He was engaged to an amazing woman. Like most engaged guys, he was probably counting down the days until his wedding. I don’t know this couple personally, but from what I hear, they’re pretty amazing.
Their engagement was going great until something completely unexpected happened. Something that rocked his world. This unexpected turn of events surprised everyone they knew.
It was his fiancée. She had been with another man.
He thought his bride-to-be was pure and faithful…but apparently, this wasn’t the case.
She was pregnant.
The distraught groom wrestled with his thoughts and emotions trying to figure out what to do. With the wedding drawing closer every day, he had to make the hardest decision of his life. Finally, he decided on the only viable option. He would quietly call off the wedding. He would break up with his fiancée.
However, just before calling things off, something even more unexpected happened. Something so incredible that it caused this groom to make a complete 180 decision.
What he did next would change the course of history. Not only that, but His decision would have a direct effect on my life today. And believe it or not, it would have a direct effect on your life too.
His courageous decision was filled with the kind of faith that I long to have.
Here’s what happened. While the groom was sleeping, he saw a vision. He heard a voice telling him to not fear, but to go ahead and marry his fiancée. The voice was so powerful that he knew it was an angel from the Lord. The angel told the groom that his fiancée was pregnant…but not by another man. She had conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. She was still a virgin. She was still faithful and committed to the Lord. Overjoyed at this life-altering message, the groom woke up and immediately took his fiancée as his wife (Matt. 1:18-24).
Joseph, this amazing groom, displayed incredible faith in God.
When he changed his decision from breaking up with Mary, to now taking her as his wife, he expressed HUGE trust in God. By his decision to marry Mary, he believed the following truths.
Joseph trusted God and believed that:
- Mary was still a virgin.
- Mary was pregnant by a miraculous act of God.
- Mary was pregnant with the Son of God Himself.
- His new son, Jesus, was the long awaited Messiah.
- Jesus, his son, would save him from his sins.
The baby, Jesus, changed Joseph’s life forever. Joseph’s decision to trust in God and be obedient, changed the course of history forever. His decision is still impacting our lives today.
During the Christmas season, we hear the “Christmas Story” so much that we almost grow indifferent to it. But I want us to take a small breather for just a minute and recognize something incredible.
From the moment Jesus was conceived, He was already doing what He came to do. Change lives.
When Joseph came face to face with baby Jesus, his entire life was changed. His entire future was redirected. His entire life plan and purpose was changed. By embracing Jesus, he was embracing a new life.
Jesus changes people.
And that’s exactly what He came to the earth to do. The minute a person accepts Jesus for who He is (their Savior and Lord), their entire life should be changed (John 1:9-13). Just like Joseph, our entire future, plans, and purpose should be turned upside down. By accepting Jesus, we are embracing a whole new life as a child of the King. We are embracing a whole new mission centered around building His Kingdom.
Because of Jesus, everything about our lives should be affected one way or another.
The way we live, the way we love, the way we view truth, the way we make decisions, the way we forgive, the way we serve, the way we sacrifice for others, the way we plan our future, the way we engage in entertainment, the way we pursue a heart of purity…every area of our lives should be changed because of Jesus.
This Christmas season, I want to encourage and challenge you to examine your life and heart motives. What areas of your life have been clearly changed by Jesus, and what areas need to be changed a little more? As Romans 12:2 reminds us, “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.”
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, I pray we will be reminded of why He came and what His death on the cross has saved us from. I pray we will be motivated and encouraged to live in a way that reflects the change He has made in our lives.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
I encourage you to re-read the true account of Joseph, Mary and Jesus in Luke 1-2, and Matthew 1.
Try to see the story through their eyes and you will be amazed and encouraged by their faith! Just as Joseph and Mary trusted God and surrendered their entire lives to His plan, may we do the same today.
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