Genesis 50:25 A Future Hope

“And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.” Genesis 50:25

The time of great harvests and the time of famine had hit Egypt very hard. Through it all, Joseph was able to provide food for the people and bring them through the struggles. The people of Egypt and Israel’s family were able to survive because of the wisdom God had given Joseph.

After a long successful life, Joseph knew he was about to die. He told his brothers that some day God would bring them up out of Egypt. He made them promise that when God does bring them out of Egypt, they had to bring his bones with them. He wanted to be buried in the land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel).

At the time of Joseph dying, the Israelites had things going very well for them. They had the favor of Pharaoh. They were given the choice land for raising their animals, and all that they needed was provided for. Things were going great.

When things are going great, it is very easy to settle in and stay there forever. No one wants to leave a good place.

However, with the past prophecies, God had something better for them in store. He planned to give them their own land.

In life today, you may be in a spot that is great. Everything is working out in a way that seems perfect. Yet, God may have something better in store for you.

You need to be aware of what God wants to do in your life. The place you are in may only be a temporary spot to get you ready for the next step in your journey in this life. The ultimate plan of God is to bring you into heaven, but until then He has plans for you on this earth.

Seek God as to where He wants to bring you. Ask for a vision of what He sees for your life. Then be willing to move when needed. This move may be physically or it may be spiritually, but it is always for the better.

I pray today that God will give you a vision of He plans for you; that you will not settle for just where you are; that you will always want the best from God; and that you will have a future hope that rests in God alone.

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Genesis 45:7-8 Suffering For A Greater Purpose

“But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.” Genesis 45:7-8

Joseph was hated by his brothers and so they sent him into slavery. While in slavery he was convicted of a crime he did not commit and was sent to prison. Later, with God’s help, he interpreted a dream for Pharaoh. Pharaoh then raised him up out of prison and made him second in power only to himself.

Some time later, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for food because of the famine. They never expected to see their brother again. When Joseph revealed himself, they were amazed and in much regret for what they had done. He tells them, however, that they did not send him to Egypt, but God did, in order to save them in the end.

Very few people, if anybody, would volunteer to go through extreme suffering and humiliation for something that they did not do. While going through that suffering, most people would complain to God and blame everyone else.

Joseph did not do either. As he was in prison or slavery, he did what he was supposed to do and trusted God for the rest. He allowed God to be in absolute control of his life. He knew that God was controlling every step, both the good and the bad.

Only God knows why you are going through a struggle or pain in this life, or why you went through one in the past. Despite the struggles, you must keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him.

Use whatever situation you are in to show people to Jesus. Be the light of this world.

Maybe God is bringing you down to the pits only so that later you can be brought out to the top to save a nation, or group of people, or a family, or maybe even one person.

Are you willing that anyone should die, not knowing Jesus?

Maybe your suffering will help someone find Jesus in their life. Don’t complain, but trust God and do what you can for Him right where you are.

I pray today that God will reveal His plans for you; that God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit to stay true to Him; that you will live your life for Jesus through all situations; and that God will be honored in everything you do.

Genesis 41:16 God Warns Even The Lost

“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Genesis 41:16

Joseph had been thrown into prison for something he did not do. While there God was with him and gave him great favor with the guards. Later God gives him the interpretation of the dreams of two other prisoners that come to pass as said. Now Pharaoh has two dreams that no one can interpret. After some time of searching for someone to interpret them, someone tells him about Joseph and his ability to interpret dreams. Joseph tells Pharaoh that only God can give the answer to what those dreams mean.

Many people think that because someone does not believe in God, that God will not use or even help them at all. Pharaoh did not have room for God in his life. He was looked upon as a god himself. Yet, God gave Pharaoh two dreams. These dreams were to be a warning to Pharaoh and all of Egypt that a great time of harvesting would come, and then a great famine would come.

God cares for those who do not love Him. He is working to draw ever person to Him. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the time of famine upon Egypt was a punishment upon them. It was just the way of nature and God was using it.

God used the dreams to give Joseph favor with Pharaoh. Through Joseph, God would get glory from Pharaoh. Pharaoh would realize that there was a God and that He spoke through Joseph.

People today, who do not know God, may have a dream or a situation in their life that you will have the answer from God for them. They may be questioning why something is happening or what to do next. God may use you to give them the answer they are looking for.

You must be open to God giving you the answers for those who are lost. Be willing to show them love and compassion for their situation. God loves them with a great love and wants to do good for them. He wants every lost person to know that He cares for them.

Are you willing to be used by God to touch the lost? To answer their questions?

Or will you let them remain lost and hurting?

I pray today that God will show you what the lost need to hear or see; that God will use you to reach the lost; that the lost will know you have a relationship with God; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

Genesis 39:9 A Bold Stand Against Sinning

“No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9

Joseph had become a slave to Potiphar. While working there as a slave, Potiphar noticed how well he worked and made him in charge of the entire household. At some point, Potiphar’s wife decided she wanted to have sex with Joseph. She thought that because he was a slave she could order him to do whatever she wanted and he would have to obey. Joseph pointed out the favor Potiphar had given him, and then said that asked her how he could do such a thing and sin against God. He refused her request.

Her request was probably made to Joseph when there was no one else around. For her, it would have been a completely legal thing to do. It could have been done quietly and no one would have known about it, at least no one human. God would know, and Joseph knew that, so he refused because he did not want to sin against God.

Throughout your life there will come times when something sinful will present itself in a way that no one else would know about it. This presentation could be with another person alone, or it could be while you are physically alone. It could be to have sex outside of marriage, or do drugs, or lie, or steal, or cheat, or watch pornography, or one of many other sins against God.

Most of these could be done in secret and most people would not know about it. However, both you and God would know. You would become guilty of sinning against God.

Are you willing to do that?

Are you willing to sell your soul for a moment of pleasure and sin against God?

Or are you going to be bold like Joseph and refuse to sin against God?

Take your stand against sin today and refuse. It will be worth it in the end. God will give you His favor and reward you.

I pray today that God will give you strength to resist sinful acts; that you will refuse to sin against God; that God will open your eyes to any temptations that come your way; and that you will live your life for God.

Genesis 39:3-4 Doing Your Best Work

“When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.” Genesis 39:3-4

Israel, formally Jacob, had many sons and the youngest was Joseph. He was favored by Israel. His brothers did not like that at all, so they sold him into slavery. Joseph was eventually sold to Potiphar, an Egyptian priest in Egypt. After some time, Potiphar noticed that Joseph was successful at whatever he did and put him in charge of everything in his house. God was with Joseph and had given him great favor.

As a slave, Joseph could have done as little as possible. He could have thought because the Egyptians do not serve or worship God, he would not want to do anything good for them. Yet, he worked hard and did his best to serve those who were his masters.

Although today most of the world has banned slavery, there is another type of slavery going on. It is the slavery of working. When you have a job and go to work, you are a slave to that boss.

You have a choice in how you work and what you do. It is often seen people in the workplace who do the bare minimum. They try to cut corners and cheat the boss as much as they can without getting caught.

As a believer, you are to do everything that you do as though you were working for God. When you are serving God in this way, it does not matter what the job is or who your human boss is. It does not matter how your human boss treats you. God will always be on your side.

When God is on your side, you will prosper. Maybe not financially, but in spirit and truth and favor with others. God can raise you up in the worst of circumstances.

When you work, are you doing your best?

Are you working as though working for God?

Joseph did, as a slave. What can you do for God today?

I pray today that you will accept where God has placed you; that you will work as though working for God; that you will give God all the glory for your work; and that God will give you His favor in all that you do for Him.

Genesis 35:7 Creating Reminders

“There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.” Genesis 35:7

When Jacob found out his brother Esau was going to be meeting him, he was scared. He had deceived Esau of his birthright and blessings. Now he expected Esau to kill him. The night before there were to meet God came down and dealt with him. Jacob fought with God until He blessed him. God changed his name to Israel.

Now some time later, Israel was back at that same place. He builds an altar there in memory of what God had done to and for him. He remembered that it was there that God had revealed Himself to him.

As a person goes through life, they have many different events that happen. One of the most common ways to remember what had happened was through the taking of pictures. People take pictures to remember the joy someone had, the beauty of some place, or for many other reasons. All of them are to remember something.

When God did something great for a person in the Old Testament, it was common for that person to build an altar to God. It was a reminder to themselves and to others that God had done something for them. Later people would ask why the altar was there, and it could be said because God did something and then tell what it was.

There will be times when God does something great in your life. When He does this do not rely only on your memory to remember what He had done. Set up little reminders.

Many people write in a journal their experiences. Other ways may be to set little notes up on your walls with what happened and when. Or purchase some little object that will remind you of that event.

However you choose to remember what God did, do it. Do it for when times get rough. Do it to have something to tell others about when they ask about that object. Use it to be His witness.

In any event, do not forget what God has done for you.

I pray today that you will see what God has done and is doing for you; that you will remember what God has done for you; that you will set up reminders of what God has done for you; and that you will be able to use what God has done to be a witness to others.

Genesis 29:25 Deceive And Be Deceived

When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” Genesis 29:25

Jacob had been working for his uncle Laban. At one point Laban said he needed to offer something to Jacob for his work. Jacob loved Rachel, Laban’s daughter, so he agreed to work for seven years to get Rachel as his wife. When the seven years were up, they had the marriage. The bride was covered up at the time she went in with Jacob. In the morning he realized that Laban had given him his daughter Leah, instead of Rachel as agreed. He ends up working another seven years to get Rachel.

Years before his living with Laban, Jacob had deceived his brother, Esau, into selling his birthright. Later he deceived his father into getting his brother’s blessings as the firstborn. Deception had been a way of life for Jacob.

Often people think that it is acceptable to deceive someone into getting something or getting them to do something. It seems to work at the moment in their favor. Many will just say that it is something little, and no real big deal.

The challenge comes when they get deceived. Very few people like to be deceived. When they are deceived, they will get very angry.

When you deceive someone, chances are that someone else will come along and deceive you. Along with that deceiving someone is lying to them and to God. If you are willing to deceive a person, you most likely will choose to deceive God.

People like to act as though they are in the right standing before God, while they are living in a sinful act. They try to tell people and God that they are doing everything correctly.

People may be deceived, but God is not. He sees the heart and your mind.

Live your life open before God. Do not try to deceive any person or God. In the end it will come back on you and hurt you. It is not worth it.

I pray today that God will guide you in how to treat other people; that you will love others as God loves them; that you will live in truth; that you will always speak truth to everyone; and that God will strengthen you to never deceive anyone.