10 Days of Christmas Truths to Live All Year

Day 2 of 10 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Joseph: 

Picture how others must have spoken to Joseph when the news of Mary’s pregnancy began to spread: 

“She’s lying to you! She slept with someone else, and you’re falling for it.”

“Leave her, and save your own reputation. You can take another wife.”

Thankfully, Joseph listened to the angel of the Lord who visited Him. His faith was strong enough to seek the approval of God alone. 

But let’s go even deeper:

Joseph signed up for a background role for the rest of his life. When we think about the parents of Jesus, most would acknowledge Mary as His mother and that He is God’s Son. Joseph lifts out of the story quickly.

But Joseph worked to provide for Jesus’ needs as a boy. We even see that when Jesus went missing when he was a child, Joseph was worried and frantic trying to find him (Luke 2:48). 

Fulfilling God’s call on our lives should never be about getting credit for what we do, but simply about being obedient to God. If the world never knows of our service, God sees it all and knows it all, and that’s enough.

Really think about this for a few moments today:

Have you ever given up on what God has called you to do because no one seems to care or notice? 

Do you long for the credit and acknowledgement of others? 

Because there is something so much better: 

“...Then, your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:4 NIV

Let’s be honest: It’s easier to do what’s right when recognition follows. 

This time of year, there are plenty of opportunities to do “good deeds” for others. But before we pat ourselves on the back for our generosity and sacrifice, let’s make sure we go deeper and check our motivation by asking ourselves the simple question: 

Would I still do this if God were the only one who knew about it? 

God’s rewards trump human applause every single time. Stay the course. God’s reward for humble obedience is guaranteed.

God, forgive me when I try to take the credit, or when I think I’m owed affirmation. I know the world’s applause will never satisfy, and I know Your rewards never end. Help me fight the temptation for worldly recognition, and keep my eyes on You alone as my prize. I love You! Amen.

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