Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

in Advent

Advent Week 3: The Way of Return, Day 3

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MATTHEW 1:18-19

What makes us abandon plans and dreams to which we have attached great importance? What causes us to change direction and quit what we had considered holy purposes? In my experience, and most probably in the Joseph story, both frustration and indignation were at work. Frustration with the failures and foibles of others can weaken our commitment to relationships and callings. When this is accompanied with a  righteous indignation, a sense that our rights have been  disregarded and our feelings abused, we have a recipe for giving up even a cherished commitment or dream. Joseph felt hard done by and mistreated, fully justified in breaking the engagement.

Has frustration impacted your relational or vocational choices?

Has indignation ever done so?

Did these strong emotions override your process of discerning God's will for you?


FAMILY TIME: 
What dream of yours was the hardest to give up? Talk about this around the circle.

Posted by David Joynt with
Tags: advent, return
in Advent

Advent Week 3: The Way of Return, Day 2

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MATTHEW 1:19

But Joseph decides to abandon his original plan. His “intended” turns up pregnant with a strange story of an angelic visit and divine intervention. Silent Joseph, who never speaks in the New Testament, decides to "put her away quietly." As a seemingly wronged fiancé, whose betrothed has become pregnant without his help, he would have the right of public vindication, in which Mary would be judged and punished. Betrothal, or engagement, had the status and commitment level of marriage in 1st century Palestine. Broken promises presumably led to public humiliation. But Joseph opts for a private disengagement, a non-vindictive and generous separation. There is a quality of mercy in this choice, a refusal to turn what he sees as Mary's failure into an occasion for revenge and anger.

In your life, have you ever given up a cherished plan?

What caused this decision?

Did you make the change graciously?


FAMILY TIME: How do you decide on your family plans? Do you vote? Discuss? How do you include God in your planning?

Posted by David Joynt with
Tags: advent, return

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