RAP SHEET 12/12/21
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-24
ICE BREAKER: Would you rather travel back in time to meet your ancestors or to the future to meet your descendants?
This week we started off the Christmas season by looking at the Nativity through the lens of Joseph in the gospel of Matthew. Joseph was betrothed to Mary when it was discovered that she was pregnant. This was a big deal because there was NO chance the child was his!
Joseph would have felt like his life was falling apart! The rug had just officially been pulled out from under him. How could he believe this story about the Holy Spirit conceiving the child? How could he marry a woman who was having a child that wasn't his? How could he stand up to friends and family in a culture where this was straight up forbidden?
When is a time in your life that you felt like your life was falling apart?
What did you do to get through it?
It is in Joseph's response that we see why he was chosen to be the step-dad to Jesus! Scripture tells us that he was a righteous man and, although he had the RIGHT to humiliate, shame, and disgrace Mary - he chose to handle the matter in private. We also see him moving slowly in a situation where most people would react emotionally and quickly!
As he was thinking through his options, the Lord spoke to him and told him that this was all apart of his plan to send the Savior into the world to save all people from their sin. Upon hearing this, Joseph humbled himself and submitted to a new plan.
Joseph was slow to anger, wise in his timing, and humble enough to change and because of those characteristics he got to play a MAJOR role in God's plan for the world.
You were also meant to play a key role in the story that God is telling across history. However, life does not always go the way we expect it to!
What are some things that did NOT go according to your plan in 2021?
What affect did that have on your life?
Have you considered how God may want to use you in spite of those disappointments?
We can rarely control the world around us. However, we can choose how we react in the face of unmet expectations. If we are willing to be righteous - slow to anger, wise in our timing, and humble enough to submit to what God asks - he can use our lives for a great purpose!
WHAT IS ONE WAY YOU CAN BE MORE LIKE JOSEPH IN REACTING TO DIFFICULT NEWS?
Spend sometime praying for one another and the difficult situations we all face from time to time. Really think through how Joseph must have felt and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you from Joseph's example.