December 18 Bible Reading
December 18, 2022
I love Christmas! Everyone who sees me in December knows it!
How? Well, first, I’ve made it a tradition to wear Christmas t-shirts every day after November. (Unless I’m speaking at a church—then I wear my Christmas sweater!) Our house is decorated with Christmas lights. Drive past my car, and you’ll hear Christmas music blasting. Of course, my sister has Hallmark movies almost on a loop at our house. (Maybe I watch a few…and by a few, I mean most of them and no, you cannot have my man card.)
I love celebrating this season. Yet, I know that these things are only the bells and whistles of the real reason for the season…God sent His Son to earth as a man to save all of mankind from their sins.
This week’s ride or die man of God was a central figure in the miracle…Joseph. Joseph wasn’t just riding or dying for God; he also rode or died for his family.
From the moment the angel appeared to Joseph and told him that Mary was pregnant through the Holy Spirit and her baby would be the Messiah, Joseph immediately took the mantle of responsibility for Mary and Jesus.
First, he married her. This was HUGE in their society. An unwed mother in their time should have been stoned to death. When Joseph married her, he saved her life.
Joseph also protected God’s plan and miracle by exhibiting self-control and waiting until after Jesus was born to consummate their marriage. Even though physical intimacy was off the table for a time, Joseph still loved Mary, provided for her, and protected her in every way a man should.
He took her with him to Bethlehem for the census. After Jesus was born, he provided Mary and Jesus with a home, provided for them, and gave them stability for around three years.
Then came the strange knock at the door. It was wise men from the East who come to worship Jesus. Joseph had to wonder what was happening when they brought their expensive gifts.
Of course, he didn’t have to wonder long. After they were gone, an angel came and told Joseph, “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (Matthew 2:13, NIV)
Again, Joseph obeyed God and left his home, his business, and the life they created and moved to the foreign country of Egypt to protect his family. They lived there for about three years before the king died, and it was safe to move back to Israel. This time they moved to Nazareth…another new town, another new business. Yet, Joseph did whatever was necessary to take care of his family.
That’s just the kind of man Joseph was. As we continue to read Scripture, we see that Joseph worked hard to take care of his family until he died. He loved Mary, and they had other children. He raised Jesus as his own son. He taught Jesus to be a carpenter and left the family business to Him. He even took responsibility to train his family in spiritual matters by taking them to Jerusalem every year for the Passover Festival. (Luke 2:41)
Joseph sets an example that all men can follow to be ride or die for God and our families. He reminds us that this is every man’s calling: to love, protect, and provide for the people God puts in our lives.
We follow his example by taking our wedding vows seriously and choosing to love, honor, protect, and respect our wives, and when you follow the command in Ephesians 5 to love your wives as Christ loved the church. When you obey Ephesians 6:4 and bring up your children to serve God.
When you lead your family in following Christ and make God’s ways the center of your family, as it says in Deuteronomy 6.
For those who are not married, you follow Joseph’s example when you honor your parents and provide every woman and child in your life with a safe and protected environment. Women should never feel like they are in danger or threatened by a man of God. They should trust us as they would a faithful brother or father. Married or single, you should provide a godly example for children to follow.
Joseph is such a great example of how to be ride or die men who are faithful to God and our families.
It’s the responsibility of every man of God.
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
…When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1:18-21 and 24-25, NIV)
By: Jamie Holden, Founder Mantour Ministries
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.