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  • Lorie Hedgepeth

First Words 12-12-22

Matthew 1:20-25

“But while he (Joseph) thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us. Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn son. And he called His name JESUS."

Luke 1:26-30

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."

Although, that which took place in these two passages of scripture transpired over two millenniums ago, they afford us some truths that are relevant regardless of profession or position:

  • God Spoke to Two Very Common People. Joseph and Mary were just common, everyday people-living life and making plans for the future. They were not religious scholars. Joseph was neither a priest nor a prophet. God still speaks to common everyday people. Beyond important… it is imperative that we hear Him. God speaks through His written Word and by His Spirit. The account of Jesus’ birth is not merely a story out of the past. God speaks today. If you and I will step aside from the busyness of the holiday season and open His Word, the same God that spoke to Joseph and Mary will speak to you and me.

  • Response Is Required. In Matthew 1:24, we see that Joseph acted on what he heard….”he did as the Lord commanded Him”. It’s one thing to hear Him, but quite another to heed Him. It’s not the hearing of God that changes us - it’s the heeding of that which we hear that makes a life-changing difference.

  • A Word from God Changed Joseph and Mary’s Lives Forever. A young peasant girl became mother to a King. A Word from God will rock your world. Jesus said, “the words that I speak are spirit and they are life”. A new house may change your address, but it won’t change your marriage. A new job may change your pay, but it won’t change your life. One Word from God... it doesn’t take six sermons and four revivals…one Word from God can forever change your life and change your destiny.

In the midst of glimmering lights, crowded stores and family gatherings…there is a God that will speak a life-changing Word into our hearts. The Christ of Christmas can speak into our lives and give us peace in our problems, counsel in our confusion and direction in our dilemma!

For The Harvest,

Bob Wilburn

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