Joseph’s ticket out of prison was the ability to interpret dreams. What got him started was interpreting dreams of Pharaoh’s chief cup bearer and chief baker. Even though he could have taken credit for this ability, that is not what Joseph did. “They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.” (Genesis 40:8) When Pharaoh had dreams that he needed interpreting, the chief cup bearer finally put in a good word for Joseph. Pharaoh asked Joseph if he had this power. “Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” (Genesis 41:16) Every talent and ability that each one of us has comes from God. The credit and glory should be returned to Him as well.
Today’s reading: Genesis 40-43
Jesus was questioned about why he was having a meal with publicans and sinners. His response: “When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17) It is comforting to know that every day we have a physician that we can call on for help when we are struggling. He has promised to be with us until the end. (Matthew 28:20)
Today’s reading: Mark 1-2
Would any of us want to have a diet of strictly baby food? In spiritual terms this is what Paul is telling the Corinthians that they are still doing. “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?” (1 Corinthians 3:1) We will all have setbacks, but our goal should be for our spiritual life to continue to grow every day that we live. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 3-4
Chapter 53 of Isaiah gives a prophecy of the sufferings of our Savior. The purpose of these sufferings are credited to us. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isa 53:5) In his sermon at Pentecost, Peter let the Jews know what they had done by fulfilling this prophecy. “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Act 2:36-37) If we truly consider the magnitude of the sacrifice and the pain that He went thru for each one of us, we should also be cut to the heart and ask the same question, “what shall we do” to serve Him.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 51-55
Job had plenty of things that he could complain about. In chapter 19 we read some of those complaints. He goes thru enough to make you feel sorry for him, but he ends on a positive note. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:27) The struggles of this life can drag us down, but we can also be like Job and focus on what really matters.
Today’s reading: Job 19-20
In Psalm 29 we find more of David’s words showing his love for God. “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.” (Psalms 29:2) How do we give God the glory that He is due? One way is what David mentioned, with our worship. Another way we can give Him glory is living our life with hearts that are humble and appreciative of all He does for us. David talks about the power of the voice of God and how He can just speak and make marvelous things happen. We know how in Genesis we are told of how He spoke this earth into existence. We are probably not able to give Him the glory that He truly deserves, but we should do our best to try. David ends this psalm with another promise from God that is even more reason to glorify His name. “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)
Today’s reading: Psalms 27-29
In the book of Ruth we see another instance of God’s providence at work. After Naomi’s husband and two sons died, she said that “the hand of the LORD has gone out against me.” (Ruth 1:13) Little did she know that Jesus would be born thru the lineage of her daughter-in-law Ruth. (Matthew 1:5)
Naomi was going back to Bethlehem and she told both of her daughter-in-laws to go back to their home country. Orpah did as she was told to do. “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16) It sounds like the influence of Naomi is what brought Ruth to the one true God. We may not know the level of influence we have on others, but we can make sure that influence is a positive one. (1Corinthians 7:16)
Today’s reading: Ruth 1-4
Joseph was a man who faced his share of adversity. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was thrown into prison for something he did not do. No matter what happened to Joseph, he kept his faith and trust in God. We can look at his life and see God’s providence working even when evil things had been done. Many times we do not see God’s providence when it is happening, but we can look back and see His work. If we trust and follow God like Joseph did, we can know that whatever happens, He is in control.
Daily reading: Genesis 36-39
In the time before Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested, he went by himself to pray three times. (Matthew 26:36,42,44) Prayer life is another area of our lives that we should model after the Son of God. Jesus did not pray just when He had needs. We read of many other times that He prayed. Luke 5:16, 6:12, 9:28 are just a few of them. His disciples must have seen how important prayer was to Him because in Luke 11:1, they asked Him to teach them how to pray. The verses that follow share with us the answer He gave to them. He also taught to pray with faith and without ceasing. “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)
Today’s reading: Matthew 26-28
The book we know as 1st Corinthians is a letter Paul wrote to the church at Corinth to “water” the seed he had previously planted there. Word had gotten back to him that there were contentions among the brethren there. He knew that they needed correction and he rebuked them for having divisions in the church. “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12-13) Paul did not have a big ego that got him puffed up when he heard that people were following him. He had the humble heart that wanted everyone to be followers of Christ and Christ only. Following any man or man-made creed will never keep us on the right path. Following our Lord and His word will keep us on the one and only right path.
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 1-2