Summary: Joseph was a man who sort of had it made and life was pretty good, from his perspective. Then one day God shows up and asked Joseph to go out on limb.

I used to be a man that was comfortable with life like it was and had no intentions of taking any risk. I had a job, a wife and two children. We had food on the table and a roof over our heads.

Then God called me to follow Him in pastoral ministry and my whole world changed.

I had to go back to school, take a number of risks and convince my bride that God really did invite us to follow Him.

See I was a man who liked living close to the tree and really didn’t like going out on a limb. Suzanne has always liked knowing how much money would be coming in, each week. She liked to know how much we had for groceries and rent, etc…

Now were being challenged to take on of the biggest risk we have ever taken.

Wow that was 19 years ago and God is still challenging us. In 2012, while serving as Pastor of Elim Bible Church, God began to burden me with the idea of full-time ministry.

See Up till now I have been Bi-vocational and even left my job to open my own business, which was another huge risk for us.

Now God was saying to close the business and step into a full time ministry in a Church that would not be able to pay a fulltime salary. Again the challenge to step out a little farther on the limb.

Again I were being challenged and I had to decide if I would be a limb climber or just a branch sitter.

Joseph was a man who sort of had it made and life was pretty good, from his perspective.

Then one day God shows up and asked Joseph to go out on limb. This was a challenge that no other man has ever been asked nor will ever be asked again to take.

Joseph was asked to be the earthly father of the Son of God, Jesus.

Joseph was comfortable on his branch, for a number of reasons.

Many are comfortable just sitting on their branch, for the same reasons.

a. It is a comfortable branch:

After many years of sitting on the same branch, it fits me…it’s contoured to my backside…

b. It’s a reliable branch:

It’s always been there and it strong enough to hold me and all my stuff…I can trust this branch because I can see it,, feel it and hold to it when the winds blow…

c. It’s a predictable branch:

I know what my branch will do next. Have you ever noticed that the further you step out on a limb the smaller it gets. It become unpredictable because you never know how much it can hold or when it might snap.

There is no where to sit in comfort, out on a limb…there is no protection from the weather, out on a limb…Yet that is exactly where God wants us…

Three things told Joseph and will tell you to stay where you are. What ever you do DON’T GO OUT A LIMB…

1. Commonsense says stay close to the tree:

Joseph had to wonder about the explanation: “20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

Commonsense tells us that it just happen that way and when God asks us to do things bigger than we are, commonsense will tell us the same thing…

2. Self-defense tells us to stay close to the tree:

Joseph may have thought “No one will ever believe this was of God” or “What will our families/friends think?”

When God asks you to go out on a limb for Him people may think you’re crazy…

3. Pride will tell you to stay close to the tree:

Joseph’s pride told him to get rid of Mary but his love her said to do it quietly.

I have come to understand that God won’t ask me to do something that I can accomplish on my own.

He never works in the realm of commonsense…

Moses was asked to take a stand against the king of all Egypt, in order to free Israel…

Abram was asked to move his entire family to a foreign land, in order to do an impossible work for God…

Paul was asked to carry the gospel to the unknown world of the gentiles…something unheard of in the Jewish evangelism movement…

Maybe you are being called today to do something bigger that you are…to forgive or even be forgiven for some past hurt…

Maybe God wants you to reach out to some lost friend or neighbor…

Just ask Joseph…he’ll tell you that life much better out on a limb than clinging to the trunk.

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