Summer 2024

Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Tuesday, November 12

“And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her (Mary) as his wife.” — Matthew 1:24 (NASB)

See Joseph … In the Shadows

I ran into a defensive lineman early one Monday morning in his NFL team facility. When I asked why such an early arrival on a morning off, he replied, “I got into an argument with Coach on the sidelines yesterday. God convicted me that I needed to ask for his forgiveness.”

He could have shrugged this one off. The coach was resistant to spiritual things, the conflict happened in the heat of the battle and they won the game. Why not just move on? 

At first, the coach blew off the lineman’s request for forgiveness, but the player persisted until the coach verbally forgave him. By his obedience, the player made an impact on the coach, who eventually asked him to join his coaching staff when he finished playing.

Joseph in the Bible was a man who lived in the shadows. We know little about him. He was engaged to Mary, who was to become the mother of Jesus. Was there something about Joseph’s life that made him God’s choice to take Mary as his wife? Was he prominent in his day?

During their engagement, Mary announced that she was already pregnant with Jesus, a child that was not Joseph’s. In that culture, it would have been expected that he would officially end the relationship.

But an angel of the Lord told Joseph to marry Mary, leave the country when the baby’s life was threatened, and then move to northern Israel when the threat was over. In each case, Joseph immediately obeyed God, making life-altering decisions without debate, shortcuts or excuses. 

God probably used Joseph for the same reason He used the defensive lineman — because of his obedience, not his prominence. 

Tom Petersburg, Catapult Ministries

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