Have you ever had the experience of feeling closer to God than anybody could ever be, only to have that feeling changed by one verse from His Word?
It hits you and you come to the realization that you’re still a fellow struggler and it’s only because of his grace that you stand.
Matthew 1:19 will do just that for you. We read:
“And Joseph was a just man.”
Now, that may look like just a simple verse, but I assure you, there are layers of truths to uncover from that sentence alone. A closer look will bring you to your knees.
The story unfolding here, tells of the love between a man named Joseph and a very young woman named Mary.
Her dress was purchased and His tux tailor made. The date was set and the guests were invited. He was so excited that he walked the streets of his little town singing at the top of his lungs everyday.
Just before they could come together, he finds out that she is with a child. Because of his love and respect for her, he decides to put her away quietly – for he didn’t want her to be ridiculed and mocked or even stoned to death.
Matthew sums up his exceptional and noble character in one word: Just! Joseph was a ‘just’ man. The word is translated from the Greek as “righteous, pious, correctness in thinking, feeling and acting in conformity to God’s will.”
If you feel disqualified by that definition, I don’t blame you, because I feel the same. How many of us can say, ” I am righteous in my thinking, feeling and acting?” This is a very tall order to measure up to.
Having said that, this is God’s call on our lives. It’s a call that reverberates from the garden to the city; from Genesis through Revelation:
And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
The problem we have as believers, is compartmentalism. We give God parts of our lives and keep him out of other areas. But God is not the God of anything in our lives until he is Lord of everything. This Christmas, let us invite Jesus in those areas of our lives we have kept him out of. Let’s make him not only Savior, but also Lord. Let’s make Him our righteousness.
What are some opportunities in our lives that we missed and failed to invite the Lord into?
The Movie you should not have watched.
The feeling of jealousy.
The unkind words you spoke.
Our false assumptions
Our unrealistic fear
Feelings left by deception and manipulation of the enemy.
Secret thoughts and feelings
What are some ways we could pray one for another?
As a husband my prayer today is that God will make me a righteous husband. Completely conformed to his will in my thinking, feeling, and acting.
As a father my prayer today is that God will make me a righteous father: Completely conformed to his will in my thinking, feeling, and acting.
As a man of God – my prayer today is that God will make me a righteous man: That my thinking, my feeling and my acting be completely conformed to His will.
I hope we can all realize that even on our best day of holiness and purity, all our righteousness are like filthy rags.
I hope we can all realize that we need Him to lift us, help us, work in us, keep us – because we are always just one step of missing the mark.
I hope we can take some time to lift each other up in prayer – so that we can all conform to the will of God in our thought life, in our emotions and our will to obey. .
Merry Christmas Everyone!