Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010

My daily reading for today was in Genesis 43-45 and Matthew 12:24-50. You can read the passages online HERE.

In Genesis, we see the children of Israel again sent to Joseph in Eqypt, this time with their youngest brother Benjamin, according to the requirement given to them by Joseph the last time they were there. There are a few different things I saw in the passage that showed me how God deals with us and how we should be with folks who have wronged us.

First, we sometimes see God like we see many authority figures: an overbearing boss, the school principal, a mean parent; someone consumed with zapping us when we do wrong. Don't misunderstand, God will judge the wicked, but God is also merciful to those who humble themselves and turn (repent) to Him. It is by God's grace that he provides for our needs. Joseph was a picture of God's grace in that God rescued him from his desperate situation and elevated him to the #2 position in Egypt. Joseph then became a picture of God's mercy, first in that through obedience to God he was able to provide food to a world suffering from a horrible famine. Second, he had the power to "get even" with his brothers who sold him into Eqypt so many years ago, yet he still loved them, and saw the BIG picture, which was the greater plan God had for his presence in Eqypt and for the future nation of Israel.

On a personal note, Joseph pictured the mercy and grace of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. Like Joseph, Jesus was rejected by his own people. Jesus is still rejected by most people today. Despite this, God says he LOVED THE WORLD so much, that he sent his son to them, knowing what they would do. God could have sent down legions of angels to destroy those who murdered Jesus, but it was by that very act God provided a way for us to be with Him in heaven and to be freed from the bondage of sin. Just as Joseph provided a way for those who sold him to slavery (and the whole world) to escape a famine that would have surely killed them, God provided a way for us to be saved from a 'famine' that would also kill us spiritually: our sin.

If you are not sure about your own spiritual condition, please consider the following. We inherited a sin nature from Adam. Therefore, we all have sin (Romans 5:12). We cannot be in the presence of a holy God when we die because of that sin. (We are not sinners BECAUSE we sin; rather, we sin because we ARE sinners). Jesus was sent to remedy this situation. He was born sinless, lived a perfect sinless life, died on the cross according to the scriptures, was buried and raised from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures, and by doing so conquered sin and death. Now God, through his love for us, offers to take all our sin and wash it away through Christ's sacrifice and victory. You can spend a lifetime trying to understand every little detail of this, and many have. But before you live another moment, will you accept God's free offer of salvation? Romans 10:9-13 tells us how to do this. "that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. "

And some people think that the Bible isn't relevant for today...!!

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