Preparing for Worship // January 1, 2017

Preparing for Worship // January 1, 2017

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Where we come from plays a part in who we are. For some of us, our family heritage is a blessing that God has given us to teach us about Himself and make us His children. For others, our heritage is something must be overcome. Either way, the family we are born into plays a significant role in shaping the person we become. Every time I introduce myself to someone new, I am reminded of the impact that my ancestors have had on my life. The name that I go by is “Barr.” Being a fairly uncommon name (I have never met anyone else with the same first name), I am constantly being asked where my name came from. I am named after my great-grandfather, and as his namesake, there’s a certain sense in which I carry on his legacy. Although it may not be as obvious for others, we are all influenced by the legacy of our ancestors in one way or another.

In the Bible, where a person comes from is very important. A person’s family of origin was an important part of that person’s life. There’s a reason I Chronicles begins with nine chapters of genealogies (and it’s not that the author is trying to bore you). It is a reminder of the way God works through families and the promise He gave to one family in particular. Jesus’ heritage also reveals to us much about who He is. As with all families, Jesus’ family line is a mixed bag. He is descended from big, important Old Testament figures like Abraham, Jacob, and David, as well as very flawed Old Testament figures like Judah, Manasseh, Abraham, Jacob, and David.

This mixed heritage points to two truths about who Jesus is and what He came to do. First, He is the promised Redeemer and King whom God promised to send through the line of David. He will reign on David’s throne forever, and His kingdom will have no end. Second, He was born among sinful humans to save sinful humans. He was willing to be born into a family of murderers, adulterers, outcasts, and idolaters. If Jesus willingly entered into such a family, is it any surprise that He would welcome such people into His spiritual family. Is there anything–any sin, any fault–that you think disqualifies you from inclusion in the family of God? Whatever it is, you can rest assured that one of Jesus’ physical ancestors failed in the same way. Hatred? Check. Murder? Check. Adultery? Check. Murder in order to cover up adultery? Check. Sacrificing your son to an idol? Check. Take comfort in Jesus’ genealogy. He was born into the most sinful of human families, and He welcomes the worst of sinners into the family of God.

THE WORD

Scripture: Matthew 1:1-17
Sermon: Your Family Tree

SONGS

Crown Him With Many Crowns (Traditional)
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God Be Merciful to Me  (Indelible Grace)
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Before the Throne of God Above (Sovereign Grace Worship)
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Song of Preparation: Matthew’s Begats (Andrew Peterson)
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Song of Response: Hail To the Lord’s Anointed (Sandra McCracken)
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