What I Read This Morning;

Romans 1; Matthew 1; Jeremiah 44; Psalm 122; 1 Samuel 18

Matthew starts off with a genealogy of the line of the Messiah from David to Jesus.  Most people have a difficult time reading genealogies.  Let’s face it, their nothing but a list of names.  Reading them is quite dull.

But if we take a moment and dig in, we can find some hidden treasure in this list of names.  The first message I’d like to focus on today is that God can use us, no matter where we are from or what how bad are past is.  Secondly, God won’t allow his purpose to be thwarted by the foolish or downright evil things we do.

Several people in Jesus’ genealogy had less than stellar personnel lives.

Jacob was a deceiver and liar.

Judah sent his own brother into captivity for money.

Tamar pretended to be a prostitute and slept with her father in law Judah.

Rahab was a prostitute.

Ruth was from Moab, a race that Israel was forbidden to intermarry with.

Bathsheba committed adultery with King David.

David was a murderer and adulterer.

Solomon committed idolatry.

Despite their backgrounds or the sins they committed, God chose them to be a part of the line of Jesus.  God knows that each of us has a skeleton sitting in our closet.  God ignores those things and blesses us anyway.  That’s the grace and mercy of our God.

On the flip side of this discussion, God refuses to allow those who are intentionally evil to thwart his plans.

Rehoboam’s arrogance led to the split of the two kingdoms.

Manasseh was likely the evilest king in Judah’s history.  Described as one who spilled innocent blood.  He thumbed his nose at God and encouraged others to do evil.

Jeconiah refused to listen to Jeremiah, causing the destruction of Jerusalem and the slaughter of many.

God refused to allow the evil of our world to prevent him from bringing Jesus into the world.  His plan to save us from our sins was not dependent on our actions.

Today, we can take comfort in the fact that when we trip up and fall into sin, our salvation is not dependent on our actions.  Our salvation is dependent on Jesus’ work on the cross.  Our salvation is a gift from our merciful and loving God.

God can use sinners like you and me.  He wants to use each of us.  We don’t have to allow our guilt and shame to prevent us from serving him.  We don’t have to hide from a holy God.  God stands with his arms wide open, waiting for all of us to turn back to him!

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