All Things New
by Sharon Betters
And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:5 ESV
Rahab’s marriage to Salmon made her an Israeli princess. In our book, Treasures of Faith, Living Boldly in View of God’s Promises, we write about this worldly-wise woman:
“Among God's people Rahab found a safe place in which to learn the ways of Yahweh and His people. Rahab was given a second chance; she was able to put her past behind her and enjoy a whole new life. She was eventually brought into the family of no less a person than Nahshon, head of the entire clan of Judah (Numbers 1:7, 16; 7:10-17; Matthew 1:4-5). His son, Salmon, would eventually marry Rahab. Their son Boaz, in turn would marry another outsider, the incomparable Ruth. Their family line would continue unbroken on to King David and, eventually, to Christ Jesus Himself. What a marvelous demonstration of the transforming grace of God! In Rahab's story, we watch with awe the rise of a woman who overcame, by faith, a sordid and ugly past to become royalty, a forbearer of the very King of Kings.” (Page 215-216)
Isn’t it a picture of marvelous legacy when you consider that Boaz, son of Rahab and Salmon, married Ruth, the Gentile? We cannot help but conclude that one of the reasons Boaz had no problems marrying Ruth, a Gentile, is because his own mother, a former Canaanite prostitute, Rahab, taught him to see each person through the eyes of God's amazing grace. Boaz apparently didn't see Ruth as the Gentile outsider, he saw Ruth as a person of worth. His mother's life story impacted him in an eternal way.
Every circumstance of our lives, even the sordid, messy part, is a gift we can give back to God to use in whatever way He desires to encourage our covenant family, His Church. After sharing this truth at a speaking event, a tearful woman approached me with these words, "I am divorced and I have hidden that part of my life story because of shame. I have been afraid of the reaction of my church leadership or even my close friends. Now I see that God can redeem my bad choices and mistakes when I surrender my story to Him, with a willingness to share it with another woman who might be ready to make the same mistakes. I feel such freedom in knowing that God doesn't see a smudge on my life, but rather an opportunity for me to help another woman avoid the pain I have experienced."
Another woman told me that she had married an unbeliever, against the wishes of her pastor father. She said, "If there is a young woman about to make the same mistake, I am willing to share my story in an effort to help turn her heart toward God's better plans for her."
Both of these women recognize that God can redeem their pain for the good of His Church. As we travel the road to Christmas, watch as Rahab leads the way in showing us that God's grace, through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, washes away those smudges that we are sometimes unwilling to lay aside.
The next time you are people-watching at a mall, a restaurant, or just walking along a city street, ask yourself, "I wonder what that person's story is.” Better yet, what is your story? Be on the alert for an opportunity to share your story with someone today, praying that your story, even your messy story, will help turn another person's heart toward our faithful God.
What is your story? Does it include God's amazing grace removing the smudges? If your story does not include His amazing grace, please contact me. What better way to experience Christmas than to begin your journey as a new creature in Christ? Write in your journal: The Gift That Cannot Be Broken: Redemption through Jesus Christ.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. In those moments of suffering, we need the encouragement of knowing how Christ and the hope of the gospel can not only meet us in our pain but equip us to encourage others. I encourage you to listen to this Heroin Addiction audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's.