"Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit."
Birth of Jesus
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. 20 As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “ Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. ” 22 Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:
( Emmanuel means “ God with us. ” )
24 When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he didn’t have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. Joseph called him Jesus.
Fear of tough times can paralyze the best of us, but it need not be that way for transformed people. The fact is, we can rise above the storm during tough times by keeping our focus on God.
From the introduction
John Ed Mathison’s stewardship program, Transformed Giving, has transformed thousands of lives and churches. But economic conditions have changed since the program was published. People are out of work. Churches have experienced reduced giving. Transformed giving, and transformed living, may seem out of reach to some.
In his new book Transformed Living in Tough Times, Mathison offers hope by going back to the Bible, looking to God, and lifting up the teachings of Jesus.
Ideal for individual or group use, this book’s contents include:
1. Return to Priorities
2. Focus on Fundamentals
3. Exercise God’s Creativity
4. Develop a Christ-like Attitude
Questions for Reflection and Discussion