Today’s message summary of December 20, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Today, I want you to see how God was working in the lives of people who were near Jesus Christ when He lived on earth. We will see how the sovereign God was at work. The Lord looks at the heart of the people as being most important.
1 Samuel 16:7-10
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”
Jesse called Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. “The Lord hasn’t chosen this one either,” Samuel said. Then Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, “The Lord hasn’t chosen this one either.” After Jesse presented seven of his sons to him, Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord hasn’t chosen any of these.”
God is the one who chooses. Why is he doing so? It is because He knows the heart of the servant that He is choosing.
The heart is more deceitful than anything else,
and incurable—who can understand it?
I, Yahweh, examine the mind,
I test the heart
to give to each according to his way,
according to what his actions deserve.
God rewards the person based upon his conduct.
Jesus, however, would not entrust Himself to them, since He knew them all and because He did not need anyone to testify about man; for He Himself knew what was in man.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
These verses set the stage to look at the life of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus Christ.
Joseph is very special in the life of Jesus.
The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus.
God knew every thought that Joseph had about what was going on, but God recognized Joseph’s faithfulness, and confirmed this by affirming his desire to love and care for Mary, and also care for a son that was not his own.
God knew the heart and conduct of Joseph as a father and as a husband. Joseph stepped out and obeyed God, and his actions were pleasing to God.
Remember that the angel had spoken to Joseph about the reason that Mary was pregnant. Joseph respected Mary and remained obedient to the Lord as he never consummated the marriage until after Jesus was born.
God is dealing with many people around the world about the proclamation of Jesus Christ as Savior during this season, but it is only God who can provide the knowledge that people can accept Him for who He is.
And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for he to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough–because there was no room for them at the lodging place.
Joseph was trusting the Lord that He would do what He had said, and was willing to walk with God even though he did not completely understand. God, however, provided wisdom and confidence along the way.
After they were gone, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up! Take the child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to destroy Him.” So he got up, took the child and His mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod’s death, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled: Out of Egypt I called My Son.
God asked Joseph to take his wife and child to Egypt. He remains obedient and faithful to God by doing what he was asked to do.
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Get up! Take the child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, because those who sought the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and His mother, and entered the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. Then he went and settled in a town called Nazareth to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets, that He will be called a Nazarene.
If God entrusted you with something, how would you be able to respond?
God does not always appear at times that are convenient to you.
I want you to catch the level of character that was demonstrated by Joseph in his faithfulness and obedience to Jesus Christ.
When you live for the Lord and serve Him, life is not all that simple. You will be challenged with your level of obedience. He will show you your own heart for Him.