Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
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.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
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.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus. -Matthew 1:19-25, KJV
With Jesus’ first advent, we can not forget that His mother was yet unmarried at His conception . . . but she was betrothed to be married.
Just as Mary sought understanding about how she could be able to conceive without a man, Joseph wanted to do the right thing, and understanding was needed.
He had the understanding that Mary had cheated on him, because that was the obvious perception. Being an upright individual, he planned to discretely break up with her to prevent her having too much shame. It took God sending an angel to correct him, to see that God had indeed made this pregnancy happen to bring about the coming salvation of God’s people. He quickly changed his mind, and married Mary, even knowing he would have to wait until Jesus was born “to know her” and that it might even bring ridicule on himself, as well. (Either it appeared Mary was unfaithful, or that they had not waited until their wedding.)
Likewise, we should be slow to assume things about people based on appearances and ready to show grace and love toward them. We may go against what everyone else is saying and make ourselves look silly or “condoning of sin,” but it is what our Lord and His earthly parents did.
And claiming He is coming again looks foolish to our fallen world. (See 2 Peter 3) Following Jesus has a cost. (See Luke 14:25-33)
Lord, help us to be faithful servants who love the unlovable, as You did us, and to proclaim Your coming again!
1 Comment | tags: Advent, Appearance, Birth, Character, cheating, Christ, Christmas, Christmas Hope, Coming, Faithful, Father, Jesus, Joseph, love, Mary, Parent, Parents, Pregnancy, Repent, salvation, Second Coming, Silliness, Silly, struggles, Understanding, Unfaithful, Unlovable | posted in Fools, Love, Relationships
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. -Matthew 3:7-9, KJV
It is not enough to come from a Christian (or Jewish) home.
With Jesus’ first Advent, it was mostly the religious leaders who refused to change, because they “knew it all” about faith.
As we await Jesus’ second Advent, it is not enough to have grown up in church or attend church regularly. It takes repentance and a willingness to actually listen to the teachings and commands of Jesus, to show love and compassion to others and commitment to God’s truth.
Do not trust in your ancestry or upbringing. Do not rely on the faith of your parents, siblings, or friends. Turn to Jesus for yourself, and believe.
Saving God, do not let me rely on my own knowledge, skills, or history. Give me a passion for You, Your Word, and Your Church.
1 Comment | tags: Advent, Christ, Christmas, Coming, faith, Faithfulness, Family, Jesus, Knowledge, Ownership, Path, paths of life, Repent, Repentance, Second Coming, truth, Vipers | posted in Jesus, Knowledge, Paths of Life, Truth
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” -Matthew 3:2
John’s primary message while baptizing people in the Jordan River was to repent.
Repent literally means “to change your mind.”
Stop thinking the way you do! Stop only thinking about what this world says, and think biblical thoughts, heavenly thoughts! Realize Jesus is Lord of all and Savior of the world!
You may think you are a good person, or that your good deeds will outweigh your bad deeds. But God says you do not understand how much help you need, how great a chasm separates us and Him.
The message of John and all of Jesus’ disciples is “Change your ways! Turn to God! Repent and believe!”
We cannot come to Christ unless we are willing to change.
Great God, thank You for leading us to Your Son. Continue to conform our minds to Your will as we bring others along.
1 Comment | tags: Advent, change, Christ, Christmas, Coming, Heaven, Jesus, John the Baptist, Kingdom, Mind, Repent, Second Coming, Think, Thinking, Warning, Warnings, Word of the Lord | posted in Warnings, Word of the Lord
There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. -Proverbs 30:11-14, KJV
These words may have been true throughout history, but they do seem especially true today.
Most of the world appears to be on the same page of seeking personal fulfillment, attaining personal gain, willfully ignoring or forgetting the past, assuming their own righteousness, and condemning anyone who disagrees with them.
When we disregard the lessons of the past, we curse our parents.
When we claim we have all the answers and vilify those with whom we disagree, we declare ourselves righteous as we commit the exact same sins (in different ways).
We become dreamers and idealogues who ignore the sinfulness of humanity and the need for God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.
And the solution? Either attempt to eradicate the lower class (poor and needy) or make everyone the lower class. (Or, worse, killing them off literally.)
The Real Solution
Paul warned us such days would come (2 Timothy 3). We have been moving boundaries, reinterpreting Scripture, disobeying authority through declaring it obsolete and even harmful, and throwing out Scripture as antiquated, uninspired, powerless, error-filled, and merely written by men.
But the way forward is to pursue godliness through repentance, faith in Christ, the reading of Scripture, fellowship with the saints, prayer, and allowing the Holy Spirit to conform us to the image of the Son to the glory of God the Father. (2 Timothy 3 and 4 expound on these, too!)
Leave a comment | tags: Believe, Book of Proverbs, Disobedient, Last Days, Read, Rebellious, Repent, Scripture, truth, Warnings | posted in Truth, Warnings
An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked. –Proverbs 29:27 KJV
I was ready to write about politics, and angry partisanship. And this verse certainly can speak to partisan politics.
However, I just want to speak the truth:
There are only two sides in this historical and eternal battle: with God or against Him (Matthew 12:30).
There are no other ways or sides, and this leads to many people seeing Christians, and by extension God, as narrow-minded (which is true, to a point – Matthew 7:14), even evil, for saying not everyone is good or can get to God their own way.
But, if Jesus truly is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then there is no other path to God (John 14:6).
If you do what God calls evil, you are a wicked sinner. But if you repent of your evil ways (change the way you think and act – Romans 12:1-2) and believe Jesus died for your punishment to cover your wickedness and rose again to life, then you are on His side (Acts 2:38-39).
To refuse the leading of the Holy Spirit to believe in Christ is choose to be against God (Matthew 12:31, John 8:44).
Leave a comment | tags: anti-Christ, Baptized, Believe, Book of Proverbs, Christ, Politics, Repent, Sides, The Righteous, The Wicked | posted in Fear of the Lord, Paths of Life, The Righteous, The Wicked
He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. –Proverbs 29:1, KJV
Do you know that person who is always right, has an excuse, and/or just ignores those who confront them?
(Is that you?)
Most of us do not like being around such people too long (sorry, if you are one.) Living this way can therefore lead to loneliness.
But it does get worse.
Consider the following:
- Pharoah was told enslaving the Hebrews was wrong, and he refused to let them leave Egypt. He ended up in the bottom of the Red Sea while in pursuit of them.
- The Israelites were told not to worship other gods, or they would be overrun by their enemies. They were.
- The Israel (Northern Kingdom) and Judah (Southern Kingdom) kings were told to repent and reform their countries or be taken into captivity. They were.
Ultimately, though, (you may already know where this is going) if we refuse to accept the gospel, repent of our sin, and allow the Holy Spirit to conform us to Christ’s image, we end up “without remedy” in the torment of the lake of fire.
Listen, then, to Peter: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38) and eternal life.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Books of Kings, Israel, Judges, Pharoah, Repent, Sin, Warning, Warnings | posted in Warnings