Salem's staff has once again written a devotional for the Lenten season beginning on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22) and ending the day before Easter (Apr. 8th). Printed devotional books are available for pick up at Salem.
"A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ..." - Matthew 1:1
Matthew, a disciple, begins his Gospel account of Jesus' life by tracing His family back to Abraham. In part, Matthew shares these details to legitimize Jesus to the Jewish people with whom he's sharing the Gospel. But, as Christ's followers, tracing the genealogy of Jesus gives us a rich understand of the way God, our Father chose to fulfill His promise of a Savior through people like you and me.
If you look closely, you'll recognize names, and, if you "know your Bible", you know that these people were deeply flawed. Tamar seduced her father-in-law to become pregnant; Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute before helping the Israelites; Ruth was a pagan until she married an Israelite. David seduced a married woman and sent her husband to the front lines of war to try to hide their sins.
Jesus, both God and man, entered the world through a human lineage to walk alongside us in our chaos and pain and to teach us how to navigate our relationships, trials, and temptations. Even better, through His perfect life, death, and resurrection, He is the atoning sacrifice which restores our relationship with our heavenly Father.
Every aspect of Jesus' life is a beautiful example of the extent to which God is willing to go to restore us into a close, loving relationship with Himself. When you think about the life of Jesus, consider the legacy of faith that came before Him. Don't lose sight of lessons we learn throughout His lineage: we will never be too flawed or far gone that we can't have a place in the family of God, and our past sins don't disqualify us from being able to be used by God for His plans and purposes!
Heavenly Father: Thank You for the rich lineage of faith with which You've blessed us. We pray that You would reveal Your plans to us so that we can move in Your will to accomplish Your purposes. Help us to pour our encouragement and wisdom into the next generation so that the family of God would continue to impact this world for Your glory. Amen.
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