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Joseph’s decision – Christmas through the eyes of a man. Part II


I don’t know if Joseph sat on the edge of his bed in amazement for a while or if he flew out the door so fast that he forgot to tie his sandals, but one way or another he eventually wound up at Mary’s door with flowers in one hand a ring in the other. The Bible says, “When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife” (Matthew 1:24 NCV).

The key phrase here is—he did as the Lord commanded. When God spoke, Joseph listened. Wouldn’t it be great if we were all like that? I’ve been struggling with Ytzaak, my 4 year old, who just refuses to help pick up his toys. Last week I was talking to him and the conversation went something like this:

“Time to put the toys away,” I said.
“No.” Came Ytzaak’s reply.
“Come on, Ytzaak. Please help to put away the toys.”
“Tell you what, you help put away the toys and you’ll get a treat afterwards.”
“I’m tired,” Ytzaak whined.
“You’re stubborn,” I corrected.
“No, I’m not stubborn.”
“Oh yes you are.”
“No. I’m not.”
“Do you know what stubborn means?” I asked.
“Stubborn is when you won’t do what someone asks and you won’t change your mind about it.”
“Oh, I am stubborn, then.”

We’re not a whole lot better than my four-year-old sometimes. When God speaks, do you listen? So maybe you haven’t ever heard God’s whisper, but you can certainly read God Word. His Word, the Bible, is filled with commands and instructions that God expects each of us to follow—commands like “love your neighbor as yourself,” or “do unto other what you would have them do unto you,” or “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as Christ has forgiven you.”

Most of God’s commands are simple enough, but they’re life altering when we really follow them. For Joseph to marry his bride was simple, but it changed his life forever. He became a dad to no ordinary boy. I can’t imagine that was always easy.

There’s a big difference between being a hearer of the Word and a doer of the Word. There’s a big difference between going to church and being the church. But following God’s instruction—doing life God’s way—is always the best way and it’s always worth it. Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23).

If we obey Christ’s teaching and really live life God’s way, then God—Father, Son and Spirit—will make his home in our hearts. Joseph discovered what that is like in a very tangible way.
As you prepare for Christmas this month and you celebrate the birth of Jesus with your loved ones, keep an ear open for God’s voice. Listen to what he says through his Word and the world around you. If you will listen and obey, then God will use you in his cast of characters!


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Some more good posts by Manly Training:

 Where are the men?

Where are the godly men?

The Mark Of a Dad – Cherish

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