2 Kings 25:21 Brought Into Captivity

There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. 2 Kings 25:21

All throughout history various nations or groups of people have invaded the lands of other nations or groups of people. As they did this, they would conquer the nation and put many people into captivity. Those that were captured were bound up to force them to obey the new leadership and many placed in prisons or prison camps. Often those who rebelled against the new leadership were killed.

Nebuchadnezzar went into and captured all of Judah. Many were killed and the nation of Judah was placed in captivity outside of their land.

Out of the massive numbers of people and nations around the world very few will actually be brought into captivity by being overrun by another nation or group of people. Although most people are never physically captured, the majority go into captivity on a regular basis by their own personal choices.

Instead of being bound up in physical prisons, people are bound up in captivity to sin. In choosing to reject God and His ways of living, people choose to live their own way and sin against God. To many this feels like freedom, a freedom of choice to do what one wants.

Freedom in this way is short-lived. It brings pleasure for only a very short amount of time, but always ends up in captivity of death. True life and joy will always escape them. The more a person sins, the more he is bound up to sin, which ultimately leads to death.

Jesus died upon the cross and rose again to bring true freedom and true life. Turning away from sin and believing in and following Jesus breaks the captivity to sin and allows a person to live without captivity.

God has provided a life that is free from captivity and death for you. It is filled with purpose and a joy that the world cannot understand and will last for eternity.

Do not allow yourself to be captivated by the sin of this fallen world. Repent of any sins and turn from them to Jesus who has provided forgiveness and a new life for you. Flee the bondage to sin and death and take on the holiness, righteousness and life that Jesus provides.

Have you been set free? Or are you a bound captive?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will live your life for God; that God will give you strength to flee the bondage of sin; that turn from sinful living to living for God; and that you will be free to live the life God has for you.

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.

Philippians 1:19 Works Out For Deliverance

for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. Philippians 1:19

Bad things happen to people on a regular basis. When it occurs, people often only see the bad in it and cannot see anything good happening. Millions every year give up any hope of surviving the bad situation and end their lives.

Many people put all of their hope in situations that they can control, then get crushed when things outside of their control occur.

Paul had been in prison at the time of his writing this letter to the Philippians. the church was worried and praying for him. Paul believed that his being in prison would turn out for his deliverance.

When a person is going through a difficult time, it can be very difficult to continue to have hope. All that is seen is the trial set before them, with no apparent window of end or release in sight. Giving up appears to be the only option.

Believers will sometimes fall into the same mindset, forgetting who God is and how big He is. Looking through their own eyes, they only see as the world sees, nothing but the problem.

However, believers can have a hope and trust in God that goes beyond any logic or circumstances set before them. The God, who created the heavens and the earth, is still in control. With prayer and trust in Him, He can turn around the worst situation in a person’s life and deliver the person from the trial. This is done for His glory and honor.

God never allows a person to stay permanently in a bad trial. As a last option (in man’s eyes) God takes the person home to heaven. Otherwise, God always delivers the believer from the trial.

You may have some bad situation in your life. Do not give up or give in to it and the way of the world’s thinking. Pray to God and tell Him about it. As you are going through this trial, give God praise and put all of your hope and trust in Him.

At the right time, God will deliver you from the fiery trial you may be going through. Know that God will use what you are going through to deliver you and spread the gospel message to a fallen world.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust God in every situation; that you will pray to God about every situation; that you will see God’s hand of deliverance in your life; and that you will give God praise in and through every trial in your life.

Acts 16:27-28 Care For The Enemy

The jailor woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” Acts 16:27-28

Very few people care about their enemies. It would make most people happy to see their enemy struck down by someone and probably more happy to see the enemy strike himself down.

The world is looking out for self and want to destroy the enemy at all costs. There is often very little mercy or concern for those who have done wrong.

Paul and Silas had been wrongfully put in prison. In the night an earthquake occurred and the doors had been opened. The prison guard was about to kill himself out of fear and failure, but Paul stopped him.

Many believers would look at the enemy killing himself as a providence of God. They would rejoice that the enemy has been removed, not realizing that a soul has been lost for eternity.

This type of thinking is actually very selfish and not in the spirit of what Jesus would do. God has called every believer to love everyone, including his enemies. Loving the enemy does not allow room to seek their destruction, but desires to see the enemy saved.

Instead of allowing the enemy to kill himself, one should strive to show him love and point him to real life in Jesus. Forgiveness is to be shown, just as Jesus loved and extended forgiveness to His enemies while dying on the cross.

Every believer was an enemy to God at some point. God in His great love and mercy did not allow the person to continue to kill himself in sin, but forgave him and gave him eternal life. This same love must be shown to the enemy.

You will have enemies in your life that strive to make your life difficult. Some of those enemies will work to destroy themselves because they have no real hope or life. Seek to point them to Jesus, rather than turning away and letting them continue to kill themselves.

Remember the love and mercy God had on you when you were His enemy. Forward that same love and mercy on your enemies. Allow God to change their lives, saving them from eternal judgement.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will love your enemies as God loves you; that God will open doors for you to be a witness to those around you; and that God will draw many to salvation through you.

Genesis 39:20-21 God Is With You

Lady confined

Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. Genesis 39:20-21

At times, life can be appear to be very unfair and toss a person into a very negative, harsh situation. Things appear to go very wrong and that God has abandoned the person.

People have been fired from a job, even though one had been a hard worker, faithful and never did anything wrong. This can happen off of the words of a few people who are not telling the full truth of a situation.

Time and again people come down with a sickness that has a death sentence on it. This happens even though one has always lived a healthy life.

These types of events in people’s lives occur whether a person is a believer or not. For the believer as events like this occur, it may feel as though God has abandoned the person. It can feel as if God has thrown the person out and locked the door on him.

Joseph had lived his life following God, yet, he was thrown into slavery by his brothers. As a slave, he did everything he was told to do. Yet, he was falsely accused of doing something wrong and was thrown into prison. It may have felt as though God had abandoned him, yet God was still there in the dark prison cells. God gave him supernatural favor, because Joseph still followed Him and believed in Him.

Although most believers will not be thrown into prison today, there will be times of hardship. There will be times that they will be treated wrongly. It is even in those times that God is still with the person. God can provide supernatural favor to the believer in the tough time, making it better than it should be.

You may be going through a hardship that does not seem fair. You may be feeling as if God has abandoned you or forgotten you. Do not be discouraged. Keep looking to God. He can be with you through the situation.

Just as God gave favor to Joseph, He can give you favor during the prison time of bad situations. God is using you to build you and others up. In the end you will have favor that the world does not know.

I pray today that you will know the love and favor of God in your life; that you will trust God during tough times; that you will allow yourself to be used by God; and that you will be a light in the dark prisons of life.