Lessons Of A Lifetime

LOOKING BENEATH THE SURFACE
OR
POSITIVELY IMPACTING FUTURE GENERATIONS
SUNDAY FEB. 4, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazor, Eleazor begot Mattham, and Mattham begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called the Christ.”

“So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” Matthew 1.12-17

Something To Consider:
Matthew wrote his gospel from a Jewish perspective. Even though Joseph was not the father of Jesus by blood, it was important to show Joseph’s lineage going back to King David, and to Abraham who was considered the father of the Jewish nation. It appears important enough for God to have inspired Matthew to include Joseph’s genealogy in his gospel.

Therefore there must be lessons of a lifetime to be learned by those willing to look beneath the surface. Leaders in training must learn to look beneath the surface of people, problems, and pre-conceived ideas, if they are to become effective and successful leaders who will positively impact future generations. Now, if we are indeed the final generation, then time is of the utmost importance!

From the Jewish perspective, genealogies were always traced back through the father. Both Joseph and Mary’s lineage run back to David as a prophetic fulfillment of God’s promise to David. In Matthew, by his calling Jesus the Son of David and the Son of Abraham, Matthew is painting a vivid picture of God’s faithfulness to His promises made to His people of past generations.

The writer of Hebrews reveals to us that Abraham, after he patiently endured, obtained the promise of a son from God. Abraham’s son Isaac was the fulfillment of that promise. God is still in the business of keeping His promises to His people of all generations. Jesus has promised, “He [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.”

Something Else To Consider:
Isaac, as a promised son, was a picture and type of Jesus; the long awaited Son and promised Messiah to the nation Israel. Israel was a nation that endured the many hardships of the Babylonian captivity because of their sin and their refusal to obey God’s law. Jesus, in His obedience to God His Father and His willingness to make known the Father’s deep love for the human race was obedient to His Father’s will even unto His death upon an old rugged cross.

Jesus was to be born of Mary and foster fathered by Joseph. Looking beneath the surface we see the positive impact that Mary and Joseph had upon Jesus. Looking beneath the surface we see the positive impact Jesus continues to make and to have upon every generation. But what about us? What positive impact are we having on this generation and on future generations to come if God should choose to give more time for more people to become part of the kingdom of God? What is it that our heavenly Father sees when He looks beneath the surface of our lives? What positive impact on the present and future generations will be revealed in and through our own lives?

Our Scripture to consider begins with the words, “And after they were brought to Babylon…” Looking beneath the surface Babylon represents the world and the world’s system which is corrupt, and for the most part is wicked and evil according to the Word of God and the undeniable evidence left by every generation in human history. From Genesis to 2 Samuel we find at least thirteen [13] times, “And so and so was wicked in the sight of the LORD.” From 1 Kings through 2 Chronicles in the history of the nation of Israel there are at least forty [40] times that the writer reveals much wickedness and evil being done in the sight of the LORD by both leaders and the people of Israel.

Something More To Consider:
Beginning in 1 Kings 11.6 we are told, “Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David.” In chapter 14 and verse 22, we read, “Now Judah [God’s people] did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done.” This same pattern continued through 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles. Without Christ generations do not become better but rather become more evil and wicked in the sight of the LORD.

Looking beneath the surface these indictments of wickedness and evil in the sight of the Lord reflect why the children of Israel were taken into captivity to Babylon. Looking beneath the surface of any nation, city, family, and or individual, reveals why they may be found in a state of spiritual or physical bondage to sin and captive to the lusts of their flesh. Our only answer to the bondage and slavery of sin in our own lives is our looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and repenting of the sin that so easily takes us captive in the evil of this Babylon-like world.

The writer of Hebrews chapter 12 begins by lovingly instructing all true believers in Jesus; “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance [endure to the end] the race [our life course] that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author [the beginning] and finisher [the end] of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him [Jesus] endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Even Jesus was required to endure unto the end. How can we as true followers of Jesus, be held to any less of an example? According to Jesus, “But he [or she] who endures to the end shall be saved.” There is no side stepping the truth of the Word of God. We must endure unto the end if we seek to inherit eternal life and an eternal place in the kingdom of God! Of this truth we must not be deceived into thinking otherwise!

This biblical concept according to Jesus, of enduring to the end, cannot be stressed too much. This enduring to the end gospel that Jesus said would be preached in all the world and then the end would come, has been very much neglected, grossly altered, and overwhelmingly overlooked by the religious established church for approximately the last 200 years give or take a decade or two. This website, According To Jesus, is devoted to becoming and remaining with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, an end time call to endure to the end. We believe according to Jesus, it is extremely and eternally important!

A Few Final Words:
Doing evil in the sight of the Lord, practicing iniquity, living a lifestyle of wickedness and disobedience to God’s Word ensures worldly captivity and a life and possibly an entire eternity enslaved under the curse of tormenting bondage. Joseph of old was a man who understood his every action and his every decision was done or made in the sight of the Lord. We find a most revealing and enticing account of the first Joseph mentioned in the bible being tempted to commit the sin of adultery with his master’s wife in Genesis chapter 39.

In verse 7 of Genesis chapter 39, we are given the details. “And it came to pass after these things that Joseph’s master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, ‘Lie with me.’ But he [Joseph] refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’” Joseph had recognized that all sin was against God! How wise of us to go and do no less.

The writer of Psalm 119.11 acknowledged, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Have we done likewise? Now is the time to decide to hide God’s Word in our heart, not when the temptation is staring us in the face. Responsible leaders and leaders in training fully understand the impact of their actions and examples upon the present and future generations. Therefore, they carefully consider every decision with the utmost of importance. Are we looking beneath the surface? And if so, are we positively impacting others for all of eternity?

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, set us free from the bondage of our own sin and rebelliousness, that we may impact generations for Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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