Summary: Sometimes God calls us to sacrifice for Him, when He does we know that the blessing will be greater than the sacrifice.
Today we are continuing to our series as worship. We’re taking a look at worship through the events of Christmas. I hope you’ve been enjoying the devotionals we prepared though the week. If you don’t have a copy there are a few left in the back. Also if you want to take one to share with someone, this is a great way to share about our church, but most importantly about our God so one and either use it or give it away.
In this series we’ve looked at how adoration and singing is a part of worship. That is what most of us think of as worship and we saw that with the angels and shepherds. We’ve looked at how obedience is a part of worship through the story of the wise men. Those men that we know very little about but we we know that worship was their motive and obedience was the result. We’ve looked at how prayer is a part of worship through the story of Zechariah. The key elements we saw there are that even when we have to pray for something long-term that doesn’t mean the answer is no. Sometimes the answer is, “yes” but it has to wait on God’s timing not ours. Secondly we must also be believing. Too many times we are like Zechariah and even though we know that we are praying to the God of the universe we still think that our limitations apply. The good news is that they don’t, not to Him. That is why we are to pray was worship. When we worship we put the focus on something, hopefully, other than ourselves. It is our all that is within me response to all that God is, and says, and does. When we do that our faith is in Him, not in ourselves, and we will understand that He is the answer and not us. Zechariah became an example of unbelief in the heart of a believer, but God didn’t let him stay there. If you’re praying and the answer is delaying hold on to your faith and remember the one who you are praying to. Make Him the focus, of not just your prayer, but your life, Everything that you say and do and believe, that is worship. It is not just a Sunday morning event, not just to music in your car. It is trusting Him, following Him, and listening to Him with everything that you have and do.
Today we are going to look at the life of another man that we know very little about, but who I believe understood this principle very well. I believe that because we see it in his actions. His name is Joseph and He was the step father of Jesus. We’re going to look at what Matthew 1 tells us about him.
Matthew 1:18-25, ‘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. 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. 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. 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.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him ‘Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.’ When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
We don’t know as much about Joseph as you might think we would about someone who played such a key role in the earthly life of Jesus, but what we do know tells us a lot about him and I think we can see parallels in our own lives. One of those is that we all make plans. We plan vacations, we plan things for our families and kids. We plan projects. Right now you have plans forming for how to spend next weekend. We plan lots of things. We generally make plans focused on our happiness and advancement. We don’t generally plan things that we aren’t going to like, unless we have too. Think about how many people you know schedule their regular cleaning at the dentist. On April 15th look at how many people will be lined up to drop off their taxes, and we live in a world where you can do that over the internet. We just simply don’t like to do things that will be unpleasant, so those aren’t the things that we plan for.