Summary: This sermon takes the experiences of Joseph and Mary to show us when we are doing God's will it won't be easy.
God’s Ways Of Doing Things
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.
19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
20But 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.
21And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."
22So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
23"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."
24Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,
25and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Just for a moment, try to imagine how Joseph must have felt.
The wedding date is approaching, and he is making preparations.
Mary sees the date every young lady lives for is just about here.
She is so excited as she and her parents make the wedding plans.
She and Joseph have such dreams for their lives together.
However, God had another plan for their lives.
It was not ever in their goals for Mary to be with child
before they were married.
Mary’s reaction to the news shows her astonishment.
She asks in Luke 1:34, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?"
Joseph’s reaction was a little different.
He has a decision to make.
It appears that Mary has been unfaithful to him?
Should he break off the engagement?
Should he allow Mary to suffer public shame?
Well, they did get married.
Mary did give birth to the Lord Jesus.
Frances Jane Crosby was born on March 24, 1820
in the village of Brewster, about 50 miles north of New York.
She was the only child of John Crosby
and his second wife Mercy Crosby.
He was a widower who had a daughter from his first marriage.
When she was just 6 weeks old, baby Frances caught a cold
and developed inflammation of the eyes.
Mustard poultices were applied to treat the discharges.
That procedure damaged her optic nerves and blinded her.
John Crosby died in November 1820
when Frances was only 6 months old.
So she was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother.
These women grounded her in Christian principles,
helping her memorize long passages from the Bible.
When Frances was 3 years old,
the family moved to North Salem, New York.
In April 1825, she was examined by Valentine Mott,
who concluded that her condition was inoperable
and that her blindness was permanent.
More of that story a little later.
There are 3 important lessons for us in today’s Bible passage.
Point #1. God did not ask Joseph and Mary if they wanted to participate in His plan.
There are no places in the Bible
where the angel announcing God’s plan
asks Mary or Joseph if this was acceptable with them.
God simply told them His plan and will for their lives.
How many of you are doing what you planned on doing?
Most of us aren’t doing what we thought we would be doing
when we graduated from high school!
I never had any idea that someday I’d be called to preach.
I certainly never had any plans to work at a funeral home.
Some of my plans were changed
because of circumstances beyond my control.
God is beyond my control!
God never asked me what I thought
when He chose to put those circumstances into my life.
Well, God has a plan for your life.
He made that plan before He created you in the womb.
He has no intention of asking your permission
to proceed with His plan!
Now, you can choose not to obey His will,
but you cannot change His will for your life!
Point #2. God’s plan for Joseph and Mary was not easy.
Some people think if we are in the will of God
that life will be without difficulty.
That was not the case for Joseph and Mary.
Why didn’t God work it out so the tax was collected
either before Joseph and Mary were married
or after the baby was born?
He could have done that!
Having a pregnant woman go to Bethlehem