Tag Archive | Christianity

Feeling Hurt by the Ones You Love?

Genesis 45:8 biblegateway.com

So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Many people feel betrayed and hurt by the ones they love. Joseph is a great example of how God can use those hurts for good and for His glory.

Joseph was attacked by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, falsely accused, thrown into prison, and treated unfairly for a good portion of his life.

He could easily let self pity consume him. He could have felt sorry for himself, but instead, he looked to God for help, kept hoping in the midst of his trials, and kept faith that God would deliver him.

God used all of Joseph’s trials to save Israel from starvation. His brothers came to Egypt, seeking grain and food. Joseph was in charge of the distribution. He recognized his brothers, but they didn’t recognize him.

Joseph tested his brothers to see if they had changed, or if they were still the rebellious gangsters who had beaten him. After a little fun with them, he breaks down in tears, and tells them that it wasn’t them that sent him to Egypt, but God:

And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.

And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:

It is possible that God is using our circumstances to bring about His purpose. Keep looking to God for deliverance, and forgive the ones that have caused you grief and trouble. Maybe it was God’s way of bringing you to a place where you can help others?

Dear God, help me to see the big picture. I am so nearsighted. I know that You have a plan and a purpose and that Your will prevails. You always do what is right. Help me to forgive others, and accept the circumstances in my life that have brought me to You. You work all things out for good for those who are called according to Your purpose, for those who love You. Thank You! In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

PS:  This link is a wonderful study on Joseph, with a free coloring page: http://biblebasedhomeschooling.com/forgiveness-from-his-sunflower-with-free-coloring-page/

Also, my sister called me, and told me how she picked some sunflowers for her primary kids, and told them how sunflower heads are bright, happy looking, and face the sun. That is how we should be. We need to stay focused on God, turning to Him in all our troubles.

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Still Small Voice:

1 Kings 19:11-14 (King James Version) Bible Gateway

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Elijah was feeling alone. He was a prophet of God during the reign of an evil King and Queen.

Elijah was not alone. God was with him, and soon, “Elisha” would be a faithful companion.

When I read this verse, I think of ‘the still small voice’ of God, and how He wasn’t in the earthquake, or the great strong wind, or the fire.

Elijah heard that whisper of God, covered his face, and stood at the entrance of the cave he was in.

God asked Elijah what he was doing in the cave?

Then God gave Elijah some specific directions of things he should do.

He would anoint a king and a prophet. He was also told by God that there were 7,000 faithful people who had not bowed their knees to Baal, a false god.

Elijah obeyed God, and did as he was told.

I look for God in the miraculous events, but He is also in the every day events that whisper His presence. New birth, healing, restoration, deliverance, sometimes happen in uneventful ordinary ways over a period of time, unassuming.

The birth of Jesus is an example. He was born in a small stable to people who were not well known, and he chose common fishermen, and men of little renown, to carry His message to the world.

Look for God in the little whispers. Acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Thank You, God, for this passage of scripture. Help us to hear Your voice, listen, and follow Your commands. I know there are many people who love You, and I pray for Your protection and encouragement. I pray for Your help, and for Your will to be done. It is an encouragement to know that You are with us, and that You are the director of all men. Your purpose will prevail. Amen.

-Dawn-

Spiritual Blindness:

John 9:1-6  Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

This is such a great story of Jesus healing a man born blind.

First, Jesus sees the man.

Then, we are presented with the disciple’s question of whether this man was born blind because of his parents, or because of his own sins?

I love the answer Jesus gives, that this man has been born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

In an unconventional way, the blind man is healed. Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud with His saliva, and puts it on the man’s eyes! Jesus tells the man to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.

The man does as Jesus says, and goes home seeing!

This isn’t the end of the story, because it also happened on the Sabbath. When religious leaders find out that the man who was blind from birth can see, they are angry. They go as far as to say that Jesus can’t be from God, because He didn’t keep the Sabbath.

The religious leaders exasperate the man who was healed, and interrogate him, and hurl insults at him. Finally the man who can now see, sensationally refutes the Pharisees.

The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

I am reminded of “Spiritual Blindness”. — Many people refuse to believe, though they have been presented with the evidence.

I pray, Dear God, that we would be men and women of faith, and that we would shine with Your light in this world. Help us to see the needs of others, and help them. I am so thankful for Your willingness to die on our behalf. You died for us while we were yet sinners, and spiritually blind. Open our eyes to the truth, and keep us from being deceived. I pray for workers for the harvest. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

-Dawn-

Throw Off Sin:

 Hebrews 12: 1-3:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

We can get so ‘tangled’ up in sin.

I watched a spider through our kitchen window, one evening. It built a magnificent web. It was a huge ‘popcorn’ or ‘chicken’ spider.

Soon, a fly was trapped in the web, and the spider quickly confronted the captive. He began wrapping him up with a continuous web, until the fly was encased, and completely entangled.

Many people are oblivious to ‘webs’. I am sure the fly was not expecting that sticky web to capture him, but it did. It also brought him to a terrible end.

We need to be aware of our enemy, the devil. He is on the hunt, looking for someone to devour! Once trapped in sin, He makes quick work to encase us in it, and entrap us, making it almost impossible to get out of it.

We luckily have a man of action, who cares enough to rescue us from the devil. Jesus is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Rescuer!  He knows what it is like to be surrounded by His enemies. He endured the cross, He endured opposition from sinners. He also conquered all these things, and is an example, and a mentor, that we can fix our eyes on, so that we do not become weary and lose heart.

He knows how to escape the devil’s web, and is willing to help us, and deliver us from it too.

God’s Word is a great weapon against sin. Psalm 119:11, tell us, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” 

Know your enemy’s tactics, put on your armor, and put God’s Word in your heart. Don’t become weary, keep your eyes on the prize, and remember what Jesus endured for our sake.

Dear God, I am feeling weary. I pray for your strength and help, and keep me from being deceived. Direct my paths, and keep my mind and heart on You, on the joy that is to come. Forgive me of all my sins, and keep me in Your care. Thank You for giving me victory through Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

What are the Requirements?

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:26,27

Every two years, I have to get a physical to keep up my Class A CDL Driver’s License.

Two years went by really fast since the last time I saw a doctor.

In a Department of Transportation physical, your eyes are checked, your hearing, blood pressure, blood sugar, and you are checked for color blindness. Your liver is checked for swelling, and you are asked many questions about previous health conditions on a form. You are asked about any substance abuse or mental problems.

You have to meet all the requirements, or else you cannot drive a vehicle over 26,000 pounds on the Interstate.

I met all the requirements, and won’t have to have another physical for a couple years!

What are the requirements of true religion?

We are to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world! It is difficult to live in this world, without being affected by the sin in it.

Each day we need to put on the full armor of God, and have His Holy Spirit within us, so that we can extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one. It is not easy to pass the true religion test. We are offered forgiveness when we fail.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

With God’s Spirit in us, there is a doctor in the house, and He is the greatest Physician of them all!

Thank You, God, for giving us the armor we need to live in this world. You have given us salvation, faith, righteousness, truth, and peace. You have given us Your Word, which is the sword of the Spirit. With this armor, and Your great help, we can extinguish those fiery darts that the evil one throws at us. I pray that You would give me a right Spirit within me, to be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove. Help me to not be deceived. I pray for Your guidance in helping others. There are many widows and orphans, and this world needs Your help. I pray for Your presence, and for the means and the wisdom to know how to help those who are in distress. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

Life is Short!

You have made my days like handbreadths; for you, the length of my life is like nothing.” Yes, everyone, no matter how firmly he stands, is merely a puff of wind.

Psalm 39:6 (Complete Jewish Bible)

This life on earth is very short, merely a puff of wind in the face of eternity.

God’s design before Adam and Eve sinned, was for man to live forever.

Can we really see the enormous consequence of the first sin, of disobedience to God’s Word? It ushered in death, sin, sorrow, and separation from God. From the time we are born, our mortal clock is ticking, and time is running out.

Our bodies will die, but our souls are eternal. We will either rise to be raised with Christ, or we will die in our sins, separated from God, forever.

Sometimes, there are only two choices we get to make.– Either we are slaves to sin, or slaves of righteousness; either we are saved, or condemned; either we are forgiven, or not forgiven. Sometimes ‘gray’ areas are not allowed, and there are absolutes.

There is only one way to the Father, God, and that is through Jesus Christ.

In our earthly bodies, this life is short, but in our spiritual souls, eternity is a very long time.

Dear God, life on this earth is short. We are dying from the time we are born. Our earthly bodies will perish, but thank You fro the gift of life through Jesus, for our eternal souls. Thank You for redemption through Jesus Christ, and for Your grace, love, and mercy. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

A Temporary Resident:

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; before, you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and temporary residents not to give in to the desires of your old nature, which keep warring against you; but to live such good lives among the pagans that even though they now speak against you as evil-doers, they will, as a result of seeing your good actions, give glory to God on the Day of his coming.

1 Peter 2: 10-12

I am reminded that I will always be ‘a foreigner’ on this earth. I do not belong here, because I have received mercy from God, Himself, and have become one of ‘His people’. I do not conform to the label of ‘American’, I am a ‘Christian’, and my King is Jesus Christ.

While on this earth, I will always live among ‘pagans’, and they will speak of me as an evil-doer. My hope is in Jesus Christ, the redemption that has been offered to me, as a former ‘pagan’. (Merriam -Webster defines ‘pagan’ as: one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods :  an irreligious or hedonistic person)

I have been set free from the slavery of sin, and been redeemed by my Lord, Jesus Christ. He paid such a great price for my freedom. I am a citizen of Heaven, now, by the saving power of Jesus, God’s Son.

Peter calls us ‘friends’ and tells us we are aliens and temporary residents, and he urges us not to give in to the desires of our old nature, which constantly war against us. Instead, we should live such good lives among the ‘nonreligious’ of this world, that even though they condemn us, they will give glory to God on the Day of His coming, because of our good actions.

We may not see them glorify God in our lifetime, but every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, when He returns.

Dear God, thank You for the great advice that Peter gives us. Help us to live good lives among the pagans, and help us to react with good actions to the glory of You. Also, help us not to give in to the old nature that wars against us.. I pray for the power of Your Holy Spirit in me, to be a good ambassador for You. Keep me from being deceived, and from temptation, and deliver us from the evil one. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-