Posts Tagged ‘Joseph’

Dear Friends and Family,


     Have you noticed that there are certain Scriptures which are very palatable? They go down smooth as ice cream. Conversely, some of God’s Words seems to be like a dose of Cod Liver Oil . . . . hard to swallow!!! I’m sure you’ve also discovered that we can’t pick and choose which Scriptures we want to apply to our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man (or woman) of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  With this in mind, please explore with me a Scripture that has been a personal challenge to me for a long time. . . . in other words, hard to swallow.


     I Thess. 5:18 instructs us thusly: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Now let’s play “honest Indian”. (No slur intended.) Isn’t it easy to give God thanks for that job promotion, the birth of that healthy child or some miraculous physical healing? Do prayers of thanksgiving flow glibly out of your mouth when you’re flat on your back in the hospital, you’re facing a lay-off or a loved one leaves you? Perhaps we’re having a problem with this particular Scripture because we don’t fully understand it and its ramifications.


    Firstly, it says in everything give thanks, not for everything. We can confidently apply this Word to areas of our lives because we know that Our Heavenly Father is the Miraculous and Mighty Provider in our lives. We know that He is all-powerful and that NOTHING is impossible for Him. (Luke 1:37) There is another reason we can be comfortable with the Scripture. I believe that the everything in 1 Thess. 5:18 is interchangeable with the all things found in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This tells me that God can take All the happenings in our lives, both good and bad, and fashion the outcome to be a blessing to us. Joseph is an excellent Biblical example. As you know, he was cast into a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongfully accused of rape and put into prison. God took all these circumstances and wove them together. The finished tapestry featured Joseph as the second most powerful man in Egypt with the ability to save his family from starvation. (Genesis Chapters 37-42)


     Well Folks, don’t get me wrong. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to look adversity in the eye and immediately praise God and give Him thanks. This is because our finite minds can’t figure out how God can take the mess we are in and make something beautiful. Well, don’t trouble yourself trying to figure it out; just remember that “We walk by FAITH and not by sight”. (2Cor. 5:7)) When we demonstrate our faith by acting on His Word, God can then get into action on our behalf.


                                             Have a blessing and be a blessing,






“Shun youthful lusts and flee from them. . ..” (2 Timothy 2:22) and “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)

COMMENT: Have you ever talked yourself into something even though you knew, deep down in your heart, that you should not? Well, let me tell you about my experience along those lines. As I look back on my career in the Life Insurance Industry, I truly believe that I had become an alcoholic. I fooled myself by saying that I only drink once a day, not all day like those ‘lush heads” I see stumbling in the street. That evening cocktail. . . isn’t that what successful businessmen do to refresh themselves at the end of a busy work day?  Well, the Lord has given me 25 years of deliverance from that habit.  A couple of months ago I heard renewed medical claims about the benefits of drinking several ounces of red wine each day. Against my better judgment, I purchased a bottle of wine called 20/20. (What a weird name for an alcoholic beverage. If you take enough of that wine, you’ll have anything but 20/20 vision.) The first night I took a few ounces and then I decided to take a few more. Before the night was over, the bottle was half empty. By the following evening there was nothing but air in that vessel. The next day I came to the conclusion that I just didn’t have the self-control to have 20/20 in my home. I should have followed Joseph’s example. He even left his garment as he fled the advances of  Potiphar’s wife. (Genesis 39:11-14)  If I ever get on a “health kick” again, I’ll use grape juice! From now on, I will take the  twin advice of our Lead Scriptures.  Would it be prudent for you to make a similar decision about something in your life?


Prophecy of Christ’s birth:
Born of a Woman ***
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored: the Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:26-33)
We are reminded again, our Father, that “nothing is impossible with God.” One of the thrills of the Christmas season is the realization that our Lord’s birth was a miracle–He was born of a virgin. May this truth cause us to praise Your Name anew for Your great love with which You loved us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
***From “Daily Devotions for the Christmas Season” by Zondervan Publishers.

Now Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers. . .” (Genesis 37:5)
COMMENT: Well folks, I am sorry if I have misled you; from the Lead Scripture you probably thought that I was going to discuss Joseph and his dreams. However, I just used that verse as a lead-in to tell you about an interesting and perplexing dream I had the other night.

All I remember was the following phrase: “What three things did Peter say?” My first thought was: “Peter was so talkative; his mouth was always open and that often led to his chagrin.(John 13:37) How can I pick out three statements out of all of that verbiage?”. Then the thought came to me . . . .”What were the three most important things that Peter said?” Now you may disagree with me, but here is my list in the order of importance. #1 “And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)  #2 – And he (Peter) said to Him (Jesus) “Lord You know all things; You know that I love You.” (John 21:17b) #3 – “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’ “(Matthew 18:21,22)
Please let me know if your TOP THREE are different from mine.
SCRIPTURE STUDY: Matthew 6:12, Ephesians 5:23 and 1 John 4:19