Monday, November 25, 2013

November 26, 2013

"This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet 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 conceive and 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 did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus."  Matthew 1:18-25

In "The Circle Maker", Mark Batterson made a statement that caught my attention. He said, "Sin complicates your life but so does God's blessing."

I have preached about the fact that sin complicates life but hadn't thought about the aspect of God's blessing. But it IS true and Joseph illustrates it very well.

If you are going to be a life-changer you can forget about a comfortable life! Life-changers live very inconvenient and uncomfortable lives. 

it is hard to read the Christmas story and not be very impressed by these two teen-aged life-changers.

I think we can agree they are life-changers, can't we?

And can't we agree they blessed the world more than any other human beings?

Over the next several posts I will illustrate how complicated their lives became when they answered the call of God.

The first awkward and very uncomfortable complication they faced was a serious hit on their reputations. 

For Joseph as a small businessman in a tiny town, his reputation was a matter of his business survival. Who is going to trust an immoral carpenter when there are other carpenters in town who are kosher?

And while Joseph's business was at stake, Mary's life was on the line. The penalty for adultery was being stoned to death.

When children bring shame to themselves, there are also two sets of parents who also carry the shame as well. Children are such a source of hope and pride that it is devastating when they bring shame upon the family.

Imagine all the excitement about the wedding plans and suddenly you a confronted with those plans being crashed and your family reputation being trashed.

Guess who bore the brunt of all this shame and disappointment?

A teen-ager named Joseph and his bride-to-be, Mary.

Complicated, wouldn't you agree?

God's blessing can complicate your life!

Thank God that two teens were willing to be seriously inconvenienced in order to become life-changers!

How about you?

Are you willing to trade comfort for the blessing of changing your world?