Going it Alone?

Genesis 49:10, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Genesis 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

So many people today seem to be experiencing trials.  Someone once said that you are either just going into a trial, in the middle of a trial or coming out of a trial.  This is a good observation.  I am sure that most of you, my readers, are deeply familiar with this progression.

What is our first response to trials?  “God, get me out of this!”  If not, it is something close to that I would imagine.  My guess is that you and I do not like trials because they are uncomfortable.  Trials also reveal our true self.  The person we are when nobody is around.  Sometimes this is also very painful.  We want to rely on ourselves and we would like to think we are capable of handling it.  The fact is that we are not bulletproof.

Joseph’s brothers had kidnapped him, put him in a pit and later sold him into slavery.  To me this is a terrible trial.  The response of Joseph to his brothers is great.  In our Scripture passage for today we see Joseph’s response to his brothers.

In Genesis 49:10 we read the phrase , “until Shiloh come;”.  When we experience trials maybe we need to have a different attitude about them.  Maybe we should continue in faithfulness (prayer, Bible study, Church attendance).  Then we can be in a close relationship with “Shiloh” and He will respond to our trials and help us through.

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  Lord Jesus, I invite You into my trials.  I need You greatly.  Help me I pray.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Psalms 119; Proverbs 31


Genesis 46:2, “And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.”

A couple of weeks ago I had the awesome privilege of being part of an ordination council.  The candidate is a missionary going to a foreign land.  He will be able to reach people for Christ that his supporting Churches will not be able to reach. 

Why would a man take his family and uproot them to move to a foreign country?  It takes tremendous sacrifice to do this.  Missionaries should be our heros.  They are still human; but, I have a high respect for them.

If we are going to accomplish anything for God we must have vision.  I don’t mean some charismatic, super spiritual dream.  I am talking about the vision that comes from a close relationship with God.  I find myself all too often being way too short-sighted.  I am guessing that I am not the only one who struggles in this area either. 

Some people claim to have “visions”; but, I stand in doubt of their so-called visions.  I doubt they are from God at all.

Have you pondered or even given consideration to following your vision?  If God has given you a vision then you need to act upon it.  Don’t let the vision die out.

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  Lord Jesus fill me with the vision You have for me.  Let me be faithful to You always and fulfil Your will for my life.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 38, 39, 40; Psalms 30, 60, 90, 120, 150; Proverbs 30

Famine in the Land

Genesis 43:1, “And the famine was sore in the land.”

The story is told of a missionary to the American Indians who left and came home for a visit.  When he returned the first place he went was to see the chief who had trusted Christ just prior to his return home.  When they met, the missionary aske the chief how he had been since he left.  The chief replied, “Black dog, white dog, fight all time.”  The missionary asked him which one wins the fight.  The chief replied, “The one me feeds the most.”

There was tremendous truth in what the Indian Chief told the missionary.  The black dog represents the flesh and the white dog represents the spirit.  The battle plays out in our lives each day.  Which one do you feed the most?

As we continue, our Scripture passage before us today I am drawn to the very day we live in.  God warned Pharoah of a coming famine in a dream.  He used Joseph to interpret the dream.  The famine we face today is a different famine.  My wife used to sing a song that said, “There’s a famine in the land, not of bread, not of water…”.  This is the famine I am thinking about.  We should ask God to fill us with a passion for Himself and for the Scriptures.  What are you having a desire for today?

Pray:  Lord, fill me with a passion for You.  Fill me with a passion for the Sciptures.  Let that passion never fade.  I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 29, 30, 31; Psalms 27, 57, 87, 117, 147; Proverbs 27

Burden Barer

Genesis 39:21, “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. ”

Is it me, or does it seem that almost everyone you talk to today are carrying burdens?  Maybe I am talking to the wrong persons.  Actually, I think I am talking to all the right persons.  I need to be ready to share the Word of God with them and try to help lighten their load. 

I think that we willingly carry burdens that we have no need of carrying.  The Bible tells us to cast our care upon Him because He cares of us.  Far too many of us run around like a chicken with it’s head cut off and we have little to no concern aobut God or His plan for our lives.

We need to get rid of our pride and invite God into our lives.  We need to be so close to God that we are in constant fellowship with Him.  If we are cultivating a close, personal relationship with our Saviour we can easily share our burdens with Him.

Be free today form the burdens of life.  Let Jesus be your Burden Barer.  He can easily bare your burdens with no problem at all.  You and I cannot do it alone.  As you are going through life is God with you?  He was with Joseph and He wants to be part of your life.  It is time to cast off our burdens and let Jesus carry them.

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  Dear Lord, I am so burdened down.  I give these burdens to You and I ask you to carry them for me.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 26, 27, 28; Psalms 26, 56, 86, 116, 146; Proverbs 26

Protect Yourself

Genesis 39:11, “And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. ”

I remember a young man making a pious, prideful statement to the effect that he would not be found having any adulterous involvement witha  married woman.  I believe it was only a couple short weeks later that he found himself standing in his apartment door facing a married woman.  She put a kiss on him that made him feel like his brain dislodged.  Thankfully it never went any further that that one incident.  If I remember correctly, it was a wake up call for both parties involved.  I believe that female made things right with her husband and put an end to this lifestyle.

You may be asking why I am sharing such an event in a public forum such as this.  It is simple really.  This is to warn you and I that we could be then next one trapped in the horrible snares of sin.  We must not yield to sin!

It does not matter if we are single or married, if we are going to be alone with anyone of the opposite sex it is imperative that there are checks and balances to protect both persons involved.  The best protection is to simply not be alone with them at all.  The enemy god Joseph singled out alone and the attack was afoot.  It was “game on” so to speak.  Watch out my dear friend because the enemy wants to destroy you and he will stop at nothing to do just that.

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  Lord Jesus, I ask you to put Your hedge of protection around me and protect me from sin and the attcks of the Devil.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 23, 24, 25; Psalms 25, 55, 85, 115, 145; Proverbs 25

Flee Temptation

Genesis 39:9, “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

When I was growing up I heard a lot of catchy phrases.  On of those  that sticks in my mind is, “Do as I say and not as I do.”  As I have grown a lot older and hopefully wiser the truth of this statement has become evident.  Hypocrisy.  That is the word that comes to my mind. when I think of that statement.  I do not aim to be harsh or unkind to those of you who have said that to me; but, the truth must be told.  When I compare that statement to Scripture, the statement does not hold water so to speak.

I think if you and I would become people of the Scriptures we would find less and less ungodly refuse spilling forth from our eating orifice.  In other words, if we would read our Bible, fill our minds and hearts with good Bible preaching we would respond in a way that pleases God.

When our enemy dangles temptation in front of us like in Joseph’s case we must have our hearts and minds filled with Scripture so we can identify sin for what it is and flee from it.  Notice what Joseph said, “… how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  Next time we are tempted it would do us well to consider this question before we respond to the temptation.  God help us!

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  God help me to stand against temptation in Your power.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 20, 21, 22; Psalms 24, 54, 84, 114, 144; Proverbs 24


Genesis 39:6, “And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.”

When my wife and I were first married we would go places very spontaneously.  If we did not have to work then next day we might pick up and go to Michigan or Kentucky.  People would call this a short vacation.  Many times we have called a friend or family member and asked what they were doing the next day or two.  This is such a part of us that we have given up on planning “normal” vacations (if we took them).

One of my wife’s former co-workers would sit on pins and needles until we returned home and could tell our “story” as to what happened.  One such vacation found us staying in the home of one of my former employers.  He and his family went on a vacation and we volunteered to stay in their home and watch over things.  I will never look at pancakes the same again. 

We were honored to be considered trustworthy enough to stay in their home in their absence.  Oh, there have been times that I have not proved to be very trustworthy and for that I am deeply sorry. 

My point?  Actually it is simple.  You and I who confess Christ as our Saviour should be trustworthy.  People should be able to count on us to fulfil our promises and responsibilities.  We must be men and women of our word.  If we are no it is time to pray for forgiveness and then become people who can be trusted.

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  God, please forgive me for not being trustworthy.  Help me through the power of the Holy Spirit live a life that is capitalized by trustworthiness.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 17, 18, 19; Psalms 23, 53, 83, 113, 143; Proverbs 23

Change Your Garments

Genesis 35:2, “Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:”

When I was growing up I liked to play outside (kids today have no idea how this works).  One year the baseball diamond across the street from our house flooded.  Mom specifically told me not to go over there there to play.  The next thing I knew I was standing in the water up to my waist and maybe higher.  I remember finding a long board and trying to use it as a surfboard from the back side of the restrooms and across the basketball court. 

I remember hearing my m0ther callilng my name as she stood at the water’s edge.  I did not love her coming that day I will assure you.  I can remember her spanking me and the water flying as she did.  This was not a happy conclusion to a happy play date.  I remember peeling the wet clothes off and how good it felt to get out of them.  They were brown from the muddy water.  It was disgusting; fun, but disgusting.

That hot bath felt so good that day.  I was so cold and so dirty, as I often felt.  It was great to get cleaned up and put on warm, dry clothes.

Sometimes we get dirty spiritually.  Sin slips in through the cracks of life and we find ourselves dirty.  Then it is time to heed Jacob’s counsel to “put away the strange gods.”  We must realize we have sinned.  Then we need to get clean by confessing and forsaking that sin.  Then we need to go on for God with our clean “garments” on.

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  Lord Jesus, I have sinned and done evil in your sight.  Wash me and cleanse me from all sin.  Help me to serve You better. I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 8, 9, 10; Psalms 20, 50, 80, 110, 140; Proverbs 20



Genesis 31:16, “For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children’s: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.”

For the biggest part of the past twenty years  I have been involved in police, fire or emergency medical services.  This afforded me the opportunity to attend many training classes of different types. Some of them were memorable and then there were the others.  The most memorable were suicide intervention and hostage negotiations for dispatch.

The goal of the training classes are to help everyone to do the same things the same way.  It brings unity and uniformity to the group.  Most places I have worked over the years each shift was almost like it’s own department.  All the shifts ended with the same outcome; but, the path to get there was quite often was different.  This is not a good practice.

If we are going to accomplis anything of substance for God we must work together.  We must read the same Bible.  We must pray.  We must attend Church regularly together.  This will help to keep us unified and moving to the same goal given to us by our Pastor who receives it from God.  Remember that the souls of men are at stake here.  Think about that!

Not only do we need ot be unified in our Churches; but, we must be unified in our families also.  Mom and Dad need to work together.  Our marriage relationship is a picture of the relationship of Christ and His Church.  We must be together, even in the little things.

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  God, I ask You today to teach me from Your Word.  Help me to live and work in unity with my family and Church to further Your Gospel.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 5, 6, 7; Psalms 19, 49, 79, 109, 139; Proverbs 19

God’s House

Genesis 28:22, “And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

As I was reading our Scripture passage for today I began to think back to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  In he few short weeks following the attacks Churches were seeing a rise in attendance.  This is great; but, it was too short lived.  The Church we attended saw one lady come as a result if my mind serves me correctly.

I remember watching a documentary about that day. As I sat and watched they began to tell about a void in “the pile”.  In this void there wasd found seven crosses.  They were steel beams from the towers  whose joints were still intact and formed a cross.  The people who found it named it “God’s House”. It was amazing to say the least.  I would have loved to have been able to see it in person.  There was such awe and reverence for the place.  They told of timesof prayer held there in “God’s House”.

Why is it that big, tough, iron workers could reverence such a place; but, people who are supposed to be God’s children don’t darken the door of a local Church?   We could spend all day on this subject and have opinions as the sand of the sea.

What about you, friend?  On Sunday or today being Wednesday, will you be found going to Church to worship Christ?  If your system of beliefs will not get you to Church then how do you know it will get you to Heaven?

So, how are you doing?

Pray:  Dear God, I thank You for a place to go and worship You.  Thank You for men who preach Truth from God’s Word.  Give us a ceasless desire to worship and serve You.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Read:  Exodus 2, 3, 4; Psalms 18, 48, 78, 108, 138; Proverbs 18