If you read the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, it traces Jesus’ bloodline back to King David, showing that Jesus did have a claim to the throne of Israel. But this list of ancestors includes some names you wouldn’t expect to see.
The list includes prostitutes and women of ill repute, and also a woman from Moab, the hated enemies of the Jews.
Matthew included these names in the Christ’s genealogy to remind us that in God’s eyes we are all on level ground. He doesn’t prefer one race, one gender or one class of person. We are all the same in Christ Jesus.
It doesn’t matter what was in your past. Your future is what is important now.
Paul said it best,
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Here are four things you need to do to make 2018 your best year yet.
Forget Your Failures
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on …
Jesus came so that you would not have to live your life imprisoned by your past.
All of us have failed in some way in our lives over the last year. They are recorded in our hearts and minds.
This New Year is a good time to stop being chained to your past failures. God is saying that he doesn’t want you to go through your life branding yourself as a failure.
Give Up Your Grudges
Look at this…
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
What’s a grudge? A grudge is an unforgiving spirit that leads to unforgiving attitudes and unforgiving actions.
If Christ can forgive you your sin despite it involving the pain of the cross, then surely you can give up your grievance whatever the cost.
The question is will you do it?
Fix Your Relationships
God’s word makes it easy to check whether our personal relationships are working properly. Here is how the Lord issues that challenge in
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”
The Lord wants you to do everything you can to restore any relationships that have gone wrong in your life.
When God’s word says “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” it is saying if you have caused a rift in a relationship, then you have a responsibility to do everything you can to restore it. That everything includes the one thing we all probably find most difficult, asking for forgiveness.
Stop Being A Slave To Sin
“Do not let sin control the way you live, do not give in to its lustful desires … we are no longer slaves to sin”
I read about a young lady who was born without arms. When she got older they tried to fit her with prosthetics, but eventually she just went back to using her feet for everything because that’s what she was used to.
That sums up too many Christians’ attitude to their “pet” sin. They won’t do anything about it and they learn to live with it.
God challenges you to turn your back on that sin whatever it is. To stop letting it control the way you live. To stop giving in to it.
There you go, four principles that you can use to build a better 2018. Now roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Looking forward to a new year… Jerry