Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Angel Appears to Joseph

Chuckle: The lesson was on New wine in old Wineskins. The teacher asked -- "Boys, what does that mean?" One little boy replied -- "It means if you put new religion in an old man, it will bust him!"
Good Quote: "The most significant change in a person's life is a change of attitude. Right attitudes produce right actions." --William J. Johnson

Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. As he considered this, he fell asleep, and the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18-20 NLT).
It's likely that Joseph felt he had only two options: break his engagement to Mary quietly, or have her stoned according to Jewish law and tradition. But God gave him a third option --marry her. Sometimes we think there are no good options in dealing with situations in our lives, but if we are attentive to God, he will guide us to the option of his choosing which will always be the best option. In Joseph's mind, he would be doing the right thing to call off his marriage to Mary. But God's guidance helped him make the right decision. "When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded. He brought Mary home to be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus" (vv.24-25).
Because of the supernatural events that were about to unfold, God sent angels to help certain people understand the true significance of what was about to happen. Throughout Scripture, angels are spoken of as creations of God and are used of God to protect God's people (Daniel 6:22); to offer encouragement in difficult times (Genesis 16:7 and following); give guidance and direction to God's people (Exodus 14:16); carry out God's punishment (2 Samuel 24:16); patrol the earth (Zechariah 1:9-14); and fight the forces of evil (2 Kings 6:16-18). The Bible is clear that there are God's angels and Satan's angels (Revelation 12-7).
The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is at the very foundation of our Christian faith. This is because Jesus had to be free from the sinful nature that had been passed to all human beings by Adam. Jesus experienced a human birth, but because of his deity, he was free from the human sin nature. We are told in Hebrews 4:15 that He "has been tempted in every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin."
When the angel told Joseph that Mary's son was conceived by the Holy Spirit, he was declaring that Jesus was both God and man. It is mind-boggling to consider that Almighty God chose to place human limitations upon himself in order to live among human beings and die for the salvation of all who would believe in him.  Praise!
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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