Oh how we love the picture of baby Jesus in the cradle! The entrance of our Savior into the world. How great and mighty and awesome and merciful is our God! He did not leave us without a remedy. He refused to abandon us. He is the God Who cannot lie, Who will not break covenant with His people. No matter what it cost Him. Imagine watching a show where there is a defendant on trial, who is poor, with no kind of life, who lives with reckless abandon. He has an attorney who has a lavish home with a beautiful wife and perfectly behaved children. They travel, having wonderful holidays. The attorney has many accomplishments, is very well dressed & drives a top of the line automobile. On the day the defendant goes to receive his life sentence, it actually doesn’t appear to be any loss to society because he’s never accomplished anything and more than likely will never be a productive member of society, yet the attorney turns to the defendant and says, “I’ll take your sentence.” Everyone would be astounded at what that attorney was giving up for a man who looks to be less than nothing. Yet that is exactly what Jesus did! Thank You Jesus for coming for us!
I’ve never understood the first chapter of Matthew. What was the point of that whole line-up of Joseph’s descendants? Last week I felt the Lord tell me to read through it again. While reading the names easily recognized from the Old Testament, it dawned on me how rich that history is. Jesus had an earthly father who’s lineage was full of both men who loved and honored God, all the way to the extreme of Manasseh, who was horribly evil, even to the point of satanic practices in the temple of the Lord. Yet Jesus had a heavenly Father that separated Him from all the sins of Joseph’s fathers. Just like us! We don’t have to walk in generational curses from our forefathers because our heavenly Father separated us from all that when we became a new creation in Christ. We received a brand new blood line! Since we were adopted in, we can now claim the inheritance of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
So this morning I started looking up some of the names of the earthly ancestors of Jesus that I wasn’t too familiar with. In Matthew 1:7, there’s Abijah, a past king of Judah. His story is in 2 Chronicles 13. Israel and Judah are about to have a war. Remember they came from the same family, one nation that became divided. As I was reading it, it struck me how similar it is to our nation today. Picture that the Christians in America are Judah and the rest of our nation is Israel in this story. Vs 9: “Have you not cast out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites and made for yourselves priests, like the peoples of other lands, so that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams may be a priest of things that are not gods?” Anyone can go online now and become ordained as a minister. I’ve met a few people who in their active addiction and ungodly living have told me how they went online and got a ministers license. One woman told me she did it to perform the wedding ceremonies of her friends. A couple years ago, downtown, there was a day honoring all religions, where each religion displayed their costumes and demonstrated the dances and rituals that were part of their worship to their gods. A public display of pagan worship. I only seen clips of it on the news but was so saddened to see how society wants us to embrace all “cultures”. This was the same thing King Abijah was talking about. Vs 10: “But as for us, the Lord is our God and we have not forsaken Him;…” Vs 11: …..“for we keep the command of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken Him.” Vs 12: “Now look, God Himself is our head”….. “do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper!” (I’m not putting the complete scriptures for the sake of space.)
Our God is the God of our forefathers and of this nation. This nation can rebel against Him all they want to, but they shall not prosper! We are standing firm in our decision to honor Him, to say He is our head! We will not be swayed, nor shall we forsake our belief in Him. Vs 12: “And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the Lord, and the priest sounded the trumpets.” In this season, it suddenly seems like the battle is both in front of us and behind us. Guess who the priests are? We are! I Peter 2:9 says we are a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation… that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Stand firm saints! Cry out to the Lord! Proclaim His praises! It doesn’t matter what the battle looks like. In verse 15, it tells us the men of Judah gave a shout and as they shouted “it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.” Vs 16, “…and God delivered them into their hand.”
The word the Lord gave me about this was “in an unprecedented move.” That phrase keeps coming to me. He moved for them in an unprecedented move, just as He is going to move for us in this season in an unprecedented move. Get out your victory shoes and give the Lord a shout! Vs 18: “Thus the children of Israel were subdued at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed because they relied on the Lord God of their fathers.” Imagine the United States of America becoming subdued under the hand of Almighty God and the church prevailing. Can it happen? Do we serve the same God that Abijah served and the founding fathers of this nation? Is the Word of God true? Absolutely, Absolutely, Absolutely!!! Hold on through the shaking. Take your eyes off the chaos. Do not be discouraged if it looks like we’re surrounded because the God Who created all things can never be surrounded or outnumbered. He is the One we put our trust in. He is the One we look to for our deliverance. He is our Provider. He is our Deliverer. He is the One who made trees for the healing of nations. (Why did He do that if nations can’t be healed?) It is still His will that none should perish. He is still the author and the finisher of our faith.
Some ministry news: I’ve started working part-time and volunteering part-time at a women’s shelter. For 15 hours a week, 5pm-10pm, I get paid less than minimum wage, & the rest of the things I do for them during the day: taking them to appointments, the store, laundry mat, parole/probation, or to another town if that’s what their situation calls for, are on my own time; but my time is the Lord’s, so it’s all even in the end. There are a lot of challenges but it’s also very rewarding. Unique opportunities come up at very unexpected moments to share the love of the Lord with them. A lot of people have no idea how valuable and precious they are to the Lord until we tell them. The only reason I share my hourly wage, is because the money has to be irrelevant when the Lord sends you. Be encouraged if a door opens and the money is not an amount that looks favorable, the Lord will meet all your needs. The way He will enrich your life will be beyond anything you could have hoped for.
May God fill you with awe & wonder as He reveals Himself to you in ways you never expected.
Have a blessed Christmas as you rejoice over the reasons we celebrate Him!
Your Sister in Jesus!