Genesis 39:20b-21 Favor Even In Wrongful Imprisonment

But while Joseph was there in prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. Genesis 39:20b-21

Going through difficulties is very challenging and even more so when one is completely innocent of doing anything wrong. Generally, people focus on what is going wrong in their lives and how it is everyone or everything else’s fault, rather than looking at what is going well.

Most often people will fight back and rebel when falsely accused. They will refuse to do any more good since they are accused of being wrong.

Joseph was wrongly accused of attacking his master’s wife and was placed in prison. While there, he did what was right and was given kindness and favor with the warden.

Due to the actions of other people, some will be placed in very horrible or difficult conditions or positions. Those who have done wrong will recognize that they got what was coming to them. However, there are some who are innocent and yet still get hurt.

Rather than fighting back and being angry, the believer must be a person of integrity. He must give his best efforts and work as unto the Lord.

Usually, a person does not know or see the big picture as to why he is in a difficult spot. That may not be revealed by God until much later, however, it does not stop the person from doing what is right before God and man.

As one does the right thing, God can give him supernatural favor in the worst of difficult circumstances. God has the ability to turn the hearts and minds of the enemy into giving favor to those who put their trust in Him. He will also provide strength and His presence and guidance in the prisons of this life until one is released.

Someone may have wrongly accused you and put in some type of prison, whether a physical prison or social prison. As wrong as it was, you have two choices as how to react to it. You can either fight back, or you can trust God in your circumstance and use it to His glory.

God knows exactly where you are and what you are going through and have been through. As you trust in Him and live for Him, He will give you favor, even among your enemies and while in prison.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will trust God in every situation in your life; that you will live for God wherever you are; and that you will see God’s hand of kindness and favor in every prison man puts you in.

Genesis 13:18 Build An Altar To The Lord

So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord. Genesis 13:18

People love to build up places to honor and lift others up. Some will have whole rooms dedicated to some celebrity, filled with pictures and things of that celebrity. Web pages are made by fans that are dedicated to worshipping a celebrity.

Having things like this shows where a person’s heart is. It reveals to everyone else what that person really worships and desires and puts first or highest priority in his life.

Abram had begun to live in the area of Mamre. One of the first things he did was build an altar to God.

The altars of the Bible were in place for sacrifices, offerings and to hear from God. They were a testimony of what God had done and brought people to focus upon God.

While focus upon the Lord should be the first priority of every believer, it is often not the case. Being tempted by the things of the world, many put other things first. Not always are these things bad, such as family, work, health, but they do take the place of God on His throne.

In order to combat this type of action or attitude, the believer should build an altar to the Lord first. This altar does not have to be a physical one, though it could be, but one in his heart.

The altar for the believer is putting God first in his life in such a way that others can see it. It is a place of going to God for forgiveness, guidance, mercy, provision and anything else needed. It is also the place to lay down sacrifices and sin before God.

Going through your days, do you have an altar to God in your life? You need times when you can go to God for forgiveness, or to offer sacrifices of praise and repentance, or to seek His wisdom and direction.

Do not allow altars to the things of this world to be built up in your life.

Although you could build a physical altar to God, it cannot always be with you or you with it. Build an altar to God in your heart. Make your heart a place that seeks to worship and honor God in all that you think, say and do.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will have an altar to the Lord in your heart; that you will place the focus of your life upon God and His desires; and that the world may know you serve God with all of your life.

1 John 5:3 Obeying God Is Not A Burden

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 1 John 5:3

Rules are something that many people do not like to have to follow. They are good for the other person, but not for self, because they are restrictive and keep a person from really ‘living’ life.

It is common for many to see how close they can come to breaking the rule, without actually breaking it. More energy is spent in trying to get close to the line, then would be in just obeying the rule.

As John brings his letter to an end, he tells the people that love for God is keeping His commands and that His commands are not a burden.

Looking at many churches and believers, one would think that all a Christian life would be is just living a life of what to do and what not to do, with the emphasis on what not to do. Talk is often heard of what all the commands of God are, laying a heavy burden upon the people.

When the focus is on what to do or not do, the commands are difficult to follow. Believers need to change their focus from what God’s commands are to loving Him. Anyone who loves God will want to obey Him because he trusts Him completely. God’s love is perfect, so He will not give any command that is bad or difficult.

Once a person falls in love with God, he will find joy in obeying His commands. They will no longer be a burden or chore that must be done, but that want to be done.

Living will begin on a level that was never realized before because it is out of love, not duty.

You may see all the commands of God and be overwhelmed and burdened by them. Instead of looking at the commands as a burden, learn to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Get to know God’s perfect love for you.

As you begin to realize God’s love for you, you will begin to love Him back. The love you have for God will lighten the load of obeying His commands, turning them into a joy because they will bring about life.

Do not look at the commands as a must, but that you get to out of love.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know God’s love for you; that you will love God with all of your being; that you will find joy in obeying God; and that you will know the life you can have in obeying God’s commands.

Hebrews 3:12 How Is Your Heart?

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. Hebrews 3:12

All over the world some people are willing to put their hearts into something that they believe in. It is what gives the athlete the ability to win the gold medal. He is focused on one thing and keeps at it, never allowing his heart to move to something else.

Others, however, do not stay as focused. There is constant change as to what they are focused on, constantly turning away from something to go to something else.

The author warns the people to make sure that none of them have a sinful heart that turns away from God.

The church is filled with many people who, at some point, chose to believe in Jesus and follow God. At the same time, there are many of those people who have also chosen to step into sin and allow their heart to be turned away from God. Some continue in the church and others have left the church completely.

Leaving God does not always happen quickly. It is often a slow change over time. One decides to start dabbling with some sinful activity, thinking it is fun and acceptable. Later he goes into more and deeper sins, pulling his heart further from God, until at last he walks completely away from God.

Staying on path with God, requires that one keeps his heart focused upon God. He does not allow the distractions and sins of this world to pull him off course, but stays in the center of God’s world, drawing closer and closer to God everyday.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. One will only continue to believe as long as he stays in God’s word and obeys it.

Take a look at your life, if you have chosen to be a believer at some point. Is your life still focused upon God? Or have you allowed sin to creep in and take over, pulling you away from God.

Make time daily, even multiple times daily, to refocus upon God and His word. Do not allow sin and the pleasures of this world to rule your life and turn your heart away from God.

Keep running the race in faith that God has called you to run and don’t give in.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will keep your heart focused on God and His word; that God will strengthen you to reject all sin in your life; and that your faith in God will grow stronger each day.

Colossians 3:2 What Do You Think About?

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

Throughout the day there are many things that people think about. Depending upon what they are doing, will depend upon where their focus and mind is, money, bills, illnesses, vacations, pleasures, family, work, material things, and more.

Behind all of their day-to-day activities, many also have their minds focused upon dreams. Nearly everyone has something that they desire and many will spend a lot of time thinking about that thing and how to get it. Focus on these desires will often overtake other responsibilities and more important needs.

Paul points out that since a believer is now raised with Christ to a new life, he is to focus on things above, not the temporary earthly things.

While it is important to take care of the temporary things of life on this earth, such as jobs, bills, vehicle and house maintenance and more, there is a higher and more lasting priority of focus.

Everything physical in this life will break down, fade away and disappear at some point. Nearly all of these things will fade from the memory of most people shortly after it is gone. It is only in the here and now that they can mean anything, if anything at all.

Even though the believer is in this world and must take care of some temporary things, his primary focus must be more on the eternal things of heaven and God. A person may have all the physical things of this world, but if he does not believe in Jesus and have his sins removed, he will lose everything in the end and have only death left.

God has a mission for every believer. That mission will always have a focus upon eternity with God for himself and others. Believers must have a focus upon that mission that God has for him.

You have many things that you think about every day. Each one has a different level of priority in your life. While many of those things have some temporary importance to them, the greatest thing to focus upon is what God is saying and doing in and through you.

Instead of spending all of your time and efforts to gain temporary things, put your mind and efforts on the things of eternity and God. Jesus forgave you and saved you for an eternal purpose, not for temporary things.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will focus your mind on the things of God; that God would remove the lure of temporary things in your life; that you will have the mind of Christ in all that you think, say and do; and that you will know God’s mission for your life.