“So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23 NKJV
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Matthew chapter 1 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
1 The book of the genealogy[a] of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:
2 Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4 Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king.
David the king begot Solomon by her [b]who had been the wife of Uriah. 7 Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot [c]Asa. 8 Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. 9 Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot [d]Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. 11 Josiah begot [e]Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon.
12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. 14 Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. 15 Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. 16 And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
Christ Born of Mary
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being [f]a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is [g]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [h]Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and [i]did not know her till she had brought forth her[j] firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
- Matthew 1:1 Lit. generation
- Matthew 1:6 Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Greek.
- Matthew 1:7 NU Asaph
- Matthew 1:10 NU Amos
- Matthew 1:11 Or Coniah or Jehoiachin
- Matthew 1:19 an upright
- Matthew 1:20 Lit. begotten
- Matthew 1:21 Lit. Savior
- Matthew 1:25 Kept her a virgin
- Matthew 1:25 NU a Son
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Numbers 23:19– “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
We start this year with the greatest gift ever – the gift of Jesus Christ!
I reviewed the Old Testament stories associated with the genealogy of Christ. That was a lot more than I anticipated and I am not going to lay all of that out for you – it spans the entire Old Testament.
But as we get to Mary and Joseph we can look back to Isaiah:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14 NKJV
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV
Give and receive stands out to me. It is the bones of the gospel. God loves us so much that He gave his son to pay the price for our sins so we can clean up (get right with God) and restore the ability to have a relationship with Him. So we need to receive. Then we give all back to God out of our growing love for Him, giving obedience and submission.
There is always faith – you have to believe this stuff. And ironically, people receive Christ without having enough faith to believe it all. It is beautiful! And hopefully their faith grows.
But what if you believe it and asked to receive – but you do not know how to receive?
I this thought came to me a week or so before the New Year and it keeps mulling around in my head. Why don’t some people receive? Are our receiver’s broken? They ask for the promises and the blessings, they ask for the goodness, they ask for the healings – but they do not seem to know how to receive it.
And I am not talking about those whose blessings have been delayed until later or those under attack. I am talking about the little old lady from church who has been praying for healing since her children were children and now she has adult grandchildren older than she was when she first started asking for healing. Why isn’t she healed? Why can’t she receive it?
Mary, when the angel came to her (in Luke chapter 1 starting in verse 30), had to receive the words and the blessing and the baby – she needed to receive.
I came up with 3 reasons someone can’t receive – based on the things I have seen the last few days – meaning this is NOT an exhaustive list and not taken from a passage of scripture, although there are plenty of scriptures to back up these ideas.
One is not submitted areas of your life. And to use a silly sounding example – let us say that we ask Jesus to come live with us but he cannot open the one closet, because it is full of Halloween decorations and spiders and witches and evil things. And Jesus agrees, because he never forces himself on anyone. Then we say to Jesus, I heard you came with healing – where is that healing? And he says, you didn’t receive it because I needed a closet to put it in and I made you with a closet for it – but you would rather keep your Halloween stuff there. You see, it may not be just healing we are missing out on – we could be missing unmeasurable blessings, all because they belong in an area of our life that we haven’t surrendered. (Verses to consider: Mat. 16:24, Proverbs 3:5-6, and all of Joshua chapter 24 along with every story where God asks for all of us, committed fully to him.)
Another thing that prohibits receiving is doubt. That little old lady I mentioned earlier? I know that is a stereotype at many churches and in the stereotype – Even I doubt there will be healing. They can call in any of the great faith healers and the blind woman on her left will see and the deaf person on her right will hear and the lame behind her will be up dancing and the oppressed in front of her will be delivered – but she will refuse to receive it and say – “look! Jesus can’t heal me.”
A real healing feels like real love, with responsibility and decision. Pity feels like love, but doesn’t have responsibility of decision!! Doubt turns into a pity party and pity becomes a replacement for powerful transforming love. (Verses to consider: Proverbs 3:5-8, Mark 11:23, Isaiah 41:10, and Jeremiah 29:12-13)
And finally, for today at least, maybe you did not realize you needed to ask for it and accept it. It is so simple, it is easily overlooked. God has let me, recently, go through a spell of neediness – well, since I started this blog there has actually been a lot of that. So I learned to be less prideful, so I learned to be more dependent on him and so I learn to receive. And with that came a lesson in giving as well…. Like when I went to the food pantry for food. Take a box and keep moving. It doesn’t matter if you want it, or if you are allergic to it, or if you hate it, you get a prepacked box and then you must move out of the way, leave! Then the line goes to the next parking lot and they sort the food. All the receivers sort it. I was embarrassed to even have to need it and I did not want to prolong the experience but my car had broken down and I was at the mercy of these seasoned food pantry recipients. To my surprise they gave each other the food they didn’t want and received the food they did or none, it did not matter, because it was better to give it to someone who will use it than waste it. They truly knew how to give in need and receive whatever was available to them – I felt like I was the only one there with any greed and they challenged me to let that go. I offered up my food. Then I received more food, because people did not know how to cook of prepare some of it. So, I find myself cooking and giving food to others. (No one trusts my pork chili any more – although it taste fine, they hate that it is made from scary canned pork.)
It is the simple things I always overlook and forget about. I can spend hours in prayer asking for things for other and lifting people up to God, and telling God all my troubles and telling Him how much I need Him and rely on Him… But do I always remember to actually ask for help? No – I forget. DO I ask for the blessing and promises – no I just remind him they are there. Do I surrender and give them to God to handle – no I hang on and keep talking about them. Sometimes we don’t have help, because we did not even ask let alone accept it!
I should always mention that there is pride. God hate’s pride. Hates – so if pride is the issue, maybe you are receiving because he isn’t giving!
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2 ESV
“One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” Prov. 29:23 ESV
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 ESV
Action – give all to God, surrender all, fight off doubt, ask, and remember to HUMBLY receive! Draw closer to God and He will draw closer to you!
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!