The angels announced it: “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men!”
Goodwill means favor and kindness, and the Infant in the manger was the bridge of favor and kindness between God and man. The Christ Child grew to truly be the Savior of the world, the tangible and literal expression of God’s favor to us.
In the moments we feel most insecure, confused, or needy, through Jesus we can experience the kindness of God. In our moments of joy, he rejoices with us. He is God’s Goodwill toward men.
Joseph had lived his life with integrity and care. Everyone knew he wasone of the good guys.
But then he got a curve ball thrown hard—his fiancée told him she was pregnant, and he knew it wasn’t his child. She made the most unbelievable claim about the paternity, then an angel showed up and affirmed everything Mary said.
What would people think? His reputation was shattered if he didn’tbreak their engagement. But he discovered that actually God’s opinion of him was what mattered most, and God’s thoughts towards him were all goodwill!
The reality is that it is very easy to become obsessed with what people think about us.
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagementquietly.As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Being obsessed with what other people think about you is the quickest way to forget what God thinks about you.
Being obsessed with what God thinks about you is the quickest way to forget what people think about you.
Extraordinary acts of God often start with ordinary acts of obedience.
You always have a choice to make: will I do what is easy, or what is right? Will I care about God’s opinion or people’s opinion?
When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. Matthew 1:24
You have no idea what a single act of obedience might set in motion.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare,but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25
Being obsessed with what God thinks of me is the quickest way to not be obsessed with what people think of me.
Consider where I am too worried about what people think. Is there somewhere I haven’t yet obeyed God because of my fear of people?
Pray every morning: “God, help me remember you are listening and watching, and to make that matter most. Help me live for your approval today.”