“Now the birth of Jesus Chris took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But 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.
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus” (Matthew 1:18-25, ESV).
Often overlooked, the miracle timing of Joseph’s obedience was critical to the carrying out of God’s miracle timing of Christmas. If you think about it, one wrong move from Joseph would have thrown the whole plan off. Joseph was the head of the house. By faith, Joseph had to believe that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit and not by unfaithfulness to him. His decisions and his cooperation at precisely the right times were critical to completing God’s plan and the fulfillment of the prophecies of Jesus’ birth.
Joseph had to travel, on foot, from Nazareth to Bethlehem while Mary was nearing her due date. This took faith! It was a 90-mile trip over rough terrain with a pregnant woman, and it held much uncertainty. Yet, he was obedient.
By faith, Joseph got up and went to Egypt in the middle of the night, having no idea what they would do when they arrived. As far as we know, they didn’t know anyone in Egypt and had no way of making a living. He could have waited and questioned whether he really heard from God. Yet, any delay on his part would have been detrimental to the safety of young Jesus.
The gold, frankincense and myrrh brought by the Magi were worth a substantial amount of money and likely funded their time in Egypt. What if he had refused to receive the gifts from the Magi out of a sense of pride or for any other reason? Instead, he trusted that God had a plan.
Joseph didn’t hesitate or question what God told him to do. He never gave up, and he never quit. He took one step after another, not knowing what would happen. He didn’t follow his feelings or fears. Trusting in Almighty God, he walked the walk of faith—the kind of faith that comes from the knowledge of God’s goodness and love. Because of his trust in and obedience to God, God’s plan for Redemption – His Son Jesus – was not only born but lived to grow up and fulfill His redemptive purpose!
Trust In God, Despite Your Own Reputation
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24, ESV).
Live the Word
Do you know what God says about you? Does the world see God in you? In the way you talk? In the way you act? You are a God-follower. So, make sure that your words and actions reflect that. Decide that you are who God says you are…just that and nothing else!
Speak the Word
I am who God says I am.
I am strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
I am chosen (Ephesians 1:3-4).
I am complete (Colossians 2:10).
I am joyful (Psalm 16:11).
I am loved (Romans 5:8-9).
I am made for purpose (Ephesians 2:10).
I am fearless (Joshua 1:9).
I am victorious (1 John 4:4).
I am free (John 8:36).
And God is with me always (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Scripture Study: Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 2:9; John 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:7; Jeremiah 31:3
Trusting God when our reputation is on the line takes faith. Faith that God is faithful. Faith that God will do what He said He will do. Faith that God has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Faith that we are who God says that we are. In the end, God’s reputation is always more trustworthy than our own, and so we should always follow His will with quick obedience.
[NOTE: Joseph’s trust and obedience in God and His will not only helped him in his life, it saved Jesus from death, and it kept his marriage strong and intact. If he had chosen not to do so, he would have never had Mary as his wife and Jesus could have very well been killed by those hunting His life.]
Walking it out to victory:
- Trust God’s Word first and only.
- Remind yourself of what God says about you, your situation, your family and your purpose.
- Change anything in your life that is not in line with God’s will. Bring yourself under submission to His Word and will.
Click on the image below to download the PDF with the devotion and the craft activities related to Joseph.