The Battle of the Ages

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 25 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 17 – 18; Proverbs 9; Psalms 41 – 45)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0109 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from this passage – “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree” and “From A Father To A Son”

“And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.” (Genesis 25:22)

As I was reading this I could not help but think that it is a picture of the struggle that is within each of us. Here in this passage we see Rebekah with twin boys in her womb; and the Scripture tell us that they struggled within her. Now, we know from hindsight that these boys and their descendants would be struggling for a long time; in fact, they are still struggling today. However, we also can see how that these boys are a picture of the new nature which struggles against the old nature. Esau who was born first is a picture of the flesh, and Jacob is a picture of the new birth, the birth of the Spirit. You see, when we trusted Christ as our Saviour we became new creatures in Christ, but God did not remove our old, sinful nature. He is alive and well. That is why Paul talked often about crucifying the flesh. Look at some of the things that God used Paul to pen regarding this struggle:

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:17)

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Romans 7:15)

All of these verses speak of the struggle that is within each one of us who are saved. In this New Year,  I have resolved to get as close to God as possible so that He will “[work] in me both to will and to do of his good pleasure”. I want to reduce the influence that my flesh has over my mind. I want my mind and body to be yielded to the indwelling Spirit of God. There will always be a struggle between the Jacob and Esau within us, but I want to see Jacob win more often.


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No More Jacob

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Today’s Passages – Genesis 31 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 23 – 24; Proverbs 12; Psalms 56 – 60)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 51

Read the “0112 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” (Genesis 32:28)

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jacob left the land of Canaan with a name that means “supplanter” or “deceiver”; but he returns after twenty years with name Israel, which means “a prince of God”. This is a wonderful picture of the power of God to transform lives. Jacob didn’t just get a name change, either, he received a nature change, and so do we when we give our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. God gives us a new nature. The Holy Spirit of God moves in and transforms our lives from the inside out. This isn’t just a “turning over of a new leaf”. This is the impartation of a divine nature into the heart of a formerly fallen sinner. What a wonderful thing it is to be a Christian.

Notice, however, that Jacob did not receive his new name until he had been with Laban for twenty years. Justification and positional righteousness take place immediately when we are born again into the family of God; but sanctification and practical righteousness in our lives is a lifelong process. God had to do some things in Jacob’s life. I have been saved now for over twenty-five years myself, and God is still chipping away at my rough edges; still revealing areas of my life that need His touch. In fact, the closer I walk with him, the more I see the things in my life that are not as they should be. My goal is just to get close to Him, and allow Him to have His will and His way in my life. I am not what I should be but, praise God, I am not what I used to be, either. I am not yet an Israel, but no longer am I Jacob. God is still at work in my life. I am trying to get out of His way and let Him work.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – (Romans 12:2)

 


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Saving for the Future

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 41 – 42 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 3 – 4; Proverbs 16; Psalms 76 – 80

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32

Read a previous post from this passage – “In His Time

“Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.” – (Genesis 41:34-36)

Our passage of Scripture today explains that Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had a dream, which he did not understand the significance of. I am not sure that all dreams have significance, but this dream must have been especially troubling to Pharaoh as he called in all of the people he could to help him figure it out. He dreamed about seven cattle that were very healthy and fat, and they were feeding in a meadow. Then there came along seven cattle that were lean and unhealthy, and they ate the healthy cattle. Then Pharaoh dreamed about ears of corn. Once again, the first seven ears were healthy and full, but there came along seven other ears of corn that devoured the first seven. No one in the kingdom could help Pharaoh understand the meaning of the dreams, until they brought Joseph up out of the prison. You see, Joseph had already demonstrated in the past to some of Pharaoh’s servants that he could help in these matters.

Joseph revealed to Pharaoh that both the cattle, and the corn in his dreams represented years. That healthy and full cattle and corn represented seven good years; years when there would be plenty of rain, and the land would produce food in abundance. Unfortunately, the seven good years would be followed by seven years of drought, and famine; years where the land would produce very little, and the people of Egypt and the surrounding areas would eventually go hungry.

Because Joseph had the inside scoop on what was about to happen, Pharaoh had appointed him prime minister over the land, and granted him authority over everyone else, save Pharaoh himself. Joseph began purchasing food from the Egyptians in the good years, when it was abundant and cheap. He stored the food that he bought in the cities, and soon, he had a great mass of food laid up in store, ready for the lean years that were to come. I imagine that there were probably many people that thought Joseph was foolish for purchasing all of that food. I mean, after all, there was plenty of food everywhere, and the land just kept producing more. It may have seemed to most that there would never come a day when the good times would end. But they did. And Joseph was ready.

In this passage, Joseph not only demonstrated that he had a special gift from God in discerning the dreams of men, but he also showed that he had godly wisdom. Wisdom teaches that we should not consume all that God gives us today, because we may need some of it tomorrow. It is wise to prepare for the days of leanness and famine that may be ahead in our future. Just recently in America we saw countless people who had their expensive houses and cars foreclosed on because they had lost their jobs. In the previous years they were making great money. Who would have thought that the economy was going to plunge into recession? Many people went into large amounts of debt, simply because they believed that the good years would never end, but they did; and now they are suffering the consequence of their over-consumption and lack of preparation for the lean years.

We need to learn a very practical lesson from this passage. Things may be good today, but they may not be so good tomorrow. It is very wise to save a little today, so that we are bettered prepared for tomorrow. You do not have to be a miser, but a little saving will go a long way. Also, it is very wise to avoid debt, especially consumer debt. Cut up those credit cards if you have trouble controlling your spending. Learn to live with a little less today, so that you can survive tomorrow.

Joseph was a wise steward, and as a result he prospered while everyone else was suffering. We can do the same thing.

Oh, I almost forgot. The best way to save for the future is to invest in God’s Kingdom. He pays better interest that anything else out there.


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God Will Provide Himself A Lamb

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 13 – 14; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7

Read the “0107 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Heream I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” Genesis 22:7-8

Before I begin my thought this morning from today’s passage in the Scripture, let me say that I feel totally inadequate to even attempt to glean all of the depth and beauty that is contained in chapter 22. We are certainly treading on Holy Ground as we deal with the great test that God gave Abraham when He asked him to offer up his only son, Isaac. I strongly encourage you to prayerfully re-read this chapter, and ask God to open your eyes to the many wonderful pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ that we will see in this chapter. I will discuss some of these types of Christ from this passage in a minute, but first let me say, that God was definitely putting Abraham to the test by asking this of him. God had first promised Abraham a son twenty years before He actually gave him. Abraham had waited so long, but God finally delivered on His promise. To make matters worse, Abraham’s other son, Ishmael, who was born to a concubine had been sent away; so Isaac was all that Abraham had, and God was now asking him to give him back. Think now how you would respond to this. What if God were to ask you to sacrifice your only child? What if God were to ask you to let your child serve Him on a foreign mission field? We become pretty attached to the children God gives us, don’t we?

First, let us consider the  person of the sacrifice. Before, we look at the pictures of Christ contained in chapter 22, let’s examine how the child, Isaac, is a picture of Christ. The birth of Isaac bears a striking resemblance to the birth of Christ in many ways making Isaac’s birth a type or a picture of the birth of our Lord. A. W. Pink in his work, Gleanings in Genesis, points out the following:

1  Isaac was the promised seed and son; and so was Christ. (Genesis 17:16; 3:5; Isaiah 7:14)

2  In both cases there was a long period of time between the promise of birth and the fulfillment of that promise. (Genesis 12:7)

3  In both cases the announcement of the birth to the mothers and the reception of the news were similar. (Genesis 18:12 – 14; Luke 1:34 – 37)

4  In both cases the name of the child was specified before birth.  (Genesis 17:19; Matthew 1:21)

5  Both births occurred at an appointed time. (Genesis 21:2; Galatians 4:4)

6  Both births were miraculous.  (Consider also the birth of Samuel and the birth of John the Baptist)

7  The name Isaac, which means laughter, was given by Abraham indicating the delight of the father.  So too did Jesus’ Father declare His delight, when He said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

These types, which are replete throughout the Book of Genesis, remind us of the infallibility of the Word of God.  How could any human instrument paint such an accurate and beautiful picture of our Lord centuries before His birth.

Now let’s consider the place of the sacrifice. Did you know that this Mt. Moriah is the very same mountain that the Lord Jesus would be crucified on years later. By the way, it is also the place where David offers his sacrifice; and also the same mountain where the temple would be built.

Finally. let us look at some of the other pictures contained in this chapter:

1  They arrived at Moriah on the third day. (v 4)  For three days Isaac was thought to be as good as dead to Abraham.  But on this third day, Abraham was given back his son alive.  Of course, the third day is the day of resurrection.

2  The wood for the sacrifice was placed upon Isaac, (v 6) and carried by Isaac to the place of the sacrifice.  Remember that Christ carried the wood for His sacrifice as well.

3  In verse five, they leave the servants behind.  This was between the father and the son.  Christ also left the disciples at Gethsemane; and even the two thieves were excluded when the darkness fell when Christ was on the cross.

4  Notice in verse eight, “God will provide himself a lamb”.  This is not a reference to the ram that was given later on in the chapter.  This is clearly a reference to Christ.

5  The Ram was caught in a thicket.  Thorns were upon the head of the Saviour.

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)


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Relationships Are More Valuable Than Riches

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Today’s Passages – Genesis 13 – 16 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 9 – 10; Proverbs 5; Psalms 21 – 25)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 19

Read the “0105 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read last year’s post from this passage – “Gardens and Green Grass – or God’s Will?”

“And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” – (Genesis 13:8)

I recommend that you go to the link above and read the post that we did last year. However, I also want to give you a quick thought this year from Genesis 13. Lot and Abraham, and apparently the people that worked for them, began to fight because their possessions increased to the point that they could no longer work and live together. Now, I completely understand that it is a good things for our children, or in this case a nephew, to separate from us and go out on their own. However, the thing that troubles me from this passage is the reason that this particular family separated. It was all about money and possessions. It grieves me that family and friends will often forsake each other due to conflicts regarding money. Riches are not as important as relationships, and relationships are of far more value than riches.

“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” – (Luke 12:15)

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” – (1 Timothy 6:10)

As I get older, I realize that the people in my life: my wife, my children, and my friends; bring me more joy than anything that money can buy. Possessions are not wrong as long as they don’t possess you, but possessions have a way of becoming idols in our lives. We need to be careful that we never let our bank accounts, or our stuff, take precedent over the relationships that God has given us.


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The Beginning of Globalism

The Ruins of the Tower of Babel

The Ruins of the Tower of Babel

Today’s Passage – Genesis 10 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 7 – 8; Proverbs 4; Psalms 16 – 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

Read a previous post from this passage – “Don’t Move Unless God Moves You

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” – (Genesis 11:4)

In our passage today, we read about the Tower of Babel, man’s first attempt at a one-world government. God was not pleased with man’s attempt to build himself a place in the heavens then, and He is not pleased with it now. Our world is moving rapidly toward this “New World Order”, which will eventually be headed up by the antichrist, and will include a universal religion. Unfortunately, this one-world worship system will not be worshipping Jesus Christ, but will in fact be worshipping the god of this world – Satan.

I for one am grieved with all of this coming together. I am an American. I am proud of my heritage, and the culture that I was raised in. I am not against other nations, and people groups. I love them, and desire to see them reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ; but I am not trying to get them to become like me in their culture, and neither do I want to become like them. In our church, we have many different nationalities present, including people from Africa, Europe, Asia, and South America. They are all wonderful people and have unique cultural backgrounds. I enjoy fellowshipping with them, and I especially enjoy eating their delicious foods; but I am not trying to change them. The common bond that glues us together is the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all followers of the Lord, but I do not believe the Lord would want us to all give up the things that make us diverse from one another culturally.

I am also very opposed to uniting with all of the other religious groups in the world. I can have no fellowship at all with religions that do not worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe we should even separate from so-called Christian religions and denominations who preach a gospel other than salvation by grace through faith. The Bible is clear that two cannot walk together unless they be agreed. I am a Baptist, and I am not ashamed of that. I don’t wish to become anything else. I find that when we attempt to all come together, we have to lose some of the distinctives that we hold dear. I don’t want to lose those things, so I separate from other religious groups. I don’t hate them, and I don’t try to stop them, I just don’t fellowship with them in a church setting. Personally, I may be able to enjoy the company of believers of other denominations because of our common bond of salvation, but I will not invite other denominations to preach for us at the church, or participate in our worship services.

The only one-world government and religion that I will go along with is the one that is completely under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Someday soon He will set up a wonderful New World Order with Himself as the King, but it will be completely free from the corruption of man and sin.


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Too Old To Do Something for the Lord?

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 7 – 9 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 5 – 6; Proverbs 3 ; Psalms 11 – 15

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

Read the “0103 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s passage – “It Doesn’t Take Long, Does It?“; “A Token

“And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.” – (Genesis 7:6)

“And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.” – (Genesis 9:28-29)

The thought I have this morning may seem a little strange, but bear with me. Notice that Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, and he lived beyond the flood another 350 years. The lifespan of man back in these early days after creation was obviously a lot longer than it is today. Men and women would have lived forever had sin not entered into their world, but the wages of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was death; but even still, that death didn’t come for 100’s of years. The flood would cataclysmically change the earth, which would reduce lifespans; and then a strange event is mentioned but not explained in the Bible, which would further reduce the average age that men and women would live on the earth. (See Genesis 10:25; 11:10 – 19) By the time you get to Abraham, man’s years are reduced even further to 175; and eventually God limited man’s years on earth to “three score and ten (70), with possibly another ten years added for good behavior. (Psalm 90:10)

I didn’t mean for this to be an exhaustive study on the Biblical history of lifespans, but I merely wanted to point out that Noah’s life was better than half over when God called him to build the ark and deliver his family through the flood. In today’s years, Noah would have been in his fifties when called upon to do this monumental task for the Lord. Moses was two-thirds of the way done with his life (80 years old) when God called him to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. It seems that God does not have a problem giving older folks the strength and energy to do great things for Him.

I am 52 years old, and I am way past the half way point in my life; but I can still be used of the Lord to accomplish His will. Sometimes, I start to get a little discouraged about how much I have done for the Lord thus far. I would like to have completed some more tasks, done a little more than I have; but then, when I read passages like this, I get encouraged, because it may just be that I will be used of God in greater ways in my remaining years. I bet the same is true for you as well. You are not as young as you used to be, but God still wants to use you to accomplish great things for Him.

Noah Webster completed his monumental American Dictionary of the English Language at age 66.

Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence at age 70.

Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma, a degree in general studies with an emphasis on history at age 95.

Grandma Moses (yes it’s a real person) started painting at age 76, and completed over 1000 paintings by the time she died at 101.


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Shining Brightly in a Dark World

Today’s Passage  – Genesis 4 – 6 (Click on the reference to listen to the audio. Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 3 – 4; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Joshua 1:8

Read the “0102 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8)

“These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9)

“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11)

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,” (Matthew 24:37-38)

The New Testament tells us that what we read in the Old Testament is partially given to us to be an example to us and to admonish us. I am very encouraged by the example of Noah who was a bright and shining light during a very dark period of man’s history. The Bible tells that in the days of Noah “every imagination … was only evil continually”. In fact, Noah and his family were the only saved people on the face of the earth. 2 Peter tells us that Noah wasn’t a silent Christian, either; he was a “preacher of righteousness”, which means that even though the people weren’t taking him seriously, he continued to shine brightly by preaching the truth.

The parallels to our present day are very plain here. We are also living in perilous times, and though it may not be quite as bad yet as it was in Noah’s day, the world today is certainly a very dark place. Yet, we can be challenged by the example of Noah, and continue to boldly live for the Lord, and shine the light of Christ’s glorious gospel. If Noah had enough grace to stand for the truth back then, I am sure that God will give us the grace that we need in order to stand today.

Here are some tips for keeping your spiritual battery charged this year so you can continue to shine brightly:

1  Walk with God every day. Noah did (Genesis 6:9) – spend time daily in the Word of God and prayer.

2  Gather with God’s people every time the doors are opened. The preaching of the word and the edification that we receive from other believers will strengthen us tremendously:

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

3  Win souls – get out in the highways and hedges, the streets and lanes of the city, and tell people about the Lord. There is nothing more invigorating than to see people come to faith in Christ; and unlike Noah’s day, people are still getting saved today.

4  Unplug from the world. If you really want to shine brightly in this dark world, you will have to stop allowing the darkness to permeate your life.


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Let There Be Light

 

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Today’s Passage – Genesis 1 – 3 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 1 – 2; Proverbs 1; Psalms 1 – 5)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Deuteronomy 32:4

Read the “0101 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read previous posts from today’s reading – “In the Beginning“; “He Is Still Creating Me

“And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:4)

This is the first of three separations in this chapter. Here light is separated from darkness; later, the sky will be separated from the water; and then the land will be separated from the water. This is also the first spiritual picture of the doctrine of separation. God divided the light from the darkness. We are the children of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” (John 12:36)

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (Ephesians 5:8)

We are commanded to shine the light of God, and we are also instructed to not fellowship with darkness.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:19-21)

There is a lot of darkness in the world, which should, at least theoretically, cause our light to appear brighter. Unfortunately, too many Christians are also becoming darker because of the attraction that we have for this world and its culture and our desire to be accepted. The Bible commands us to love the people in the world, but also to “love not” the worldly culture and anti-God philosophies. The best way to do this is to live separated lives as we shine the light of the gospel to the people around us.


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Are You Willing to Wait?

Today’s Passage – Genesis 41 – 42 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Mark 3 – 4 Proverbs 16Psalms 76 – 80)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1

Read the “0116 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s reading passage – “Saving for the Future”

“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.” – (Genesis 41:38-41)

There are two questions that I would like to consider this morning:

1  Would you be willing to wait all of the years that Joseph waited if you new there was a marvelous and exciting plan for your life in the distant future?

2  Would you be willing to endure all of the hardship that Joseph endured and remain faithful to the Lord if you knew that those trials were necessary to advance the plans and purposes of God?

The story of Joseph begins in Genesis 37. In these chapters we discover that Joseph goes from being a favored son of Jacob to a slave in the house of Potipher, and then to a prisoner in Pharaoh’s kingdom. Joseph’s downward slide began with a dream that he had which revealed to him that God was going to elevate him above his brothers, and even above his father. His brothers would have none of Joseph’s dreams and sought to be rid of him, and for a long time they were. However, many years after they sold their brother into bondage, the sons of Jacob went down into Egypt at the request of their father to purchase food, and who do you think was the guy in charge of the food? You guessed it: Joseph. Egypt was the only place that had food in this time of famine, and the only reason they were prepared  was because Joseph had revealed to Pharaoh that he should store up food in the days of plenty, so that Egypt would have enough when times got hard. By the way, that’s not a bad idea for us, either.

At any rate, when the brothers finally come to Egypt, their little brother is no longer a slave; he is the prime minister of all of Egypt. However, it took a long times and a lot of hardship before Joseph was elevated by God to this prominent position. I am sure that there were times in those many years that he doubted God; but he never wavered. Joseph remained faithful to God. In God’s time, Joseph was delivered from his brothers, from the bondage, from the prison, and from the humiliation of it all; and all of the world could see that Joseph was God’s man. Though, Joseph certainly did not enjoy all of the days of trial and affliction, I bet that at the end of his life he would say that it was all worth what God finally gave him.

We sing a song that says “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus”. I bet when Joseph hears us singing that song from his vantage point in Heaven, he says “Amen. It was worth it all”.

Stay faithful to God. You may be in Pharaoh’s dungeon right now, but if you are a child of God, I promise you, that He will some day pull you out of that awful place. Trust God. He has a purpose and a plan for it all. God doesn’t often fill us in about all of the details of His sovereign plan, but we can trust that He will work it all out in the end.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” – (Romans 8:18)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – (Romans 8:28)

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – (Isaiah 40:31)


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