Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's IOW Tuesday is hosted by Miriam Pauline at Miriam Pauline's Monologue. Please be sure to pay her a visit to see what she and others had to say on this quote...

I think about Joseph often when I think of Jesus' birth. Mary was extremely humble and obedient about bearing the Christ-child. Joseph, however, wanted to divorce her at first. Maybe not wanted to, but can you imagine, back in the day, trying to wrap your head, much less your heart, around the fact that the woman you're going to marry is pregnant, not only outside of wedlock, but with the Savior of the world?

"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, 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." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" -which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus." ~ Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV)

Joseph decided not to divorce her. Fortunately, the Lord spoke to him in a dream and told him what he was to do. He didn't question God, he didn't question what the dream meant, he just....he just....

Have you ever wondered if you've heard God clearly before? I think it's safe to say that as Christians, at one time or another, He has impressed *something* upon our hearts, driving us with such force that we are compelled to move. But we wonder.

Was it really the Holy Spirit who wanted us to spend Christmas away from our families feeding meals to the homeless? Was it really the Holy Spirit who told us that we needed to move four continents away to proclaim the gospel of Christ to others who had never heard of Him? Was it really the Holy Spirit who filled our hearts with such love for an orphan in a far off country that we knew we had to bring them home to live with us forever?

We know we need to....just...


I think whether we are able to discern if it's of God or not and truly obey depends on the fertility of the soil of our hearts.

"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." ~ Matthew 13:18-23 (NIV)

May our hearts be fertile and may we, like Joseph, do what the Lord has commanded us to do.


Denise said...

Amen, well said.

Amydeanne said...

obey.. yes.. something i've got a hard time doing!!!

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

My husband, son and I had this discussion today...obedience and hearing from the Lord.

Beautiful post my friend. Hugs to you.

micey said...

great post! we all seem to be on the same page with this one. :-)

Esthermay said...

Obedience is a hard thing in our world. We've been programmed to analyze and rationalize things way too much. And especially at Christmastime. Can we even HEAR the Holy Spirit?????

Quote was posted too late for me to write anything intellingent, but I'm being blessed by others' today.

God Bless!
~esthermay @The Heart of a Pastor's Wife

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hey Laurie Ann,
I SO needed this one today. But that happens alot when I visit you!
I loved how you put: I think whether we are able to discern if it's of God or not and truly obey depends on the fertility of the soil of our hearts.
I want my heart to be fertile soil!

He And Me + 3 said...

Great post. Being obedient is not always easy, but it sure has wonderful rewards.

MiPa said...

Laurie Ann this is beautiful! Thank you for participating in IOW this week. Blessings!