Live As One Who Has Been Rescued From Sin [Matthew 1]
18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
19And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." 22Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23"BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."
24And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Even though we just celebrated Christmas isn't it appropriate to start the new year with the story of Jesus' birth? It is a great reminder of His humble beginning. It is a story of disgrace and intervention but it is translated by the angel as being what will save God's people from their sins and bring God to dwell with us. May we never grow tired of being reminded of His coming and the reason for it. If we have received this Jesus we are saved from our sins. We do have God in us. May we walk today believing this is so.
I know I have read this passage many times before but what really struck me today is Joseph's response. The angel told him these things and he woke up and did just as the angel had commanded him. Maybe it is because of the story books and movies but I have pictured Joseph reluctant and needing persuasion before he decides to marry Mary. Not this Joseph. This Joseph woke up and did exactly as God had told him. No wavering. No asking everyone else what he should do. There is a sense of the Spirit giving him the determination to carry through all that had been commanded him - even calling His name Jesus, months later. This is a man who left us the example of living in full belief of what God said.
Lord, today as I begin 2009, through Your Spirit cause me to believe in the same way as Joseph and walk, without hesitation, as one who has been saved from my sins and has God abiding in me.