Daily D – Matthew 1:24; 2:13

by | Dec 27, 2023 | Daily D | 0 comments

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Matthew 1:24  When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. (NLT)

Matthew 2:13  After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”

Revelation 1:3  God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

Hearing and obeying God removes unnecessary burdens and unforced errors from our lives. Sometimes it literally saves our lives. Such is the case with Joseph. 

The adversary, the evil one, has convinced many a soul that God’s instructions are tiring and prevent us from many a good time. This is a lie on par with the whopper he told Eve in Genesis 3:5:

“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

“Knowing good is not enough,” he says. “Know evil. Evil is more fun,” he says. 

This is where the idea for one of Cher’s greatest hits came from: “If I could turn back time, . . .”

As it turns out, evil is not worth knowing or experiencing. It is the bearer of misery and death. It makes promises it cannot keep. Its price is always too high. As Dr. Jim Denison says from time to time in his Daily Article (denisonforum.org), sin and the evil attached to it “take us farther than we want to go and keep us longer than we want to stay.”

A woman bought a snake as a pet. A big snake. She allowed the snake to sleep in the bed with her. She noticed after a while how the snake would lie beside her in bed and stretch to his full length. He was becoming as long as she was tall. 

She asked an expert about this behavior. He replied, “He’s seeing if he’s long enough to swallow you.”

Having a snake as a friend seldom works out well. This has been true since Genesis 3. Taking theology lessons from snakes is a dicey proposition. 

The Apostle John saw evil up close when Judas did his evil deed. He saw all the misery and death one greedy sin caused. He also saw the resurrection of Jesus whose obedience to death on the cross (Philippians 2:8) empowers and rewards our own. This is what John had to say about the blessings of obedience:

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. _Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome._ For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
‭‭1 John‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬-‭5‬ ‭NLT‬‬ (Emphasis added.)

A better life begins with better choices. Hearing God is a great place to start. Doing what he says is a One Way street toward better outcomes. (See James 1:22-25.)

Let’s finish this year with a jumpstart toward our best year yet. Let’s learn day by day how to hear and obey God. Let’s unburden our lives as much as possible by listening to and doing what God says. Let’s avoid that one bite of an apple and all advice snakes offer. 

I will hear and obey God for a better and brighter life.

Our Father, please give us ears to hear what you are saying to us day by day and moment by moment. Give us willing hearts to do what you say. Empower us to live less burdened lives and to help others do the same. Amen. 

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