The final woman found in the genealogy of Jesus Christ is Mary. This young girl displays amazing faith and obedience to the Lord as she is faced with what others surely deemed a disgraceful circumstance. While Mary could have been overcome by her situation, instead she chose to praise God and ponder His amazing grace throughout her life.
2 Samuel 11-12 is a tragically familiar narrative for many. It is the story of David and Bathsheba. Though the account is heart-breaking because we are given a detailed account of the ongoing consequences of this one night of passion, it is also an account filled with God’s grace as we witness Bathsheba taken as a wife by David and giving birth to the next king of Israel, ultimately being included in the family tree of Jesus Christ. Bathsheba’s story reminds us that God’s grace is often woven amidst the pain of our lives.
The book of Ruth in the Old Testament tells the story of a foreign woman who places her faith in God resulting in a life directed by that faith. Though the circumstances of life remain difficult and Ruth must struggle just to provide the basic necessities of life for her and her mother-in-law, what she finds is that God’s love is not measured by the circumstances of life and no matter how hard we may try, we cannot out give God.
Joshua 2 is the story of a sinful woman, in a sinful profession, among a sinful people who, though she possesses limited knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, places her total faith in Him and is transformed by His grace. Rahab was likely the last person anyone would have thought would be saved and make such a radical life change from the city of Jericho, but through her faith, she and her family were not only saved, she becomes the great-great grandmother of King David and is included in the family tree of Jesus Christ. On two occasions in the New Testament she is commended for her faith and lifted up as an example of what faith looks life in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. That’s some legacy for a woman with a past like Rahab’s.
Matthew records the genealogy of Jesus Christ through Joseph. Though there appears to be increased interest these days in uncovering our family tree, there still seems to be a general disinterest when it comes to understanding why there are genealogies in the Scriptures. Perhaps this is related to our misunderstanding of the value of uncovering the riches of our spiritual family tree. Matthew’s genealogy records over 40 male names and 5 women. The presence of any women is unusual and would have been culturally controversial, but the presence of these 5 women borders on scandalous. For some reason God, through Matthew, included these 5 women in the genealogy of Jesus, drawing our attention to their stories found in the pages of Scripture. Through the stories of these women we learn that sometimes God works His will in the midst of the whispers of scandal, illuminating His grace.
Genesis 38 is a sad story of what happens when people live self-centered lives, that are nearly void of any concern for one another or for God. By the end of the story everyone has in some way wronged everyone else and there is not a person in sight who walks away unscathed or un-scarred by the selfish acts of themselves and others. Yet, both Judah and Tamar are included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 1. Why would God draw anyone’s attention to such a sad story? In the midst of this mess we find a truth worth treasuring, that what God purposes He will perform.
Sustainability is a popular term these days, but when we throw it around do we really understand what we are saying? As followers of Jesus Christ do we recognize what Scripture says about sustainability and its source? This message looks at the foundational source our efforts at sustaining and uncovers the reality that God’s sustaining grace undergirds and enables our efforts at sustainability.
It is difficult to fully comprehend just how wonderfully amazing the grace of God in Christ is until we realize the other side of the story. It is a universal reality that apart from Christ we are slaves to sin, the most devastating and degenerating power ever to afflict the human race. Sin corrupts the entire person leading to misery and condemnation. But when we embrace grace in Jesus Christ we find freedom from the wretched clutches of sin.
Along with the 7 annual feasts that God established for His people, He also established the weekly rhythm of 6 days work and one day rest. We call this one day of rest the sabbath, and though it is grossly misunderstood and misused within the body of Christ, God designed it to be a glorious gift that we need in our lives to function as He has created us to function. One of the benefits we see through Scripture of seeking to enjoy the gift of sabbath is that through practicing sabbath our heart rejoices as we abandon ourselves to God’s sanctifying grace.
A look at the individuals who were part of the incarnation of Jesus Christ reveals to us that no matter how ordinary we may be, as God’s children, we are part of God’s great plan, and no matter where we are of what’s going on God is never far away.