Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Mary’

Identity

Focus Verse: Isaiah 43:1

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou are mine.

I can think of no better way to start the new year than by remembering exactly what and whose we are. We belong to God. We are his adopted children. He created us. He has plans for us. He has only our best interests at heart.

If we are his, we should seek to make our lives consonant with his thoughts and plans. Therefore we begin the year seeking him – and him alone. As we seek him, everything we need will be added to us.

We need not make resolutions that are abandoned by February. We won’t have to try to force ourselves into molds that he didn’t design for us. We need simply to seek to be closer to him, not for what he can do for us, but simply to be near him, in his presence. Or more accurately, to be aware of his presence in our lives.

So this year, my goal is to be more of a Mary and less of a Martha. With Brother Lawrence, I will try to practice the presence of God.

Father, God,

Help me to sit at your feet and listen. Keep me still until I know what you would have me do. Help me to instantaneous obedience when I know what that will is.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.
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Family Trees

Focus verses: Matthew 1:1-17

Sometimes scripture seems obsessed with genealogies. In Genesis, chapter ten and chapter eleven are mainly what I used to call “the begats” They trace the lineage of who fathered whom. But I never saw a purpose in it.

But here Matthew traces the lineage of Joseph back to Abraham. Legally Joseph was Jesus’ father on earth. However, Joseph was only his adopted father. There is no blood lineage between them.

I believe this family tree is here to establish that Jesus is a son of David legally. Therefore He is eligible to be the Messiah.

If we look in the book of Luke, we find a different lineage. It is confusing that it traces in the opposite direction of Matthew’s genealogy. And it doesn’t list the same people. Heli is assumed to be the father of Mary and therefore Joesph’s father-in-law. And this lineage doesn’t stop with Abraham, but goes all the way back to Adam and lists him as the son of God.

So the list in Matthew establishes Jesus’ legal claim to being the Messiah. But the list in Luke takes it back to creation – where we see Him first – as the active Word establishing the universe.

Put to the test, God dots all the i’s and crosses all the t’s. No detail is too small for His attention. And no issue is too big for His solution.

Father, God,

Thank You for being who You are. Your gift of Jesus to redeem the world amazes and awes us. Teach us to take care of the smallest detail so that the big picture is never lost due to a needless distraction. We are so grateful to be Your children.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.