Dear Hillsdale family, friends and Heart of a Shepherd Followers,
My Christmas Series this year, taken from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 1, is titled, “Five Portraits of God’s Grace”, based on the five mothers named by Matthew in the lineage of Jesus.
The story of Christ’s birth is essentially the story of Redemption: God’s love for sinners, expressed in sending His Only begotten Son Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, who lived a perfect, sinless life, was crucified for our sins, and raised from the dead on the third day. The five women named in Christ’s lineage remind us of God’s grace extended to sinners.
My focus in the 10:30 AM service this Sunday, December 10 is on Rahab the harlot (Matthew 1:5), the second object of God’s grace named by Matthew. I look forward to sharing how God in His grace moved on the heart of the harlot of Jericho and, hearing how God blessed and preserved Israel, came to believe Israel’s God was “God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11).
God was at work in Rahab’s heart, drawing her to saving faith. Because she believed in the LORD, she tied a scarlet cord about her window as a sign of her faith, trusting God to save her and her family. We read,
Joshua 6:25 – And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
By God’s grace through her faith, God saved the harlot Rahab from death and she came to live in the midst of Israel (Joshua 6:25), married Salmon, a man of the royal tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:5), and is wondrously named as a mother of the lineage of Jesus Christ.
My friend, Rahab came to be named among Israel in the same way all sinners are saved…God’s grace through faith!
Romans 4:5 – “But to him that worketh not [knowing no works of the law save], but believeth on Him [Jesus Christ] that justifieth the ungodly, his faith [in Christ’s blood] is counted for righteousness [justified and forgiven].”
I trust you will join us this Sunday as we continue our study of “Five Portraits of God’s Grace”.
Don’t forget, Hillsdale’s Fine Arts Ministries will present this Sunday night, 6:00 PM, “Home for Christmas”.
With the heart of a shepherd,
Pastor Travis D. Smith
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith