A Father's Mandate
June 28, 1987 P.M.
Transcribed from Actual Tape
Father, we thank you for this fellowship, that your Holy Spirit working through our lives makes so exciting. Instruct us tonight as you have inspired us. Inform us tonight, but more than that 0, Lord, help us to have the follow through with our lifestyles. May we not just go to church and drink it in. But may we Monday through Saturday, others see it coming back out again in changed lives and personalities. Lord, we believe tonight decisions will be made here that will be registered in glory throughout all eternity. You speak; let me get out of the way so that Thy Word and Thy holy and divine message alone might be heard. For we make this prayer to life up Christ our Lord. Amen.
How much do we know about Joseph, the earthy father of Jesus? How much do you really know about what kind of dad he was. When I say Joseph, usually we think of the other Old Testament Joseph and most of us forget the New Testament Joseph, the father of our Savior in an earthly sense. But what we know about him right when we first meet him in the Bible is enough to tell us something about the quality of man that he represented.
Let's talk about Joseph. The first decisions he made as we open the pages of Matthew just stagger us when you think about them. For example, when I say the word, "fatherhood," what comes to your mind?
Immediately we think about conception. To be a father, you have to be a part of conception. But Joseph was not a part of the conception of Jesus, Matthew tells us. Mary was born of a virgin, the Holy Spirit. And, therefore, immediately we see that Joseph was not a father in this sense, the sense of conception. And then we look and we see that Joseph was not a father in the sense of the naming and the career of the son. And then we see that Joseph was not a father in the sense that he could even plan where that young family would live during the early days of the life of that son.
Now, how did all of this happen? We know that Joseph, espoused to Mary, discovered that Mary was pregnant. He being a righteous man, the Bible tells us, was going to put her away privately, make no to do about his breaking off the engagement and the pending marriage, do it in a gentlemanly, secretive kind of way because he knew he was not the father. But then he had that dream that surpasses all dreams in which an angel spoke to Joseph and said she was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph believed the angel. And the marriage ceremony took place. Now, he did not know, I believe, all that this involved. But all of a sudden, his life was out of control due to the birth of that child. They traveled almost a hundred miles from Nazareth all the way down to Bethlehem for the taxation period. And in Bethlehem, it was a... a terribly planned kind of situation. There were no reservations, no room, you know the rest of the story.
And then the angel told Joseph what the ...
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