Tag Archives: Joseph

Genesis 49-50; Galatians 4

Inheritance and legacy, big themes in these chapters. I read of Jacob’s last words to his sons.

I think on (all) these brothers, the men they’ve become.

Reuben, as unruly as a flood, and will be first no longer.

Zebulun, a harbor for ships.

Asher will dine on rich foods and produce foods fit for kings.

“Simeon and Levi are two of a kind;
    their weapons are instruments of violence.
May I never join in their meetings;
    may I never be a party to their plans.
For in their anger they murdered men,
    and they crippled oxen just for sport.
A curse on their anger, for it is fierce;
    a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob;
    I will disperse them throughout Israel. Genesis 49:5-7, NLT

A father knows his sons.

Jacob’s body is laid to rest in the land he designated. The brothers accompany Joseph back to Egypt. The brothers who sold him for dead. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. Genesis 50:15, NLT.

These are the words that comfort me today:

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20, NLT.

Words of a son who knows his Father.

I know this truth. I know that God redeems the lost time. I know that God is able to turn someone’s harmful intent into something good. All of it.

I know my Father.

And He knows me.

Courtney (66books365)

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Exodus 9-13; Matthew 18:1-20

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.” Exodus 10:1-2

In the Exodus story, Moses repeatedly shares that God purposely hardened the heart of Pharaoh and his servants. Pharaoh would not listen to the decree of God to ‘Let My people go’. God didn’t want the liberation of the Israelites to become an event that was quickly forgotten. He wanted to demonstrate His glory and His power in a memorable way so that all would ‘know that I am Lord’. God dealt with the Egyptians harshly and without mercy; forgiveness did not enter into the picture.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17

In Matthew, Jesus describes how to maneuver in situations of offense and sin. If I go to the offender and he listens, than I have gained a brother. But if his heart is hardened, Jesus said to let the wrongdoer be to me as a gentile and a tax collector.

What does that really mean in the context of New Covenant?

I have observed that a very common Christian assessment of that verse is that when someone doesn’t listen to the church, that they should be excommunicated, cut off and shunned by that group.

I’ve been in the situation where I was treated this way by a community that I had grown very close to. The situation was complicated, and though I know that my heart was right before God, I was still cast aside. I felt rejected by trusted friends, abandoned by people I had shown my vulnerabilities. Being discarded hurt then, and the wounds it left still hurt now at times; it began my search to better understand what Jesus intended.

…If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love. Matthew 18:17 (MSG)

I love the way The Message describes the way I should treat someone who isn’t ready to own up to their failings. The version doesn’t say reject, cast-off, snub. It says to start over, to confront and offer God’s forgiving love. The Bible exhorts me to forgive, nearly 500 times if necessary, and in the same way I would hope to be forgiven. God’s Word encourages me to love my enemies, to bless and pray for my persecutors. His Word reminds me of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross for me while I was still a sinner and His constant mercy when I inevitably make mistakes as a believer.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. Matthew 18:11 (NKJV)

Though many versions omit this verse, it still holds true that Christ’s goal is to save the lost. He yearns for redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. He wants to rebuild honor, reestablish relationship, and reinstate original positioning, with Him and with others. He does that daily by offering His body and His blood. He seeks out the lost, whether they have never seen the Good Shepherd or have simply strayed away from the flock and offers forgiveness, ushering them into the fold.

While walking the earth, Jesus treated gentiles (unclean, polytheistic ‘heathens’), tax collectors, prostitutes and every other kind of sinner with mercy and grace. Though He didn’t condone their behaviors, He spent time with them. He demonstrated love and acceptance; and that witness was what opened eyes to sin and lead to change of heart, to repentance.

I can only believe that God asks me to do the same – to offer love, compassion, mercy, and forbearance – as He extends to me.

Yesappa, Thank You for Your forgiveness, Your grace, and Your mercy. Thank You for seeking me out when I am lost. Thank You for accepting me no matter what. Keep my heart soft, repentant before You at all times. Help me be a pipeline for Your love forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (written in Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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Exodus 13, Luke 16, Job 31, 2 Corinthians 1

Read at – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ex.%2013;%20Luke%2016;%20Job%2031;%202%20Cor.%201&version=NKJV

Exodus 13    Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place….‘This is done because of what the Lord did for me’

              Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.” And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.  

              Lord God, You are the Deliverer, the Provider and Sustainer. I suffer because I focus on my circumstances rather than clinging to You, no matter how much, often and powerfully You reveal Your character, attributes and activity in my daily life.

              Father, thank You for being the Sovereign Lord God throughout all time and space. You brought Joseph through many trials and hardship, where Joseph clung to You because of all his unfaithful and cruel family members, owners and friends. There was no person he could trust but You. Lord God, You were and are always Faithful! You let Joseph know You would bring him out of Egypt to be with Your people – and You covered Israel as You set them free! You saved Your people from judgment of death because You provided the only Way out! The Passover Lamb of God, representative of the eternal Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. (1)

            Lord God, You have been present during my past and are bringing me to the future You have planned. Help me to be faithful to You in my daily thought life so that I will not be depleted, distracted, saddened or without vision to forfeit what You want done, Your good and perfect will.

Luke 16         There was a certain rich man who had a steward, … and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you?’ … So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. …  And I say to you, … He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

            Lord God, You amaze me! You have trained me to be frugal and to give to You generously out of desiring for Your will and glory to be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Your  Word has done within me what You purposed! Yet it is never about money! It isn’t if we have money or not, are rich or not. It’s about depending on You, relying on You in a relationship based upon You, Lord Jesus! It is about living for You with integrity and honoring You with my attitude, motive and intent, along with everything else of my being. It is truly all about Jesus, the Word of God. (2)  

“it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” Luke 16:17

               The rich man and Lazarus, hell and heaven, show me that it isn’t about who had ‘good’ or ‘evil’. It is about what we do within our circumstances about You! It doesn’t depend on seeing You, Jesus, but IF we heed You, the Word of God. (vs. 30-31)                     

Job 31           For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps? … For destruction from God is a terror to me, And because of His magnificence I cannot endure.

            What Wondrous expressions displaying Job’s Love for God! The intimacy and passionate desire for God from Job is sacred. Job 31 reveals the tender subtleties of living a life with the sensibilities for God to honor of the Lord God Almighty. Oh, Lord, that I, in this day, would have the same fear of You and honor for You! My heart weeps at the iniquity within me and around me! Your heart must be continually broken by each subtle ignoring of Your Presence here on earth!

             Job cries out, “Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me, That my Prosecutor had written a book! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder, And bind it on me like a crown; I would declare to Him the number of my steps; Like a prince I would approach Him.” Job 31:35-37

            Many of us suffer seasons of tragedy, loss and of friends with bad advice. Oh! That Job would have had the Book of Your Word! Then Job could have “heard” from You as his Most Trusted Friend! You, Lord Jesus, the Word of God! (3)   

            How blessed! I DO have this!! We have a book called the “library”, the Bible! Many of us do carry it around and bind it to our hearts and minds like You command. Some Christ followers yearn to have it, yet because of cultural and governmental oppression, they must quickly memorize the single page that is smuggled to them. Others hold Your infallible Word in disdain, and seek to destroy Your reputation and your living tablets of the Word. Sadly, some who claim to belong to you, ignore your commands, precepts, principles and promises. They live a life by “their own understanding” and not a life in the Fear and admonition of the Lord. (4)

             Lord God, by Job’s circumstances and choices, I see how You were involved and protecting his person the entire time, You teach me Who You are and How You are with me. Your Word grows in me a healthy fear and respect of You in order to hide safely in Your Presence.

              Some seasons “feel” like God is displeased with me, though it is the exact opposite because this is when I am being hewn out of His Love for me. It is at these very moments that God is surrounding me closely, protecting me, providing and preparing me for greater intimacy with Him and for His plans of fruitfulness in His Presence for my future! (6)

            Job suffered for one terrible, agonizing season. But Job’s unwavering faithfulness to God seems matchless to me. In the end, Lord God, You double-blessed Job, proving a “a rich harvest of righteousness” and reimbursing Job for “what the locust had eaten”. (5)

             Joseph, too, had an agonizing season before God brought abundance and saved the nation of Israel. My agonizing season, though nothing in comparison to theirs, seems hard to me all the same. Much time in a “wilderness” with much pruning, breaking, healing and training for me by the Husband’s (a farming term) Skillful Hand is to have me trust, rely and adhere to the Almighty alone.

              What feels like “being deprived”, tortured, rejected and “soulful pain” – however real, is really heavenly pruning. God is cutting off deception, sin patterns, strongholds, lies I trust in, and setting me free so that I am no longer captive to my flesh, emotions and evil that I am unaware of. I have prayed, and I mean it – Lord, You know. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. No matter what the cost – because You already Paid the Price. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ!

2 Corinthians 1       Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

            Oh, Lord, the pain I feel seems interminable …. even though I know it is circumstantial and it will have an end. I do trust in the “God who raises the dead”. I am being helped by people “in prayer”. What if those two were not in place! I shudder to think of it. Lord God, help and save those who do not have You, the God of my salvation, the Holy One of Israel, for their Deliverer! Amen!

             For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He Who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

Bible Insights –

1- Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19; John 1:29; John 1:36; Revelation 7:9-12; Romans 12:1-2  

2-  Isaiah 55:8-11; Colossians 3:23-24; John 1:1-3; John 1:14

3- Proverbs 18:24; John 5:24; John 6:63; Psalm 33:4; Psalm 119:43; Psalm 119:160; John 17:17; John 1:1-3; John 1:14

4- Psalm 1; Psalm 19; Psalm 119; Deuteronomy 6:4-8; Deuteronomy 11:16-23; 2 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Peter 2:5; Judges 17:6; Proverbs 3:5-7; Proverbs 18:2; Job 28:28; Ephesians 6:4

5- Psalm 4:8; Job 42:10-17; Joel 2:25; Hebrews 12:11

6- Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 1:1-3; Job 42:10-17; John 14:2-3; John 8:31-36; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 5:21; Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:3-11; Revelation 3:19

 Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Gen. 47; Lk. 1:1-38; Job 13; I Cor. 1

Belief and unbelief.

Joseph trusted in God. His brothers trusted in their own plans (their plot to be rid of a little brother–good thing for them that God had other plans!).

Job was grappling with faith in the midst of an unimaginable hardship. His friends were at work to find his human flaws to justify punishment.

Zechariah asked a question of the messenger–Mary did too!–but what was at work on a heart level differentiated them. One, who was perhaps doubtful. The other, seeking.

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” Luke 1:1:38 NLT.

Paul talks about God using the least expected to confound the wise–and it’s splayed across chapters: a brother sold into slavery who becomes a leader … a wealthy man who loses everything in moments … a virgin girl and a barren, old woman to both conceive children who would change everything … and even Paul, hater turned lover of Christ.

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 NLT.

Overall, a message of being chosen, and a reminder that nothing is impossible with God.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Esther 1, 2; Matthew 1; Luke 3

  • Esther–a new opening for the Queen’s job. Girls from the area taken and prepared to apply. Esther is chosen.
  • Matthew–a lineage listed, all leading up to the fulfillment of prophecy. A Messiah. When Joseph woke up, he did as he was told.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”

24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus. Matthew 1:20-25 NLT.

  • Luke–a man prepares the way, preaching and baptizing. Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon. And then one day, Jesus was baptized.

Esther would save her people through obedience and humility.

Jesus did the same.

Esther, Joseph, John and Jesus–these chapters are the first-step-starts of bigger stories and journeys. Each one, responding in obedience: one being taken from the familiar and placed into royalty; another faced with a cultural blemish; one marches fervently and focused; and Jesus–the son of God and Savior.

These stories all united by the tasks before them, the big jobs prepared for them before their births. They are united by the obedience to do what was required. And they tell me that first-step starts lead to bigger stories and journeys.

When my task is to love God with all my heart, and to love my neighbor as myself–first-step-starts in obedience will lead to greater endings than I could ever imagine. It leads to lives changed and God’s glory. Even if, at first, it is only a package of cookies delivered with a smile.

Father, may I always be listening for your call.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 39,40; Matthew 21:23-46

Sometimes people sell you out. Sometimes it’s by the very people you love.

Joseph’s story  was just that. Literally sold. By his own brothers. Taken away. Sentences read matter-of-fact, yet a much bigger movement accompanies. I look for majesty and I don’t miss it.

The Lord was with Joseph … (Genesis 39:2 NLT)

And so it doesn’t go unnoticed, He is there again:

Potiphar […] realized that the Lord was with Joseph. (Genesis 39:3 NLT)

These words loudest off the page, read with exclamation, again and again.

All throughout, no record of Joseph complaining. No raging at injustice. No sulking, pouting, mourning, foot-stomping, bad attitude.

I am impressed by this: God was with Joseph and he knew it, and others saw it and were blessed by it.

In the face of (fill in the blank: betrayal, grief, disappointment, anger, accusation, wrong-doing), am I aware of God’s presence in my life?

Or am I so busy (complaining, mourning, griping, grieving, whining, sulking) that no one else would be aware of God’s presence in my life?

To think that no matter what comes my way, I could be blessed and be a blessing. Or not.

Father, in some of the biggest storms, I knew you were there. But it is in the daily details (bickering children, forgotten ballet slippers, a clogged sink), that I tend to lose sight of you and default to complaint. Lord, I pray today that I’d look for your majesty and not miss it … in every good thing, every unexpected thing, and every ordinary thing. You are with me in all of it.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

 To Be Known.  (and To Know God)

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, … , “I am Joseph!  – “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. – “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? – preach the gospel where Christ was not known …  join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.  Genesis 45,  Mark 15, Job 11, Romans 15

Found at Bible Gateway –  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2045;%20Mark%2015;%20Job%2011;%20Romans%2015&version=NIV1984  

I want to be known and understood! Valued and Loved, just as I am!

God wants me to know Him! Valued and loved by me! God-man Jesus (Hebrews 1:3) lived, died and rose for me to know Him. Then Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to keep me knowing Him more intimately (John 15:26)!

Genesis 45 –             Joseph is known! After 22 years Joseph finally reunites with his brothers! No more living in obscurity as “lord of all Egypt.” v.9. Joseph bursts to reveal himself to his brothers. Great conversation reveals Joseph wants to be known and to know his family intimately again. “he threw his arms around his brother… he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. … Now hurry back to my father and say to him … Come down to me; don’t delay.” v.14-15, 9 A spectacular reunion!! 

Mark 15 –                    How was Jesus known? “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. v.2 Others mocked Jesus before He took the punishment for their sins. v.16-20, 29-32. “The centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus… said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” v.39  The Lord God knew Jesus as the only acceptable and permanent sacrifice for all sins (v. 33-34, 37-38, Hebrews 10:5-6,10,19-23). So I can approach God’s Holy of Holies through Jesus Christ.     

Who is Jesus to me? A historical person? A friend? Lord, Master and God? A Savior saving me from eternal hell? Do I relate with Him personally, intimately, and dependably? Or is Jesus just another stranger who is really strange?

Job 11 –                      How is Job understood? How is God understood?  Job was not known by his friend. Zophar wrongfully accused Job (Job 11:1-6, Job 42:7-10). Yet Zophar knew the Almighty’s character: “Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens—” v. 7-9  Zophar knew sound advice for a sinful man to heed: “Yet if you devote your heart to him … if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell … you will stand firm and without fear.” v. 10-20  

Romans 15 –             Are other Christians known? Do I know their walk and heart, their struggles, strongholds, and freedom victories which the Lord Jesus Christ did for them? Do I studying them through the lens of God’s Word? Do I “bear with the failings of the weak and not to please” myself, but “for his good, to build him up” in Christ Jesus? v.1-2  Do I accept and serve them just as Christ accepted me “in order to bring praise to God”? v.7-8

Do I make Jesus known? How do my heart and actions prove that I am “a minister of Christ Jesus… proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit”? v.16  Do I boldly “not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me… through the power of the Spirit”? v.18-19

How do I come to my siblings in Christ with “the full measure of the blessing of Christ” and in His Joy? Do I join in the struggles of my fellow Christians by praying to God for them? v.29-30 Do I pray for their success under Christ Jesus for the salvation and maturation of souls?

Do I study people not yet regenerated in Christ Jesus (2Cor 5:17)? Do I learn of their needs in order to bring them to Christ through prayer and action? Do I invite the Holy Spirit to show them Christ through me and His Word? Is my heart broken for those heading for hell? Do I yearn to make Christ known? v.20  

            I am Soooo grateful that You know me LORD!! I bask in Your Presence as I rest in You! Nothing is sweeter or more medicinal than You!! I treasure Your Word and Holy Spirit. Continue to show me Yourself and how You can live through me more and more! Please reveal Yourself to those who are deceived (Matthew 7:23). Please reveal to me any harbored resentment or unforgiveness so that I can embrace more people with Your unconditional Love as Joseph did. Show me my blind spots of sin so I can hate them as You do, turn away from them, and live without shame, standing firm without fear and being secure with hope. (Job 11:15-18) Give me Your heart of compassion for those perishing so when my life is done, my joyous reunion with You in heaven will be to Your Glory alone!! Matthew 25:14-30

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under Genesis, Job, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans