My Entrance To Salvation

Good morning. It is (I almost said Monday!) Friday, January 2, 2015. 94 days until Opening Day.

Today’s Word of the Day is “musette:” 1.a. “Any of various kinds of small bagpipes; esp. a bellows-blown bagpipe of exquisite design, popular at the French court in the 17th and early 18th centuries.” b. “A type of small oboe without a reed-cap, originally developed from the chanter of a musette played without its bagpipe.” 2. “A pastoral piece of music typically having a drone in the bass part imitating the sound of the bagpipe; a dance performed to such music.” 3. “An organ stop consisting of reed pipes with conical resonators, used in French organs of the 17th and 18th centuries.” 4. “Chiefly U.S. A type of lightweight knapsack used esp. by soldiers and cyclists. More fully musette bag.”

Today is Science Fiction Day. That is very cool! I am grateful to my father for introducing me to the Science Fiction genre when I was a young boy. I was reading Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, and others at a pretty young age, as I recall. I have since branched out into fantasy and horror, as well, but still love a good science fiction book or movie.

Yesterday, we did as close to nothing all day as is possible, I think. We did finally watch The Polar Express, while we ate our “brunch.” It was a pretty good movie; very interesting. It was pretty intense at times, especially during the train ride.

Christi is fortunate to be off work today, but I have to go in. I’m not expecting a lot of work, though. I do hope we have enough to keep us busy until time to get off. While I would rather be home than at work, I’ve already lost close to four hours on this pay period. I guess I won’t complain if I get to come home early, though. 😀

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Heart Aflame)

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 1:3-6

The happiness of the one who follows God is not just some “evanescent and empty gladness.” Rather, the blessing of God keeps us in a “prosperous condition.” As children of God, we will “constantly flourish. They are always watered with the secret influences of divine grace, so that whatever may happen to them is conducive to their salvation.” While those who are “ungodly” might appear to have some fruit, in the end, their “fruit” will be blown away by the wind. It is possible that the Psalmist is warning us against the common possibility of envying the wicked and their apparent prosperity.

(From Knowing Jesus)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

Matthew 1:1-17
Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Luke 3:23-38

The title of today’s reading is “Jesus, the Son of Abraham and David.” The journey begins with the genealogy. Matthew begins his account with one, and Luke includes one after the birth story. Genealogies don’t excite a lot of people these days. My father has been steadily looking into the genealogy of both sides of our family for a long time, and this has gotten me interested in them, as well.

The people who initially read the writings of Matthew and Luke were looking for something more, however, than just family trees. They were asking important questions as the news about this Jesus began to spread around the known world. “Who was he? Where did he come from? What were his credentials?” The earliest followers of Jesus, as well as the initial hearers of the Gospel, were Jewish. It was important for the Gospel writers to establish the line of Jesus back to David and Abraham.

There are some interesting additions in Matthew’s genealogy. He mentions Rahab, the harlot, who rescued the Hebrew spies, subsequently saving her and her family during the destruction of Jericho. He mentions Ruth, the Gentile from Moab. He also sort of off-handedly mentions David’s sins by referring to him as the father of Solomon, “by the wife of Uriah.” These genealogies “show how God orchestrated events in the lives of people who were the ancestors of Jesus. . . . Jesus is one of us . . .”

“Thank you, Father, for showing me the humanity of Jesus in such an honest way. Thank you for substantiating his claim to be your promised Messiah, the son of David, and my Lord and Savior.”

Today’s reading from Solid Joys is “What Jesus Did to Death.”

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28

“The death of Jesus bears sins. This is the very heart of Christianity and the heart of the gospel and the heart of God’s great work of redemption in the world. When Christ died he bore sins. He took sins not his own. He suffered for sins that others had done, so that they could be free from sins.”

That is the answer to the greatest problem of life, whether we realize that this is the greatest problem of our lives or not. We can get right with God, even though we are sinners, still. Jesus Christ was “offered once to bear the sins of many.”

What does this say about my own death? “My death is no longer a punishment for sin.” It cannot be, can it? For Christ has taken away that punishment! So why must I die? “Because God wills that death remain in the world, even among his own children, as an abiding testimony to the extreme horror of sin. In our dying we still manifest the external effects of sin in the world.” But now, because of Christ, this death is not a demonstration of God’s wrath against me, for “there is, therefore, now, no condemnation.” Death is my entrance into salvation.

Father, while I do not, most certainly, look forward to death (neither mine, nor my loved ones’), I do look forward to that “entrance to salvation.” I long for the day when I will meet my Savior face to face. In fact, the only real connection that I still have in this life is family. There is nothing in this life that I would miss if I were called home today. However, I know that it would be a hardship to some, if I were not here. For that reason, alone, I pray for this life to carry on. That sounds a lot more overly pious than I mean for it to. I also realize that I have absolutely nothing to say about how long I am on the earth. I am confident that I will be here until my work is done. I just pray that you make this “work” evident, and that you empower me by grace and the Holy Spirit to faithfully do that work.

I thank you for the work of Christ, that bore my sins, along with the sins of many, that we might not have to face your wrath and condemnation. I thank you for the words of the Psalmist, words that assure me that the apparent prosperity of the wicked will not be permanent, and that my own “prosperity,” brought on by your grace and mercy in my life, will be eternal! Thank you for those assurances, Father.

Now, as I go forward into this day of work, I pray for safe travel to and from the job. I pray for a smooth day at work, and I pray that I will be able to faithfully love you, follow Christ, and share the Kingdom. May my countenance and attitude show your grace today, in all circumstances. I pray that Christi will enjoy her day off work, and I pray that you will show Stephanie your steadfast love and mercy today.

What do you see death as? Punishment? Or the portal to a better place, a place of eternal life and salvation?

Grace and peace, friends.

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