Sermon: A Father after God’s own heart

Introduction

Although we meet many noteworthy fathers in the Bible, only Joseph was given the privilege of being the father to the only child the Bible calls holy. Scriptures don’t talk about Joseph much. But I noted three characteristics that convinced me Joseph was a “Father after God’s own heart.” Join me tonight to find out these characteristics and how we can become fathers worthy of being called the same.

1. He was a righteous man

Read Matthew 1:18-25

A. The fact that Joseph was a righteous man is the first reason why I believe he was a father after God’s own heart .

B. We can’t blame Joseph if he left Mary. Her explanation was unbelievable and blasphemous. Nevertheless he decided to show mercy instead of revenge.

C. God hadn’t spoken for 400 years. He hadn’t heard from God before. Believing a dream was a leap of faith. The future looked risky. But he obeyed.

2. He was a reliable father

Read Matthew 2:13

A. The fact that Joseph was a reliable father is the second reason why I believe he was a father after God’s own heart.

B. Joseph could have left Mary and Jesus to die by the sword. Besides the child wasn’t his after all. But Joseph left his comfort zone to protect his family.

C. Satan relied on Herod to destroy the child. God relied on Joseph to protect the child. Ultimately Herod failed but Joseph succeeded.

3. He was a loving husband

Read Matthew 2:15

A. The fact that Joseph loved Mary, his wife is the final reason why I believe he was a father after God’s own heart.

B. We have sufficient evidence to believe Joseph supported her for better and worse, in sickness and health – until death did them apart.

C. “One of the best things a father can do for his children is to love their mother” – James Dobson

Implications

A. The Bible doesn’t say Joseph was righteous because he showed mercy to Mary but he showed mercy to Mary because he was righteous. Treating your wife well doesn’t make you a righteous man. But you will treat your wife well if you have clothed yourself with God’s righteousness.

B. God didn’t call a “Gladiator” to protect his son. Just a passionate Carpenter who stepped out of his comfort zone. God has a special plan for the sons and daughters he gave us. Can God rely on us to step out of our comfort zone to be with our children until they are ready to serve God’s purpose.

C. When looking at the increasing number of single mothers in the US, it becomes crystal clear that unloving, opportunistic husbands are and will always be very poor fathers. We must pray for God’s grace in our marriages because we need to be good husbands before we can even think of being good fathers.

Image: Sandeepa Chetan

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