Sunday 13th December

Service Transcript & Video

Feel the fear and do it anyway.. Matthew 1 v 18-25

 

Q. Is the anything in your life that you really fear doing??

I really don’t like heights.. don’t like roller coasters….  But occasionally I get on one.. I do it for the sake of the children or grandchildren.. when they say to me.. Oh come on.. Don’t be a spoilsport..    Just do it..

So I just do it.

 I get on and close my eyes as soon as that thing moves and I scream because that releases something in me..  

And…  as long as I keep my eyes closed and scream.. I can do it.. but I don’t like it..  in fact I’m afraid of it.!!

 

Everybody agrees that we’ve NEVER lived through a year like 2020… It’s been a year filled with all kinds of fears.. anxieties and uncertainties…

Back in March our NORMAl, routine lives which we just took for granted… were suddenly.. totally overtaken.. disrupted… overwhelmed by the unexpected NEWs of something called Covid 19.

Out of NOWHERE it seemed we were plunged into this brand new world of Social distancing.. face masks.. hand sanitising… closed shops and churches… self isolating. Furlough and job insecurity.

 

We’re in this Christmas series called

Moving from fear to faith and uncertainty to HOPE…

Last week Sonya wonderfully helped us to identify with Mary as her teenage life is thrown into total chaos and confusion through the visit of an angel and the news that she would carry a baby who would be the Saviour of the World.

This week we are looking at Joseph and how he is suddenly plunged into a sea of fear, anxiety and uncertainty with the SHOCKING news that Mary was pregnant..

I wonder where Joseph was … what he was doing.. how he actually heard the NEWS.. Who told him… that Mary was expecting a baby…

NOT his baby… NOT just any baby… NOT an ordinary baby…

(Matt 1v18)..what was conceived in her was through the power of the Holy Spirit…

Q. HOW does that even happen?

Q. How could that even happen?

Q. How does Joseph react to NEWS like that?

Q. Does He GOOGLE it??

In a moment.. this ordinary man.. in his ordinary life as a carpenter… betrothed to this ordinary teenager Mary…is thrown into extraordinary turmoil… into an excruciating dilemma… trying to do the ‘right thing’ (v19) and yet no doubt full of anger.. disbelief.. hurt.. confusion and chaos.

Think about Joseph for a moment.. Try and put yourself into his shoes…listen to his heartbeat..

Q. What fears.. anxieties.. uncertainty is he struggling to cope with… as he finds himself swimming in unprecedented times.. and unchartered waters…   just like us in 2020

As I picked up these verses 9-10 months before that very first Christmas.. here’s what I noticed in these verses.

Through it all… through all the fears.. anxieties and uncertainties he’s facing…  Joseph is a remarkable man of faith… unshakable in his commitment to trust God and obey His words and commands… even though..

 it was NOT going to be easy to do so..

it would be costly for him to do so and take him way out of his comfort zone

he did NOT fully understand everything that GOD was doing in his life… or … that GOD was asking Him to do in these circumstances…

Honestly…

I think we’re too soft as followers of Jesus in 21st century…

We want to.. or at least I often want to follow Jesus.. as long as.. as far as.. it doesn’t cost me too much… make me feel too uncomfortable… doesn’t challenge my lifestyle… doesn’t upset my plans…

I have a  prayer that I pray every day to try and combat that tendency towards ‘comfort’ in my life… and it goes something like this..

“ LORD help me Not to choose the safe.. the shallow… the possible… what I know I CAN do in my own strength..

Help me to-day to step out into the deep.. the dangerous… the impossible…what I know I CAN’T do in my own strength… and by faith follow YOU wherever YOU go and WHATEVER You ask of Me.”

          Faith =  Feel the fear and do it anyway

  1. Joseph feels the fear of marrying Mary… but He chooses to obey GOD and do it anyway. (v18-19)

I don’t think we have any conception of the SHOCK for Joseph to hear the NEWS that Mary is pregnant..(v18)

V19 gives you this insight into Joseph’s thinking…

         “he had in mind”.. he was thinking..

Even though at this moment Joseph’s mind must be in turmoil with a mix of anger… hurt… betrayal.. confusion and shock… 

Because He is a godly man… a man of integrity… a man  who loves God and wants to do what is ‘right’… He chooses to divorce Mary quietly so as to Not expose her to any MORE public pain and disgrace than she will undoubtedly encounter..

And as his mind is whirling round like a washing machine full of clothes…(though he wouldn’t have a clue what a washing machine was like)

We are told v20… that GOD breaks in one night and speaks directly to JOSEPH through an angel messenger who carries GOD’s WORD’s to him.

Look at how the message begins.. (v20)  “Do NOT fear…”

There is so much ‘fear’ in Joseph’s heart right NOW…so many fears in some of your hearts right NOW…

FOR Joseph…

Fears of what people will think /say

Fears of the future and what the future might hold… the uncertainty of the future..

Fears of disapproval of family and friends and church..

Fears that what will happen when what is private becomes public..

 

GOD speaks directly into Joseph’s deepest fears…

God always speaks into our deepest fears… if we will only LISTEN to HIS Voice..

 

Q. I wonder what are the deepest fears.. anxieties and uncertainties in your life …that GOD is speaking into right NOW??

Q. I wonder what are the things in your life that are keeping you from sleeping and dreaming… awake and awash with worry every night??

With the command NOT to worry comes the assurance

“because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”

What a powerful reassurance for this bewildered and struggling man…. 

Unlikely as it is.. 

inconceivable as it appears…

this baby in Mary’s womb has been conceived by a supernatural work of GOD the Holy Spirit..

THIS IS GOD’s doing. 

THIS IS a GOD miracle…

This is an AWESOME….  Miraculous work of GOD…

Mary will do this : (v21) She will give birth to a son…

NOW Joseph… YOU Do this:

Take Mary home as your wife…Give the boy born to May the Name JESUS.. YAHWEH saves… The LORD is salvation..

Because this baby is destined to be the Saviour of the WORLD…

Sometimes we struggle with all kinds of fears.. anxieites and uncertainties in this COVID 19 world of ours..

Q. Where is GOD in all of this?

Q. Why is all this happening to us?

Q. What is God’s purpose in all of this?

 

What if GOD is right here.. in this.. with us.. for us…working out HIS sovereign purposes and fabulous salvation plans…in the events of human history…

Look at v22   “ALL this…   Every part of this… Everything that is happening…. even the most anxious and uncertain things of life… is taking place to fulfil…. To fully bring to pass.. what GOD had spoken through the prophet Isiah some 700 yrs earlier v23…

“A virgin will be with child”

How astonishing is that… How incredible.. HOW inconceivable is that… How fabulous.. How miraculous … HOW supernatural is that…

ONLY GOD could do that!!

And this child to be born… this miracle Son… will be named JESUS    by Joseph… 

 But others (“they” v23) will call him Immanuel… 

GOD is with US..

God this close to us…

God so involved with us…

God come to us

God sharing life with us  with ME.. with YOU…  in all that YOU are going through…

We are NO longer LOST… We have a Saviour  We have a Saviour… 

A Saviour who will die upon the CROSS for us… who will be resurrected and raised to life for us…who has conquered sin and death and Hell for us… who brings forgiveness.. HOPE… JOY and Life to us…. for ever and for ever MORE…

 

V24.. When Joseph woke up he said to Himself…”BOY what a dream… if only it were true” it makes NO sense… it sounds like nonsense if I told my family… There is NO WAY I am going to take Mary as my wife NOW…

 

NO!!  That’s NOT HOW the story ends…It’s NOT what Joseph says…

V24  He is a man of faith.. a man who loves and trusts GOD… a man whose heart is soft and open and responsive and obedient to GOD’s voice

A man who is willing to do whatever GOD commands Him to do…

No matter how difficult that choice will be

No matter what his closest family and friends sya to dissuade him..

No matter what criticism or misunderstanding he will have to face..

No matter what the outcome…

 

Joseph’s heart is set.. His mind made up… GOD has spoken..and Joseph will obey GOD whatever it takes.. whatever the costs… whatever the outcome..

Q. What about YOU??

Q. How committed are YOU to love.. trust and obey GOD.. regardless??

                 Feel the fear and do it anyway…

So Joseph wakes up… gets up… takes Mary as His wife.. gives the baby boy born in Bethlehem the Name JESUS… obeying everything God has commanded him to do…

Jesus would much later say to his disciples and for us

“if you love me you will keep My commands.” John 15

Q. Do you??

Q. Will you??

 

Maybe there’s a WORD for us God’s people in a COVID 19 world that is full of all kinds of fears.. anxieties and uncertainties…

“Wake up”…  

wake up sleepy Christians.. 

wake up half hearted Christians.. 

wake up compromising Christians…

 

You know in your heart of hearts that GOD is calling you to be this.. say this.. do this..

BUT instead you are…  being that.. saying that.. doing that..

GOD has spoke to us in HIS WORD..

Let’s get up and get out and live it…  breath it… love it… obey it… 

work it out…   and 

work it through into the ordinary everyday stuff of your lives and relationships..

Without hesitation or   reservation..

     Let’s feel the fear and do it anyway..

This week…

Let’s MOVE from fear to faith and 

Move from uncertainty to HOPE…

Because of JESUS….

Watch services at our Youtube channel

read

Latest Services

Sunday Service 10th January 2021

Sunday Service 10th January 2021

So ….  Good morning and welcome Everyone. So good to have you with us…We’re feeling quite alone in here this morning… but We feel that it’s right NOT have ‘in person’ services for the rest of January at least.. It’s part of loving GOD and loving our community and Not...

Sunday Service 22nd November 2020

Sunday Service 22nd November 2020

Do not fear the future even though it feels unsafe and uncertain… because our GOD is totally in charge and fully in control of all that lies ahead.   Matthew 24   Do you ever read the Warning that comes in small writing in the box of tablets or medicines if you’re...

Sunday Service 8th November 2020

Sunday Service 8th November 2020

In times of National crisis and despair, we do NOT fear because we have a GOD who still hears and answers prayer…                                                      Psalm 46 You listen to the news and see what’s happening all around us and you can’t help get the...