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When an Angel Spoke to Joseph, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2021 7:05 am

When an Angel Spoke to Joseph, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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December 22, 2021 7:05 am

When Angels Spoke

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By his way of thinking, Mary's pregnancy was nothing short of a scandal. Expecting a baby before their wedding day?

How could his fiancee have fallen into this shameful condition? Well, today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll takes us back to the dramatic scene when Joseph struggled to comprehend. He'll recreate the emotional struggle Joseph endured and the relief that followed when a messenger of God delivered the clarifying news. He titled his message when an angel spoke to Joseph.

And we begin with this traditional favorite performed by the youth choir at Stonebriar Community Church. News of great joy, news of great prayer, news of our blessing when he fell. A King who gives to us the skin of the Lord, a King who gives to us the skin of the Lord, a King who gives to heaven, a King who joined his King, a Lord who will see the King of kings. Then why should we on earthly status our Redeemer make us glad? Then why should we on earth be sad, since our Redeemer made us glad, when from our sin he set us free? All for to gain our liberty.

Amen. 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, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous 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 give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through his prophet.

Look, the virgin will conceive a child. She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God is with us. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, watching their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.

Don't be afraid, he said. I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior, yes, the Messiah, the Lord, has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David, and you will recognize him by this sign.

You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others, the armies of heaven, praising God and saying, Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased. For God, in all his fullness, was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself.

He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross. You're listening to a special edition of Insight for Living, in which we're participating in a worship service conducted at Stonebriar Community Church. To complement what you're hearing on today's program, be sure to take some time to view the special interview with Chuck Swindoll.

You can easily find the link to this 30-minute conversation at insight.org slash conversation. And now let's resume the message Chuck started yesterday, titled, When an Angel Spoke to Joseph. In his exhaustion, he fell asleep. Scripture tells us that he began to dream. And while dreaming, here we go, Angelos Chorios shows up, the angel of the Lord, and stands by him. He steps up. He doesn't stand in the darkness of the room. He steps up. And then he speaks up and he says, Joseph, don't be afraid to marry her. That which has happened is of the Holy Spirit. God has overwhelmed her.

He is having his way. She is the chosen one to bury the Christ child. And you will name him Jesus.

He will save his people from their sins. The angel says, without stuttering, clearly declares it. Joseph hears it. Oh, we're talking major relief.

I felt it some time ago. Cynthia and I were expected to be at a place fairly soon. We hadn't done our grocery shopping. So I said, I'll tell you what, while you get dressed to go, let me run to the store and I'll buy the things we need and I'll get back in time for us to leave. So I left in a hurry and I sort of raced through the store and got the things we needed, a couple of bags and groceries. And I got the receipt. I always put the receipt in my wallet and I'm out in the car and I'm shoving the bags in the car. And I laid my wallet on the little child's seat in the grocery cart, you know, right there. I'll remember to pick it up.

I'm a grown man. Well, this grown man didn't remember to pick it up. So I pushed the cart into the long line of other carts that were out there and I left. I got to the house and I got the bags and got them all unpacked. And when I was looking for the receipt to put it in the place where we keep all of our receipts, I not only couldn't find the receipt, I couldn't find my wallet. And if you've ever lost your wallet, you know what I'm talking about.

Well, I told her I can't find it and I know where I left it and hopefully it'll be there when I get back. On the way to the store, I prayed, Lord, I've served you for 60 years. I preached your word.

I've started translation stations in West Africa. Lord, I've made the gospel known to everybody in the sound of my voice. I faithfully done this.

Lord, Lord, I'm your servant. It's your turn. Make sure that wallet is there. I pulled up, got to the store. Not only was the wallet not there, all the carts were gone.

They were all back inside in a longer line of carts. And as I'm searching for it and panic and guys looking at me like, is everything okay? I said, no, I've lost my wallet. And so he's helped me and we pull all the carts out and it's not there. And I think, well, my last chance is to check at the little service desk and see if they've had a wallet turned in, but nobody's going to turn in a wallet with all the credit cards and my vast amount of money in the pocket.

And it must've been $3 at least in there. And I walk up and I said, excuse me, did someone turn in a wallet? And she said, you know, let me check. I think that happened.

She opens up this locked drawer and pulls it out. She said, is your name Swindle? I said, that's good enough.

That'll work right now. What's your first name? I said, absent minded. She said, really?

I, no, no, I'm just teasing. And there it was, my wallet. All the money was there that I'd had in it. All the credit cards were there. Even the speeding ticket I hadn't paid.

No, no, I'm just teasing. Everything was there. And I said, thanks Lord. But before I said that, you know what I felt?

Relief. But my relief finding a wallet was nothing compared to Joseph's. He found a wife. Scripture says that he took Mary as his wife. I have a feeling they didn't wait many days before they were there at the synagogue. They told the rabbi they wanted to go faster than that year's betrothal period.

The rabbi cooperated and performed the ceremony. Then they were off to search for maternity clothes. He held her hand all the way through those embarrassing months as people noticed how soon she was pregnant. They came to all the wrong conclusions. They never did believe the truth. By the way, today they still don't.

Most. Virgin birth, yeah, right. But Joseph knew because of a faithful angel who came just when he was needed and brought reassurance and relief.

Now let me make it personal. This story is about acceptance, obedience, and patience, isn't it? First, both Mary and Joseph accepted the message.

Isn't it interesting? When Gabriel spoke to Mary, she didn't fight the message. She believed it. She accepted it.

When Joseph heard it from the angel, not one resistant, not one moment of hesitation. He accepted it. By the way, have you accepted the message that Christ was born to save people like us? Have you accepted it? Or are you still arguing with it? Still fighting it? Still resisting it? The next step after acceptance is obedience.

And that's exactly what happened. Mary and Joseph married. They obeyed the Lord and they were faithful to one another regardless of the pressure, regardless of the sneers and snickers, regardless of those ugly comments that would be made by nosy people who didn't know what they were talking about, assuming the wrong thing. It didn't faze Joseph's obedience. He was true to her. Speaking of Joseph brings me to this patience matter.

I forgot to mention something very important. He not only married her, he kept her a virgin until she gave birth. Six months married and he never touched her intimately. I think if we were to ask a just man like Joseph why he would be that patient, he would say, oh, out of respect. Not just respect for Mary, but for the Lord himself. If the Lord cares enough to make the conception a virgin conception, I care enough to make the birth a virgin birth. I honor that.

I think Mary respected him for that the rest of their marriage. Patience. Having accepted the message, are you obeying it? Are you following through in your walk with Christ? Or do you back off in places where there are crowds that are filled with those who don't believe and you know if you step out and make your faith known, there will be some ridicule. Does that stop you from making it known? Surely not.

Or maybe it does. And how about patience these days? The Christmas season is not known for making people patient, but this is a good time to put it into action. Acceptance, obedience, patience. I challenge you to be all three, to model all three. I love statements of commitment that make me drive that deeper in my own life, which has always made me appreciate the writings of Amy Carmichael, the little Welsh lass who began a home for women caught in human trafficking. Way back in Amy's day, she was committed with a life of acceptance of her calling, obedience against the forces of evil and patience in dealing with disillusioned, broken lives.

She was qualified to write this kind of statement. From prayer that asks that I may be sheltered from winds that beat on thee when faltering when I should climb higher. From silken self, oh captain free, the soldier who would follow thee. Give me the love that leads the way, the faith that nothing can dismay, the hope no disappointments tire, the passion that will burn like fire.

Let me not sink to be a clod. Make me thy fuel like Mary, like Joseph, flame of God. My hope for you this Christmas season is that your commitment will go deeper, that your acceptance of God's message will ring true in your heart, that your obedience to follow him would be consistent and real, non-hypocritical, faithful, long-lasting, and that your patience will only add reality to your words of faith.

Bow with me will you please, just for a moment, eyes closed. Are you absolutely certain that Christ lives in your life? Not that you go to a church where Christ is preached, not that you've learned the songs, not that. Or even that you have many Christian friends. Have you accepted the gift of Christ, God's gift to you?

If not, now's the time. Take that gift and your Christmas will take on a dimension you've never known before. Thank you, Father, for recording for us this magnificent story of the birth of your Son. Thank you for choosing one who would be, though young, willing to accept the message, and selecting as her partner in life one who would be obedient to follow the direction, and for both of them the patience to carry out throughout their lives together the message of your truth. Thank you for the Savior, who loved us and gave himself for us. In Jesus' name we thank you.

Everyone said, Amen. The man is one, one is one. Let him be his own man.

Christ is one, Lord and child. Let him be his way, the way is right. Let him be his way, the way is right. Let him be his way, the way is right. Let him be his way, the way is right.

Let him be his way, the way is right. Lord is our Lord and Savior. Sing Alleluia! Sing Alleluia! Alleluia! Sing Alleluia! Alleluia! Sing Alleluia! Sing Alleluia!

Alleluia! A magnificent performance of the Christmas favorite, All is Well, brought to us by the Stonebriar Community Church Choir and Orchestra with soloist Hannah Jones. You're listening to a special edition of Insight for Living, and today's message was titled, When an Angel Spoke to Joseph. And to learn more about this ministry, please visit us online at insightworld.org. Now just before we hear a closing comment from our teacher, I'll remind you Chuck Swindoll recently sat down for a special interview. During his 30-minute conversation, Chuck described his personal commitment to the Great Commission of Jesus.

More importantly, he'll help you understand how to integrate this command from Jesus into your daily life as well. You'll find easy instructions on how to view Chuck's conversation when you go to insight.org slash conversation. Well right now, we'd like to ask you to join Insight for Living in giving generously so others will hear the truth about the extraordinary love God offers. In fact, every dollar that God prompts you to give will go directly toward declaring this message at home in our country and even around the world.

Chuck? Thanks Dave. It was the revered pastor and author A. W. Tozer who made this brilliant observation many years ago. He wrote these words, What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. Now stop and ponder that statement. To paraphrase A. W. Tozer, the most important thing about you is what you think about God. So here's the question. When you think of God, is he a big God with a capital G or a little God with a small g?

Oh, I'm not talking about the dimension. I'm referring to God's competence, his significance. What do you think about God? Well, at Insight for Living Ministries, we fully submit ourselves to the majesty and the magnitude of a big God with a capital G, of course, the God who does the impossible. Remember what the resurrected Lord said to his disciples when he was in Galilee? He said, Go and make disciples of all nations. Doesn't that sound a bit grandiose? Maybe over the top?

Perhaps even audacious? Well, not if you're God. With God, you see nothing is impossible. At Insight for Living Ministries, this accurate view of God is what shapes our entire mission. We're driven to pursue the impossible, and that is to make disciples of all the nations just as Jesus commanded. And gratefully, we have big minded and generous friends like you who come alongside us and enable us to make that happen. As we come to the end of another year, I'm calling upon you to lock arms with us as we pursue an impossible God-sized goal of reaching all 195 countries in this entire world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Your special year-end donation will make all the difference.

Believe me. So are you with us in this? Can I count on you to stand alongside us? Let's introduce people to the great God who says, Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.

Is anything too difficult for me? So it's your move. Let's do this together, okay?

Let's do this together. And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll. Give us a call right now if you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888.

That's 1-800-772-8888. Or if you prefer, it may be quicker and more efficient to give online at insight.org slash donate. Those who use the convenient mobile app provided by Insight for Living can easily use the donate button, which makes giving a contribution quite simple. Or go to insight.org slash donate. Join us when Chuck Swindoll describes the surprising moment when an angel spoke to shepherds.

Thursday on Insight for Living. The preceding message when an angel spoke to Joseph was copyrighted in 2020 and 2021. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R Swindoll Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-06 19:21:59 / 2023-07-06 19:31:07 / 9

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