Joseph, a just man picked by God

Have you noticed that there are not many sermons on the life of Joseph, Jesus´ stepdad?  I have been meditating on his life lately, and I have come to the conclusion that God did indeed pick the right man to be Jesus’ earthly father.

But of course, God is always right!

The Bible does not say much about him, but from we do read we can gather quite a bit of information.

Joseph was a just man, full of integrity.  When he found out his betrothed Mary was with child, he did not make any rash decisions.

He was quiet about it.

The Bible does not tell us how he found out, but he did.  

A Jewish betrothal was as binding as modern marriage. A divorce was necessary to terminate the betrothal, and betrothed couples were regarded legally as husband and wife even before their physical union. 

By law, Mary could have been stoned for falling pregnant before marriage.

But something grabbed my attention, the word says Joseph thought about these things.  In other words, Joseph was not rash, he took the time to think and meditate about what was going on.

Could it be he thought about Mary being pregnant, knowing it was out of character for her?

He was also thinking about how to put her away, as to not embarrass her.

But then the Angel showed up in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife. Joseph believed and obeyed.

Oh, how many quick decisions  I have made without taking them to prayer.   I am sure I could have saved many a headache and error if I would have just stopped to pray about it, and not be quick to judgment. 

Because Joseph did not act quickly, he was able to receive the right answer from the Lord through a dream, and that settled it for him.  He did not doubt but believed.

Here is another lesson for me, believe the Lord when he tells me or show me something, never doubting.

Joseph played a key role in the life of Christ.  He was key because Jesus grew up with an earthly father, he learned a trade, he was just and  Joseph protected his mother and him by obeying the Lord in regard to his dreams and fleeing when needed to.

  • Jesus protects his Bride.
  • Jesus is just and righteous
  • Jesus is honorable

Matthew 1:25  and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

God picked the perfect man to be Jesus’ earthly father.

Your hope is not dead, just asleep

In the book of Mark chapter 5, we read where Jesus cast out a demon from the man from the country of the Gadarenes. This man lived in the tombs and the people were afraid of him. When Jesus cast the spirit out, they went into a heard of pigs. When they saw the man in his right mind, the people asked Jesus to leave because of fear.

In arriving at a new town, Jesus was surrounded by a great multitude.

A ruler of the synagogue names Jarius came to Jesus, fell at his feet and asked him to heal his daughter, as she was at the point of death. He asked Jesus to come to his house and lay hands on her, and she would be healed.

Right away we see Jarius’ faith at work.  

Jesus went with Jarius, but there was the crowd, and he was interrupted by the woman with the issue of blood.

When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus, he began asking who touched him, as he felt power coming out of him.

The discussion began amongst his disciples, stating because of the crowd, many have touched him.  Once the woman came forward and confessed to being the one touching him, Jesus took time with her and proclaimed that her faith has made her well.

By now, Jarius’ daughter had died, but Jesus told Jarius to not be afraid, only believe. When Jesus arrived at the house, he said the child is not dead but sleeping.

The child is not dead but sleeping.

I read that line several times, and it hit me. I have felt that our dreams, hopes, and future are dead, as we are still in the waiting period and we don´t see signs of life.

But our dreams and visions are only sleeping, they are not dead!

Have you felt your prayer requests are dead, forgotten? Be encouraged, they are only asleep!

In reading this passage, the Lord is assuring me that my prayers are not dead, what I have decreed are not lost. Just because I don’t see the fruit of my prayers, it does not mean God is not at work, He is. It´s just not the right time.

Like the woman with the issue of blood and Jarius, all I need to do is believe, have faith and in God´s perfect timing, everything prayed for will spring to life.

Scripture reading Mark 5: 21-43

 

Being set free after 18 years

In Luke Chapter 13, we read about the account of Jesus healing a woman bound for 18 years, while He was teaching in the synagogue.

This woman had a spirit of infirmity, and in a moment, she was made whole.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

This unnamed woman did not seek Jesus out, but he laid hands on her and said, Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.

This was a spirit of infirmity that Jesus encountered, while in the Synagogue!  This illness she had was not because of sin, it was a demon attacking her.  

The ruler of the synagogue was upset because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and confronted Him about it.  Jesus always having the best answer replied, Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?

Their Sabbath traditions actually placed a higher value on animals than on people in distress.  

Legalism can keep you from the blessings of God.

Jesus rebuked the official of the synagogue, stating this woman was a daughter of Abraham, meaning she was Jewish, a daughter of the promise. 

A few things I picked up.

The Lord can come to us when we least expect it and bless us.

The number 18 means abundant life.  Her healing was in God’s perfect timing.  

We too are sons and daughters of the promise.  In a surprise moment, Jesus can come to us and say, Son, Daughter, you are loosed from ________ (fill in the blanks) and our sufferings will end.

Where we once looked down because of despair, distress, depression, and sadness, suddenly we will be called out, a hand will touch us and someone say a few words from the spirit of God and we will be looking up, praising God and walking in abundant life.

Scripture reading, Luke 13: 10-17

The Lion Roars at his enemy

During my journaling time with the Lord, I began thanking Him for our blessings, our plans, and thanking Him that our desires and prayer request are at the door.  

I was actually encouraging myself in the Lord with music and gratitude when I was surprised by the following statement.

Image by Ian Lindsay from Pixabay

Roar your promises.

What?

Roar your promises. So I began to list the promises and prayer request we are believing for, keeping silent.

I paused and meditated on what I heard.

I was not to pray them in, I was to roar them in. 

“The LORD roars from Zion… and the heavens and the earth tremble.” (Joel 3:16)

I really did not know or understand what this meant, so I did a search and came across this teaching here.

We watched the teaching, read the handout and hubby and I roared together.

In one particular exercise, we both had the exact same communication from the Lord, the others were very similar.

In the end, we felt our list of prayer petitions was moved forward. This is new to me, to us and it is from God because I could not make this up.

Many times we may not understand everything, but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can be assured that God has our best interest at heart.

I am excited to see how things will move in our favor and will be sure to let you know.

 

 

Don´t be a Gehazi

2 Kings 5:15  Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.

In the book of II Kings, we read about the prophet Elisha healing Naaman of leprosy, and it really is a story packed with great lessons.

 

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Naaman had a captive Jewish girl as a servant brought in from a raid, and was serving Naaman’s wife.  This unnamed girl knew about the prophet Elisha and knew Elisha’s prayers could heal Naaman of his leprosy, and she shared this valuable information.

She did not hold any grudges.

What is surprising, Naaman believes her and tells the king, and the king gives Naaman permission to seek the prophet for his healing. 

When Elisha hears Naaman is looking for him, he asks for Naaman to be brought to him and he arrives with all his entourage.  Elisha never even comes to the door, but sent a messenger to give him the message to wash in the Jordan 7 times.  

This man of great status, with his horses and chariots, did not receive a direct message from the prophet, the message was through his servant.  How insulting!

Naaman went away angry and complaining because he had not been received as his status required.  Have you been there?

In the end, he did wash 7 times in the Jordan and his leprosy left him.  

Once healed, Naaman went back to Elisha to give testimony and offered gifts, but Elisha refused the gift.

Naaman begins his journey home but encounters Gehazi.  Here is the problem.

Gehazi lies and tells Naaman two young men from the sons of the prophets have come to him and asked for money and clothes, and Gehazi receives what he asked for from Naaman.

Elisha knew what Gehazi did, and it grieved him because he said his heart went with him.

Gehazi was Elisha ́s servant, just like Elisha was Elijah’s servant, so now the phrase did not my heart go with you becomes clear.

Gehazi was next in line to be the prophet of the land.

Greed overcame Gehazi, and as a result of his sin, he received leprosy.

This is a great ¨waiting¨ lesson. The world can offer many things, but those things are temporal.  Waiting for God´s promises requires faith, vision, confidence, trust and you can add your own words.

After the prompting of his servant to wash in the Jordan 7 times, Naaman humbled himself and he became clean.

Gehazi was powered by greed. He could have had much more.  He lost his opportunity at being the next prophet in Israel. He lost everything for a few articles of clothing and two talents. Here his ¨eyes¨ were not open to the promise of God.

I am going to be careful in all I do, as I don´t want to miss out on any opportunities the Lord has given me.

Scripture reading, II Kings 5:15-27

How to irritate a king

In the book of Exodus, we read where the king of Egypt gave a direct order to the hebrew midwives to kill all male children and allow the female children to live.   The king was in fear of the multiplication of the Hebrews, and in the event of war, they would lose.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

There was something the king did not count on. The midwives feared God, or had reverence for God more than the king, and thus protected the male children from sure death. Also, he was telling them to kill their own people.

There are times in our lives where we need to draw the line and obey God more than man, especially when it goes against the word of God. Satan wanted the extinction of the Messianic line, but it did not happen.

Two women had the courage to go against the kings’ order.  Think about that, two women said no.   In that culture, women did not say no. I thought to myself, do I have that type of courage to say no, when a directive given to me goes against my beliefs, will I be strong enough to stand my ground, how about you?

In further reflection of this passage and the story as a whole, Moses´ life was spared and became the deliverer of the Israelites.

What the king desired for the Hebrew children, he and his people paid with their firstborn son.

He thought they would lose in time of war, instead, they received plagues and death to their livestock.

He refused to let them leave, and the men and chariots ended up at the bottom of the sea.

The decree against the Jewish people was no match for God and for two women.

For the two women that saved the life of Moses and countless other children, the Lord provided households. In other words, the Lord not only provided an actual house but a family.

In the end, it pays to obey the Lord and He will not disappoint you.

Bible reading, Exodus 1:15-22

 

The power of Jesus is working through you

In Luke chapter 7, Jesus and his disciples left Capernaum where He healed the centurion’s servant and entered the city of Nain.

By now, not only Jesus and his disciples were traveling with him, but also a large crowd.  Upon arriving at Nain, He sees a funeral procession. The word says it was a widow’s son. In those times, this woman means of support was her husband, and if widowed, her son would provide for her.  So not only did she lose her son but also her sustenance. I cannot imagine her grief, as many things probably went through her mind. One of those could be she would need to resort to begging. Not a pretty picture.


When Jesus saw the widow, He had compassion on her and told her not to weep, and touched the open coffin and commanded the young man to rise.

When Jesus touched the coffin, it was a ceremonially defiling act. But it’s defilement did not taint Him; rather, His power immediately dispelled the presence of all death and defilement.

I noticed Jesus was not asked to raise this young man, He did so on his own initiative.  When we come across situations that we can be of service, do we watch or act?

Just a few days ago, I needed to ask for forgiveness for not fulfilling my role as a leader, for not acting and speaking up upon situations that needed to be corrected.  When I did that, I felt fear leave and a new boldness come upon me.

Jesus could have just walked away, but that was not in his nature, neither should it be ours.  We are called to serve, help, speak out, correct, exhort and extend His kingdom.

Did you know we have the power to raise the dead? This is something I am believing for, and I choose to believe this will happen in my lifetime.

What we touch will not contaminate us because of the power of Jesus working through us

Did you know Nain means beauty? The people saw the beauty of life being restored to this young man, and to his mother.

When God touches one area of our life, it also affects other areas for good.

Believe in the power of Jesus working through you, and you will be filled with compassion, gifts, anointings and the defiled things of this world will not contaminate you.

Be blessed.

 

Scripture reading: Luke  7:11-17