Do Not Be Afraid
Joseph was a righteous man ... a good man ... and a kind man. The word “righteous” in Matthew 1:19 is defined this way in the Greek: ‘used of him whose way of thinking, feeling and acting is wholly conformed to the will of God.”
Joseph was not making decisions based upon his own best interest but his decisions were birthed in the conviction of God’s perfect and holy will. Joseph was learning a significant lesson this first Christmas season: celebrating the Savior is not about maximizing your own desires or preferences but it is about doing whatever it takes to welcome the Christ Child into your life.
This is a sobering lesson that we all need to be reminded of this Christmas season. Christmas is not about how I feel, about my circumstances, or about the comfort of family and friends. Christmas has always been and will eternally continue to be about making room for Jesus in the disappointed hallways of life.
Joseph planned to send Mary away privately although he could have had her stoned in the village square. Joseph’s wise and kind plans were interrupted by a Christmas angel! How wonderful to know that even when we are doing what we believe to be the highest good, God’s ways are still higher than our best intentions! Christmas is a time when heaven’s best interrupts our good.
And what were the first words that came out of the angel’s beatific mouth? “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid …”
The words spoken to Joseph over 2,000 years ago ring clearly across the ages into our disappointment. “Do not be afraid,” is the message of Christmas to your life today.
Has God interrupted your life lately? Perhaps this Christmas you just might want to take stock of your life and realize that God has the right to interrupt your mundane. God has the right to show you a better way of doing life because your very best human decision pales in comparison to what God has for you!
Was Joseph just an ordinary boy in love with an ordinary girl named Mary?! Not a chance! God always has plans other than ordinary for those who choose a lifestyle of uncompromising righteousness. God desires to use each one of us as the vehicle through which Christ is revealed to every generation.
If you think that Christmas was only about Joseph and Mary ... you are more than wrong. You might as well join the Grinch and Ebeneezer Scrooge in your opinion of Christmas. God longs to birth Christmas through you at this time in history. You are here to reveal the character and the heart of God. It is what righteous people do - not only at Christmas but 365 days a year!
Bible Reading: (click on the Scripture reference to open in reader)
Let There be Joy In Me:
Pray this year that Jesus would interrupt your holiday plans. Ask Him to invade your ordinary life with His extraordinary.
What fear issue does the presence of Jesus help you deal with?
If this devotional has been an encouragement to you, would you consider giving a year-end gift to Just Joy! Ministries this Christmas season?