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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bird in flight (photo by Doris High)
Doris High captured this bird in flight departing the feeder.

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"Boring Genealogies? (Part 1)"

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

I have a number of friends who have impressive family trees.  They can trace their family roots back to an ancient country and have particular family members who would be familiar to most of us.  Of course, it's more interesting if you're a member of that family lineage!

I am preaching a series of messages titled "Boring Genealogies". The title may seem a bit disrespectful or even irreverent. After all, the entire Bible, including the genealogies is inspired by God. Yet many of us would admit the genealogies are not among the more exciting or necessarily edifying portions of the Bible and it's tempting to skim over them, particularly the longest in 1 Chronicles 1-9!

The genealogies of Christ are found in both Matthew and Luke in the context of the Christmas stories. Matthew's Gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus going back to Abraham. On the other hand Luke begins with Adam and shows the line all the way to Jesus.

The genealogies firmly place Jesus Christ in history. He is not a fictional phantom who appears out of nowhere. Many of the names in His genealogy can be studied in the Old Testament.

Matthew's genealogy of Jesus Christ begins with the summary in the first daily text prior to filling in the detail: "The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham." In doing so Matthew mentions the two most significant names in our Lord's human genealogy; Abraham and David.

As you know, 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's birth. 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 descendant of both Abraham and David. Today let us consider Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation and all who have faith in the true God.

AbrahamAbraham 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 action packed 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, we consider with deep gratitude our endless blessings as we are among "all peoples on earth" 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 Messiah. He is our Emmanuel, God with us, who has redeemed us from the pit of despair in this life and eternal damnation in the life to come. He will guide us through the dark and difficult places and set our feet upon a firm foundation to stay the course and sustain us on life's path. Thank You for Your endless mercies.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 1-9  The longest genealogical portion in the Bible!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"Father Abraham"  Video
 Sung by children!  Once you learn this song you never forget it.  See here.  I have a feeling these "boys" went to church when they were little!  I also think the chaplain was trying to get a message across when the video abruptly ends!

"Born In Bethlehem"  Video  Third Day

Today's header photo was taken by our friend Doris High, who is one of the most prolific photographers we know! She has an interesting photo collection here from which I saw today's photo.

Brooksyne's Note:  Yesterday in our message we referred to the poem, "My First Christmas In Heaven".  We received several requests for copies of that poem which we are making available today.  We pray especially for those who are going through the holidays for the first time without their loved one present.  May this poem bring special joy to your heart as it is written from the perspective of one now experiencing the indescribable joys of heaven. We prepared this page following the death of Stephen's Mom in 2005.

Resources for Christmas Celebrations

It is our desire to share online resources that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season. We will continue to post these resources through Christmas Day. As we find additional material that we believe will be a blessing we will add it to this list.

Christmas Memories  Here's a collection of Christmas memories sent in by daily encouragement readers several years ago, along with an opportunity to share your own story. 

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services many years.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.  This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.  

Christmas Knowledge Test

have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).

re you Christmas shopping online?

Christianbook.comDaily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com. Any orders placed to Christian Book Distributers using this link or any specific product link to a recommended resource in a daily encouragement message will help our Daily Encouragement ministry through a small commission on the sale. Thank you for considering using these links when purchasing online through CBD! Tip: If you are regular CBD customer consider bookmarking this link and using it whenever you shop.

Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your parents?  
Here's an idea!  "The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents"

Looking for a very special Christmas gift for your children?
Here's an idea!  "The Blessing"

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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