Love in the Midst of Strife
“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife:
for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Matthew 1:18-25)
I. The Christmas story:
A. What was it like for those who experienced Christmas firsthand, perfect?
B. What was it like to be greeted by an angel?
C. How bright was the star?
D. What was it like to bow at the manger and wonder what was to come of this baby?
II. Joseph loved Mary:
A. 1 Corinthians 13:3-7 Gives us the definition of love.
1 Corinthians 13: 3-7
“3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
(1 Corinthians 13:3-7)
1. Joseph was patient, kind, not self-seeking, not easily angered.
2. Love protects – Joseph kept his family safe from sin, self and Satan. When King Herod tried to destroy this new King, he followed God’s voice and left town.
3. Love is not proud – By taking Mary as his wife he was willing to surrender his reputation.
III. Joseph trusted:
A. What was Joseph and Mary’s experience emotionally?
B. What did Joseph experience when the angel of the Lord told him to name the baby Jesus, because “he will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
IV. Joseph took responsibility.
A. He listened and obeyed the voice of God.
B. Joseph’s heart was right.
V. What is God asking you to do? Marriage, Family Situation, Trial, Test.
A. As we enter into His presence and listen to His voice, we will find Hope, Peace, Strength and Vision.
Next week: Mary finds peace in the midst of chaos