The Women of Christmas
The Women of Christmas
by Sharon Jaynes
Girlfriends in God Devotional
"Surely the arm of the Lord is not to short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear" (Isaiah 59:1 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When the writers of the Old Testament penned the words to the long lists of lineages, the so-and-so begat so-and-so's, they always listed the males. Nary a time do you find a woman's name in the list. But when we turn the page from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we see God honoring women in a brand new way. Even in the lineage of Jesus recorded in Matthew chapter one, we see four women in addition to Mary in the list! For that time in history, that was quite radical!
Now, if you were going to be part of this liberating radical movement to recognize women in the Holy Scriptures, whom would you pick? Oh, I'd probably include Mrs. Noah. She had to be a very patient, submissive wife to be able to put up with all those animals and Noah's wild ideas.
Or perhaps I'd pick Mrs. Moses. Zipporah must have been a very godly woman to allow her husband to travel about in the dessert for all those years. And besides, any woman who has a husband in leadership knows the sacrifices she must have made.
Or perhaps I'd pick Sarah. After all, she did bear a child when she was ninety.
But no. Those are not the women that God chose to be listed in the lineage of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He chose Rahab - a redeemed woman who had been a prostitute before she joined the children of God. He chose Tamar - who had an incestuous relationship with her father-in-law. He chose Bathsheba - who had an affair with King David and bore a son. And He chose Ruth - a woman from a cursed nation.
Oh friend, do you see it? I am so glad that these are the women that God chose. Through these women we see there is no place so far from God that He cannot save us, redeem us, and ultimately use us for His glory. His arm is not too short to save us from the deepest pit imaginable. That was true for those four women, and it is true for you and me. That, dear one, is the story of Christmas.
Dear Heavenly Redeemer, I am so thankful that you choose the weak things of the world to shame the wise. I am one of those "weak things" and I am constantly amazed that You chose me and use me for Your glory. Praise You, Lord.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Over the next few days, go back and read the stories of the women listed in Jesus' genealogy and see what you can learn about their lives.
Rahab: Joshua 2
Tamar: Genesis 38:1-30
Bathsheba: 2 Samuel 11
After reading about them, answer these questions. What did God take them from? What did God take them to?
What does this tell you about the people that God can use?
Girlfriends in God
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Eternal Security: Can We Be Sure?
Dr. Charles Stanley
1 John 5:1-13
Our loving heavenly Father wants us to know with certainty that we have eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ. What assurances do we have that we are permanently secure?
God's love. One reason that we can be sure of unending salvation is our heavenly Father's unconditional love. At the cross, He demonstrated just how much we mean to Him: He sent His Son to die so that we might have eternal life. (1 John 4:9-10).
Christ's life and death. Because Jesus was without sin, He qualified to serve as our substitute and take our place on the cross. By dying for us, He paid for all our sins and finished the work necessary to secure our salvation (John 19:30).
Jesus' promise. We have our Lord's assurance that we will spend eternity with Him. He promised that we can never be separated from Him and that no one can snatch us from His hand (John 10:28). He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us and will return to bring us there (John 14:2-3).
The Indwelling Holy Spirit. Another assurance of eternal security is the presence of God's Spirit within each believer. The Holy Spirit acts as a seal, guaranteeing that we belong to the Lord and serving as a pledge of our future in heaven with Him (2 Cor. 1:21-22).
The Bible is filled with God's promises that those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior will spend eternity with Him. If you struggle with doubt, meditate on the Scriptures, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into scriptural understanding about your salvation.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
By SIMPLY DIVINE LOVE on Thursday, December 09, 2010