Fixer UpperBreanna Porter
The latest trend in American TV are shows about fixing things. Whether it’s your home, your child, your pet or car, there is a series you can watch for ideas. One of the draws is that we can see other people struggling with a situation similar to ours and find peace that they don’t have the answers either. In some cases, we even get to see the mess they’ve made trying to fix things themselves! We often try to “fix” messes in our own lives. Why is it that when we are faced with a trial, we often first turn outward or inward, but rarely upward to God?
- When did you last realize the solution to your problems was found on your knees, trusting and seeking God?
Read the Word
Matthew 1:18-25 (ESV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
- In this culture, Mary being with child, not by her betrothed and outside of marriage, would have caused shame and even death. What choice did Joseph consider making in response to Mary’s pregnancy (vs. 19)?
- From whom, and in what manner, did intervention come (vss. 20-21)? Note the five things told to Joseph by the angel of the Lord. What meaning did the angel of the Lord attach to the name “Jesus”?
- What was the name given to the Messiah by the prophet, and what does it mean (vs. 23)?
- List some results from Joseph’s decision to follow God’s sovereign plan (vss.24-25). What might have been some of the consequences if he hadn’t been obedient to God?
- Where in your life are you trying to make your own plans versus seeking God’s plan?
Respond to God
Our faith, as believers, is grounded in our trust that God will always fulfill what he promises. One of the greatest promises ever made was that a savior would come to save us from all of our sins. Almost 700 years had passed from the time the promise of a savior was given to the prophet, Isaiah. Surely no one would have connected Mary’s pregnancy as the divine fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Instead, she would have been seen as unfaithful. By law, Joseph could have divorced her, and the authorities, stoned her. God gave Joseph another option, though: to be obedient to his will, to trust in what seemed unfathomable, and to walk in faith that God had purpose in his plans.
- Take a few minutes to surrender your plans to God, and walk in obedience to him today.