Matthew 1:18-25 – Jesus Conceived

Read Matthew 1:18-25

We can only begin to imagine the conversations that went on between Joseph and Mary. It’s easy for us to put our own present-day slant on the situation as well. To remember the culture of the day is also helpful. What if you had been Joseph? To find out that your bride-to-be was “knocked up” may have been enough to just walk away, be heartbroken, be furious, be confused, etc. But what was Joseph? Righteous.

Joseph wanted to be right with God. In that day, you’d even have to “divorce” before marriage. The engagement period was a much bigger deal than it is today. Joseph wanted to avoid a scandal and do this discreetly. He must have loved Mary very much to spare her that embarrassment.

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Matthew 1:1-17 – Jesus’ Ancestors

Read Matthew 1:1-17

The Gospel of Matthew begins with a genealogy running from Abraham to Jesus. It was interesting to see all the names and realize that only a handful of them are used in our country. I’d be curious to know how many of these names are still used in the Middle Eastern countries nearer the events of the New Testament.

I do know from Bible studies that a name in those ancient times would be very significant. The meaning of one’s name would give them their identity or speak of their character. Names these days are usually chosen because the parents like them, or they are a family name they want to keep alive, or perhaps they are just being creative in using words not commonly used as names.

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Exodus 40:1-38 – It is Completed (For Now)

Read Exodus 40:1-38

The earthly tabernacle is now complete. Moses has erected what has been constructed from what was given. It is finished on the first day of the new year. God’s timing was again perfect. The book of Exodus now ends with great promise and hope. The people wanted to know that God was with them. His presence is now obvious as a visible reminder in the cloud.

Despite their wayward hearts and rebellious ways, God still loves the Israelites. He wants to give them every opportunity for success. He wants that for us, too. These verses also give us a good role model to follow. Moses continually did everything “just as the Lord had commanded him.” You can’t go wrong when you do that. We get in trouble when we try to be God or do things our way and not God’s way.

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Exodus 36:8-39:43 – Building God’s Plan

Read Exodus 36:8-39:43

This was a long reading today. I could have shortened it, but then we’d have a lot of the same over the next number of days. I usually read a passage and let it soak in to see what comes to me. I love that Scripture is alive and speaks to me. Today, I’m still figuring out the message. So if I ramble, I’m sorry.

What I can say is how very impressed I was by Bezalel. He was sure talented and gifted. Is there anything he can’t do? And this was not in the current day with all the fancy tools we have available. What were your impressions of him? I wondered how long it took for all of the construction. I imagine all of this was constructed over a number of weeks and months, maybe years. Just as soon as it seemed Bezalel was done with one project, there was more.

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Exodus 35:25-36:7 – It Takes a Village

Read Exodus 35:25-36:7

We’ve heard the phrase, “it takes a village” as it refers to how important it is to be in community with others. We all have something to give. God made us that way. Projects often don’t get completed without everyone pitching in.

God didn’t design us to be alone but to be surrounded by others who love, support, and help us. We are that support to others and sometimes don’t even realize it. When we act out God’s calling on our lives, we are more than likely helping someone with their “village.” When we get involved with projects at church and share our time and experience, we are definitely being part of a “village.”

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