TEXT: Matthew 1:18-25:
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 25, day 392 since Jan. 1, 2016.
Leo Tolstoy said, “Men need only trust in Christ’s teaching and obey it, and there will be peace on earth.”
The Bible is filled with the stories of many individuals whom we can learn important lessons from that apply to our own lives. As we consider these Biblical role models, I think the earthly parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, often get overlooked. They do not have a very large profile in Scripture compared to other Biblical figures, but from the brief accounts of their actions given to us by the Gospels, we can take away some important principles. One commentary said, “Matthew provides us various lessons from a righteous man’s obedience. Matthew emphasizes Jesus’ purity by recounting the obedience of the family who raised him, and in the process teaches us much about how we should live. One of Matthew’s purposes in his Gospel is to transmit Jesus’ ethics; and here he portrays a righteous young man and woman as models for Christian living.”
The main lesson we can learn from Mary and Joseph is that we ought to be obedient to God even when we don’t understand what God is doing. When the angel came to Mary announcing that she would be with child, Mary willingly accepted the assignment, stating, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” After Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he did not know what to think. He made the assumption that everyone else had made. And he was going to do what everyone in his culture expected of him; he would divorce Mary to protect his own name so he could, perhaps, get married later. But God told him, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”
Joseph could have complained about how unfair the situation was to him. Certainly, he felt like his plans were being up-ended by this miraculous conception. Joseph could have been concerned about the stigma his family would carry because people knew that Mary was pregnant before they got married. Some people would see him as guilty. Some, as we saw in the book of John, would accuse Jesus of being an illegitimate child. All of these things would have rushed through Joseph’s mind at this time.
But Joseph decided to obey God. The Bible says he “did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife.” Joseph took on a role that He could not have prepared for. He took on responsibilities that he did not expect to take on at that time. Unlike some Old Testament figures such as Isaiah, Moses, and Jeremiah, who professed their inability when God gave them a mission to fulfill, Joseph did no such thing. He did not express doubt or disbelief. Once he received the command from God, he accepted the task that had been placed on his shoulders and he obeyed.
The hymnwriter Charles W. Naylor wrote:
I have yielded myself to Thy service,
And Thy presence my bosom doth fill;
O my Savior, I haste to obey Thee,
And my heart says amen to Thy will.
All the heart-ties of earth may be sundered,
So that I may Thy purpose fulfill;
Help me gladly submit and not murmur,
Ever saying amen to Thy will.
Though my plans and my hopes may seem blighted,
I will love Thee and trust in Thee still;
For I know all is well that Thou doest,
And my heart says amen to Thy will.
We learn from the example of Joseph and Mary that we ought to choose to obey God even when we don’t understand everything that is going on. Salvation through Christ is no different. We may not understand all of the Gospel, but we ought to believe the Gospel in order to be saved. If you want to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation from sin and the consequences of sin, here is how you can do that today:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.