“These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun,Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah; these three Bath-shua the Canaanite bore to him. Now Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death. His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore him Perez and Zerah…

“The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, five in all…

“The sons of Hezron that were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. Ram fathered Amminadab, and Amminadab fathered Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah. Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse.  Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, David the seventh. And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah: Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three. Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.

“Caleb the son of Hezron fathered children by his wife Azubah, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. Hur fathered Uri, and Uri fathered Bezalel.” 1 Chronicles 2:1-6,9-20

God sees fit to record individual names and snippets of stories from the beginning of time. Every person who ever lived is known to this omniscient One. His image imprints value on every life He colorfully intertwines in His orchestration of human history and eternal purposes. The wicked, the faithful, the barren, the foreigner, babies that grow to be warriors and princes and famous artists, all are inextricably bound in this grand humanity Jesus came to redeem.

A family tree grows roots, rings, and branches through generations that are interdependent and vast. As much as we might prefer to lop off a branch or two, or extricate ourselves from a messy connection or prickly variety and shoot off in solitude, the Lord ordains that we draw from each other and grow up together. There may be ‘bad seeds,’ but even with them we hone character and godliness and inspiration from our connectivity.

Are we taking care to grow ourselves, so we can bring refreshment to others? Consistent meditation on the Word, humble worship and repentance, and specific prayer for keen eyes and open hearts, do much to draw nourishment for our minds and spirits. We rise rejuvenated, equipped to respond appropriately, feed the hungry, and encourage with the strength we have received. (Psalm 1:1-3; Isaiah 50:4; John 15:5; 1 Peter 3:15)

Is our mindset gauged by personal drive and preference, or do we actively look for opportunities to engage with others, and ways to contribute and serve? It’s easier and less messy to stand alone, but God didn’t call us to solitary living. How do we deliberately intertwine with the Body to bring about lush life and lasting fruit? To whom will I commend God’s marvelous works? Whom will I nurture through prayer, upbuilding, consolation? (Psalm 145:4-7,10-12; John 15:16; Romans 14:7; 1 Corinthians 14:3; Ephesians 2:20-21)

Lord, may I love what You love, and as You love, and faithfully bear Your grace in the Body. Help me grow up in all things, exercise my gifts with zeal, and do all I can to help others do the same, that You be glorified. (Ephesians 4:15-16)

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