The Who’s Who of Matthew 1

Family-Tree-of-JesusIf your anything like me, you probably come across the genealogies in the Bible and rush through them, or skip them all together. I mean how much can you really get out of a list of names which you can’t even pronounce?!

That is how I felt until one Christmas many years ago when a lady I worked with at Bellevue taught this passage, and suddenly I learned so much.

Now, I love to read the genealogy of Christ because through its reading, I find hope.

Hope because if God could use some of those listed there, He can use me.

The people you find in Christ genealogy are quite surprising, especially the list of women.

Tamar who tricked her father in law into sleeping with her, so she could have children.

Rahab who was a prostitute, yet who hid the spies, and believed God.

Ruth a Moabite (an enemy of God), yet who was willing to follow and care for her mother-in-law, and trust God to care for her.

Bathsheba who had an affair with David.

Mary, a simple peasant girl, yet, no one special.

Then in the list of men, we find, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and Manasseh, just to name a few.

David who plotted and planned the murder of Uriah so he could have Bathsheba as his wife.

Solomon who had 700 wives and 300 concubines, who all led him astray.

Hezekiah whose pride and self-sufficiency led to his downfall.

Manasseh, who according to the Bible did more evil than any other king, and who sacrificed his children to other gods. He was downright wicked.

But God…

In each of these lives and all the lives of those listed, God showed up.

Changing and using the least of these to bring forth His Son, the Messiah.

God adores using those the world thinks are useless. He delights in taking the weak, the rejected, the least, and using them to do great things.

For when this happens, He receives all the glory.

Many times the enemy would have us believe God can’t possible use us.

He whispers lies and says we aren’t good enough, we’ve sinned too much. We aren’t qualified, we don’t know enough etc.

But God says, no one is good enough, but we are made righteous and holy through Christ.

God says, our sins are removed from us from as far as the east is from the west, and He remembers them no more.

He says, in Christ we are qualified, for we have every spiritual blessing in Christ.

And God’s Word says that when we don’t know what to say, He will give us the words to say through the Holy Spirit.

We mustn’t believe the enemy… he would love for us to quit, to believe the lies, because then we are no threat to him.

But we must remember that if God can choose and use those listed in the genealogy of Christ to bring forth the Savior of the World.

He can and He will use you and me, when we surrender to Him.

As Christmas draws near, may we never forget why Jesus came. May we not lose sight of His purpose. And may we surrender afresh and anew to the Lord, and how He can use our lives for His glory.

“For He alone is worthy, for He alone is worthy, for He alone is worthy, Christ the Lord.”

 

 

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Women of Christmas: Mary’s Servant Heart

Mary’s Servant Heart

mandylynncarpenter

mary and josephOur stories of Christmas paint a beautiful picture of Mary riding a donkey, giving birth in a stable surrounded by the glow of candles with the animals looking on. Yet the reality of this wonderful night, is far different from what we normally perceive.

It all began one night, when Mary, a young girl betrothed to Joseph, is visited by Gabriel. All of the sudden her normal Jewish life is changed forever. The angel calls her the favored one, and tells her not to be afraid,though I’m sure the news shared stirred fear and wonder in her heart.

For she is told, that though still a virgin, she will have a child. And not just any child, but the son of God, whose name will be Jesus. For He will save His people from their sins. I always stand amazed at her response, for though her…

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The Women of Christmas: Elizabeth’s Prayer

Nothing is impossible for Him

mandylynncarpenter

christmas1Could it really be? After so many years of praying, was it actually possible that the Lord had finally heard her prayers?

Earlier her husband Zacharias had come home unable to speak, making all kinds of funny signs with his hands. Exasperated,he finally found some paper and wrote, “I saw an angel and he said, God has heard our prayers, we are going to have a son. His name will be John, and he will be great in the sight of the Lord.”(Luke 1:13-14)

Still hours later she could hardly comprehend such great news. Was it possible that all the years she had been mocked and spoken ill of were to finally come to an end? Would her family finally see her as more than the barren one?

Years and years she and Zacharias had prayed, never giving up hope that the Lord God could answer their prayers…

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