Following God’s Instructions
Daily Bible Reading – Matthew 1-4
Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 1:18-25
In the days of Jesus’ birth, a Jewish marriage had three steps. The two families agreed on a union, made a public announcement of the upcoming marriage, and then the couple got married and began living together. When Mary discovered she was pregnant, it was during the second step in the marriage process. Mary and Joseph were pledged to be married, but were not yet allowed to live together. When others found out that Mary was pregnant before the actual marriage, both Mary and Joseph would face ridicule and would be seen as sinners. During this second phase, the relationship could only be broken off by death or divorce. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, his initial thought was to divorce her quietly. By Jewish civil law, he could have also chosen to have her stoned to death. However, an angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph and explained the situation. Joseph faced a difficult choice – to follow the instructions of others, or to follow the instructions of God.
We are all faced with the same difficult choice today. We can live our lives according to what the world thinks, or we can live according to what God thinks. Most things we buy in a store come with an instruction manual. We too have an instruction manual called the Bible. In it, God tells us how we should live our lives. I do not know about you, but the Bible I read is pretty thick. It is filled with instructions for how to live a life that is pleasing to God, and most of these instructions are very different from the instructions of this world. The world tells us to put ourselves first, but God instructs us to love Him more than we love ourselves. The world tells us that other people do not matter, but God instructs us to love others and to serve them. The world tells us to amass as much money as possible, but God instructs us to give freely of our time, money, and talents. The world tells us not to talk about religion in public, but God instructs us to go out and preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. At the end of the day, we can choose to listen to what the world tells us to do and ignore what the Bible says, or we can choose to live by God’s Word.
Imagine how much different the story of Jesus’ birth would have been if Joseph would have chosen to care more about what other people thought than what God thought. Imagine if Joseph decided to follow the world’s instructions instead of following God’s instructions. We have the gift of hindsight when looking at the story of Joseph. We can easily see how different things would have been if Joseph had chosen to ignore God’s instructions. We do not have that luxury when looking at our own lives. We do not know what will happen in the future or how many lives we might touch if we choose to follow God’s instructions, but we do know that God has given us a set of instructions to follow. He has told us what to do in our lives. Joseph faced a very difficult situation and chose to follow God’s instructions. Every day, we must decide to do the same thing.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on November 19, 2012, in 01 - Matthew and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, God, Godly Living, Jesus, Money, Perseverance, Questioning God, Religion, Service. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.