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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Joseph was faced with a difficult choice after discovering that Mary was pregnant. Although he knew that taking Mary as his wife could be humiliating, Joseph chose to obey the angel’s command to marry her. His action revealed four admirable qualities: (1) righteousness, (2) discretion and sensitivity, (3) responsiveness to God, and (4) self-discipline.
Perhaps Joseph thought he had only two options: divorce Mary quietly or have her stoned. But God gave a third option—marry her. In view of the circumstances, this had not occurred to Joseph. But God often shows us that there are more options available than we think. Although Joseph seemed to be doing the right thing by breaking the engagement, only God’s guidance helped him make the best decision. When our decisions affect the lives of others, we must always seek God’s wisdom.
Joseph changes his plans quickly after learning that Mary had not been unfaithful to him. He obeyed God and proceeded with the marriage plans. Although others may have disapproved of his decision, Joseph went ahead with what he knew was right. Sometimes we avoid doing what is right because of what others might think. Like Joseph, we must choose to obey God rather than seek the approval of others. (NLT)
Matthew 1:18-24 – Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly.
As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All of this happened to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us).” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife. . .
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
Wayne W. Greenawalt (Illinois) titled his story “FATHERHOOD;” here is a portion of Wayne’s story:
“Watching the church youth reenact the Nativity story, I developed a deeper appreciation for Joseph. As I viewed the scene where the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, instructing him to take Mary as his wife and name her son Jesus, I was struck by this thought: Jesus not only needed a mother, he needed an earthly father. I had always regarded Joseph as a minor influence in the birth and life of our Lord. Not so! God’s infinite wisdom ordained that Joseph serve as Jesus’ earthly father. What a significant role and an awesome responsibility!
“. . . One of the key courses in the men’s recovery program teaches them the biblical principles of fatherhood. The objective is that those who have children will become the fathers that God intends them to be.
“Every child deserves a godly father. If Jesus, God’s son, needed an earthly father to provide nurture and give guidance, how much more do we?”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will give thanks for the godly father figures in my life.
Prayer: Compassionate God, we pray for fathers everywhere. Help them to see the importance of setting a godly example for their children to follow. Amen.
Prayer Focus: CHILDREN OF ABUSIVE FATHERS
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
OBEDIENCE, OBEY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/obedience-obey/
SCRIPTURE, SCRIPTURES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/scripture-scriptures/
LISTENING, LISTEN: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/listening-listen/
SELF-CENTERED, SELF-CENTEREDNESS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/self-centered-self-centeredness/
OPPRESSED, OPPRESSION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/oppressed-oppression/
JUDGING, JUDGE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/judging-judge/
OPINION, OPINIONS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/opinion-opinions/
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