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Series: Reclaimed - Uncovering Your Worth
Week 1: Subtext: Five Women in the Lineage of Jesus - Day 1
1. the underlying or implicit meaning, as of a literary work.
If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it-you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked-well, that trusting-him- to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift (Romans 4: 4-5 MSG).
I love the Bible. I realize that statement may come across as nerdy, but I really do. I love the black ink, the letters formed to make words and sentences. I especially love the red ink-the words that Jesus actually spoke at one time or another. God Himself, in the flesh, arrived on the scene and spoke audible words. And we can now read this collection of stories, which reveals the character and heart of God, the One who spoke the world into existence!
I read many years ago that if you find yourself interested and intrigued by this Jesus you've heard spoken about, the best thing to do is to simply open the Bible and start reading. Even if you possess no background knowledge or understanding of anything religious or spiritual and even if the thought of reading this ancient text intimidates you to no end, swallow your fears and give it a shot. A good place to start is with the Gospels. Just open up to one of those four accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, and read. Rebecca Manley Piper, author of Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World, said, ''Once you read something that strikes you as interesting, something that stands out, try to immediately put it into practice. You may not understand it fully or grasp its profundity by simply reading it, but by acting on the words, you will catch a glimpse of a God alive and working not just thousands of years ago, but today.''
That thought has stuck with me. I think there is a universal truth in it. Timothy would say it this way, ''All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work'' (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV). I believe this is true. I believe it with the entirety of who I am. In my heart, I know that God is alive and at work and that with His Word, He brings clarity, peace, hope, truth, understanding, wisdom, and everything in between. I would say this is true of almost every part of the Holy Scriptures, with the exception of maybe Matthew 1 (or so I thought). Turn there and you will see a long list of names. Names that are mostly archaic and outdated.
''What is this for?,'' I wondered. Maybe you are wrestling with the same question. Perhaps the first sixteen verses could ...
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