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I was just starting Sunday's readings ----still on Joseph.
And I was soooo happy to get to the part that I was waiting for when Joseph can no longer contain his self-control and had to finally tell his brothers the truth!!! And to tell them that it was all God's plan for him to "go ahead" to
Egypt and prepare the way for them! Yes, to everything there is a reason!!! I'm reminded by a book I read a long time ago by a German theologian, A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die." Joseph's revelation is much too powerful----God's sometimes incomprehensible plan, and the power of love and forgiveness...

When I started this oneyearbibleblog, I did tell Mike I might not be able to do it everyday. I told the same thing to my friend who enticed me into doing this. But so far I haven't missed a day in doing the readings. Although I do not post my comments and reflections, my friend and I exchange comments/reflection/questions practically everyday.
I truly feel that there is
a "powerful call' into reading the Scripture and making a meaningful connection of the Word in the daily events of my life. Thanks for the invitation to join this!
As Mike has said, finding the relevance of God's Word is different in every satge of our lives.

I believe Judah was the more compassionate one of the brothers,he never wanted to kill Joseph in the beginning. I do believe he was annoyed with Joseph and his stories and because their Father favored Joseph and remembered their Father made Joseph the coat of many colors and not any of the other brothers. Judah did love Joseph despite the circumstances.

I do not think that Joseph was playing mind games at all. I believe that rescue was what was on his mind. He knew that the seven year long severe famine was coming and that his family would need to be in the place of "salvation". He also knew that his father would not give up living in the land God had promised to go to Egypt. Jacob had worked very hard to get his family into their own land. Jacob didn't have the same love for the 10 brothers as he did for Benjamin. So at the beginning the only real way that Joseph could bring the family to safety was to try to keep Benjamin. You can see Joseph's love for his family by the names he named his own sons. God not only blessed Joseph and gave him a great name and a great mission to the world, but God was always there working in the backround to bring salvation to his family as well. All of the years of trial and imprisonment had not made Joseph bitter about his family. His only hope and salvation at those times was his faith and relationship to God. Joseph is one who lives out the promise in 2 Peter 1. Whereas the rest of the world would have spent the time of testing by becoming more and more sour and bitter, Joseph spent the time knowing God better and better. When the opportunity came to see his family again, he had compassion on them. But he certainly didn't feel safe with the brothers. So he didn't reveal his true identity to them. At this point in the story, his beautiful heart of love and compassion overtakes his need to try to protect himself. And God gives him the very special opportunity to express unconditional love toward his brothers and rescue his entire family from death and destruction.

2 Peter 1: 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Genesis
Joseph was such a forgiving man we can learn from him. I think he also knew his brothers well when he tells them not to argue on the way home.

Matthew
I love the way you applied this to our own lives Mike thanks

Psalms
He indeed is the living Lord!!! I will praise Him. He is a mighty rock. I will honour Him.

What really stands out to me this morning is Joseph’s final instructions he gave to his brothers in Genesis 45:24 when he is sending them back to pack up their father and their families to bring them to Egypt so he can see that they are provided with what they need during the last five years of the great famine, (“DON’T QUARREL ON THE WAY” [NIV] – “SEE THAT YOU DO NOT BECOME TROUBLED ALONG THE WAY ” [KJV)]). The brothers have been reunited after 22 years, Joseph has forgiven them for selling him into slavery, the family of Jacob has been assured that they will be taken care of during the remaining five years of the famine, the Pharaoh has even offered them the best of the land and provided them with carts to transport their father and their wives and children back to Egypt, and yet Joseph instructs them “not to quarrel on the way.” Maybe the lesson here is that we cannot quarrel with others and see God’s blessings at the same time. The time and energy we spend being angry at or quarreling with another person could be put to better use in praising the Lord and thanking Him for all the blessings He bestows daily on each of us.

God Bless!
Pat

Yay! I love Joseph's happy ending. I believe Joseph was so overjoyed and filled with love for his brothers that he just couldnt contain himself. i get a little teary every time i read this story. I dont think it was wrong for Joseph to mess with them, clearly he had forgiven them, but all the time his brothers were in fear and feeling guilty about selling Joseph, it gave them time to think things over, what they had done. it made Joseph's self-revalation even more amazing and joyful! Joseph was wise and knew God's purpose in this. "What you meant for evil, God meant for good." Whenever someone does us wrong or when the enemy means it for evil, God can turn things around in amazing ways!!!

Poor Jacob meanwhile probly didnt trust his sons wen they told him Joseph was alive because they had deceived him once by saying Joseph was dead, until he saw the carts and all the blessings. What a happy story! looks like Jacob's deception to his father n brother came back full circle.

Peter walking on water is such a great example for us. the Lord told him to do something and he did, His eyes fixed on Jesus. But then he took his eyes off Jesus (like many times we may do). He then put his eyes on his circumstances...the wind, the danger, the fear...He took his eyes off Christ and began to sink! Boy can i relate to this! i bet we all can! We may have initial faith, but if we take our eyes off Christ and look toward the circumstanes, we sink! I love his pray, the shortest prayer in the Bible...easy for us to memorize ;)..."Lord, save me!" When we are faced with something, a difficulty, a temptation, we can cry out, Lord save me! He will! Then, let's get our eyes back on Christ and off our worries.

(love the pic too! i have it on my page! =)

Then Jesus reached for him. A pastor was going over this a while back...he pointed out it doesnt mention how Peter got back in the boat, other then he climbed in. Did he walk back? did he swim? Did Jesus carry him? I think the point is, we shouldnt worry about how we are gonna be restored...reach out to Jesus and He'll get us back in the boat, we arent to worry, 'how is He gonna do this?'....the point is, He will..not us, but Him. We just need to have faith and focus on Jesus!

Psalms is awesome in that we have no need to fear anything if God be our God. He is for us! He is our mighty rock...and in this, we will never sink! He keeps his promises and is so faithful to those who seek righteousness! The Lord has really been showing me this in my life lately...He is sooooo amazing, I cant even explain the grace and love He has been showering me with. I used to think if i were married, had a great career, pets, and my own home, i'd be happy. I have none of those things yet I am not happiest I could ever be...i cant express the joy in my heart, as i write this, my heart overflows!! I'm reminded of my current fave song, Shine On by needtobreath, great lyrics...my fave part is: "you think you needed it all now, but you needed Me instead!" Sometimes we dont know what we need! Well He is all we need and as time goes on i see this more and more. If you have this, "you have your victory' as the song says. Money cant buy this kinda joy, this treasure, this peace. Nothing can fill that gap, nothing but Christ!

For many years i was a Christian, but felt a lacking in my life...i thought, must be the fact i was single, or that i didnt have the 'career'. Nope! its b'cos I wasnt completely submerged in Christ! If any believers are lacking something, you are saved but still feel a void, dive into Christ! Read the Bible daily, pray, praise Him daily in good and bad, thank Him always, seek Him first, surround yourself with godliness; Godly ppl, attend church regularly, listening to radio ministries, and trust and obey!!!! Obedience is soooo important! One song we used to sing in church as a kid: "trust and obey. for there's no other way...to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

there you have it, thats the key to total fulfillment, peace, and joy in life. Christ. nothing else will do!

I am perplexed.

It is so clear that Joseph has found favor with Pharoah...and this occurred with Daniel later when the Israelites were taken into captivity in Babylon too.

400 years in Egypt: I would be inclined to think that with the knowledge they had of God, their experience with Joseph, all the history with Esau marrying his Uncle's daughters and causing so much family strife...

How did they come to be slaves in the land of Egypt?

That just baffles me!

Everywhere else they went, with the Philistine King with Sarah and Abraham, with the Philistine king with Rebekah and Isaac--they came away from there respected and richer as the kings bestowed gifts on them, and because these kings and their people knew God was with them...

How much are we like the Israelites in that we blend into the culture where we live instead of being "different" because we serve the living God?

Are we set apart? Holy?

I hope so.

God's love and blessings to you all.

Jenny, I love to read about your songs!!! Don't you just LOVE to sing in church? I LOVE it! I sound like nails scratching over a blackboard ... but I don't care!!!!! My favorite song is "My life is in you, Lord". Yes ... singing in church is awesome!!!

I love reading about Jesus feeding more than five thousand people! I was brought up with this story. The culture I was brought up with (my parents are Indonesian) is to always feed the people who come to your house. When people come to your house, ask them to stay for dinner or for lunch, or whatever. My grandmother used to say to me (she was a very religious woman) "You'll always have enough, don't worry about that! Jesus fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fishes ... He had enough ... So never worry, if you feed people with love, you'll always have enough". And you know what? I always have enough! When I made dinner for 6 and we get more visitors, I worry ... but then I think about how Jesus fed thousands with five loaves of bread and two fishes ... I know it will be allright.

As for my prayings, I pray everywhere, whenever I feel the need to pray I pray. But I have one special place where I pray and that's in my bedroom. In the morning and afternoon I kneel beside the side of my bed and open my window to pray. In the evening I kneel at the side of my bed. I really appreciate my time with the Lord and I need to have it by myself. I'm still praying with my 'prayers-list', I always seem to forget something or somebody, so I need my 'list'.

Can someone tell me what retreats are? I do have an idea, but I want to make sure! I couldn't find it in the dictionary.

yes Mae, I love it. I know God loves hearing it or inhabiting the praises of His people, even if we werent all bessed with great voices, haha. My pastor pointed out that the Bible says: Make a joyful "noise" unto the Lord.

I especially love remembering songs I learned at church as a kid, theres something so special about that. Being raised in the church is such a blessing!

a retreat is like a get-away, a vacation kinda. I looked it up in the dictionary, here are some meanings:
1.The act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant
2. A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security.
3. a. A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.
b. A period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, or study

I like how Joseph asks everyone to leave the room before he confronts his brothers. Reminds me that we should not spread gossip or expose the bad actions of others where lots of people could hear. Joseph went right to his brothers only...no one else knew what they had done to him. We need to be the same way - if someone does us wrong, we should confront that person and not go and tell everyone what was done to us.

I also like that he tells his brothers to not be angry with themselves for selling him...he knows it was part of God's plan...45:6 says "it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you" then in verse 8 he says "It was not you who sent me here, but God". How awesome to know that God allowed all that bad stuff yet he does not blame God or is not angry with Him. There's definitely a lesson to be learned there! Like you said...God is in control!

In Matthew when Jesus says "You of little faith...why did you doubt?" - It makes me feel like a little child looking up at Jesus with big puppy dog eyes and tears rolling down my face...I have this picture of Jesus being so kind and loving yet gently reminding me that I can trust him and I do not have to be afraid.

About going off to pray....I like to pray in our bedroom - since my husband travels so much right now, it's quiet pretty much everywhere in the house, but there's a peace about our bedroom that I enjoy. I do my bible study in the "office" though - because that is where the computer is. I wish I had a laptop! But my husband needs it for work! :) I also love to pray in the car! Sometimes just turn the music off and talk...some of my best conversations with God are in the car!

I went on a retreat called the "Walk to Emmaus" - it's a 3 day get away...no phone, no tv, no clocks or watches (that one was tough for me!) ~ just the ocean, your bible, some great teachings...you and God - it's really great! There are about 25-30 other women with you but you get plenty of "alone" time. There is one night when you get to hang out in the chapel, you can go anywhere you want in there...you can go to the alter, you can stay in your seat, you can lay on the floor on your face...whatever you feel like doing....and you get a couple of hours just you and God....I heard God so loud and clear that night...I'll never forget it!!

Psalms - espceially vs. 46-50 makes me want to shout!!! THE LORD LIVES! PRAISE BE TO MY ROCK! EXAULTED BE GOD MY SAVIOR! Wow! that is so awesome...what a prayer of praise that is! :0)

Proverbs...I can't imagine my life without Jesus! It's hard for me to remember what it was like sometimes before I was saved. Although I never want to forget where I came from - it's a great reminder of just how much God has done for me! But I am totally fullfilled with Jesus! Living for God is so not boring!! It's the best ride ever! I love Him so much! :)

I went on a New Year's retreat with Campus Crusade for Christ a few years back. Groups of Christian college students from various colleges were picked up on a bus from Nevada to Vancouver Canada. We stayed at a lovely hotel in Vancouver near the water for a few days. Each morning there was a worship service. We spent one day in groups spreading the Word throughout Vancouver. New Years Eve was very interesting because there were three separate parties happening concurrently at this hotel. There was a dark, smoky bar party--with people getting drunk. There was an upscale party for wealthy, well-dressed (maybe middle aged) people. Then, there was our Christian, non-drinking party. There was tremendous contrast between these three parties. The joy existing in the college Christian party is something I had not seen before among such a large group of young people. There were people carrying others on their shoulders, listening to Christian rock music, people tossing beach balls into the air, dancing, singing, praying. It was great! The whole retreat was memorable.

I read the Psalm first today; what a beautiful benediction!

Then, in reading Genesis it struck me that what we prophesy to our children (e.g. you're a "bad boy" they believe and attempt to fulfill ); as I read the blessings of Jacob to his children I could see how many of them were fulfilled. Conversely, when we prophesy good things to our children, they try to live up to THAT!

And finally I was surprised to see that Leah, the one who consistently sought Jacob's love and favor was buried with the patriarchs and their wives, and Rachel was buried elsewhere.

Just a few thoughts that went through my brain in today's reading.

May we all recognize our many blessings!

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:

“ Based on our readings in Matthew today where we see that Jesus slipped away from the crowds to pray by himself, do you model this behavior of Jesus' in your life and slip away from the crowds to pray by yourself? How often? Where and How? Also, do you take spiritual retreats? Do you take the retreats alone or with others? Is prayer a central part of the retreats? …”

I used to try and get off alone sometimes at work, usually whenever I especially felt the need. I usually went to the fenced storage area outside the building in which I worked. I could be alone there for awhile most of the time. There is a very high wooded hill nearby my house which is the highest point of elevation in the county I live in. I have gone there a few times to read my Bible and to pray. It’s very quiet and all you hear are the birds chirping. I have been to a retreat but with others in the church I attended at the time. I once went to a retreat center in Michigan for the weekend to attend a concert. The rooms there did not have a television set. It was a blessing just to get away from that for awhile…lol! I would like to go back there sometime just to spend a week or so of doing nothing but Bible study and prayer.


GENESIS 44:1-45:28

God always has a purpose for adversity in the life of the believer and that was certainly true in Joseph’s life ( 45:5-8 ). God will somehow always bring good out of it. In Joseph’s case, God’s purpose was twofold : 1 ) to save the lives of thousands in Egypt and in the surrounding nations during the seven year famine which God in His foreknowledge foretold through Joseph’s dream; and 2 ) to fulfill His prophetic Word which He spoke to Abraham saying, “ Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;” ( Genesis 15:13 ). Joseph’s adversity and rise to power was how God chose to bring the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob into Egypt.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

- Romans 8:28 ( KJV )


MATTHEW 14:13-36

The feeding of five thousand with only five loaves of bread and two fishes with plenty leftovers to go around ( vv.15-21 ) is an amazing miracle. If Jesus can do that how much more is he able to supply my daily bread and my other basic necessities even in famine and financial hard times?
When Jesus bid Peter to come to Him by walking on the water as Jesus did ( vv.28-29 ), Peter’s first steps of faith toward Jesus were sure ( v.29 ). After a few more steps his faith failed because he took his eyes off of the Lord and looked at the adverse circumstances around him. When we take our eyes off of Jesus then doubts are sure to creep into our hearts ( v.31 ). Walking by faith is about keeping our eyes on the Lord at all times.

In these acts and many other things that Jesus did He showed Himself to be the Son of God ( v.33 ).


PSALM 18:37-50

I have to say that vv.37-42, as well as v.34, are biblical support for the “Just War” doctrine. I think it is a doctrine that we should examine closely, especially in a time when our nation is waging a ’ War On Terrorism ’ regardless of how you feel about the war in Iraq right now. I’m sure that many Christians will disagree with me that there is biblical support for this doctrine but how else can you explain God commanding the children of Israel to go to war against the Canaanites and David’s many battles with the Philistines? Here is a link below for more info on the “Just War” teaching if anyone is interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war


PROVERBS 4:11-13

Wisdom, direction and sure footing is needed to live the Christian life which is likened to running a race ( v.12; Hebrews 12:1; 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 ).

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