Mary, is the last woman mentioned in the genealogy of Christ.
We can read about her in Luke Chapter 1.
Mary, a poor, young woman was highly favored by the Lord. She was a virgin. She was humble. She believed the word of the angel and told him, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be unto me according to your word.”
Mary could have been killed for carrying Jesus in her womb. Everyone she knew, including her betrothed, Joseph, could have rejected her. But God took care of Mary. Instead of despairing, Mary rejoiced in God. She embraced His will, and glorified His name!
Read Luke 1:46-55.
What has God done in your life that no man could do?
Magnify the Lord today! He isn’t finished with you. He continues to love you, teach you, and draw you close to Himself.
Who is God asking you to share your testimony with?
What has God done in your life that you can share to minister to others?
Don’t be afraid to share your testimony. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”
Your testimony is powerful because God is powerful! God’s work of salvation in your life is worth rejoicing in. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There is nothing greater than the grace of God’s love. His love redeems!
Author: Melissa Holmlund
Adultery is one of the most painful experiences anyone can go through.
Adultery destroys lives, destroys families, and goes against the very nature of God and his design for marriage.
Most of us have in some way, been affected by adultery. The consequences are far-reaching and far lasting.
Bathsheba was an adulteress.
King David was probably well known by Bathsheba’s family. Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, was one of King David’s soldiers. Her father was one of David’s thirty mighty men, and her grandfather was David’s advisor.
One day, David saw a woman bathing on the roof of her house. He inquired about her and found out that she was the wife of Uriah and daughter of Eliam. He sent messengers to her, and she came to him. They committed adultery, and she got pregnant. Long story short, David had Bathsheba’s husband killed, the prophet Nathan rebuked David, and their child died.
You can read the whole story in 2 Samuel 11 and 12.
King David repented. He asked God create in him a new heart and renew a right spirit within him. God forgave him and restored him, but from that time on David’s kingdom was never at rest. There was constant turmoil in his household.
David married Bathsheba, and they had another son whom they named Solomon. 2 Samuel 12:25 tells us that God loved this little boy and called him Jedidiah which means “beloved of the Lord.”
Jedidiah is a testimony of God’s grace and redeeming love.
Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgression from us.”
Maybe you have experienced the pain of adultery. Maybe adultery is a part of your story. If it is, God has the power to heal and restore every part of your heart and mind. He wants to give you beauty for ashes and a garment of praise for a Spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3).
1 John 1:8 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Confess your sin to God today. Ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you. Thank Jesus for making all things new in your life. Thank Him for helping you to forgive. Submit your heart to Him today knowing that He is the Faithful One who will never leave you or forsake you.
Author: Melissa Holmlund
For many years I have struggled with fear. I have had so many fears, I won’t begin to write them down. I asked God to deliver me from my fears, and He did. This is a part of my testimony. There wasn’t a particular moment in which all of my fears disappeared. I still feel fear on a regular basis, but not the kind of fear that grips me.
Fear no longer has a hold on my heart and mind. When fear tries to enslave me again, I tell it to go in Jesus’ name and remind myself that I am a child of God.
“Brave” is one of my favorite words. It means ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. It also means valiant, fearless, lion-hearted, and bold.
In my flesh, I am weak, timid, and scared. Because of God’s grace and transforming work in my life, I am brave. God has helped me to overcome many of my fears and I trust He will continue this good work in me as I submit my life to Him.
Ruth was a brave woman.
Ruth was a Moabite. Her husband Mahlon, brother-in-law Chilion, father-in-law Elimelech, and mother-in-law Naomi were Israelites from Bethlehem. They had moved to Moab because of a famine in the land of Israel. While they were in Moab, all three men died.
Naomi decided to return to her homeland of Bethlehem because the famine was over. Her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah followed her. Along the way, Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back their families. Both women protested, but Naomi insisted. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and returned to her home, but Ruth clung to Naomi and declared, “Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).
Ruth followed Naomi to Bethlehem. There, the Lord guided Ruth to Boaz’s fields. She gleaned grain and found favor in the eyes of Boaz even though she was a foreigner. Boaz was a wealthy, godly man, significantly older than Ruth, and also a relative of Naomi’s husband.
Naomi realized the significance of their relationship to Boaz and concocted a plan. Ruth followed Naomi’s daring plan without question. After a night at the threshing floor when Boaz had eaten and drank, Ruth laid herself at his feet, risking her reputation and basically asked him to marry her and be her kinsman redeemer.
Boaz and Ruth got married. They had a son to carry on Mahlon’s name. His name was Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse and Jesse the father of David. God redeemed the sorrow and bitterness that Naomi and Ruth experienced and blessed them both beyond all they could have imagined.
I hope you noticed that Boaz’s mother was Rahab. This is a powerful picture of God’s grace at work in a family line.
What specific things has God freed you from? What fears has he delivered you from? How is He making you brave?
Read the book of Ruth. (It’s only four chapters.)
Thank God for delivering you from the things that have tried to keep you bound. Ask Him to deliver you from the things that continue to try to entangle you. Praise Him for His good work in your life today!
Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Author: Melissa Holmlund
My grandmother gave birth to my mother out of wedlock when she was seventeen years old. The early years of my mother’s life were filled with horrible experiences. My grandmother did not yet know Christ, and because of that many poor choices were made that led to some hardships for my grandmother and also for my mom.
Sometime in the midst of these experiences, my mother received Christ. Her life was changed and eventually my grandmother also received salvation.
They both became mighty women of God. They are prayer warriors, teachers of the Word, and have led many people to Jesus. God redeemed their lives from destruction. He rescued them from alcoholism, abuse, and promiscuity. He transformed their lives and made them new.
I used to think of this testimony as only belonging to my mother and my grandmother, but now I realize it is also a part of my story. It is only by the grace of God that I am saved. It is only by the grace of God that I, a child of sin and darkness, get to walk in the light with God! I am so thankful that God redeemed my family because in doing so He prepared the way for my redemption!
Rahab, a harlot who lived in Jericho, had heard of the mighty things God had done and declared that the God of the Israelites was THE God of heaven and earth. She risked her own safety by hiding two spies who had come to scope out the land. In return, the spies promised to protect Rahab and her family if she hung a scarlet cord from her window and kept their business secret. Rahab was faithful to her word and when the Israelites conquered Jericho, they rescued Rahab and all who were in her house.
Rahab, a foreigner and a sinner, found refuge among the Israelites. She chose to follow their God and eventually became the mother of Boaz and the great-great grandmother of King David!
You can read more of Rahab’s story in Joshua Chapters two and six. Rahab is commended in Hebrews 11:21 for her faith, and in James 2:25 for her works.
The story of Rahab is a beautiful picture of God’s grace and redemption.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift from God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Think about your family’s history.
What has God redeemed your family from?
What sin and destruction has God rescued you out of?
It is only by His grace that you are saved. It is only by His grace that you are free from sin.
Whether you were two or twenty-two when you received salvation, your testimony is worth rejoicing in!
Take some time to thank God for saving you. Thank Him for redeeming your family.
Rejoice in your testimony and ask God to help you share it with others.
Author: Melissa Holmlund
Every follower of Christ has a testimony of God’s redeeming love. For many years, I felt my testimony was weak. I asked Jesus into my heart at the young age of two. I remember feeling so happy, knowing that God was in my heart, and that He would never leave me.
As I grew, my love for Jesus grew. My parents taught me to read and love God’s Word and encouraged me to walk in His ways. When I was eleven years old, I went to my first summer camp. It was there that I rededicated my heart to Jesus and truly decided to follow Him.
I still struggled with sin. I was disrespectful to my parents. I said bad words when I got angry. I had lustful thoughts, and I often failed to do the good I knew I should do. I faced challenges and hardships, but I didn’t view my story of salvation as powerful because I had no memory of a time in my life without Christ.
I would hear stories of people being delivered from drug addiction or freed from a lifestyle of sexual promiscuity or healed from a major disease, and I would think their testimony was somehow better and more powerful than mine.
In recent years, the Lord has shown me that every story of salvation is powerful, including my own. If we are in Christ, then we ALL have been saved, healed, delivered, and redeemed!
There are five women listed in the genealogy of Christ from Luke Chapter 2.
This week we are going look at each of these women. As we do so, I pray that you will have a renewed sense of joy and understanding of your own personal testimony and of God’s redeeming work in your life!
Tamar is the first woman mentioned in the genealogy of Christ. Tamar was daughter-in-law to Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Tamar’s first husband Er was Judah’s eldest son and an evil man, so evil that God killed him. He died leaving Tamar without a son.
Tamar then married Judah’s second son, Onan. According to Levirate tradition, Onan was supposed to give Tamar a son in Er’s name, but Onan refused to do so and God killed him also. Judah’s third son, Sheila, was still young at this time, but Judah promised Tamar that when Sheila grew up he would give her to him in marriage.
Judah didn’t keep his promise. After years of waiting, Tamar took matters into her own hands. When she heard Judah was travelling to a place called Timnah, she disguised herself as a harlot and positioned herself where Judah would see her. Judah saw her and propositioned her. The result was Tamar getting pregnant with twins, one of which was Perez, a direct ancestor of Jesus. You can read the whole story in Genesis 38.
This story may strike you as disturbing and disgusting. Sin is evident and abounding in the lives of these characters. Judgment and consequence are clearly seen, but so is God’s grace.
God chose to turn the shame of Judah and Tamar into honor. He chose to write His name upon the line of Judah. Scripture reveals a change in Judah after this encounter. He returned to his family, and he never touched Tamar again.
Jesus is first prophesied as coming through the line of Judah in Genesis 49:10. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.”
Think about your own testimony.
What has Jesus saved you from?
Is there a defining moment when Jesus pulled you out of darkness and brought you into light?
Do you view your testimony as powerful?
Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Prayer: Father, thank you for your redeeming love. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for demonstrating your love by dying for me. You have rescued me from darkness and brought me into your light. Show me the beauty and power of my testimony. Help me to rejoice in the testimony of my salvation. Glory and honor to you today in Jesus’ name!
Author: Melissa Holmlund