Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Withstanding the test of time

A time capsule buried in the old Massachusetts State House was unearthed in Boston last week, after being discovered by workers who were repairing a water leak.





The capsule was buried back in 1795 by legendary American patriots Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. It contains coins, papers, and a Paul Revere plate that are preserved in a box sealed in plaster.

This is not the first time the capsule has been discovered.

It was dug up in 1855, when artifacts, such as coins, were mixed in with the mortar and reburied during a ceremony. Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin told CNN that because the 1855 coins were in fairly good condition, it’s safe to say that the contents of the box have withstood the test of time.

“The contents are of concern, but the plaster that held the box in place is in good condition,” he said.

The box has been sent to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to be examined by an expert who spent his Thursday tediously chipping away at the cornerstone so that the contents of the box can be examined.




The big question on this last day of 2014 – If you were to create a time capsule to be opened in the future – what would be the top 5 items you would place into the capsule? 

What message would you like to share with a future generation? 

What message does your life share about you today?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hudgens Christmas 2014

Before this year comes to a close I thought it was a good time to share some recent family pictures:


Jayden took part in the WNRN programs on December 17th at the church!

Alyse - Breeley - Cammie awaiting to go downstairs to see what Santa left for them.

On Christmas morning - Grammy and Alyse are working on the homemade rolls for dinner.

Alyse and Breeley the day after Christmas








Danielle posted this on Face Book and said "Papa and Jordan twinning...."




Monday, December 29, 2014

Today’s Word: Outreach


As part of my daily time alone with God I often go to my email account to click on the Word of the Day from Dr. John Maxwell.  As we begin this week after Christmas I felt it important to realize that Christmas is not about what we received from family and friends  - we have already received the greatest gift God could present to us.   

This is a good time to think of others.

Today’s Word: Outreach


Sunday, December 28, 2014

My message today at NRN - Pause to LIVE Getting ready for a New Year!

Would you describe yourself as “too busy”? How would others describe you in that regard? Does the Christmas season tend to bring out the best, or the worst in you when it comes to busyness? Our culture prizes efficiency, work, and accomplishment. What we don’t value is rest. We tend to treat rest as laziness, as a waste of time. It’s been said that multitasking is a surefire way to make sure that you do many things poorly. Embracing busyness is the same. We feel productive, but the truth is that we are simply producing exhausted mediocrity. How would your life change if you learned to work from your rest? How important is rest to your life?

Today- I want to view three reasons to pause from our busyness:


Why Pause?

1. BECAUSE GOD DID NOT CREATE US TO LIVE THIS WAY

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.                         Exodus 20:8-10 (ESV)

2. BECAUSE “EFFICIENT” RELATIONSHIPS DON’T WORK

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.                                         John 13:35 (NIV)

3. BECAUSE OUR MISSION REQUIRES IT.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.                                                Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV)


HOW DO I LEARN TO PAUSE?

1.  NUMBER  YOUR DAYS

Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.                                                                                      Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your
Servant die in peace, as you have promised.”                Luke 2:25-29 (NLT)


2. DO THE SAME  THINGS DIFFERENTLY .

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Preparing for the final Sunday of 2014 - December 28 2014!

Tomorrow is a special day at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene.  We experienced an awesome time on Christmas Eve as Jonathan and Emily Martin lead us in worship.  

The Lessons and Carols was so unique this year as tears flowed during the reading of the traditional Christmas narrative as the Holy Spirit moved upon us! When I extended the invitation to experience forgiveness from God and the gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ and five people raised a hand as an action point of faith to signify their decision!  
The angles in heaven rejoiced!  

Tomorrow morning our worship leader is Tanya Zodulua.

Here is the worship set she has prepared for us:

We will have a great countdown clip followed by a welcome to draw us near to God.  Then we stand to sing the praises of our Great God!







On Christmas morning I unwrapped a gift and received a new release from Elevation Worship called : Wake up the Wonder.  One of the 14 songs on the CD include Let Us Adore.  Here is another view of the song - with lyrics.  This is an awesome song for us to place in our spirits. 



At the close of this song - we will enter into a time of prayer.   This is an important time for us in worship - to take our petitions and request to God and pause to thank God for answered prayer!   We will then lift our voices in song once again!




We are blessed as a church to serve the Lord!  Today our daughter church Missio Dei Church 
will be in ministry as they serve a meal at Typestry.  There as many opportunities for service and fellowship in the coming year.  We will pause to reflect upon a way to be involved in our church.

As we present our final offering for 2014 I pray for a moving of the HOly SPirit upon the hearts of many to bring their year end giving up to date.  God is fully aware of our giving and He is faithful to meet the needs of our church to enable us to serve others in our community! 

 Tanya will bring a song as we present our offerings to the Lord! 



Pastor Rick will conclude the current teaching series with a message titled: Pause to LIVE. 

At the close of the message - there will be a personal application point to launch us into a new year.




Is is possible for North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene to pray for 5,000 hours in 2015? 


Friday, December 26, 2014

Little Drummer Boy

To all my fellow PETRA fans - here is a recent project from John Schlitt: 

Official Video of "LITTLE DRUMMER BOY" featured on John Schlitt's latest release "The Christmas Project." ©2013 

Thought it perfect following the day we celebrate as our Savior's birth!



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

On this Christmas Day 2014 - Here is some motivation to make you think about the reason for the season - Jesus!









Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014



"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; 

He is Christ the Lord."                                          -Luke 2.11 



"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only 


Son...so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but 

have eternal life."                                      -John 3.16



Join us this evening at 5:00pm for our annual Christmas

 Eve Service featuring Communion and a Candle LIghting 

Service  with a unique presentation of the gospel.

















Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hallelujah!

A version of Hallelujah that blessed my soul:


Monday, December 22, 2014

Our God is indescribable!



Louie Giglio helps us attempt to comprehend how big our own galaxy is... not 
to mention HOW BIG our God is!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Reflections from my message today at NRN - The Pause for Love.

The Pause for LOVE


Christmas – A Love Story

 “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.”          Matthew 1:21




 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”                           John 3:16

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: ʻLove the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.ʼ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ʻLove your neighbor as yourself.’ ”    Matthew 22:36-39


Love Much

 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”          1 John 3:16

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another!   As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”                    John 13:34-35

 “Make love your greatest aim…”                      1 Corinthians 14:1 LB


1. Experience GOD’S   LOVE  for yourself.
  
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much.  But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”              Luke 7:47

 “We love because he first loved us.”                                          1 John 4:19


2. Don’t  wait for THE   FEELING.

 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them…”                                                           Matthew 9:35-36


3. TRAIN   YOUR  EYES to see people differently.

 “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho.   On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.  A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the mans condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ʻTake good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—Iʼll pay you on my way back.
 “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?” “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded. Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”                             
                                                                                     Luke 10:30-37 Message

Every person we encounter is either…

Ø A victim to EXPLOIT.

Ø A problem to AVOID .

Ø A person to be LOVED .



4. DO  SOMETHING .

 “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”                                                                                           1 John 3:18


 “Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is Gods hand for that person. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.”                                           Proverbs 3:27-28 Message



Love is INTENTIONALLY doing something caring or helpful for another person, regardless of the cost or consequence.





"Christmas is Love"

Christmas is here,
That time of year, 
When we give and forgive one another.
Christmas is home,
And you're not alone
I'll be your friend, I'll hold your hand,
I'll keep you warm... Christmas is every time you give the gift of love, It's every sacrifice you make to bring a smile.

:// Christmas is peace in the midst of despair,
Joy that covers all the pain,
It's when you know that you're not alone
When you stumble and you fall...
Christmas is God giving His Son
So you have hope when there's none.
Christmas is Love. Christmas is every time you give the gift of love, It's every sacrifice you make to bring a smile.

://Wherever you are, whatever you do
I'll say a Christmas prayer for you!
I'll pray you have peace in the midst of despair
And joy that covers all the pain..
I want you to know that you're not alone
When you stumble and you fall!
'Cause Christmas is God giving His Son
So you have hope, when there's none.
Christmas is Love.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Preparing for worship on the Sunday before Christmas - December 21 2014

As we prepare for worship on this fourth Sunday of Advent I am moved by the message God has laid upon my heart.  Last Sunday was an awesome day at NRN with high attendance and a great cooperation in ministry as the presentation of WNRN took place. I now realize that many people are beginning their Christmas travel to be with family.


The message in my heart for this Sunday and for Christmas Eve at 5:00pm will be special for all who attend.  This Sunday I plan to share the Love Story of Christmas.

















We begin with a welcome to all in attendance.  Then we give our attention to the lighting of the candles on the Advent wreath. This is the Candle of LOVE.  We pray: O God of Love, Immanuel, send your light into our hearts this day.  Fill our hearts with the love of God that we might love one another and thus bless your name. May your perfect love cast out all fear.  May our time of worship be pleasing unto you and may we celebrate your love and show forth your love to the whole world both today and forevermore, in Jesus name, AMEN

Now we stand and offering our praise to the Lord through songs:







We pause to greet one another and share the love of Christ in a greeting.  It is good to be in the House of the Lord.  On this Sunday before Christmas we celebrate the love of God.

We now gather in prayer to remember those who mourn, those who are heart broken, those who need a personal encounter with God.  We pray for those traveling.  We pray for those needed a medical miracle.  We pray in faith - believing God inclines His ears towards us as we pray and hears our cries to Him.  God loves us and wants to give good gifts to his children!   Commune with God during our time of prayer today!

We offer a song of worship as we close our time of prayer:





We once again pause to reflect upon the goodness of God in times of worship and service.
Hear the announcements of our church life courtesy of WNRN.

As we bring our financial gifts to the Lord we remember today that God so loved is that He GAVE.. we also give today in an expression of love to god to show He holds first place in our life.  WE offer a song of worship as we give.





Now hear the Word of the LORD......   The Pause for Love

(Check back here tomorrow after noon for my reflection of the sermon.)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Funnies A picture is worth a thousand words

Thought it was time for some Friday Funnies.  Here are some of my recent favorite cartoons that I think you will enjoy! Come on .... laugh a little.











Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Christmas Flash Mob by the The U.S. Air Force Band

Starting with a single cellist on the floor of the National Air and Space Museum's "Milestones of Flight" gallery, and swelling to 120 musicians, 

The U.S. Air Force Band exhilarated museum visitors with its first-ever flash mob. 

The four-minute performance featured an original arrangement of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring/Joy to the World," led by the band's commander and conductor, Col. Larry H. Lang. 

Unsuspecting museum visitors including tourists and school groups were astonished as instrumentalists streamed into the gallery from behind airplanes and space capsules, and vocalists burst into song from the Museum's second floor balcony.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WHERE OUR SONG COMES FROM


Tonight at 6:30 we conclude our Corporate Prayer Encounters at the church for the Christmas season.  We will gather again on Wednesday January 7, 2015.

This is a recent devotional I read and felt it very appropriate for us today: 

Psalm 40:1–5 (NIV)

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.


REFLECTION

The Gospel is the stunning story of Christ coming into the world to lift us from the mess, to set us on solid ground with Him. And when He raised us up, He gave us something to sing about. He replaced the old songs of despair with new songs of praise—songs for the One who makes us new.

The Gospel and worship are inseparably linked. We don't worship Jesus because we ought to; we give Him praise because He has brought us back to life! And best of all--we don't have to wait for the band to start playing. We have God's mercy, and that's all the music we will ever need! So if you're alive today, sing redemption's song. If you have been set free, sing the name of the One who freed you. His salvation is where our song comes from.


MEDITATION

Oh, Holy Night

Oh, holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh, night divine, oh, night when Christ was born!
Oh, night divine, oh, night, oh, night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Christ is the Lord!
Oh, praise His name forever!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!

Placide Cappeau, 1808-1877
Music by Adolphe Charles Adams, 1803-1856


PRAYER

Father, thank You for hearing my cry from the pit. I receive Your grace today and stand on the solid ground of Your righteousness. Every time I think of how You rescued me, my mouth can't help but sing Your praise. I love You and am so grateful for You. Let my whole life sing Your song. Amen!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Wonder What God Wants for Christmas?

A new Christmas song for this year... 

Darius Rucker - I Wonder What God Wants for Christmas?


Monday, December 15, 2014

Funny Christmas Church Signs

For the season - a special Monday Funny - Christmas Edition



Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Inn Keeper at Christmas


Dear Friends,

Have you ever wondered what became of the innkeeper in Bethlehem who let Mary and Joseph have their baby in his barn?

Did he have little children? When the soldiers came from Herod, did they hunt for the birth place of the dangerous baby and start the slaughter there? What did it cost the innkeeper to house the Messiah in his first hours?

In the poem called The Innkeeper, I tried to imagine what might have happened when the soldiers came. And what Jesus might have said if he showed up 30 years later to talk to the innkeeper about it. It's fiction. But its aim is truth and hope and joy.

Desiring God and Crossway Books have teamed up to make a new video recording of my reading of this poem. We hope it will touch some deep place in your heart, perhaps through a wound. Maybe it will find its way into your Christmas family celebrations, or your small group, or even the gathered church.

If you've ever lost a child, or ever faced a tragedy, just when you thought you were doing good, we hope The Innkeeper will bring you comfort and strength. In my experience poetry has a way of touching us sometimes when simple sentences don't. In one sense, I hope you enjoy it. But there may be deeper emotions too. May the risen Lord Jesus turn your Advent and your Christmas into something really extraordinary this year.

John Piper




Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Worship tomorrow at NRN - WNRN - LIVE! from Richard's Tree Lot! A preview

Dress rehearsal has come to a close and the live trees will be picked up soon to be delivered to the church for our worship tomorrow as we celebrate our Christmas program with a newly designed version of WNRN - Plan to invite someone and make every effort to be with us at 10:45am!

I was really happy to stop by for the last minutes of the rehearsal today.  Tomorrow is going to be an awesome day at NRN!   Here are a few random pictures:


The live trees will be in place tomorrow and the chairs will be filled with invited guest!

WNRN personalities Adam Stone (Bob Floyd) and Mary Lamb (Kathy Muller)

Don't miss the anticipated solo by John Pope!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Funny - a little Gospel Quartet at Christmas

Since relocating back to North Carolina in August of 2007 I have scheduled at least one southern gospel group each year to sing at our church. I am always on the search for a great southern gospel group to come and sing at our church.  Here is one I have recently heard via facebook and thought you would enjoy it during this time of the year:



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Are You ready for Christmas?

December is here -- bringing the dreaded question everybody hates: "Are you ready for Christmas?" Whenever that question is asked, the response is always a groan -- "Are you kidding? Don't remind me!"
The assumption here is that "Are you ready for Christmas?" means "Are your decorations all up, your cookies all baked, and your gifts all purchased? Are you finished with all of your Christmas preparations?"

Of course, the answer to that question will most likely be a resounding "NO!" (Unless you are one of those rare breeds who plans way ahead and finishes your Christmas shopping sometime around Halloween. Many of us are "adrenaline" shoppers. We wait until the last minute, and then scurry off in a shopping frenzy.

I wonder what would happen if we moved being ready for Christmas from the "finished" side of the holidays, to the "beginning". Instead of thinking we have to be done with everything before we're ready, can't we "get ready" ahead of time? If we wait until all the tasks are finished before we are ready for Christmas, we miss out on the beauty of the season. A properly prepared heart changes the way a person experiences the days between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

One early December day, I was on a solitude seeking drive, and happened upon a monastery. If there's solitude anywhere, a monastery tops the list! As I entered the building, I noticed brown-robed monks chanting around, along with a white haired lady who was obviously a visitor.

"What are you doing in a monastery?” I asked.

"I'm getting ready for Christmas," she replied. Looking around, I didn't see any gift wrap or cook books.

"How are you getting ready for Christmas here?"

"I'm reading the works of C. S. Lewis." 
"Oh," I mumbled, "I didn't know Lewis wrote Christmas books".

She smiled as she responded, "He didn't!"

Today, as December 25 approaches like a freight train, I'm pondering: What can I do to prepare myself for Christmas?

How can I tune my heart so I will fully embrace this sacred season?

Here are a few thoughts:

1. This Christmas, don't over-do it. Think ahead and refuse to overspend, overeat, or overextend yourself.

2. Refuse to succumb to commercialism. Gadgets and gizmos are merely clutter.

3. Practice the art of intentional generosity. (i.e. caroling, ringing the Salvation Army bell, helping others)

4. Renounce all "grinchiness" and willfully embrace the Christmas spirit -- love, joy and peace.

5. Keep Christ first in Christmas.

6. Express love through simple acts of kindness.

I hope the next time somebody asks the banal question, "Are you ready for Christmas?" You can respond with a surprise: "Absolutely! Bring it on, Baby!"



Note: Stolen from the blog of a good friend: Mark Wilson. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wonders Of The Heart - Today's devotion from Our Daily Bread

Our heart beats about 100,000 times every day, pumping blood to every cell in our bodies. This adds up to about 35 million beats a year and 2.5 billion beats in an average lifetime. Medical science tells us that every contraction is similar to the effort it would take for us to hold a tennis ball in our palm and give it a good hard squeeze.

Yet as amazing as our heart is, it is only one example of a natural world that is designed to tell us something about our Creator. This is the idea behind the story of a man named Job.
Broken by a series of mounting troubles, Job felt abandoned. When God finally spoke, He didn't  tell Job why he was suffering. Nor did the Creator tell him that someday He would suffer for Job. Instead, He drew Job’s attention to a series of natural wonders that are always whispering to us—and sometimes shouting—about a wisdom and power far greater than our own (Job 38:1-11).

So what can we learn from the complexity of this hardworking muscle, the heart? The message may be similar to the sound of waves coming to shore and stars quietly shining in the night sky. The power and wisdom of our Creator give us reason to trust Him.

Lord, we are Yours, You are our God;
We have been made so wondrously;
This human frame in every part
Your wisdom, power, and love we see. —Anon.


When we reflect on the power of God’s creation, we see the power of His care for us.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy


As I served communion yesterday at church I shared these words: 

Today is December 7th.  Seventy Three years ago, on a Sunday morning, the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 
Over 2000 people were killed and over 1,000 people injured in the surprise attack that drew the United States into World War II.

This is a national day of remembrance and during our time of communion we pause to pray for those men and women who have given their lives in sacrifice for our freedom and to offer thanks to God for His gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ! 


Yesterday, December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific ... With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God."— President Franklin D. Roosevelt before a Joint Session of Congress, December 8, 1941.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

“The Pause for Peace - Joseph” My message today at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene

Here is the manuscript for my message today at North Raleigh Church of the Nazarene:


“The Pause for Peace - Joseph”           
Matthew 1:18-25


Intro: Some of the most familiar images of Christmas include the baby Jesus in Mary’s arms. Jesus is the Son of God, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. But he was raised in the household of Joseph. Joseph’s role is easily overlooked; 

nonetheless there are many lessons we can learn from this humble carpenter and the pause for peace he received from God. It is easy to lose our peace in the midst of the holiday season. Joseph’s peace can become our peace today!


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


Who Was Joseph?
               Joseph, the carpenter (Matthew 13:55),
               Was a "just man" (Matthew 1:19 the King James Version),
               Who belonged to Nazareth (Luke 2:4).
                He was of Davidic descent (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:4),
               The son of Heli (Luke 3:23) or Jacob (Matthew 1:16),
              The husband of Mary (Matthew 1:16), and the earthly father of Jesus.

                         The Elements of Peace – Joseph

1. Holiness is Cultivated by Choice .
Matthew 1:19a (NIV) 19a Joseph …was a righteous man.
. dikaios – “holy, full of character, equitable, fair”

CHOICE:  Purify ourselves -Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.          2 Corinthians 7:1

We are the temple of the living God. God has said, “I will live with them. I will walk among them. I will be their God. And they will be my people.”                      2 Corinthians 6:16b

CHOICE:  Reverence for God   Because you are human, you find this hard to understand. So I have said it in a way that will help you understand it. You used to give the parts of your body to be slaves to unclean living. You were becoming more and more evil. Now give your bodies to be slaves to right living. Then you will become holy.                   Romans 6:19


2. Character is Developed in Adversity.

Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.                                        Matthew 1:18b

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.                                        Romans 5:3-4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.                                                                                                                                                     James 1:2-4

3. Compassion is Given with a Cost .

Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. Matthew 1:19

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveresLove never fails.                         1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

We know what love is because Jesus Christ gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters.               1 John 3:16

You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does. In his very nature he was God. But he did not think that being equal with God was something he should hold on to. Instead, he made himself nothing. He took on the very nature of a servant. He was made in human form. He appeared as a man. He came down to the lowest level. He obeyed God completely, even though it led to his death. In fact, he died on a cross.     Philippians 2:5-8


4. Obedience Requires  Trust .

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
 ( Hosea 11:1)                                                                                   Matthew 2:13-15


After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."  So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.  Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."                                                                                                                               Matthew 2:19-23

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.                    Proverbs 3:5-6



5. Faith Leads  Us to Peace .

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. Luke 2:39-40 
                            
Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.                                                                                               Luke 2:41

 Everyone who heard him was amazed at how much he understood. They also were amazed at his answers.                                               Luke 2:47

We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ.                Romans 5:1

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.        2 Thessalonians 3:16

Lord, you will give perfect peace to anyone who commits himself to be faithful to you. That’s because he trusts in you.                           Isaiah 26:3

Then God’s peace will watch over your hearts and your minds because you belong to Christ Jesus. God’s peace can never be completely understood.             Philippians 4:7


“Peace is not the absence of problems, but the presence of God.”