Summary: Joseph and Mary were a normal couple given a complicated task to perform for the Lord. Though they were in the will of God and followed Him, the path God led them down was not easy. This sermon examine their lives, God's will for them, their trials and th

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When God Messes with Your Plans

Chuck Sligh

December 18, 2011

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TEXT: Matthew 1:18-25


Today I want to speak about Joseph and Mary. The title of my sermon is “When God Messes with Your Plans!” In our text, we see two godly young people making plans for their lives, and then…God messes with their plans.

Illus. – Men, can you remember those days of your engagement? You had fallen in love with the girl of your dreams! And she seemed to be pretty fond of you too! There came that time when you made up your mind to ask her to marry you. And wonder of wonders—SHE AGREED! Boy what a dupe she was!

Well, engagements were handled differently in those days than they are now. Marriages were pre-arranged by the parents, sometimes when the children were only infants. But when they were engaged, they would make their plans, and their future marriage was just as anticipated as it is to engaged couples today.

I can imagine young JOSEPH— The wedding date is approaching. He’s making preparations. All he thinks, eats and breathes is Mary, Mary, Mary.

I can also picture MARY— The event every girl dreams of is almost here! She’s so excited as she and her parents make the wedding plans. She and Joseph have such wonderful dreams for their lives together.

But then [PAUSE] GOD MESSED WITH THEIR PLANS! It was never in their plans for Mary to become pregnant before their wedding night! And certainly, the idea of becoming pregnant MIRACULOUSLY and giving birth to the Messiah was about the last thing they expected.

Their reactions were oh, so normal:

Mary’s reaction to the news WAS ONE OF PERPLEXITY. She asks in Luke 1:34b – “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” [that is, “since I have not been with a man.”]. As a flood of thoughts raced through her mind, she was naturally bewildered. Oh boy, how do I explain THIS to Mom and Dad? Will Joseph still want me as his wife now? Will he believe my story of how I became pregnant? Will ANYONE believe this story? No doubt, the whole thing must have been very frightening to her, and yet somehow exciting to know that in her womb was the long-awaited Messiah!

Joseph’s reaction WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT AND MORE PRAGMATIC. He had an important decision to make: Should he believe that Mary had remained pure and that she had miraculously become pregnant with the Messiah? I mean, come on—that’s a little far-fetched, and he knew how girls got pregnant, and HE was not the father, THAT’S for sure. Maybe he should just break off the engagement? What was the RIGHT thing to do?

Well, you know the rest of the story—an angel confirmed to Joseph that Mary’s story was true; they DID marry; Mary DID give birth to the Messiah; and the rest is history! Today I’d like to share three observations from our text that I think will be helpful for us:

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