Bible Couples: Joseph and Mary
And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” John 6:42
Two words describe Joseph and Mary: obedient and ordinary. The Bible tells us Joseph was a “just man” (Matthew 1:19). He kept himself sexually pure and did as the Lord commanded him (Matthew 1:24-25). He was a hardworking provider, a carpenter. Mary, too, was a person of purity, prayer, and Scripture. Her songs and exclamations indicate a love for Old Testament truth and a willingness to trust the Lord. “Let it be to me according to your word,” she said (Luke 1:38).
Yet they were ordinary—everyday villagers, obscure people despite their lineage from the House of David. Few people noticed them. Few knew their names. But one set of eyes saw them. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). The Lord saw fit to give them the assignment of the ages.
Our goal in life and in marriage isn’t fame and fortune. It’s faithfulness. The eyes of the Lord never miss a man and a woman whose hearts are obedient toward Him. He will give them an everlasting legacy.
A Single Thought: A willing vessel is a useful gift that God can use—even if it appears “ordinary.”
The Habit of Enjoying Adversity
…that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. —2 Corinthians 4:10
We have to develop godly habits to express what God’s grace has done in us. It is not just a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved so that “the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” And it is adversity that makes us exhibit His life in our mortal flesh. Is my life exhibiting the essence of the sweetness of the Son of God, or just the basic irritation of “myself” that I would have apart from Him? The only thing that will enable me to enjoy adversity is the acute sense of eagerness of allowing the life of the Son of God to evidence itself in me. No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, “Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.” Instantly, the Son of God will move to the forefront of my life, and will manifest in my body that which glorifies Him.
You must not debate. The moment you obey the light of God, His Son shines through you in that very adversity; but if you debate with God, you grieve His Spirit (see Ephesians 4:30). You must keep yourself in the proper condition to allow the life of the Son of God to be manifested in you, and you cannot keep yourself fit if you give way to self-pity. Our circumstances are the means God uses to exhibit just how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure His Son is. Discovering a new way of manifesting the Son of God should make our heart beat with renewed excitement. It is one thing to choose adversity, and quite another to enter into adversity through the orchestrating of our circumstances by God’s sovereignty. And if God puts you into adversity, He is adequately sufficient to “supply all your need” (Philippians 4:19).
Keep your soul properly conditioned to manifest the life of the Son of God. Never live on your memories of past experiences, but let the Word of God always be living and active in you.
Beware of bartering the Word of God for a more suitable conception of your own. Disciples Indeed, 386 R