God on the Throne of Your Heart
Joseph was engaged to Mary and in Jewish tradition betrothal was as binding as modern marriage even though physical union had not taken place. This legal agreement lasted for about 12 months during which preparations for the wedding and the new home of the couple use to take place. In order to break the engagement the couple had to undergo a divorce. This is the backdrop on which we will take a quick look at the difficult decision Joseph had to make once he learned that Mary was with a child that is not his. Even though scripture does not give us much information on the life of Joseph we have enough leads to conclude the importance of the role he had in Jesus’ life. Joseph was divinely selected to be Jesus’earthly father because of his genealogical heritage that fulfilled the prophecy. Read Matthew 1:1-16 Secondly Joseph was chosen by God because of his character- he was a just man. The Webster dictionary describes the word just as acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good. In Hebrew the word suggest that Joseph was true believer in God, one that had been declared righteous, a man who obeyed and carefully followed God’s law. Mary’s legal punishment for adultery would have been public stoning but Joseph was not only a faithful follower of God’s law he also displayed our Lord mercy – “not wanting to make her a public example…” Matthew1:19
In spite of being Lord, Jesus was born into a family and had to go through the process of growing and learning. He had a heritage of godly parents who influenced and shaped his character. At numerous occasions Joseph had displayed character of righteousness and obedience to the will of God even when the task was extremely difficult and made no obvious sense. Our Father in heaven is a relational God and he chooses to use others to influence our lives not because he needs help but because through relationships we learn, grow and are challenged to reflect His true qualities – Love, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Humility, Self-control, Mercy, Forgiveness, Faithfulness and Justice. Beloved the person who has experienced a new-birth in Christ is a new creation. When interacting with others our true nature is exposed and it leaves a lasting imprint. So today I want to leave you with few questions:
Have you been born again?
If the answer to the 1st question is yes - what kind of imprint are you leaving in others; is it one that points to your old nature or to God’s transforming power in your life? (This does not mean we don’t make mistakes and don't have setbacks. It means that we are work in progress, we’ve allowed God to sit at the throne of our hearts and are obedient to His teaching and correction.)
Have you thanked the people that had influenced and helped you to become the woman you are today? – If you have never done so I encourage you to do it. It will be the best gift you can give them this Christmas.
Joseph had to trust and obey God despite his feeling and the difficulties the situation presented at present and in the future. He had to display character of righteousness and obedience. Is God leading you to make a decision that goes against your feelings and makes no obvious sense? I pray that you will trust and follow Him, so you too can build a godly and strong heritage.
To read today’s scripture reading click here: Mathew1:18-25
In closing I want to address the married ladies: If you have experienced God’s mercy through your husband thank him for it. Secondly, your husband is a man in progress, he is not perfect, he makes mistakes and sometimes he hurts* your feelings deeply not because he wants to but because he is human and we live in a fallen world where sin exists. This week I want you to think of one godly characteristic a day that you see him display – and each day you find a way and time to thank and encourage him for it. I am asking you to help the “Joseph” in him shine.
*This refers to conflict or situation that is not threatening to your emotional and physical wellbeing. If you are in abusive situation you need to seek safety and professional help.
My prayer is that this will be a place where you find hope and nourishment for your soul.
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