December 28, 2014 – The Gift of Obedience

December 28, 2014 – The Gift of Obedience
Art Roxby III

Matthew 1:18-25

I am a father. I have been a father for over 24 years. I take great joy in being a father. It has been a blessing from God to watch my children morph from dependent, little, well-dressed slugs into toddlers, then children, to the terrors of adolescence, and now become well-adjusted young men and women who love God and are seeking to do his will with their lives. I can think of a no more rewarding job than to parent children.

That is not to say that over the 24 years I have been a parent that my children and I did not have some moments along the way. Usually, the moments that we had centered on them not carrying out some chore or wish that my wife and I had for them. Most of the time, their disobedience was merely being distracted from their purpose. However, from time to time, there were a few instances of outright disobedience. It was in those times, when I had to stand up and be a dad, where I came to appreciate how much our father in heaven appreciates our obedience.

Obedience is one of the central themes of the Christmas story. Mary, when approached by the angel, exclaimed “May it be to me as you have said.” Here, at the end of the birth narrative, Joseph obediently obeys the voice of God to take Mary as his wife and participated in God’s great plan of redemption.

Obedience cost Joseph a great deal. Often we don’t consider his participation much. However, Joseph is an active participant in the story of God’s redemption. His agreement to take Mary as his wife likely cost him his reputation in his hometown. To be the father of an illegitimate son and to marry a woman who conceived a child out of wedlock would have harmed his business and his standing in the community. Yet, Joseph quietly and resolutely did as the Lord commanded. I believe with all my heart that Joseph’s obedience was a gift of worship and gratitude returned to God.

In this season of gift giving, I invite you to consider offering to God the greatest gift we can give to him, your simple and resolute obedience to whatever he asks of you each day of the year ahead. 

If I obey Jesus Christ,
the redemption of God will flow through me to the lives of others,
because behind the deed of obedience is the reality of Almighty God.

– Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest
(November 2)