When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. Billy Graham
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Abraham Lincoln
The Man we are looking at today for our father’s day focus:
Never lead an army or masses of people
Has no recorded speeches or sermons
There is no record of his peers declaring his accolades or celebrating his accomplishments
Never performed a miracle or made predictions
In fact… we don’t have one recorded word or phase from this man…
We merely have some insight to his thoughts expressed, his actions recorded, the work he did, and we observe the way he lived out his faith, and his deep character recorded for all eternity!
We see the fruit of his life’s example and investment in two of his sons who wrote scripture:
His son James 2:18-20 would write this:
James 2:18–20 NASB95
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
Another one of his sons Jude would write a warning concerning those that flatter and lead people astray!
We see a man God chose to raise His Son … a step father who would teach and train this baby boy Jesus the very Son of God… Jesus would declare in Matthew 5:10-11
Matthew 5:10–11 NASB95
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
There is no question Joseph was a righteous man, and he would no doubt face persecution, falsehoods would be said, and evil spoken of him… many difficulties and due to following and obeying God.
Today we are going to look at Joseph’s:
Choice to Follow (Counting Cost)
Choice to Obey ( Courage)
Choice to Father ( Consistency)
We are introduced to this man described by God as RIGHTEOUS in Matthew 1:18-25
Matthew 1:18–25 NASB95
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

A Choice to Follow

To understand the cost and the impact of this decision Joseph makes let me brief you on marriage in the first century...
Marriages were arranged by the fathers
The two would often know each other from childhood
Upon reaching a marriage agreement there was the engagement or betrothal period
This would be about a year (get to know better under family oversight
This was a legal binding marriage
No sex would occur until the groom came to receive his wife
Groom would prepare a place for his bride, and bride would ready herself for her groom
There would be time to ensure chastity
If during this time the woman would become pregnant there were THREE OPTIONS:
1) Take her before the town leaders, accuse her publicly, and have her stoned to death
2) Go quietly before the Rabbi, show she is pregnant, and have the marriage end in divorce, she then goes in shame to live with her family
Joseph’s option he is considering (UNDERSTANDABLY!)
3) Take her as your wife… taking on the guilt, shame, and ridicule of gossip… even appearing as though you are the father.

Place Yourself in Joseph’s Sandals

Your heart is broken
You may even be angry… she lied!
You really loved this woman, respected her, admired her, this is the woman he cherished…
Yet sin has no place, forgive yes… extend mercy and grace, okay… but I cannot be her husband!!!
Mary may have told Joseph and then left for Elizabeth’s for three months… you THINK, PRAY, WEEP
I find that God uses these times in our lives to draw us to Himself
We cry out and God is there to HEAL, EMPOWER, and DIRECT
She is not lying, the boy is the Son of God
Don’t be afraid… follow Me and FEAR NOT! It can be scary though...
I will name the Boy since He is My Son… Jesus!
After His Father “GOD WITH US!”

A Choice to Follow

Joseph awakes and “did as the angel of the Lord commanded”!!!
Count the COST...
Mary is believed to be an adulterer… so many would wag their tongues
The wedding parade with a bride with a bump
The cost would go with them all their lives
Mark 6:3 over thirty years later...
Mark 6:3 NASB95
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.
BUT JOSEPH… will choose to follow God and be Mary’s ADVOCATE!!! (What an amazing HUSBAND!!!)
Dads… love your child’s mother, protect her, cherish her, it is such a blessing to your kids.
A Father… man or woman, young person who chooses to follow God needs to understand there is a cost!

A Choice to Obey

I love the example of Joseph’s obedience… God speaks, lets Joseph know what he wants...
No argument, no discussion, no delay… just obedience!
Joseph gets up, marries her, calls the child Jesus!
Look at Matthew 2:13-15 after the wise men from the east come and worship the child...
Matthew 2:13–15 NASB95
Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Joseph leaves that night!… to a whole new country!
Then he stays there until God directs him back Matthew 2:19-23
Matthew 2:19–23 NASB95
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Joseph initially wants to go to Judea… but that is not a good idea so he goes back to Nazareth…
The hometown where everyone has an opinion of you and your wife and that child!
WOW! Obeying God even when it is hard, difficult.
Let your children see you follow God in good times and difficult times!

A Choice to Father

Fathering is FAR GREATER than getting a woman pregnant!
Father is a VERB… it is a word and title that brings action to it!
I love that when we look at Joseph’s life we see a man, a husband, a father of action! (he doesn't just give it lip service)
“Lightning does the work” by Chad Brock
It ain't the smoke, it's the fire that gets the burnin' done
If it wasn't for the bullet, nobody'd fear the gun
It ain't the bark, it ain't the growl, it's the bite that hurts
Thunder's just a noise, boys, lightnin' does the work
We need men who stop talking about being a father and FATHER (VERB)… Joseph sets a great example of consistency in this regard:
WORK… they were not rich but Joseph provided. He was a carpenter. Hard worker
Don’t underestimate the man and father who provides
Don’t overestimate the working to have everything either
LEADER… Joseph set an example to his children, these men would lead in the church later down the road
Let your children see your life, your struggles, your victories
He followed God and takes his family with him!
Engage your family in your journey with the Lord
WORSHIP… Joseph proved to be a great spiritual leader
Faithful to follow God’s word Luke 2:21-24;39
Luke 2:21–24 NASB95
And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Luke 2:39 NASB95
When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.
Faithful to engage his family in worship and remembrance of God’s commands… Luke 2:41
Luke 2:41 NASB95
Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
A man who would work, lead by example, and worship God and lead his family to worship God… this is the man God chose to step in as a father to The Son of God! I see demonstrated in the scriptures and in his sons’ lives a man who did these things… NOT PERFECT… BUT CONSISTENT! God is still wanting His church (Fathers you too) to:
After counting the cost… Follow Him
Take courage… and obey Him
… and no matter who you are to take action and show consistency, faithfulness in your walk with the Lord!
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