When I think of faithfulness, I think of the Lord’s faithfulness to me. I think of the many times God has provided for me, the doors he has opened and closed, his steadfast love for me. My thoughts then often move to my own lack of faithfulness, particularly to my heavenly Father. I can be selfish with my time and resources and often let my pride get in the way.
The Lord calls us to be holy as he is holy and to have no other gods beside him – two very distinct calls to faithfulness. The word ‘faithful’ calls to mind long continued and steadfast devotion to something we are bound to- whether by choice or circumstance. God steadfastly loves us because we are his children. We are bound to him just as he is bound to us.
I always find it helpful to identify people who model these kinds of ideas, it helps me to know practically what ideas like ‘faithfulness’ are meant to look like. In these weeks leading up to Christmas I have been thinking a lot of Mary and Joseph as they traveled to Bethlehem. Although they both embody a bold and inspiring faithfulness to God, I want to take a look at Joseph in particular.
Joseph’s story is a challenging one. He receives news of the impending birth of Jesus and the circumstances under which this baby was created (Mary was still a virgin and not yet his wife!) through the power of the Holy Spirit. An angel comes to him offering assurance and charging him to have courage to continue his plans to take Mary as his wife.
Joseph does not question the angel’s words, an inspiring example of faithfulness to God in the midst of very difficult circumstances. He quietly accepts the directions the angel has given him and takes on the responsibility of caring for his pregnant wife. Joseph’s role was to give of himself to guard, protect and care for his family. In this way, he was being tremendously faithful to both Mary and baby Jesus as well as God.
Let’s look at our own lives for a moment. As we chase after holiness this week and prepare ourselves for Christ’s birth, let’s try to model the faithfulness with which Joseph lives his life. Let’s consider this question: what comes between us and loving God and our family? Perhaps our pride is keeping us from seeking reconciliation with a siblings or parent. Or maybe we are too selfish with our time and resources- seeking first our own pleasure and gratification rather than our family's.
If we can identify what is keeping us from loving God and our family more deeply, this will bring us into closer relationship with Christ. We need to be faithfully obedient and loving as Joseph was, despite any circumstances in our life.
Let’s take some time this weekend to acknowledge our family and show them just how much we love them and desire to serve them. Let’s be faithfully obedient to God and to those he has given us to love.
Prayer: Father, help me to be faithful as you are faithful. Help me to never forget those you have bound me to and that it is my duty to faithfully love and serve those in my family. Your faithfulness, Lord, endures forever. Help me to be faithfully obedient as Joseph was obedient. Show me ways, Father, than I can be more faithful and loving to you and to my family. Thank you Lord for always being faithful to me.