Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rewriting Your Story

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, 7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, 8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, 9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, 15 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Matthew 1:1-16 NIV
This is the story about redemption. God is the God of second chances. Normally I would just skim or hurry past my readings in the bible where it lists genealogy. Today when I was reading I took my time and even though I know that God is the Redeemer, this time it hit a little closer to my heart.

Tamar, out of desperation, became pregnant by posing as a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law, in order to conceive, to continue the family line. Rahab was the harlot in Jericho who hid the two spies from Joshua’s camp. Then there was Ruth, another “outsider” who honored her mother-in-law, by following her back to her home country after both of their husbands’ death. She stayed close to Naomi instead and worked to provide for her. Solomon’s mom, Bathsheba the wife of Uriah, had slept with King David while married to Uriah. After Uriah was killed in battle, she married King David but there was already a history of a child conceived out of the affair and then lost to a miscarriage. Then last but not least, Mary, the young girl, who was betrothed to marry Joseph, who was still a virgin yet became pregnant with Jesus, the son of God.  Joseph stepped up when he could have discarded her, after all if your fiancĂ© got pregnant and you hadn’t slept with her that would be a deal breaker! Yet he obeyed God (and he loved Mary), and became the step-dad to Jesus. What do these women all have in common?
They were all “outsiders or outcasts” and yet they are all listed in the genealogy of Jesus, son of God. Some of these women would be labeled as damaged goods or throw always, even today, they would be whispered about or plastered on Facebook, because of a few bad decisions or even perhaps just because of a bad family situation. Did they have a history? Absolutely. Did that part of their history just go away? No, but instead their stories of tragedy were turned into stories of redemption and grace.

You see, God wants us to know that there is no one excluded in His offer of salvation and grace. He didn’t just accept these women as a package deal, in dying for everyone on the cross, but He gave them a place of honor. Jesus wants to do the same thing for you. Do you have a history? Everyone has a history. Have you ever made a bad decision? Everyone has made a bad decision at some time in their life. Perhaps you are a victim of circumstance like Tamar or Bathsheba, it doesn’t matter who your family is or what they have done that won’t discount you in God’s eyes.
I have great news for you! Jesus’s offer of salvation, mercy and grace is available for anyone and everyone! Jesus is the Restorer! He can take prostitutes, harlots, the lost, broken and anyone who has made a bad decision or decisions and make their story a story of redemption. The first step is telling him your story, your mess-ups and saying you are sorry, making Him, Lord of your life. Then your story of Redemption has begun! One day you can tell others of your history and how Jesus took a tragedy and turned it into an amazing story of restoration and your story will give them hope for their situation and future.

I'm thankful that my story was rewritten and I now have a happy ending because of Jesus.