Last week my good friend, Greg Arnold, linked one of my most read posts on his app. You can grab—Live Bold—for Christian men for free by clicking here. I know his 2017 plans and now’s a great time to get on board this great resource. Now, here’s my 2016 version of that post about one of the greatest men in Scripture.
The most overlooked and undervalued figure in the Nativity is Jesus’ earthly father—Joseph. Imagine for a moment being the guy God chooses to raise His only Son.
The story begins when Joseph’s fiancée, whom he has never slept with, tells him an angel has appeared to her saying God has supernaturally impregnated her with His Son. … Take that one in for a moment. And then the kicker … the child is going to be the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Would it not be easy to believe either she’s crazy or she thinks you are?!
But Joseph thought to divorce her quietly (required of a betrothal in that day). Why? To get rid of her? No. So as not to expose her to public disgrace. Wait. … His first thought is not about himself, but how to protect her? A man showing unselfish, unconditional love and grace. (Matthew 1:19)
Joseph had a dream where an angel confirmed Mary’s story and tells him to name the boy “Jesus.” So he immediately marries Mary. (Matthew 1:20-21) But he does not have sex with his wife prior to her giving birth. Even though there is nothing in God’s instructions where he is commanded to abstain. In fact, the angel says to “take her home.” But Joseph made a personal decision to stay in God’s will and stay out of His way. (Matthew 1:24-25)
God had been watching and testing Joseph all his life, readying him for this moment, taking great care to choose a man of character and integrity to be the dad for His Son. (Psalm 1:1-3, James 1:2-4)
While God is certainly mystical, he is also practical, so he helped Joseph provide for his new family. Remember that gold, frankincense, and myrrh the Magi brought when Christ was a toddler? What some wealthy astronomers brought as elaborate worship offerings, God used to finance the raising of His son. Those items would have been a nice income for many years back in that day. (Matthew 2) God provided and honored Joseph’s amazing trust by taking care of his family. (Matthew 6:33)
Here are 5 truths from Joseph’s life:
1—A life of integrity takes years to build, but God always honors and rewards the man who perseveres.
2—Sacrificial love always involves dying to self. God loves when guys unconditionally love their wives.
3—A man after God’s heart works to stay in His will and stay out of His way.
4—Obedience to God is invisible faith put in visible action. Joseph obeyed every time God spoke to Him.
5—God will provide a man with what He promises to a man.