Summary: Five excellent ways to live right based on the life of Joseph, the father of Jesus. Live right and be on your way to God's blessings. How to live right?
Introduction: It is always easy to travel downstream than to travel upstream. It is easy to be living like the world than to live according to the word of God. How is your life? Are you living right or are you living wrong?
This sermon on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igWEmlYj_fk
There is a story of living right that took place in the very first Christmas. But it is a story we often miss because people focus mostly around young mother Mary and her son, Jesus. But do you know there is a man who stands silently next in the nativity scene? He is not even given a single line to speak! He then disappears completely from history after the teenage years of Jesus. His name is Joseph of Nazareth.
Matthew 1:18-19 18This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.19Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
Joseph doesn’t stand in the spotlight very long, & we don’t know a whole lot about his life, but Joseph was the kind of man God could trust to live right in the midst of a crisis. He would stand for God. He went through all possible crises a man can go through but displayed great courage in those circumstances. The reason Joseph had such courage was because of his relationship with God: Matthew 1:19 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.
Put yourself in Joseph’s position. Joseph and Mary get engaged. As per tradition Joseph is working hard to earn a steady income. Once established, he will marry and bring Mary home. Probably, all necessary arrangements are in progress and the wedding ceremony was soon to take place. But then one day Mary sent him a WhatsApp message, “Joseph, I am expecting a baby.” It must have hit him like a bombshell. His little world is just come to an end. He thought that Mary loved him as much as he loved her. But now, seemingly, she had been unfaithful to him. He knew the child was not his, & so the only conclusion he could reach was that Mary had been unfaithful to him. How do you respond when people are unfaithful to you, betray or cheat you?
According to the law, Mary should be stoned to death. But Joseph loved her so much that he didn’t want that. So he decided to divorce her quietly. Matthew 1:19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. Notice he’s called a husband even though they were still in the betrothal period. Now all of a sudden we see the virgin birth confronted. Joseph has to confront this thing. He has to face it. The miracle is just very unclear to him. He doesn’t understand it.
Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this….Stop right there. Joseph went to bed thinking what he had to do, and while he was mulling it over, he fell asleep. And then we find the virgin birth clarified. Matthew 1:20 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.
This is not a dream like you have a dream. It was a real angel. And by the way, this is not uncommon to Matthew. There are six times in Matthew where we find this kind of communication through a dream where it’s prophetic. So this is not in a totally isolated situation. God sometimes uses an angel in a dream.
The angel said to him, “Joseph, son of David…” Do you know why the angel said, “Joseph Son of David?” Just to reinforce the lineage and the line of David. Matthew 1:20 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. You don’t have to be afraid, Joseph. This is the great reality, people, of the virgin birth. There was no human father. This is the birth of God in human flesh.
God was in turn telling Joseph, “Joseph I know you are confused. You do not know what is happening. Trust me, I am in this. You may not understand all that is happening, but just trust me & everything will be all right.” Joseph teaches us to trust God at all times.