Summary: Looks at Joseph and the courage he received from the Lord when God called him to be the earthly father of Jesus so we might be able to unwrap the gift of courage and have it in our own life.
Unwrapping the Gift of courage
Courage is unwrapped by ordinary people
Courage is unwrapped by righteous people
Courage is unwrapped by obedient people
Christmas time is here.
People are going to be gathering with family & Friends
Some will gather with extended family that they haven’t seen in a while.
I have talked to people that are not always looking forward to seeing some of their family.
Maybe they have a crazy uncle.
Or perhaps they have relatives that will drink too much and get out of control.
Others will face stress from end of year job pressures.
Perhaps they have a quota that is not met yet and have only 3 weeks to fulfill it.
Others face the pressure of finding that perfect gift for that someone in their life.
Wherever you find yourself this Christmas season, no doubt that you have a lot of things to face.
Facing the issues of life requires courage on our part.
We don’t need courage only during Christmas.
This is something that we need day in and day out.
We need courage
To be a parent
To be an adolescent facing peer pressure
To be an employee who is fairly compensated.
To overcome strongholds of sin in our life
To do the right thing when the wrong thing looks so easy.
The fact is that we all need courage.
Where can we find that courage though?
Well, this Christmas we are going to be looking at what we might be able to find under the tree this Christmas that God has given us and how we can unwrap that gift into our own life.
Turn with me to Matthew 1:18-25 (p. 681)
Today, we are going to look at Joseph and the courage he received from the Lord when God called him to be the earthly father of Jesus
so we might be able to unwrap the gift of courage and have it in our own life.
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."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us."
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
(from New International Version)
We have heard that story many times that we don’t always see how it is that Joseph had to be courageous.
I mean, come on, how courageous do you have to be to do what God tells you to do?
I am sure that some of you already know that answer to that question, but let’s just consider Joseph’s situation for a moment.
The woman you are engaged to comes and tells you she is pregnant and you know it is not from you.
Then she tells you some story about how God impregnated her and that she is still a virgin.
So not only, from your point of view, is she cheating on you, she is lying right to your face.
Your friends and family say you should have her stoned or at the very minimum, you should divorce her (betrothal in that day was a binding contract)
Then you go to sleep and in your dream and angel tells you that what Mary is saying is true and you should go ahead and marry her.
Here is where Satan puts in overtime.
Now while the text only tells us that Joseph was obedient to what the angel told him to do, I know there was much more going on in Joseph’s head through this.
How can I know that?
Because I have faced Satan enough times where he has tried to get me to doubt what I knew I should do.