Familiarity is the formidable foe of faithfulness. Too often we can know the stories of scripture so well that we miss their uniqueness. So it is with the Christmas story. If the birth of Jesus doesn't disturb and disrupt your heart and mind, it's likely you've heard it so often you've become numb to it, or you never really heard it all. This week as we revisit the arrival of our Messiah, ask God to help you discover a new insight. As you read and contemplate, it's helpful to pray asking God, "Lord, show me what I've missed." We offer these devos to stir your heart and mind to rediscover the Christ of Christmas. As always feel free to repost or pass them on.
“But when he had considered this, . . .” Matthew 1:20
The single indicator that a person can be trusted by the Lord is their ability to receive instruction. It is that they can be directed by the Word of God. Here, in this passage, Joseph is in the throws of having his world turned upside down. The life he had imagined with him and his new bride, Mary, is disappearing. He is experiencing fear; fear of the present pressures to conform to the demands of the culture and the uncertainty of their future. But an angel appears, quoting a passage from Isaiah. Joseph having been a student and learner of the wisdom of scripture, took the words to heart and acted on the command of the Word. Joseph was a man who could be directed by the Word of God.
Wisdom must be cultivated. It doesn’t come naturally. Living a life formed and founded on wisdom begins by recognizing that the baby born in Bethlehem, is wisdom personified. He is the skill of God at creation; He is the wise King promised by the prophets. He is wisdom come down from heaven, embodying peace and mercy. He is the perfect revelation of the mysteries of God pushing us beyond the limits of our intelligence, crashing through the ceiling of our comprehension.
The infant son of Mary and Joseph is God Himself. And as He grows we get to know Him better, we learn His ways, we see how He lives. Never wavering from God’s will, never allowing His human emotions to lead Him to make an impulsive decision. Jesus learned to live in the ways of wisdom because Joseph showed Him how. Think of the incredible trust God placed in Joseph by placing Jesus in his hands. Think how much God must trust you to share Jesus with you.
For us to become wise, we must hear His words and put them into practice. All knowledge, all wisdom, everything we need to grow in life and godliness are found in Jesus. We become His disciple when we love Jesus, learn His ways and lead others to Him.
Think about the place of God’s word in your life. Are His words suggestions or commands? Can you be instructed, corrected and shaped by God’s sacred text?