“Jesus Christ came from the family of King David and also from the family of Abraham. And this is a list of his ancestors”—Matthew 1:1(CEV).
Some of us like making a to-do list. Many of us are so rigid about our lists, we can’t function without one. That was me until I let Jesus take control of my life.
Others might fly by the seat of their pants, but without my daily list, I was lost. I still make lists, but I’m more flexible now. It was a process of letting go of the need to be in control and learning that everything is in God’s timing.
At the beginning of my walk with Jesus, I struggled to release what I thought needed to be accomplished by the end of each day. I took pride in checking off each task on my list. As I grew in my relationship with Him, it became easier to let go of the optional items on each day’s list.
A List of Jesus’ Ancestors
In the very first chapter of Matthew, the author includes 17 verses denoting the lineage of Jesus. It can get tedious reading through the list, but Matthew’s purpose was to reveal Jesus’ identity as a descendant of King David.
Using the term “Son of David,” the author of Matthew uses the genealogy of Jesus to draw our attention to Jesus’ royal heritage. In fact, Matthew uses the term “Son of David” 10 times in his Epistle.
While we might get bogged down in Matthew’s line-up, it’s important to note the women included in Jesus’ lineage: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Rahab was a Canaanite from Jericho and Ruth was a Moabitess. Tamar and Bathsheba were famous chiefly for their involvement in public scandals. Apart from their character and nationally, the women’s names were part of an official account of Jewish genealogy. Their inclusion on Matthew’s list had a purpose. No one in Jesus’ lineage was without faults or sinless.
What’s Really Important
Recently, a friend posted this on social media: “Kids today will never understand the joy of going through the Sears holiday catalog and circling every toy you wanted for Christmas.”
Of course, I laughed because I remember my youngest son, now almost 40-years-old, doing just that. Instead of making a list, his go-to method was grabbing a pen and circling just about every toy on the catalog pages.
He didn’t get everything he wanted for several reasons. First, we couldn’t afford it. Second, we would not have had enough room in our house for all the toys he’d circled. But third, and the most important, he and his brother needed to learn the real meaning of Christmas. It’s a time to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. It’s not just about shopping, attending parties, and gift-buying. What should our list look like this time of the year?
Our To-Do List this Season
As Christmas Day approaches, make time for the following, letting them replace those things that leave you exhausted at the end of the day:
- Spend time with Jesus (Psalm 27:8).
- Let Jesus prioritize your day (Matthew 6:33).
- Don’t worry. Instead, pray (Philippians 4:6).
- Think of others (Philippians 2:3-4).
- Read God’s Word (Psalm 119:9-16).
- Do what it says (James 1:22).
- Let Christ lead you (Matthew 11:29).
Let the seven items above become part of your daily habits year-round. Instead of getting bogged down in your tasks, let the peace and joy of Jesus bring you everlasting hope. Unwrap His gift of grace and savor His love. Let Jesus be at the top of your to-do-list each day.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. (See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.) When she isn’t writing, she can be found spending time with her seven grandchildren, working in her yard, volunteering, shooting photos, hiking, going on mission trips and playing with her spoiled rotten dog, Harley.