Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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He did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him. (Matthew 1:24)

Many craftsmen have a favorite tool. They use it often and trust that it will do the job, and do it well. It stands up to heavy use, day in and day out. It’s easy—even satisfying—to operate. A craftsman might even see his favorite tool as an extension of himself, as a reflection of his skill as a worker.

Now, suppose the craftsman is the Lord, and his trade is building the kingdom, God’s house. Surely Joseph was one of God’s favored tools! Why? Because he was flexible, obedient, and faithful.

Did you notice that God didn’t forewarn Joseph about Mary’s unexpected pregnancy? God let him discover the news himself. Rather than panicking, Joseph was flexible; he trusted God and responded peaceably and discreetly. It was only later that God sent the angel to reassure Joseph in his dreams. Then, after he awoke, Joseph promptly obeyed God and brought Mary into his home. He accepted the child God entrusted to him, and raised him in humility and faithfulness to the Lord.

As God goes about plying his trade of kingdom-building on earth, he has many other favored tools—us. Like Joseph, we can be an extension of his hands and feet if we are available and obedient. He relies on us to display his love and peace in trying situations, and to obey when we’re called forward. He has even entrusted the next generation of Christ’s followers to us.

Tools belong near their master’s side, ready for use. That’s why we need to spend time with the Lord in prayer every day. Now, we can’t always be praying—we do have other responsibilities, just like Joseph! So as you go about your day, keep lifting your heart up to God. Be attentive and listen for his guidance. Wherever the day carries you, maintain an attitude of availability. You may not always sense his presence. But you’ll be at his side, ready to respond in faithful obedience when he nudges you.

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