Monday, December 9, 2013

Day 4: Luke 2:4

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. -Luke 2:4

The life of Jesus Christ fulfilled many of the prophecies given to the Jewish people.  These prophecies often told the Jews that they should put their hope in a Messiah that was to come to them, who would save their people and restore Israel.  Jesus' birth is foretold in these prophesies and many of the details around his birth are given to show that this is the Messiah God promised the Hebrew people.

One such prophecy that was fulfilled by Jesus' birth is given in 2 Samuel 7:16 during a revelation God is giving to Nathan, who is then to go and share this revelation with David.  Nathan is to tell David, "Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever."  How else would David's kingdom and throne be established forever without one who lives forever being in that lineage?  

Here in Luke 2:4 it is noted that Joseph was in the line of David and in Matthew 1, it goes as far as to show the entire lineage of Jesus, from Abraham, through David, to Joseph and then Jesus.  This is something Joseph obviously knew, since he knew he needed to go back to Bethlehem to register for the census, but seeing as how he was a simple, poor carpenter, his lineage had little influence in his day to day life, or so he thought until the angel of the Lord came to him and announced his soon to be wife was pregnant with the Son of God.

Today, access to information about our lineage is easier to obtain than ever before.  Not only are there extensive birth records, but it is even possible to see pictures of our ancestors who lived 150+ years ago.  We have a working knowledge of DNA and are beginning to understand how we are hard wired to have certain traits and characteristics simply because similar copies of DNA have been handed down through families.  And as more and more information about people is being recorded and passed on, we can sometimes get a glimpse into the personalities and values of those who have gone before us.  Even though this information is often interesting, it doesn't have much impact on most of us...or does it?

Today, start off praying that God reveals to you any connections or associations between you and your ancestors that may give you insight into the person you are today.  Then, take some time to think about or look at your ancestors and try to discern where your lineage may be impacting your life.  Do you have similar personalities?  Do you struggle with the same issues?  Are you repeating similar patterns in your life that they experienced in theirs?  Are there health issues that you may share?  The Bible talks about generational sin and how the same sin can impact 3-4 generations or more in a family.  Are there any generational sins, such as alcoholism, adultery, greed, etc. that you should address?  

Regardless of what you find, remind yourself that you are also part of the royal lineage of our Lord.  If you have become a Christian, you are now an adopted son or daughter into that family.  What responsibilities and characteristics come with being part of God's royal family?  Which lineage is more important to you, your earthly lineage or your spiritual lineage you are now a part of?  Then decide one one area where you can create a stronger bond to your spiritual lineage.

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