, who knows what incredible part you may get to play in God’s eternal plans.
Heavenly Father, give us Your heart of love and fill us with a desire for Your will. Use us on this earth to accomplish the things of eternity.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon