Sunday, May 26, 2013

Living Larger

"This world ♪♫♪♫ is not my home, ♪♫♪♫ I'm justa passin' through.." seem to be the lyrics Jacob was fond of singing in the later part of Genesis. He mourned the loss of his son Joseph and from that point
on he seems to waiting to for life to be over.

In Genesis 45:27-28, his reaction to the news of finding out that Joseph was alive and sending for him is recorded:

And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons (not yet used in Israel according to E.W.Bullinger) which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die. (Genesis 45:27, 28)
Imagine Jacob's reaction when he saw the wagons and all the wonderful things provided for a comfortable trip to Egypt. As they set out for Egypt, Jacob stopped at Beersheba and had a conversation with God (Elohim).
And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God(Elohim) of his father Isaac. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God (El), the God (Elohim) of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. (Genesis 46:1-4)
Instead of life ending, it was beginning anew for Jacob. Jacob was 130 years old when he moved to Egypt, not an easy thing to do at his age. He would be well-taken care of in Joseph's domain and  under his watchful eye. Joseph's care and wisdom came from God. Joseph's heart reminds me of the verse in Timothy where Paul writes about Timothy:
Philippians 2:20-21 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
Jacob actually lived to be 147 years old. God blessings always extend beyond human vision. Ephesians 3:20 reminds us of that:
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Ephesians 3:20)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Confessions of a Grassroots Activist

The news is a abuzz over scandal after scandal. When the facts are revealed it becomes clear that every situation is complex and chaotic.  It seems impossible to get to the truth! It also seems that the closer one gets to the answers, the spin starts to accelerate at a greater speed. Some of the problems were very evident from the beginning and my sense of justice started to roar when some of the recent revelations came to light. Then I remember:
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
In the Greek, the word 'vengeance' is the greek word 'ekdikesis' ('ek'-out from, dike - justice =Link in 'Digging Deeper')
 In Romans 12:19, the responsibility for justice is squarely on God.  God's justice is the only true justice. He is all good. He is all light. There is absolutely no darkness in Him at all. He is love. Vengeance is not a dark word. When we are walking by the spirit, we are all that too. We don't have to get indignant for God! This world is full of  so many things we could get irritated about. We would be on edge all the time. Did Jesus Christ walk around indignant all the time? He could have, the world threw everything at him. The Joseph record in Genesis shows he didn't either.

God's word says we are to 'rejoice in the truth'. I absolutely love it when something that is not right is exposed. It is part of rejoicing in truth. However, we must stay out of the mud.  We speak the truth in love!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Looking on the Things of Others

In chapter 45 of Genesis, Joseph finally reveals who he was to his brothers. It is a story of great deliverance for Jacob's family.  In addition Joseph was able to protect his family further for the remaining five years of the famine by moving them to Egypt. Joseph really was looking out for things that were so necessary for their lives. Joseph not only blessed his family but many many more people saw deliverance because he looked out for them. God helped to elevate him to the right hand of Pharaoh so that he was free to put all that he needed to do in motion.

In Philippians chapter 2 there is a great record of Jesus Christ:
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
Jesus had undoubtedly read over and understood the record of Joseph in the Old Testament. He understood how God through Joseph had brought deliverance to his people. It must have been a very encouraging record for him. Jesus 'thought it not robbery to be equal to God'. He knew he would carry out God's plan for deliverance as God's son. He didn't have to worry about what everybody thought about him, he simply served. Jesus Christ has a name that is truly above every name.  God has put everything under his feet. It is through him we now can walk for God and and have the same equivalent value to help others.




R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend and we got to talking about respect and the current culture. He made a statement to me t...