Joseph displays an amazing TRUST in God. The story of Joseph is amazing and emotional all at the same time. He is one of the most remarkable characters in the story of Jesus. It’s an emotional story for me because it’s a beautiful story of adoption as Joseph raises a son who wasn’t his own flesh and blood.
Joseph is a man who has a remarkable trust in God and helps God with His amazing plan to save the world. He is so selfless and raises a child that is not his own but one who would save the world by giving His life for the sins of the world.
How many of us would be willing to do what Joseph did? He could have easily dismissed the story as untrue and as an insult to his family. He could have looked for an easier path to follow with less drama. He was never made to follow the path he chose but nonetheless it was his choice. And he chose God’s way instead of his own.
Think about that for a moment … he chose Jesus! He could have chosen the broad road but instead he chose the narrow road that leads to life. He was literally at a crossroads and it wasn’t an easy choice but love moved him to choose Jesus! He was a good, just and holy man. And, many good, just and holy men have made the wrong decision, but not Joseph.
It took an amazing amount of trust for Joseph to decide to raise Jesus as the one and only Son of God. His TRUST would begin not at Calvary but at the cradle. How difficult it must have been to believe in all that God was doing in his life.
For us, it’s an easy choice because we look at the whole plan and are moved by the love that Jesus displays on the cross. Not so for Joseph! His decision would be much more difficult than ours.
It’s a crazy story but Joseph displays an unbelievable trust in a God who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15 )
Romans 3:23, 6:23
Since we recently experienced BLACK FRIDAY I thought I would give you a different twist.
· Have you ever noticed how life can change in the blink of an eye?
· Genesis 1-3 Everything went from GOOD to BAD...LIGHT to DARKNESS. So what happened?
· Romans 5:12 (interesting note - the word “sin” is not even mentioned in Genesis 3 when Adam sinned but that’s where it all began.) Genesis 6:5-7, Ezekiel 18:20, Isaiah 59:1-2
· Mark 15:33-34 - The Darkest Day in Human History was Black Friday because of our Sin.
1. Sin is personal : Romans 3:23
a. Check out these New Testament words for sin:
i. “Hamartia” – to miss the mark (Rom. 3:23)
ii. “Parabasis” – transgressing or overpassing a line (Gal. 3:19)
iii. “Paraptoma” – falling where one should have stood (Rom. 4:25)
iv. “Anomia” – lawlessness (Matt. 7:23)
v. “Adikia” – bending the right and making it crooked (2 Tim. 2:19)
b. We are all personally guilty of sinning (Romans 3:23)
2. Sin Enslaves Personally: Romans 6:16-17
b. It shackles you.
c. The reason we need freedom is because we are personally bound.
3. Sin is personally hard to overcome: Colossians 3:8-11
a. However, we can overcome sin through the strength of Jesus Christ.
· Black Friday was without a doubt the worst day in human history. Crucifying Jesus was
humanity’s worst moment and it was extremely dark (Mark 15:33-39, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:6).
· God Hates Black Friday but He Loves SALVATION SUNDAY!!
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” -- The Apostle Paul
If you were reading the Old Testament, you would learn that there were GIANTS on earth in those days (Genesis 6:4). In Numbers 13:33, we learn about GIANTS who were descendants of Anak. In Deuteronomy 2:20 we read about “a land of GIANTS.” We are told “For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants. Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabbah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit.” (Deuteronomy 3:11). And, the most familiar GIANT is the Philistine GIANT, Goliath, the one that David killed prior to his Kingly reign (1 Samuel 17).
As you browse through these passages in the Old Testament their presence is impressive. When you read over in the New Testament there isn't the slightest mention of them...silence. One would conclude that there weren't any in New Testament times and that there are not any now. That would be a fair and reasonable conclusion!!
I'm convinced that there are GIANTS today and I have known them, been blessed by them, have walked with them, and it is equally exciting and impressive to be in their presence. Of course I am talking about SPIRITUAL GIANTS.
There are many SPIRITUAL GIANTS mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 and their faith, commitment, sacrifice, and obedience to God is massive in every way.
SPIRITUAL GIANTS pass from this life to the next and leave us with a lasting and large footprint. Think about the spiritual mentors, friends, leaders, preachers/teachers, ministers, elders, evangelists, and servants from the past that have touched us spiritually and made us stronger!! Think about the ones who are spiritual GIANTS now helping us on our journey toward heaven.
Thanks be to our God for the gift of His SPIRITUAL GIANTS (James 1:17)!!
“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” — Hebrews 11:16
Thanksgiving this year might be tough for some during 2020. It will certainly be a little different this year. Many of us will experience the holidays with family, friends, plenty of food, memories, and traditions but some will decide to stay home. Keeping a spirit of gratitude should be our motivation for everyday life. We are such a blessed people in so many ways. God gives so many wonderful gifts (especially His Son, the GREATEST GIFT) to experience and enjoy while on this side of eternity. (James 1:17)
It’s easy to notice that there are a lot of people around us who do not have the same experiences spiritually and relationally that we are blessed to enjoy. Because of this we will have the opportunity to share our faith, invite others to church, and help them to experience the love of Jesus.
Paul encourages us to help bear the burdens of those who need help (Galatians 6:2) and also to do good to all men (Galatians 6:10). In other words, we should strive to make this a season of GIVING (action) and allowing others to offer THANKS (gratitude) to God (Matthew 5:16)!
God will present us with plenty of opportunities to help make a difference in the lives of others during this Thanksgiving Season...my prayer is that we will seize the moment and honor the experience by giving thanks to God. Even in difficult times.
 Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Do you ever look back and wonder how you got to the place where you are now? You ponder all the roads you traveled, the many places you stopped, and the adventures along the way and you feel unbelievably blessed.
God gives so many wonderful blessings in this life. One of the best blessings He gives are friends. Companions to share adventures and struggles with. God puts these beautiful people in our lives to help build, strengthen, and share our faith.
The only catch to this blessing is that in order to have friends we must be friendly (Proverbs 18:24)! We must be willing to invest in people and unselfishly seek their best interests. When we are friendly, we experience the best from people. If we are willing to give of ourselves, we gain encouragement to succeed, support during difficult times, and a motivation to keep us from quitting.
One of the best reasons for God giving us friends is to remind us that He is our friend. Jesus, the Son of God, chose to be our FRIEND. He emptied Himself, to provide for His friends. This love should motivate us to be His friend and be a friend to all mankind.
Jesus our Friend is the reason we are blessed to be together and in this place!
“ Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.” — John 15:13-17