As I was reading the first few chapters of Matthew I was struck by how God moves through time, sometimes LOTS of time, to accomplish his purposes. I was especially interested in the lineage of Christ. Throughout the lineage of Christ, we see the passing of a faith from generation to generation. Through all of Israel’s ups and downs, there were people who took to heart God’s command in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 to pass on the commandments of the Lord. Take a moment and think about your own lineage of faith.
1. Who were/are the people in your life who have passed on the knowledge of God to you? In what ways has your faith been passed down to you through the generations? In what ways are you passing your faith onto future generations?
Some of us come from a long line of faithful witnesses who lovingly and steadfastly passed down their faith. And yet for others of us, that faith was something we had to seek out on our own outside of our family tree. If you look back at some of the names in Christ’s lineage, you will find some pretty nasty fellows who, according to the books of 1st and 2nd Kings, “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” And yet, God was able to bring Christ to us through them, in spite of their determination to turn from God. In the opening chapters of Matthew we see God’s master plan coming together in some very unexpected ways. As Priscilla Shirer states, God goes “BEYOND the beyond” in working out his master plan!
2. How has God surprised you in his plans for your life? In what unexpected ways have you seen God working to bring about his goodness?
Finally, in chapter 4 of Matthew we see God’s proclamation at Christ’s baptism, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” In this moment, we see an innocent Jesus taking on the sin of humanity–becoming the substitute sin offering for us. He knows how this all will end, and yet he is willing to take that first step which will ultimately lead to the cross. And taking that step of devotion and obedience pleases God, for that is what God desires from each of us.
3. What steps do you take in your own life to show your devotion and obedience to God? Have you felt God saying to you, “This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased?” If the answer to that question is no, then take a moment today to give yourself that affirmation. Because it is true. You are God’s daughter, and God is pleased with you.
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. Deuteronomy 8:6
Blessings and Peace,