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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Maryland farmhouse
Farmhouse in Eastern Maryland.
(Note flagstone caps on chimneys.)

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"The Son of Abraham"

"Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1).  "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3).

Do you have any famous people in your genealogy? I recall my dad passing on to me that I am a descendent of Abram Clark, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. My dad's middle name was Clark and so is mine so that's a story I especially like to repeat, although I've never been able to verify it.

Brooksyne has native American blood, of Cherokee descent, but has very little information regarding her genealogical background. Her only memory of a famous contact through the family, certainly not a relative, was a story about Jesse James.  Her grandfather who lived in the hills of Arkansas had 200 acres where he often walked the well-marked trails.  He would guide family members and guests to a site where the infamous Jesse James' gang would hide from the law following their hold-ups and quick escapes.

The genealogy of Jesus Christ begins with the summary in the daily text. Now of course Jesus wasn't literally the son of David (who lived about 1,000 years before His birth). Nor was David literally the son of Abraham (who lived about 1,000 years before David). The detailed genealogy which follows fills in these gaps.

However this introductory summary is vitally important because it establishes that Jesus Christ had two descendents that figure in so powerfully in the Old Testament Messianic prophetical promises. Since Matthew was written primarily to the Jews this was a very important truth to establish. God had specifically promised that the Messiah would be a descendent of Abraham and David. In today's message I want to consider Abraham.

Abraham received a great promise during his original call; "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3). The apostolic preaching of the early church clearly identifies this as fulfilled in Christ (Acts 3:24-26). The apostle Paul in Galatians states that the Gospel was announced in advance to Abraham in this call. Galatians 3:9 states that, "those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham." Many readers will recall the old children's song, "Father Abraham had many sons. Many sons had father Abraham. And I am one of them and so are you. So let's praise the Lord…"

This promise was to "all peoples on earth."  Wherever you are reading this you are among the "all peoples"! Praise God! This is echoed in the angelic proclamation at the birth of Christ, who announced "good news of great joy that will be for all the people" (Luke 2:10). This Christmas season let us remember the tremendous blessings we all have as spiritual children of Abraham through the work of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ!

Be encouraged today!

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, I consider with deep gratitude my endless blessings as I am one of "all peoples on earth" who is transformed by the good news of great joy the angels delivered on that unforgettable night!  The Savior, yes, the Lord Jesus Christ who was born in Bethlehem, the city of David, is my Messiah.  He is my Emmanuel, God with me, who has redeemed me from the pit.  He will guide me through the dark and difficult places and set my feet upon a firm foundation to stay the course and sustain me on life's path.  Amen.

The last two days I joined a stone mason friend on the Eastern shore in Maryland for a masonry project. We did restoration work on the the chimneys of a pre-Civil war era farmhouse that had once been used on a large plantation that had slaves. In fact I slept in the slave's quarters!

Laborer on scaffold
I enjoyed the labor but I am sure sore all over this morning! We used the rope and pulley to pull materials up to the staging platform including huge pieces of solid flagstone for the chimney caps.

Chimney scaffolding
High scaffolding needed for front chimneys.  Jesse and his helper, Jeremy, worked on the top scaffolding.  Not me!  I have a fear, not of the height, but the edge!  I was content to take responsibility for the more "down to earth" jobs.

Winding steps to sleeping quarters
Steps down from our sleeping quarters.  One or more trips down these steps was enough to make one's head spin.

Maryland farm
The colorful farmhouses on the eastern shore in Maryland sit way back off the road surrounded by spacious farmland.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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