If you were God and you came to earth to save the human family, wouldn't you want people to know you were here? The message of God, the ministry of God to planet earth, the human family...lay in a manger, helplessly; an infant who would be raised by a teenage, first-time mother.
Jesus came from a family to bring the human family into God's family. It's 2020, the year of the pandemic, chaos, racial tension, a disputed election, numbers rising...plus a million other things to take your mind off of what matters. God has come to make you His son or daughter, that you might enjoy the access of your inheritance.
What is God saying by opening up the New Testament with the genealogy of Jesus?
- God works in and through “broken” families - all families are broken to some degree
- Children matter to God - you aren’t raising children, your raising adults
- Christmas can change everything - Holy Spirit conceives Jesus in us and that can change everything, Jesus, the Son of God, came from a family to bring the human family into relationship with His Father and Jesus taught us to pray….”Our Father….”
Children matter here too. Not McDonalds. The most important thing happening on this campus each week.
Bethlehem, though you are small out of you something big is going to come. In Matthew Chapter 1, Matthew is writing to the Jews trying to prove Jesus is the Messiah, the King. This wouldn’t be some aristocratic, untouchable, blue blood Messiah. This would be God sending a Savior who would identify with the people, the common blue collar people.
The New Testament opens up with a sketchy list of people who all come from the same family, the Jewish lineage that promised the Messiah. It begins with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It includes David who we can identify with because he messed up, royally. Oddly, it lists three women. Tamar - a battered wife who, Rahab, the harlot, prostitute, and Bathsheba - the wife of Uriah, the woman who committed adultery with King David, of whom it would be said about Jesus who is the Root of Jesse, the father of David.
Why long lists of names in the Bible? People matter to God, He makes a promise/covenant to someone, and not matter how crooked the people may be, we see that God is faithful.
Big things or good things or, better yet, great things and people come from broken families. All great things start small. You have to be filled with Holy Spirit inspiration and sight to be able to see potential in all situations. God sees differently than we do. He works in sketchy ways, more sketchy than your ways and my ways. But, He is effective in His sketchiness.
Professionals are telling us that stress is at an all-time high. The American Psychological Association said, "We are facing a national mental health crisis." Meanwhile, almost everything in our culture, entertainment industry, and media is denying God, attacking God, and even blaspheming God. In the face of the world and its culture, it is more so than ever time to intentionally and purposely commit time to seek the Lord by clearing away the clutter and making time for God in your life.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8 ESV)
He rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking Him. (Hebrews 11:6 TPT)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
At Restoration Church, we are Vertical, Biblical, Spirit-Filled (but not crazy), Next Generation and Missions Minded.
In a transient community like Atlanta where no one is from here, etc., where people tend to like anonymity, stay connected on social media but not in real, life-giving relationships - you need to be planted, get roots. People who get planted and rooted in good soil, flourish, and become fruitful (still bearing fruit in old age). I share this today as we consider our current situation. God wants to be your king, your president. We want a good man or woman in the White House, but God works through all things, all kinds of people, in situations that no one else can bring good out of it God can IF HIS PEOPLE HAVE CROWNED HIM AS THEIR KING.
Why are so many pulpits and Christians silent today? Honestly, because spiritual leaders have become fearful and not courageous, spiritual leaders have become politicians themselves in trying to gather the largest group of followers they can gain. This has created a weakened church in America, a church with no identity and no clear Godview.
Jesus knew His disciples needed power...for the kingdom to expand while the Jews were under Roman oppression, in the face of great persecution, with common, ordinary, unschooled, uneducated, sketchy men...yeah, Jesus knew that they were going to need some power. The world is in need of a legislative church! Jesus said, I will build my church. Please notice that He says the way you know it is My church is that hell is not prevailing against it. The way we can know if our church is His church is...hell is losing and we’re winning.