The Birth | Matthew 1:18-24

**Please be sure to read all around this passage so that you are getting it in context; and as always, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the understanding that He would have you see. Passage: Matthew 1:18-25

Thoughts:

So here we have a pretty brief description of the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. Matthew spends little time on this but covers the key points:

  • Jesus was to be his name, or Immanuel meaning "God With Us" .
  • The Angel of the Lord refer's to Joseph as a "son of David".
  • Mary conceived through the Holy Spirit and Joseph did not have sexual relations with her.
  • He points out that this all was prophecied through God's prophet
  • He also makes note of Joseph wanting to "do the right thing" break the engagement quietly. However, when instructed by the Lord he did as instructed, no matter what the "norms" of that day were.

There are a couple of points that stand out to me. Joseph did as he was told by the angel of the Lord even though it really went against the norms of the day. I believe that God's true believers will soon be asked to go against the norms of Christianity and do what God's true Will is as it is plainly shown in the bible.

I also love the meaning of Immanuel....God With Us. This is of huge significance in my personal walk. It tells me that God was willing to give up heaven to come and live among us so that we could see his true character once again. The Israelites had enjoyed His presence at the center of their camp for many years, but like all foolish humans, they decided the way of the world was better and requested a king instead. It just seems so stupid when we look back on it with 20/20 vision; why would they ever think that having a human king would be better than having God lead them? It is always the beginning of our true sorrows in life, when we turn from God as our Master and put ourselves or someone else on the throne instead.

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Please forgive me my selfish ways. Lord, help me to always put you first in my life; to always put You on the throne instead of myself or something else. Your way is right. Your way is just. Your way is perfect; and though I cannot always see the end result, I know that I can trust in You to see it for me. Help me to hear your voice Lord, help me to hear it and respond to it.

Lord, protect my children today. Keep them safe from harm and temptation. Lord I love them very much and I know you do to, so please help in getting them to heaven with You...the only thing that matters. Lord, keep my wife safe. Help her to show you to others today as she deals with your children. Be with our church family. Help them to hold You close and lean on you in the times we have ahead of us. Give us a full measure of Your Holy Spirit so that we may lead others to You. Help us to truly understand the Good News so that we can freely share it with others. Help us to know your love so that we may impart it.

Be with my friends Ken and Karen. Help them to stay in Your Will. Be with their children, and help them to find the deep and real and freeing forgiveness that only You can give. Help them to understand what it really means to forgive 70x7.

Thank You for Your presence in my life. Thank you for all that You supply; my house, my job, my family, my church, my food, and my health. Help me to be willing to give any of those things up freely if You ask it of me. I also want to thank you for your recent protection in my life. You kept me safe in that car accident and You kept the other driver safe too...thank You so much.

I love You Lord with all my heart...please continue to change it into Your image. Amen

Ancestry and it's importance | Matthew 1:17

jesuslineage.jpg

**Please be sure to read all around this passage so that you are getting it in context; and as always, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the understanding that He would have you see. Passage: Matthew 1:17

Thoughts: 14 generatios x3 = 52 generations between Abraham and Jesus. Does that mean it took 52 generations for God's earthly kingdom (Isreal) to reach a point that they had God's true message so completely messed up that Jesus needed to come and show the people His true character again?

I've often wondered what it was that made God decide NOW is the time for the Messiah to come. Was He gauging how much of His Character had been lost to the people or how far the devil had deceived them into misunderstanding who He was? Did He finally say "Enough! If I allow this to go on much longer, no one will ever be able to know who I really am. Now is the appointed time".

Does this type of thing have a natural course? How many generations has it been since Jesus set things right? How much like the Israel of Jesus time is the Christian system today?

  • Making money off the good news, creating and selling "self-help" books in the name of God and profiting from them.
  • Plant your "seed" money and just have enough faith! Can't you see by the sweat on my brow, the way that I get all riled up, and the glint off of my rolex watch, that I have a direct line to the heavenly bank account?
  • Jesus is a feel good fun fella who wouldn't hurt a fly.
  • Don't read your Bible, let meeee tell you what He's like. Let meeee show you the way to happiness. Besides, your probably not smart enough to figure it all out and I went to college.

These things are happening in our Christian world today...do we see them for what they are?

Prayer:

Dear Father in Heaven,

I become synical sometimes and, yes Lord, down-right angry when I see the way some people treat your salvation. Lord, help me to treat it with the respect and awe that it deserves. Please change my heart Lord and guide me always to your truth. Protect your people Lord, and help me to never take your name in vain, but to call myself a Christain only as I am able to understand what that means through YOUR eyes. Lead me in all that I do, and in all that I say. Help me to make You the King in my life, and to put away my selfish pride. I love you. Amen.

Proof | Matthew 1:1-16

**Please be sure to read all around this passage so that you are getting it in context; and as always, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the understanding that He would have you see. Passage: Matthew 1:1-16 NLT

Thoughts:

This whole passage seems to be "proof" supplied for the benefit of any Jewish readers of the time. I wonder if Matthew knew that his proof would help us centuries later in understanding who the Messiah is?

Matthew is showing the ancestry of Jesus to prove that he is the Messiah. I also note that in verse 1 he makes the clear statement that Jesus is the Messiah and a descendant of David and Abraham. It's interesting that he doesn't say something like "I think Jesus is the Messiah" but makes it a statement of fact and then shows his evidence. What he is trying to prove is that Jesus was a direct descendent of David and Abraham because it was understood that the Messiah would be from that lineage.

I wonder if he ever had to try and prove this in a court of Jewish law? Was the lineage of each of these people a matter of public record or available in scrolls somewhere? I know that the people of this time put a lot more emphasis on their heritage as it often had much to do with their standing in the eyes of others. Today, our standing is based more on how much stuff we acquire or how much money we make....
This also makes me a little more curious about my own ancestry. I wonder how much information I can get from www.ancestry.com without spending any money?
Well, I think maybe it would be good for us to know our own history. We often forget were we came from and how much that influences who we are today. We forget this as a nation too easily as well. If I can, I think I may get some information on my family tree... I do think my last name is Scottish in origin. I wonder if knowing that suddenly makes me a Scottish American and no longer just a plain 'ol American?

So, this whole passage seems to me to be "proof" supplied for the benefit of any Jewish readers of the time. Matthew is showing the ancestry of Jesus to prove that he is the Messiah. I also note that in verse 1 he makes the clear statement that Jesus is the Messiah and a descendant of David and Abraham. It's interesting that he doesn't say something like "I think Jesus is the Messiah" but makes it a statement of fact and then shows his evidence. What he is trying to prove is that Jesus was a direct descendent of David and Abraham because it was understood that the Messiah would be from that lineage.I wonder if he ever had to try and prove this in a court of Jewish law? Was the lineage of each of these people a matter of public record or available in scrolls somewhere? I know that the people of this time put a lot more emphasis on their heritage as it often had much to do with their standing in the eyes of others. Today, our standing is based more on how much stuff we acquire or how much money we make....This also makes me a little more curious about my own ancestry. I wonder how much information I can get from www.ancestry.com without spending any money?Well, I think maybe it would be good for us to know our own history. We often forget were we came from and how much that influences who we are today. We forget this as a nation too easily as well. If I can, I think I may get some information on my family tree... I do think my last name is Scottish in origin. I wonder if knowing that suddenly makes me a Scottish American and no longer just a plain 'ol American?

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for covering all the "minor details" in your Word. Usually when I run into a "begat" list, I skip over it, but today I actually thought about why it was there. It seems to me that You care about "proof" and that you are not only expecting me to believe by faith alone. Thank you for being in my life and for all that you have given me. I love You and hope that you will bless this work so that I can come closer to you in understanding and in a relationship. Continue to change my heart and please make me more like you. Amen.