Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thank God for Josephs

Our family devotion for Epiphany 2009

Matthew Chapter Two...

Matthew 2:14 Then he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt.

The Epiphany story tells us a lot of important things. It reminds us that though Jesus is King of the Jews He is also the Savior of the magi and all people. The gifts of the magi show us one of the ways to express our thanks to God. The magi disobeyed Herod, and that reminds us that sometimes we have to obey God rather than men. There are many lessons in this chapter.

Tonight I want to talk about Joseph. Most of the Christmas message is about other people, but the last part of the Christmas Gospel focuses on Joseph. He took care of Jesus and Mary. When Herod tried to kill the baby Jesus, Joseph followed God's command and took his family to Egypt. He took care of them there, and when it was safe to return, he brought them to Nazareth and took care of them there.

That's what fathers do. They take care of their families. But Joseph did even more. He took care of the Son of God so He could save the world.

We still need... and God still provides... Josephs today. Like Herod of old there are new Herods who would like to kill the teachings of Jesus or replace them with false substitutes. The real Jesus still calls us to repentance and gives us forgiveness through His death and resurrection. Other people want to have a Jesus who doesn't really care about sin - at least the sins we like to do.

God gives us pastors, teachers, and parents who make sure that Jesus isn't changed into something He's not. We can be thankful for Joseph, who took care of Jesus, and for all the other Josephs who take care that we will know the true and only Jesus, our Savior.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Joseph and for all the fathers and mothers, pastors and teachers, who still today make sure that people will know the real Jesus for salvation. Amen.

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