December 24 🌟 Joseph’s Story (Matthew 1:18-25)

Read Matthew 1:18-25

figurines of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus with Joseph looking on with love

Obedience. As we await our Immanuel’s return, we should take a hint here from Joseph’s response on how to trust God’s wisdom, even when we might not want to. God chose Mary, but the package included Joseph, too. Joseph was in the line of David. That fact alone gave him priority over others, as Jesus’ earthly father would have to be a descendant of King David.

In my opinion, even more important, Mary’s husband-to-be was a “righteous” man. God wisely chose for Mary a man who could handle being the father of God’s only Son. We’ve been focusing on Mary’s response to the greatest honor imaginable. Joseph was also given an immense privilege. He could have easily just walked away. God knew he wouldn’t.

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1 Kings 16:1-34 – How Can It Get Worse?

Read 1 Kings 16:1-34

stormy sky with lightening

We are walking through some very dark days in the history of Israelite leadership. Each new king seems to be worse than the one before. How is that even possible?

Meanwhile, we must assume that because Judah’s king, Asa, is following God, everything is going well over there. The remnant of the Israelite people living in Judah and Benjamin are living lives that are more pleasing to God, honoring him with their obedience.

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1 Kings 12:21-24 – Just Like That

Read 1 Kings 12:21-24

There will be no peace in any soul until it is willing to OBEY the voice of God --D.L. Moody

Let’s fight! That was Rehoboam’s go-to solution. He learned in our last reading that he had some competition as king. He pulled a good number of troops together. And then God spoke. Just like that.

God used a prophet to bring this message! “Do not fight against your relatives, the Israelites. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!” That was a bold and direct message. Nobody could infer anything different than what God intended, “Stop!”

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1 Kings 11:1-13 – Too Big for His Britches

Read 1 Kings 11:1-13

jeans hanging on a clothes line extended between buildings

After all the good things we’ve been reading about Solomon in the last several passages, this may have come as a bit of a surprise. What was Solomon thinking? Did he think he was “untouchable” by God? Did he not realize his disobedience “might” have a consequence or two?

More on that to come, I’m sure. How can one man have that many women? Is that being heroic or too big for his britches? Not sure where that old saying came from. Google defined it simply “behaving as if you are more important than you really are.”

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1 Kings 9:1-9 – Take Heed to God’s Response

Read 1 Kings 9:1-9

A finger pushing the follow button

After building such a magnificent temple and palace and then dedicating it with such a respectful dedication, I’ve been awaiting God’s response. Whenever I embark on a new project, putting my heart and soul into it, I’m always waiting to see how God is going to bless it. In recent years, that approval from God has been more and more important, almost an obsession, for me.

Is this the kind of response you were expecting? Would you have expected more of an “at-a boy” kind of reaction from God after all that Solomon had arranged? Instead, I felt like God was more giving Solomon a “be careful” type of response.

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