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Summary: The lesson of obedience that we learn from Joseph and Mary is something we can all benefit from.

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Lessons of the Christmas Story

#2 – What We Can Learn from Mary & Joseph?

Matthew 1:18-25

December 17, 2006

(Idea for this message from AboutSunday.com)

Opening comments:

Rules of chocolate:

If you’ve got melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.

Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn’t that handy?

If you can’t eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can’t eat all of your chocolate, what’s wrong with you?

What do we call equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate: a balanced diet.

Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.

(SermonCentral.com. Contributed by: Davon Huss)

That had absolutely nothing to do with the message today, but I thought you’d enjoy it.

If I were to tell you that God wanted you to do something, would you do it? Hopefully you’d say yes.

And then I told you that God wanted you to walk around naked because God wanted to teach Aberdeen a lesson.

Or I told you that God wanted you to build a scale model of Aberdeen and pretend to attack it like an invading army.

Or I told you that God wanted you to marry a prostitute who will cheat on you and have children by other men because God wanted to prove a point about the people of Brown County.

You’d think I was nuts.

But God did tell people in Scripture to do these things.

He told Isaiah to walk around naked because He wanted to teach Judah a lesson.

He told Jeremiah to build a model of Jerusalem to illustrate what was about to happen to it.

And He told Hosea to marry a prostitute to show Israel how they were unfaithful to God.

In every one of these situations, God asked someone to do something that made them look like they were nuts.

But they did it anyway.

If you knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that God Himself was asking you to do something, would you do it, no matter what the possible consequences were?

Joseph and Mary did, and I want us to look at their part in the Christmas story.

Go ahead and turn in your Bibles to Matthew 1:18-25. If you’re using the Bibles in the seats, this is on page 681.

There are a number of lessons we can learn from Joseph and Mary. We can talk about how spiritually aware they were so they could distinguish that the visit by the angel and the dreams of Joseph were actually the words of God.

We could talk about how prompt they were in obeying.

We could talk about their fortitude in journeying to Bethlehem in spite of Mary’s pregnancy.

We could talk about how Joseph risked his business by leaving it to go to Bethlehem – putting obedience ahead of financial considerations.

All sorts of stuff we could talk about. But as tempting as it is to explore all those things, I want us to focus on one lesson in particular.

Here is what I think we can learn from Mary & Joseph:

It’s better to obey God than worry about what others think or say.

Joseph and Mary are probably the best examples in Scripture of people who fully submit to the will of God.

The courage they showed in the face of public pressure is something we can all learn from.

Let’s take a look at a passage from Scripture that gives us a bit of insight into these two incredible people.

Matthew 1:18-25 (p. 681) –

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

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