Joseph (Jesus’ Stepdad) Counts The Cost of Obedience To God…
Joseph Counts the Cost of Obedience
“But after [Joseph] had considered [divorcing Mary quietly], an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’”
Matthew 1:20-21 NIV
Following Jesus is indeed expensive…in the sense that in doing so we swim against the currents of both our own personal sinful nature as well as the culture (way of living/thinking) around us.
Our justification (our forgiveness, our adoption into God’s family as heirs & the re-establishment of friendship with God Himself) cost Jesus EVERYTHING; so our sanctification (being remade to reflect the love/character of Jesus) often costs us everything as well.
Consider a small sampling of the following men and women from Scripture and the trials God led them into AFTER they declared their faith in Him through their beliefs and obedience:
Noah: Built the ark by hand, endured the ridicule of neighbors, faced a world-cleansing flood;
Abraham: Ordered to leave his homeland and people, commanded to sacrifice his only son;
Joseph: Betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused/imprisoned;
Moses: Asked to defiantly stand before the world’s most powerful ruler and demand freedom for God’s people, then commanded to lead His recalcitrant people through the desert on a forty year journey to a promised land filled with walled cities, fierce warriors, and rough terrain;
Joshua: Appointed to follow in the sandals of the great deliverer Moses in leading the outnumbered/untrained Israelite people against the fortified cities of Canaan;
Esther: Chosen to be queen to a pagan king & then given the responsibility of defying the king’s edict to save God’s people;
Mary: Faced with public/familial humiliation and gossipy intrigue over her immaculate conception of Christ, then endured watching her son hunted, betrayed, ridiculed, tortured, and killed;
11 of Original 12 Followers of Jesus: Each brutally martyred (killed) for their active faith in Jesus;
The Apostle Paul: “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked…I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country…and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have often gone without food” (2 Corinthians 11:25-28 NIV).
No, following Jesus is not easy or cheap, and He cuts no corners regarding our training: “He is more concerned with our character than with our comfort” (Mike Woodruff).
Yet our earthly suffering is only temporary in light of eternity, and besides, His “retirement benefits” for us are amazing!
Will you choose to give all of yourself to Him Who gave all of Himself for you?
He will take you just the way you are…but He will not leave you that way! (Rick Warren)
“God may thunder His commands from Mount Sinai and men may fear, yet remain at heart exactly as they were before.
But let a man once see his God down in the arena as a Man-—
finally dying a criminal’s death-—
and he is a hard man indeed who is untouched.”
Author J.B. Phillips, “Your God Is Too Small”
For Further Study: