Wednesday, November 26, 2014
This will be my last post til Monday. Just want everyone to take some time to think about all the blessings God has given you this year and in all the past years. No matter the good or the bad we get in life....God is good. We are blessed beyond measure. It is easy to grip or complain but you can always look around and see someone who is facing a much harder time than you!
Be Thankful! We serve and awesome God! Here are few verses to ponder over the Holiday:
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.
A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Heavenly Father we are thankful for your love, your mercy, you grace, and most of all your Son Jesus. May we never take you for granted and may we serve you with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength because your are alone are worthy of all our praise, honor, and worship. We love you God and we are blessed, thank You Lord.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 24, 2014
For the follower of Jesus, who we spend time with is very important. The people we spend time with will influence us in many ways. God warned us of this in His Word:
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
It is easy to see what God is saying here, if you are a follower of Christ hang out with followers of Christ. Look at all the opposites between a follower and a non-follower:
1. Righteousness vs. Lawlessness
2. Light vs. Darkness
3. Christ vs. Belial(devil)
4. Believer vs. non-Believer
5. Temple of God (your body) vs. Idols
Wow. Some non-followers would like to say, just because I am not a follower of Jesus does not mean I am a follower of the devil. Well according to the bible there is no in between! You are either of God or you are of the world. Being of the world means you are a follower of the prince of this world which is the devil himself!
Now the hard part about not being unequally yoked is witnessing to these folks. The bible is clear we are to love, meet needs, and share the gospel with unbelievers. The key here is you do these things but you are not spending great amounts of time in which you can be negatively influenced. It is a fine line to walk. God even warned us of this here:
1 Corinthians 10:12
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
No matter how strong we think we are in the Lord, we can be influenced, and if we are spending great amounts of time with an unbeliever we can fall!!!
So be very careful with those you spend great amounts of time with! God is clear in His Word on this!
Friday, November 21, 2014
So yesterday we ended with the questions of "did Joseph give his no good brothers food for their families for his fathers sake or did he actually forgive his brothers for all the harm they had done to him?" Let's find out the answer:
5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
At this point it Joesph had figured out God had a purpose for all the wrong doing his brothers had done to him. That was to preserve lives including theirs by Josephs wise planning. But has he really forgiven them. The brothers apparently did not think so:
15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.”
Jacob had come to Egypt with the family. Joseph had them taken care of and now Jacob has died. The brothers are now worried that the only reason Joseph had been nice to them was because of their father!
So here is today's scenario: Now that dad has passed away is it time to get even with your brothers and sisters for all the evil things they had done to you?
Here is what Joseph did:
19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Joseph had forgiven them. He learned God had a greater purpose in all of his brothers evil and it was to save lives! This is a great lesson for us, even when people do bad things to us, we need to look for the work of God in it! He can use those situations to bring glory to himself. Always remember this verse:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
Many times in the middle of tough situations it is hard for us to see God working, but after the situation is over we can look back and see how God was there all along! We must do this:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
God bless and have a great day!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Well how have you been doing on these scenarios when you answer the questions? If I am honest with my self I do not think I am doing very well!
So for today's scenario remember this...your brothers and sisters wanted to kill you because of their extreme jealousy and hatred of daddy's boy. Instead they sell you off into slavery thinking they will never see you again. This gets us to today's event:
In slavery, you earn the trust and respect of others and move into leadership position. The King is so impressed with your abilities he moves you up to second in charge only behind himself. A famine takes over the land, but because of you wise planning you have an abundance of food. So much so other nations are coming to you to buy food. Guess who comes before you wanting food? That's right your brothers and sisters!!! They do not recognize you but you do them. Here is your question......what do you do?
I know what I would want to do personally but as a follower of God what would I do? hmmmmm
Here is the story in the bible:
41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”
25 And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.
45 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
So Joesph did the right thing and gave them food. He also asked them a question..."Is my father still alive?" So did Joesph give them food because he forgave them or did He have another motive behind his kindness?
We will find out tomorrow!
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Keeping the scenarios going, here is today's:
Your brothers and sisters are mad at you. They think about killing you but instead sell you into slavery. How does that make you feel?
Remember leading up to this, you are your Fathers favorite child, he has given you a special gift that your siblings are aware of, you have recently told them about a dream you had where they will bow down to you in the future, and you also have tattled on them. This is why they are so mad at you!
12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.” So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.
For the price of a slave, Joesph is sold and taken to Egypt where he will be sold off to serve the King of Egypt as a slave. Where would your mind be if you were Joseph? Would you think God was in all of this? Of course many of us know the outcome, Joesph did not at this time. Remember God is in control in all circumstances and we just have to keep our focus on what He wants us to do for His glory....even in very hard times!
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Here is today's scenario for us to think about and answer the questions honestly at the end.
You have dreams that show you ruling over your brothers and sisters and that they will bow down to you. You share your dreams with them. How does that dream make you feel? How do think that dream makes your brothers and sisters feel?
5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: 7 Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
Interesting huh? Not only did Joesph tell his siblings but also dad and mom will bow to him. God had a big plan for the future but they did not know that at this time. Should make us stop and think that we never know how God is working but to be in constant thought that God is in control of our lives even when we may not know it!
My brothers telling me I will bow down to them....hmmm.... I may not receive that well....how about you?
Will continue tomorrow!
Monday, November 17, 2014
This week we are going to do something a little different. I am going to give you a scenario and then I want you to honestly think about the question or questions I ask after the scenario. God works through some amazing ways in the bible that is for sure and we will see that this week and then we will try to draw out what God wants us to see at the end of the scenarios.
So here we go:
You have several brothers and sisters. It is obvious you are your Father's favorite child. So much so that your father gives you a special gift, to you only. Your brothers and sisters see you with it all the time.
Here are your questions about this scene, remember answer honestly:
1. Knowing you are the favorite, how do you treat your brothers and sisters?
2. When your Father gives you the special gift, how does that make you feel?
3. How does that gift you received make your siblings feel?
Now look at this scripture:
37 Jacob lived in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
2 These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.
Jacob and Israel are the same person here. Joseph is the favorite son as we see in the verses. The gift was the robe of many colors. We also see here Joseph brought a bad report to Jacob about his brothers, so he was tattling on them above everything else! Now go back and look at the questions again. I am thinking if I am Joesph, I have some pride going on about me and dads relationship. If I am one of the brothers, I am thinking some not very fond things about my spoiled, favored, mouthy, tattling, brother!!!! What are you thinking?
How would God want us to treat others in all the different views here? Not the way I am thinking!!!! So chew on this today and we will move on tomorrow!