New Beginnings: Part Five of Five

Focus on Being God’s Servant

If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” John 12:26 NKJV

How can we serve Christ? Let’s focus on how we can be God’s faithful servant.

A faithful servant follows what the boss or master says to do. An obedient servant knows what to do and does it to the best of his or her ability. That servant is loyal to the one in charge.

Consider Joseph in Genesis 39. After his brothers sold him into slavery and he was taken to Egypt, he was bought by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh who was the captain of the guard. Joseph was trustworthy and responsible. Scripture tells us,

His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and over all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer of his house and over all that he had, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake. Genesis 39: 3–5a ESV

Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of wrongdoing and Joseph was thrown into prison. The LORD was with Joseph in prison and showed him His unwavering love. The keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of the prisoners and everything that needed to be done at the prison.

I believe Joseph found favor with the LORD because he was faithful in the small and the big things. He wasn’t goofing off or taking advantage of trust placed in him. He honored God in his decisions and in his actions, working as for the Lord and not for men, just as Paul tells us to do in Colossians.

Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:22–24 ESV

One way we can serve the Lord Christ is by being His hands and feet in serving others. Let’s ask the Lord to show us how and where He wants us to serve. We don’t want service to replace our worship and time with the Lord. We can plan for times of service, such as helping with the youth group or providing meals to shut-ins, but do so with the awareness that God does bring to us His own divine appointments that may not fit our schedule. Our desire to serve Christ comes naturally from our own grateful hearts as we grow closer to Jesus who provides for us and cares for us. The Holy Spirit guides us and molds us to become more like Jesus Christ. We in turn want other people to know the hope we have found.

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When our focus is on God, we can see where He is working. That is a good place for us to be as well. Let’s follow the Lord wherever He leads us. May He find us good and faithful servants.

Lord, I want to be Your faithful servant. Please help me to follow Your leading. Make me aware of when something is of Your will for me, and when something is a distraction that keeps me from focusing on You.


Scripture quotation marked (NKJV) is taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotation marked (ESV) is from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. ESV Text Edition: 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

I hope you are enjoying this devotional series, New Beginnings. Devotionals post every other Thursday, and are archived by month for your convenience.

I would love to hear from you. Is there a devotional topic you are looking for or that has impacted you?

God bless you.



What did Joseph Know?

By Kathryn J. Hughes

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream…When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Matthew 1: 18, 19, 20a, 24 NIV)

In my last devotional I considered what Mary knew that convinced her to agree to become the mother of Jesus. Mary had great trust in God that led her to submit to the changes of her plans and to her willingness to face the problems she would encounter giving birth to God’s only Son.

What about Joseph? What did Joseph know that caused him believe this seemly outlandish claim that his virgin promised wife carried the Son of God in her womb? Joseph knew the baby was not his. Her pregnancy gave him reason to break their betrothal contract to get married. Even though the wedding had not yet occurred, it was binding as if married, and a betrothed couple was often referred to as husband and wife.

Photo by JINU JOSEPH on

We know from Scripture that Joseph did not believe Mary at first. Joseph was a just man, but also a compassionate one. Matthew chapter one tells us that Joseph being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. Mary could have been stoned for immorality. If Joseph wanted to maintain his own claim of moral purity, Mary’s punishment may have stopped people questioning his own actions.

Joseph received visits from the angel of the Lord. While he was thinking of breaking their betrothal, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name JESUS, for He will save his people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:18-25 NKJV)

Joseph was obedient to God. He followed the angel’s instructions to take Mary as his wife. Obedience to the Lord God was more important to Joseph than his reputation or the fact that the Child was not his own and that he would have the responsibility for raising Jesus. He exhibited patience and self-control. He did not have marital relations with Mary until after Jesus was born. He followed whatever the Lord directed him to do.

Later, when an angel warned Joseph to flee from Bethlehem to Egypt because Herod sought to destroy the young child, Joseph immediately moved his small family to that foreign culture. His other angelic dreams told him to return to Israel after Herod’s death, and then to settle in the region of Galilee. Joseph could have argued that he had his carpentry trade established in the various places they lived. Instead, Joseph was quick to act as he is directed. Joseph couldn’t know everything the future held any better than any of us. He and Mary both marveled at the things that were spoken of Jesus by Simeon. (Luke 2:25-33) He obeyed anyway.

* * *

May we be like Joseph, righteous, just, and obedient to God. We may not have angelic instructions, but we have the Holy Spirit who guides us. What is He directing you to do? What are some steps you can follow so you will do it?

Dear Holy Spirit, Thank you that my righteousness comes from Jesus Christ because of His sacrifice for me. Please help me to hear your directions and to obey. Please help me to be just in my dealings with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.