January 2, 2012

THERE IS CRAZY . . . AND THERE IS PLAIN CRAZY.

Matthew 1

Todd Wagner
Monday's Devo

January 2, 2012

Monday's Devo

January 2, 2012

Central Truth

God has long been in the business of doing things and calling His people to do things that only make sense if the womb of Mary was full of divine life, if the tomb of Christ was empty of her divine son, and if eternity is filled with divine promise.

Key Verse | Matthew 1:24

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:24)

Matthew 1

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

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, 1 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, 2 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, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, 3 and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, 4 and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

17 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.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ 5 took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed 6 to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23  “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Footnotes

[1] 1:3 Greek Aram; also verse 4
[2] 1:7 Asaph is probably an alternate spelling of Asa; some manuscripts Asa; also verse 8
[3] 1:10 Amos is probably an alternate spelling of Amon; some manuscripts Amon; twice in this verse
[4] 1:12 Greek Salathiel; twice in this verse
[5] 1:18 Some manuscripts of the Christ
[6] 1:18 That is, legally pledged to be married

Monday, 2 January | Matthew 1

Crazy. Not a bad word to describe some of the things found in Matthew 1.

God's family tree. (Matthew 1:1-17)
Crazy that we have it and crazy who is in it. Prostitutes, murderers, foreigners, liars, fools, adulterers, rebels, hedonists (and that is just on His "stepfather's" side). Crazy.

God becomes a man. (Matthew 1:18-23)
Crazy how He did it, and crazy why He did it. Prostitutes, murderers, adulterers, fools, hedonists . . . "He came to save His people from sin." Crazy.

One man marries and doesn't . . . well, let's just say he doesn't act like he is married for awhile. (Matthew 1:24-25)
Crazy to the point I need not elaborate. It was after all a virgin who gave birth.

God's radical act and Joseph's radical obedience led to our being radically blessed . . . and now it's your turn.

The Lord still calls His family to live and love in a way that doesn't make sense apart from Jesus being God. Check out 2 Corinthians 5:13-15: "[I]f we are beside ourselves [i.e. appear crazy], it is for God. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died . . . so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf."

Now it's your time to join a long line of people who have lived "crazy" lives in a way that produced crazy grace.

Don't miss YOUR chance -- that would be just plain crazy.

Discussion Questions

1. What is the "craziest thing you have ever done" because you believe that the womb of Mary was full of divine life, the tomb of Christ was empty of her divine son, and eternity is filled with divine promise?

2. When is the last time your obedience has been so radical that someone asked you why your life looks so "alien" to them? (1 Peter 2:11-12; 3:15-16)

3. Have you looked up 1 Peter 2:11-12 and 1 Peter 3:15-16 yet?

4. Pick up the phone, write a note, or text someone you know who has modeled radical/crazy obedience for you and encourage them today for spurring you on to love and good deeds.

5. What do you think it means in 2 Corinthians 5:13 when it says, if we are of sound mind, it is for you; and if we are beside ourselves, it is for God?

WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY

MATTHEW 1-5 (JANUARY 2-6)

Read Matthew 5:13-16.

What is salt used for? (seasoning, preserving & healing)
What is light used for?
How can you be like salt and light?

Activity: Pour a small amount of oil in a saucepan and heat it up. Then pour in popcorn kernels. Be sure to keep the pan moving so as not to burn the popcorn. Once all kernels have popped, split the popcorn between the paper sacks. Put salt into only bag and shake it up. Then have a taste test of the two bags.

Can you distinctly tell which one has salt on it? How? This is just how God wants us to be. Our lives should clearly reflect that we love and serve Him.

Next, get a flashlight and a dark towel and go into a room without windows (i.e. bathroom or closet). Turn off the light. Talk about the darkness and how it feels. Then turn on the flashlight. Talk about what the flashlight did to the room. Then cover it with the towel and refer back to verse 15. What does God want us to do with the truth of Jesus in our lives?

To shine your light, take some salted popcorn to your neighbors and invite them to church!