Take up your cross…


And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
Mark 8:34‭-‬35 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mrk.8.34-35.KJV

Lord, I will praise You!


And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord , I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord , call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord ; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
Isaiah 12:1‭-‬6 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/isa.12.1-6.KJV

Time…


Time is something which most of us think we have plenty of but truly we are deceiving ourselves. The ruler of time Who is God knows how much of it each of us has. Some of us have many days or weeks or even years, others may only have minutes or hours. But we are not given a card or a manual expressing how much time each of us has available to us…that information is known only to God Himself.

 

Your time may be long and full of life and happiness while another person is racked with the pain of diseases or some other malady. Some of us are blessed to be living in a place where there is enough food for everyone and some are not. It isn’t some lottery or drawing which has placed us in these circumstances although some people call it “fate”. I don’t believe in “fate” but I do believe in God. It is His pleasure to give to each of us a measure of grace and rewards in this life. Some of us are rewarded with more and some with less, at least as the world measures these “rewards”.

Many times I have seen these rewards cause heartache and pain in the lives of those who have much of them and in the lives of those who barely have enough the same pains happen as well. It is hard to distinguish which people truly enjoy their wealth or their poverty. Sometimes the amount of “reward” doesn’t really make much difference in a person’s life since some with much “wealth” experience cancers and heartache and some with barely enough suffer through it but their life is blessed in other ways besides that which “wealth” can bring.

One thing which money, power, prestige or fame cannot purchase for you is more time. Make the best of what you have and those you love because we are not guaranteed a certain number of days or years, so treasure the time which you have with them. Once a minute is gone it will never come again. There was a wise saying once, by whom I don’t know for sure but it went something like this: You cannot touch a river in the same spot more than once.

It is the same with time. Every second which passes by is gone so make the best of the time that you have.

The women in Jesus’ family line


Matthew 1:1 and following:

Berean Literal Bible
The Genealogy of Jesus
(Ruth 4:18-22; Luke 3:23-38)

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
2 Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Judah and his brothers.
3 And Judah begat Perez and Zerah out of Tamar, and Perez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram. 4 And Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon. 5 And Salmon begat Boaz out of Rahab, and Boaz begat Obed out of Ruth, and Obed begat Jesse, 6 and Jesse begat David the king.
Next:
David begat Solomon, out of the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon begat Rehoboam, and Rehoboam begat Abijah, and Abijah begat Asa. 8 And Asa begat Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat begat Joram, and Joram begat Uzziah. 9 And Uzziah begat Jotham, and Jotham begat Ahaz, and Ahaz begat Hezekiah. 10 And Hezekiah begat Manasseh, and Manasseh begat Amos, and Amos begat Josiah, 11 and Josiah begat Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the carrying away to Babylon.
12 And after the carrying away to Babylon: Jechoniah begat Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begat Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel begat Abiud, and Abiud begat Eliakim, and Eliakim begat Azor.
14 And Azor begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Achim, and Achim begat Eliud. 15 And Eliud begat Eleazar, and Eleazar begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Jacob, 16 And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, the One being called Christ.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David until the carrying away to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

Of the different women in the lineage of Jesus, there was at least one who “played” at being a harlot and one which was a harlot and two Gentiles, Rahab and Ruth, and one pregnancy outside of wedlock (of the Holy Spirit). Why did God use these women in the lineage of David and Jesus? Mainly to show His compassion and His redemption of those who needed it and because it suited God to do so.

We cannot know the mind or the thoughts of God in His choosing of the women who would be in the bloodline of His Son, but He can use anyone to bring about His purposes. Even a small church in Coxburg, MS. A word or something which is done that people may associate with your faith in Jesus can make a big difference in someone’s life.

You may not see it while you live, but one day in heaven you will see someone who tells you that a word or a deed influenced them to seek out Jesus as their Savior. Even the life of your children or grandchildren may be touched by something that you do or say. God can use a murderer or an apostle or a child in His service just as well as He can use a preacher or a teacher. In God’s Kingdom, all of us are equal to the task which He gives us to do because He will give each of us the talents and abilities needed to do His will.

Whether we possess those qualities in this life or in the next one will be up to Him alone. But He will make us equal to the task which needs to be done regardless of its complexity or its ease. God can use any person or situation to extend His favor or His compassion toward those which we come in contact with each and every day that we live according to His purposes. This is why there are some unusual people in the lineage of Jesus, prostitutes, Gentiles, men who have not always followed God’s will or purpose in their lives but God used each of them for His purpose regardless of their shortcomings.

Even the men which Jesus called to be His disciples were ordinary men. They were not priests or of the “ruling class”. They were fishermen, mostly, and each of them was used in a specific way to take His message to those who needed to hear it. Each of the disciples had a gift or a way to teach which would bring the message of God to those who would listen and hear it with their spiritual ears and not just hear it and walk away as many do today. So, the women and men in the lineage of Jesus were all part of God’s plan and purpose for the world and for the message which He would bring to the world.