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