Living for Christ

August 2012 Daily Devotion Archive

August 19:
The Preliminaries of the King: Introduction

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham... - Matthew 1:1

To be a king in the Old Testament, there were high stakes! Kings faced family upheavals; brothers, cousins and male relatives thought if they could kill the king and/or his male children, they might succeed the king. The king's life was at a constant threat.

Over the next couple of months, we will take a close look at the book of Matthew. In the first chapter of Matthew, we see the genealogy of our Lord. There are many types of people who make up the genealogy of Jesus, as well as the family of God. We will look at just a few of these people over the next couple of days.



August 20:
The Preliminaries of the King: Jesus' Lineage

Abraham begot Isaac ... Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab. - Matthew 1:2a, 5a

Abraham the father of Isaac - Abraham and his wife knew they were both old and beyond having children, but God used them to have Isaac. Later, God tested Abraham. He wanted him to offer his only son, in death to Himself. When Abraham was about to kill his son, God spoke and it did not happen, but Abraham was about to, in faith. This is a foreshadow of what God did for us through His Son, Jesus, who did die on the cross for our sins.

Rahab and Salmon's son, Boaz - Rahab was a harlot in her day. This prostitute was saved from the destruction in Jericho by the three Israelite spies whom she hid in her home. And she became a member in the line of Jesus. This just goes to show us what kind of people God uses! This also demonstrates how God grafts us into his family.



August 21:
The Preliminaries of the King: Jesus' Lineage

Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. - Matthew 1:5-6

Ruth and Boaz's son Obed - Ruth and Boaz are a beautiful picture of God's redemption for us. How a girl after the loss of her husband clings to his God (the true God) and his mother. She abandons her family, homeland, and her false gods and placed her faith in God. And He provided for her a kinsman redeemer (a male relative, one who could protect the family or clan, who could redeem land or family in case of poverty). Boaz, a relative of Ruth's mother-in-law, acted as a redeemer by marrying Ruth. God is our kinsman redeemer! Jesus is referred to as our brother, and one who sticks closer than a brother!

Bathsheba and David's son Solomon - David sinned with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed so he would not find out that she had become pregnant with David's child. As punishment for what happened, God allowed their son to die. After this she became pregnant again and bore Solomon.



August 22:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. ... Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." - Matthew 2:1-4, 7-8

In the second chapter of Matthew, Herod asks, "Where is He who has been born?" What a wise question! To be wise is defined as having or showing good judgment, or deciding to bring to an end one's doubts by acting on a decision. Over the next three days, we will look at three different types of "wise men" found in this chapter of Matthew. Each is "wise" in a different way.



August 23:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. - Matthew 2:1-4

The first "wise man" is Harod. He is wise in the ways of the world; a ruthless fighter. Harod became king of Judea! He was politically wise, wise in economic growth. He was also socially wise, but his wisdom failed him along with his power later in life, when Harod became suspicious and unhappy. He finally was brought down by Christ when Christ was born, a little baby.

*** The Harods of today are: those who remove Christ in schools, politicians, people who are more comfortable pointing a finger to the problem rather than worshiping Christ. They will all be brought down by Christ! ***



August 24:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Wise Men

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. - Matthew 2:3-4

The second group of "wise men" is the chief priests. These were men who knew the laws and taught other people how to live. They could fluently quote the prophets. But they began to serve themselves; they knew the information, but had NO CLUE! The greatest event on earth was missed by them.

*** The chief priests of today who think they know all the answers are: psychics, the dead, cults (that is any group of people who denies Jesus is the Son of God and died on the cross to save the world). You know our greatest need was forgiveness; He sent a Savior. ***



August 25:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Wise Men

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the Magi, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. - Matthew 2:7-12

The third group of "wise men" is the Magi. These men were Greek astrologers. Many were seeking truth; those who sought Christ were brought by following a star. The Magi were the only ones who came to worship Jesus. The Magi sought out more truth than those who "claimed" to know Him.

*** These are the men Christ died for, those with honest and open hearts. *** Which wise man are you most like (Herod, the chief priests, or the Magi)?



August 26:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Baptism

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." - Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus' baptism fulfilled prophesies, by having John baptize Him, letting all know this is their Messiah! It also fulfilled the Father's Will. This began the ministry of our Lord. After His baptism, the Father identifies with His Son, and gives Him His support; verbally and with His Spirit.



August 27:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Battle

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. - Matthew 4:1

Tempted by the Devil - Tempted means "try to" or "to make proof of", entice, solicit or provoke to sin. Whenever the Devil is trying to tempt you, his objective is to turn you from God and to himself. He does this in many ways...some include: technologies, unsaved family or friends, lust for another or money (if you just can't get enough of it), getting and having the best of everything, never being content, jealousy, love of oneself more than others or God...you get the idea.

As it is Jesus has spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. After His baptism, He was taken there by the Holy Spirit to test His faith, and the test came by way of the Devil, the Devil planned to tempt Jesus to turn from God and turn to him. So, Jesus is tired, hungry, and thirsty.



August 28:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Battle

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." - Matthew 4:1-4

Temptation #1 - Jesus refused to conduct a miracle outside of the Father's will. He also knew that a man cannot live eternally on bread alone, for Jesus is the Bread of Life, who gives eternal life. We are to trust God, and Jesus sets us an example of how to combat Satan. Jesus quotes scripture. Deuteronomy 8:3 "...He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." Hunger could eventually kill you, but He will satisfy your soul, which will perish not. Why forfeit your soul?



August 29:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Battle

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, and, In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone." Jesus said to him, "It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God." - Matthew 4:5-7

Temptation #2 - Satan wanted Jesus to show His stuff and do a miracle! But Jesus wanted people to come to Him because of His righteous life and His message from God the Father. He wanted them to come to Him NOT because of what He could do for them now, but to come humbly, realizing they are a sinner in need of Him, in need of salvation, the eternal life that only He can give. Only He can save their soul, and He was not about to indulge the Devil just to make a scene. Again, Jesus quotes scripture!



August 30:
The Preliminaries of the King: The Battle

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve." Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. - Matthew 4:8-11

Temptation #3 - Jesus refused to conduct a miracle outside of the Father's will. He also knew that a man cannot live eternally on bread alone, for Jesus is the Bread of Life, who gives eternal life. We are to trust God, and Jesus sets us an example of how to combat Satan. Jesus quotes scripture. Deuteronomy 8:3 "...He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." Hunger could eventually kill you, but He will satisfy your soul, which will perish not. Why forfeit your soul?



August 31:
The Ten- Fold Message of "What Jesus Taught": Introduction

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying... - Matthew 5:1-2

This would be an awesome inaugural address!! These are the standards for all Christians. We can only achieve this with His help. Jesus is expressing throughout these messages how important it is for the believer to live in this way, and understand that their reward is not of this world. In verses one and two, we see that this is a sermon meant for the followers of Jesus, His disciples, but as we can see, the multitude went with them. But He sat with them and taught them all. Over the next few weeks, as we continue to go through the book of Matthew, we will work our way through Jesus' Sermon on the Mount from a different perspective.