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Mike! Your illustration about the brain being worth 1 billion dollars was amazing! It made me laugh, but also really made me realise that i have so much to live for... heaven.... which is great. It's worth more than all the money in the world. Great blog!

I need to give God so much more credit than I do! Too often I think it's about me and what I did to get from here to there, but I am realizing very quickly that this is not the case. I would be nowhere and do nothing if not for God. This bible study has opened my eyes so much. My ears too! However, I struggle with "forgetting God" and this really bothers me! I often want to take credit, but it has nothing to do with me. I'm trying and will catch myself, but I want to stop it all together.

I tell God everyday, usually a few times a day, that I love Him. I end all my conversations with God that way. I also keep a written journal that only has notes and letters to God in it. It is a journal just for Him, and every page ends with I love you! It keeps it very real.

Hi Everyone. Firstly thanks to Mike for the site and the encouragment and secondly thanks to everyone else for all their posts, you have all answered my questions so far and provided much food for thought over the last 20 days.
Kind Regards

Loved the billionaire illustration.I know for a fact money can't buy the peace and joy that comes with joining the family of God.I guess Joseph had 13 years of affliction to learn that lesson.I really would like to ask him when I see him how he just clung to God instead of falling apart in desperation...he had no fellowship to go to,no laws of God to meditate on,no gospel to give him hope.
By naming his first son Manasseh, ("For," he said, "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household.")we can see that he missed home alot.
If then Joseph could cling to God without having the advantages we have,I believe now we should be encouraged during our own trials....I loved the Psalms describing God shaking the foundations of the earth,smoke coming from his nostils,bending the heavens to come to our help....wow...no matter how rich you get,you certainly can't bend the heavens to protect yourself.....
Joseph had a role to preserve Israel from extinction,to do that he was sold as a slave,then had to leave behind his culture,marry the daughter of a foreign god's priest....it may all sound worth it but I'm sure it must have been a struggle for him,there must have been times he had questions,doubts...Today's reading really spoke to my heart about keeping my eyes on Jesus,in good times even more....
God bless you all and remain in God's rest

I think that Anka is on to something there about Joseph--it's the affliction that prepared him for the power. We fight suffering in our life so much, and yet God uses it to mature us and to prepare us for things we cannot even imagine. If not for the suffering, I think that the position could have gone to his head. However, since God had been preparing him for this awesome leadership responsiblity, he was ready. It's sort of like how people who win big in the lottery mostly lose all their money and get into debt over their heads-they end up worse than they started because they don't know how to handle the responsibility. Joseph, however, knew.

Verses that stood out today:

Matthew 13:37-39 "Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels".

Psalm 18:2 "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety".

Proverbs 4:2 "for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions".

Tough question you got there: "And I wonder in our lives - are we like Joseph - humbly offering our gifts and skills with no need of a payback? Or, do we expect something in return? Do we want to be put in charge?". ~ Okay, when I give people gifts or I help them out with my skills I absolutely don't need a payback, I don't want anything in return. However, when I give somebody my friendship, my love, my carrying and everything that comes with a friendship ... well ... it's not that I WANT the exact same thing in return. But to hold on is hard, you know? Like I was just telling this story about my friend (see my blogcomment with the readings from yesterday); it's hard now to be her friend. I will hold on though, but I'm not sure till how far I will be able to do that. You know? Something there changed, she stopped trusting me, she started lying to me ... I give her friendship, I give her love and show her that she can trust me. But I don't get that in return ... the only thing that I'm good for now is to give her advice when she messed up something in her life. And she will tell me that my advice is no good, because I had such a wonderful life and she's going through this mess so I don't understand her ... Well, then why asking me for advice??? Sorry, I'm rambling now ... Anyway, yes ... I find it hard from time to time, being a friend and get nothing in return.

"How often do you tell God that you love him?" ~ Well, me? A lot!!! I think He sometimes gets sick of it LOL The past days I've been telling Him that I love him more than I do on a regular bases. We had some terrible storms here in Holland. We had a weather-alert on Thursday that we had to stay inside the house after 3pm when the storm would reach it's climax. With windspeeds of 85mph. I'm not sure that's a lot in the US, but here in small little Holland it's HUGE!!! Especially with the country being underneath the sealevel ... kind of scary, eh? It really got to me when the weather-alert was called out while I was at work, my husband at work (an hour away from where we live), Jaden was in school, my mom was at work, my dad was at work (He's a private chauffeur and was driving on the highway) ... so I was panicing. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I found someone who would drive me from work to home, I always go to work on my bycicle (Thank you God, I love you Father!!!), then I heard that Jaden could get a ride home from school with someone (Thank you God, I love you father!!!), when I came home nothing was destroyed by the wind (Thank you God, I love you Father!!!), Jaden came home save (Thank you God, I love you Father!!!) ... well, I think you get the point, right? I kept thanking the Lord and telling Him how much I love Him! There were so many accidents, there were people killed in the storm, it was just terrible! We're doing a lot better today, but it's still pretty windy. I'm thankful that God guarded me and my family! I LOVE YOU, GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would feel blessed if I were given all the things Joseph was given. I wouldnt forget about God. I wouldnt want to be put in such a positiion though as Im more a behind the scenes person and I believe that if God wanted me to be in this positiion He would change theat feeling 1st.

I don’t confess to be a greatest artist but this verse
Psalm 18:2You are my mighty rock, the rock where I am safe, and my place of shelter.
lead me to draw a picture some years ago I have it in a position in my house where I can see it if you are interested look here
http://prayerwarrior.wordpress.com/2006/12/29/something-to-be-grateful-for/

January 20, 2007

The verse well insight that stood out to me the most was….in Genesis 42:8, where it talked about Joseph recognizing his brothers and them not recognizing Him. I just think that Joseph had so much wisdom. That was his chance to throw things back up into his brothers faces and he did not. He remembered the dreams he had in the past and could have given them the “I told you so speech” but he didn’t. There is a time to speak and a time to be quiet (Oh, God, do I need to distinguish between the two, LOL!!) It was not time for Joseph to reveal who he was so he kept quiet. That was awesome for me for some reason.

What are your thoughts on this - if you were given all of these things, would it inflate your ego possibly? Honestly, it probably would inflate my ego. I am a baby Christian and trying to remind myself that it is not about me and never is.

Would you possibly forget about God? I would not say that I would forget about God but I would not be as conscience as I am now. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world and to not think about Him as much as we should or spend as much time with Him as we should. Like right now He is on my mind constantly not matter what I am doing. I am just trying to keep my mind ‘stayed’ on Him.

I just think maybe the richer we get or the more powerful we get, the more we need to pray and stay as absolutely close to God as possible.” Wow, I totally agree and never thought about it like that. It is funny because we, well most of us seem to think about God and are eager to spend time with Him when we are lacking or need something but as soon as things turn around and we are no longer in need we do not think about Him as much. Or maybe it is just me (Immature Christian) I can see that I have grown so much since I am in the word and I am not as bad about that as I used to be.

Would you want to be in Joseph's type of situation today? At the moment, no, because I do not think that I am strong enough spiritually to handle that situation. Things would not have turned out the way they did for Joseph, for me.

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:

“ Okay, back to all of my fretting above about if I was given all that Joseph was given by the Pharaoh in today's readings... :) What are your thoughts on this - if you were given all of these things, would it inflate your ego possibly? Would you possibly forget about God?… I'm just wondering if even today in our modern world if we need to be careful about being tempted by too much wealth or power or pride, etc.? But then I also wonder if sometimes God elevates us to important positions, like Joseph, so that we may be a blessing to many? …Would you want to be in Joseph's type of situation today? Think you could handle it? …”

I would like to think that my head wouldn’t get puffed up if given power and riches in this world but I honestly don’t know. Only God knows my heart. If it was going to do that to me then I wouldn’t want it. Wealth and power can become a snare. It can corrupt you and turn you into a cruel oppressor. Of course, there is the other side of the coin. You can be also greatly used of God in that position if your heart is in the right place regarding wealth and power. If it came to me I might be somewhat scared, especially if other people’s lives depended upon my actions, because with that also comes awesome responsibility before God.

“Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

- Psalm 26:10 ( KJV )

GENESIS 41:17-42:17

Yes, clearly some dreams are prophetic and come from God ( 41:25, 32 ). That God’s people would have such dreams in the last days was first foretold in Joel 2:28-29 and was partially fulfilled at Pentecost. Evidently we are still living in the last days and we are much closer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ than ever before. It should not surprise us if this didn’t become more common in the Church as we move closer to the end of the age. We will then need spiritual discernment to know which dreams are of God and which come from prognosticators who perhaps dabble in occultic practices.

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall DREAM DREAMS: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:”

- Acts 2:16-18 ( KJV )

MATTHEW 13:24-46

Jesus taught his disciples several parables in this passage. The Parable of The Wheat and Tares ( vv. 24-30, 36-43 ) teaches us that Satan also has his people ( the tares ) among true believers ( the wheat ) in the Church. These are the “false brethren” that the Apostle Paul spoke of ( 2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4 ). The Parable of The Mustard Seed ( 31:32 ) speaks of the “birds of the air” ( 13:32 ) which I interpret as being the same “fowls” in the Parable of The Seed and The Sower ( 13:3-9 ) which are symbolic of Satan coming and snatching away the seeds of the Word of God sown in the hearts of people ( 13:19 ). In the Parable of The Mustard Seed we see these evil birds, or demons, making their homes in the churches. They are found in all “branches” ( 13:32 ) or denominations of Christianity. In the end times we find that they have pretty much taken over whatever is left of Christianity which by this time will have become “a cage of every unclean and hateful bird “ ( Revelation 18:2 ) after the true Church is taken home to be with the Lord. Likewise the Parable of The Leaven ( 13:33 ) warns us of apostasy, false doctrines and tolerance of sin in the Church. As Jesus once admonished His disciples: “ Take heed and beware of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees “ - Matthew 16:6 ( KJV )

“ A little LEAVEN leaveneth the whole lump.”

- Galatians 5:9 ( KJV )

PSALM 18:1-15

There are couple of great verses concerning prayer in this passage and promises we can cling to in time of trouble and distress ( vv. 3, 6 ). The Scripture goes on to describe the lengths to which God will go to deliver us from our enemies if it so be His will ( vv. 7-15 ).


PROVERBS 4:1-6

It is so important for fathers to take the responsibility of being the spiritual head of their households and to teach their children the Word of the Lord.

I just have to ask first...is that you coming out of that computer monitor???? LOL!!! :0)

Ok - Joseph and his position. I really don't know if I could be as humble as Joseph if I were him. God is really dealing wtih me in the area of my ego and pride, has been for a while. I would never forget about God though - it's not material stuff for me, it's recognition. I seem to need that affirmation from others...although I'm getting better - praise God! He's really revealing stuff to me and helping me realize that all I need is HIM, not the praise of man.

In Matthew I liked 13:30 "Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." - reminding us that we have to live together with non-believers, being a light to them as much as we can. We should not confine ourselves to just our christian friends, we need to get out of our comfort zone.

Yes, I tell God that I love Him...but probably not enough. I think though that we can show him we love him too, by our actions.

I just have to ask first...is that you Bible Dude (as Jenny likes to call you) coming out of that computer monitor???? LOL!!! :0)

Ok - Joseph and his position. I really don't know if I could be as humble as Joseph if I were him. God is really dealing wtih me in the area of my ego and pride, has been for a while. I would never forget about God though - it's not material stuff for me, it's recognition. I seem to need that affirmation from others...although I'm getting better - praise God! He's really revealing stuff to me and helping me realize that all I need is HIM, not the praise of man.

In Matthew I liked 13:30 "Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." - reminding us that we have to live together with non-believers, being a light to them as much as we can. We should not confine ourselves to just our christian friends, we need to get out of our comfort zone.

Yes, I tell God that I love Him...but probably not enough. I think though that we can show him we love him too, by our actions.

Genesis41:39
"Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders.'"
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Joseph is promoted to second in command of Egypt because Joseph is wise. This is in accord with the teachings in Proverbs about wisdom's great value ("For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." Proverbs 8:11)
__________________________________
Matthew 13:44
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."
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I gave up my old life, people around me, and possessions for God and His kingdom. Some of these people are now back in my life--6 years later--others are not.
__________________________________

I do not often make the connection while reading Proverbs that Solomon's father was David. I think again of the Psalm in which David pleas for the sins of a man to be visited upon his household. I recall that the children of a sinful man can be cursed by God. We will see Solomon become the wisest man who ever lived--the son of one of the wisest men to live--and we hear David's voice instructing Solomon in the Proverbs.

Dreams -

When I was much younger I use to dream the same confusing dream all the time. It was almost a dream in a dream, a circle above my head while. Anytime I would rest on my mother's sofa the dream would come. The face was distorted wrinkled and unfriendly. It wasn't until I began to live differently did those dreams go away and the chaos was replaced with peaceful nights & better days.

Pondering: I know this might sound silly, but in many of these pictures and others I've seen depicting the artist biblical interpretations of events/customs I see dogs; and was wondering I can't recall reading about dogs in the bible - I wonder why?

Chapter 37;23 - 25, please explain to me how in your heart you plot to kill your brother, then the plan is interupted by another sibling instead of killing him let's throw him in a resorvoir. How do you then SIT DOWN TO EAT??? And we think we are harsh - smile. I love my kin folk

Chapter 38; Mike I MUST say I believe judgement should be left to God. It is not ours to judge anothers sin. In the O.T our Lord is consistantly called the Judge.

Matthew: Further study on my part is needed, but I also need clarity and my commentary is not helping:

v:32: Anyone who speaks a word against the son of man will be forgiven, but not if you speak against the Holy Spirit? My commentary says something about its the greatest sin b/c the Holy Spirit brings the offer of salvation to the heart of man. To reject Him, is to act
"presumptously" and thus to "blaspheme" God. Ohh never mind I get it I guess it took me typing what my commentary says. Here is what I gather, not to reduce the gift of salvation, but for my purposes; salvation its like I bake you a cake, take it to a neighbor who just moved in next door and she rejects my cake right?? Wow yes feed my mind!!

Does reading the Bible make you a calmer person or more grounded person if you read in the morning?
---------------------------
There is a verse in a Donald Lawrence song titled These Nails" that goes like this: Right after I first believed,
the cross followed me, yes, it did.
And right after I first received,
the cross followed me, I know it did. For Christ has nailed my hands,
and Christ has nailed my feet,
I'm crucified with Christ and these nails keep holding me. I love that song because had it not been for my nails I would have done some things. So to answer your question, I am definitely more calmer, and grounded because of these nails in my hands.


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