Series A, Fourth Sunday in Advent

Text: Matthew 1:18-25,

 

"Submissive Adoration"

 

Theme: How difficult it is for us to adore humbly at the feet of our Savior. We learn from Joseph the meaning of Submissive Adoration.

 

I. WE PREFER NOT TO KNEEL IN ADORATION TO ANYONE OR ANYTHING BUT OURSELVES.

 

A. To adore someone/thing other than ourselves, is to claim that someone/thing is more important than us....This is demonstrated by actions.

  1. ILLUS: Military Service=submissive adoration to nation/constitution.

  2. ILLUS: To Spouse = submit to vows given and to the needs of the other.

  3. ILLUS: As employee = give time, loyalty, energy so that the company looks good.

 B. Our sin causes us to chafe at giving submissive adoration.

  1. Some marriages: selfish desire to receive the services of a spouse: gold-digger, cook/laundry lady, live-in lover.

  2. Some employees: care less about employer ...only in it for themselves.

  3. Some Church Members: wish only to be served, not to offer themselves in service to God/others

II. STARK CONTRAST: THE SUBMISSIVE ADORATION GIVEN BY JOSEPH.

 

 A. Betrothal = contractual agreement, unlike today.

  1. Mutual consent to be married as binding as marriage. 

  2. Unlike today: Engagement = going steady with hormone shots. 

  3. Breaking a betrothal was tantamount to divorce

B. When news of Mary's pregnancy reached Joseph he had several options from which to chose.

  1. Legally, Mary could be put to death by stoning.

  2. He could spare her life, but put her to public ridicule so son would never be welcomed into the synagogue.

  3. The kindest choice was to divorce her quietly.

C. God's intervention permitted Joseph to give his submissive authority to God & Mary.

  1. Although not in Joseph's best interest, he married Mary.

    1. Tongues would still wag: "Had to get married"

    2. Unkind remarks of friends/relatives would still hurt deeply

  2. But Joseph loved God & Mary and wanted to serve them...to offer submissive adoration.

    1. God gave Joseph the best of reasons: 

    2. Although he couldn't know all that would be involved, he knew God was honoring him & keeping His long awaited promise, a Savior.

  3. Even though his life would never be the same, he adored God with the living sacrifice of his life.

D. How about our submissive adoration?

  1. 1. How are we approaching the Christ-child?

    1. Is our approach to the manger a seeking after some possibility of personal gain?

    2. Are we looking for a special standing w/God?

    3. Do we think we are doing God a favor by coming?

  2. Or do we come with the heart of Joseph:

    1. Willing to put self-gain aside.

    2. Willing to offer ourselves to God.

    3. Willing to let God change our lives.

 

 

Copyright   2001 CrossTies Counseling Ministries, Inc.
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