SOAP Devotional 2014-08-26
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:18-21 NLT)
Interesting observation into the character of Joseph. Scriptures tell us that he was a “good man” and then there is a demonstration of that character in how he decided to deal with his fiancé’s pregnancy. He knew that he had not made her pregnant so he had too surmise that she had been with another man, but rather than make a public spectacle of Mary, he chose to break the engagement quietly. By doing things this way, it would have possibly hurt his own reputation, but he chose that rather than hurt Mary. He must have really cared about her deeply. Of course we know also from the scripture that an Angel of The Lord appeared to him in a dream and explained things to him. He listened and continued on with the marriage and assumed the role of dad to a son that he was not the natural father. We know that we have free will. He could have still rejected this role, but evidently he was a man who wanted to do the will of our Heavenly Father.
Doing things right is a sign of our character. And I am not talking about the kind of right that seeks justice when we are wronged, but the kind of right that even protects those who have done us wrong. At times it may only be that we have perceived that someone did us wrong, but we just do not know all the facts. Doing the right thing to protect the perceived offender rather than seeking justice will tell more about our character. Anyone can treat well those who do no perceived wrong to us. Only a man of character operates as Joseph did. Going a step further, doing the father’s will is a sign of our spiritual character. This may take you completely out of what others would do in the same situation, but for a man of spiritual character it will be the right thing to do. It requires that we listen to what He says and then trust Him through the process.
Lord, help me to be both a man of character in my dealings with those around me and a man of spiritual character that allows you to be The Lord of my life by aligning my deeds with your desires.