It is time to get our hands dirty

Hope has given us Perspective

Caused us to Prepare

Encouraged us to Praise the Lord - to rejoice over what God is doing not in our own lives but in others

NOW it is time to Participate!

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, beforethey came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.

  • I think it is important to put ourselves in Joseph’s place right here.
  • Mary obviously HAS been unfaithful!
  • He must be heart broken

 19And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 

  • Joseph was a good guy - he didn’t want to hurt or disgrace her.
  • He was doing the right thing.

20But 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.

  • What?  So that crazy story was true!
  • Now Come’s Joseph’s part:
    • Believe it this is real - sometimes it’s hard to believe
    • Marry Mary.  Take her in.  Keep her safe.  

 21"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

 22Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23"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." 24And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took [Mary] as his wife, 25but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

After a long time waiting - making the transition to receiving from waiting is not always easy!

  • You have to choose to believe that yes this is God and yes now is the time!
  • You have to protect the promise
    • at some cost to yourself you have to give the promise what it needs
      • a place to live - a growing promise needs a home, a family, a people who will not give up on it even when it isn’t obvious that THIS is what God is doing
        • Do you think baby Jesus seemed like "the Savior of the world"
      • feeding and nurturing - Jesus cost Joseph money - kids are expensive!
        • in only a few years they would have to move to Egypt because of this promise.
      • Joseph had the bear the scorn of raising another man’s child
  • you will receive the blessing of the promise as well
    • Joseph got to call him Jesus
    • receive a prophet and get a prophet’s reward

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