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Friends Reunited

Even with the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream and Joseph’s appointment as
Prime Minister, his dreams have not yet come true. He marries and has two sons, but
chooses names that show that his journey is not yet over. Joseph’s very claim that he has
forgotten his family indicates that he has not! Even in fruitfulness, he acknowledges his
grief. It is not until chapter 42 that the story turns toward the true fulfillment of the
young exile’s dreams. Compelled by famine, Joseph’s brothers seek relief in Egypt. Unwittingly,
they stand before the brother they betrayed, and we begin to see the ending toward
which God has been leading us.

This is the point at which the sovereignty of God becomes clear. God’s project is
not the prosperity and progress of Joseph; it is the very survival of the tribes of Israel.
Long before Pharaoh’s dream, God saw famine, He needed a man on the inside in Egypt,
ready to take action on behalf of His people. Joseph was that man and we realize that the
whole narrative has been played out in the providence of God. The actions of Joseph, his
brothers, Potiphar, and even Pharaoh himself have been woven together in God’s larger
purpose. God’s will is not brought about by abrupt action, but by God’s engagement with
the ways of the world – ways that to us seem natural. God’s way are above and beyond
humanity. History itself is His servant.

God is working out his purposes on a global scale, achieving His objectives both
through and in spite of Egypt, Joseph, and his brothers. Would we trust God more easily
– and obey Him more fully – if we truly believed that He was working out His plans
through, and in spite of us?

When someone has deeply wronged you, are you more likely to seek revenge or reconciliation?
What does this tell you about yourself and your trust in God?

Read: Genesis 42:1-24
[From Encounter with God/Scripture Union – 4th Qtr. 2013]

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Manna in the Wilderness

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither
you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on
every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deut. 8:3)

Manna literally means “What is it?” and was the name given by the Israelites when they
first saw this breadlike food. It was white like coriander seed, tasted like wafers made with honey
and mysteriously appeared on the ground each morning. It was an appropriate name because it
meant so much more than food for the body. Manna was also a symbol for the soul. They called it
manna but the Lord had already called it bread from heaven.
Bread from Heaven

The first message to be found in manna was that there was more to life than being well fed
and physically satisfied. It didn’t take long for the Israelites to compare their existence in the wilderness
to their fond but distorted remembrance of life back in Egypt. “If only we had died by the
LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you
have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death” (Exodus 16:3).
Material gratification is a strong temptation that threatens long term spiritual growth. If
we allow it, foster it or give in to it, there can be a huge gap between daily life and eternal significance.
It is hard for some people to grasp the relationship between living and meaning. Onedimensional
existence misses the meaning of life. The great truths of God and salvation are ignored.
Reducing life to appearances and appetites allows no vision for anything other than that
which is literal, physical and material. Our dog, Maggie, lives this kind of one-dimensional life.
She’s fed twice a day, morning and evening. Science Diet dog food, a little exercise and affection
make for a happy dog. We humans are in danger of living a dog’s life when we say to ourselves,
“You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink and be merry”
(Luke 12:19).

Satisfying our physical appetites at the expense of our soul is a major issue in the Bible. It
is fine to care about our physical well-being, but we must care first and foremost about our relationship
with the Lord. We need to eat and exercise, but there is more to living than following
our physical and material appetites.

[Excerpted from The Discipline of Surrender by Douglas D. Webster]
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Ceaseless Praying

Within the context of praise and adoration, the praying of the body of Christ should be dominated by intercessory prayer for the spread of the gospel and salvation of souls. There is no other reason for Jesus to have come to earth than for our salvation. There is no theme that runs consistently through Scripture than redemption. Sin and righteousness dominate every aspect of God’s revelation to us. There is no calling more important to a Christian than to be an ambassador of Christ, as if God were making His appeal directly through him or her. This appeal is about reconciliation. And reconciliation is about two things only: salvation for the lost and growth in personal holiness for the redeemed. All else falls into place once these two realities are attended to, not the least of which are the social and ethical responsibilities that the body of Christ owes the world… I am convinced that if the church were bent over double in pleading for lost people near and far, we might quickly discover how little fuss we need to make over worship styles and church growth methodology. So much of our praying is about things God would take care of anyway, especially if He saw our praying turned in the direction of His urgent desire that all should come to repentance. Even if we changed the little praying that we do and spent it on lostness and redemption, I am sure God would look back over His shoulder, turn our way again and bring both an awakening and continued revival. [Excerpted from Unceasing Worship by Harold M. Best]

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The Living Word (Part Two)

John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
The first epistle that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians was the beginning of the New Testament. It was written seventeen years after his conversion.
I Thessalonians 2:13, “Wherefore I also give continual thanks to God, because, when you heard from me the spoken Word of God, you received it not as the word of man, but, as it is in truth, the Word of God; who Himself works effectually in you that believe.
Notice, it was “the Spoken Word”. That was all they had, whether Paul gave it or Peter, or John, or any of the Apostles. It was God speaking through human lips. It had not yet been put into writing. Now, you can better understand Acts 19:20 telling of that great revival at Ephesus. Luke used this expression: “So mightily grew the Word of the Lord and prevailed.” It was the spoken Word.
The Pauline Revelation was only known to those who had heard him. The other Apostles did not have it. They had what the Spirit gave them to meet the emergency of the hour.
It is a fact that Christianity is what the Word says about redemption, about the body of Christ, or the New Creation. We become Christ-like in the measure that the Word prevails in us. The Word is Christ revealed. The Word is God present with us, speaking the living message of the loving Father God.
The Word is always NOW! It is His Word to me today. It is His voice, His last message. It becomes a living thing in my heart as I lovingly act upon it. It becomes a living thing on the lips of love. It has no power on the lips of those whose lives are out of fellowship with Him, who live in the reason realm. His Word makes our ministry limitless. His Word is what He is. It is the mind of the Father. The Living Word, will cause you to LIVE FOREVER. You matter to Me.
Much Love,
Because He Is – I am
Presider – Servant Leader
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The Living Word (Part One)

John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Words was with God, and the Word was God”
Our attitude toward the word determines the place that God holds in our daily life. The Word should always be the Father speaking to us. It should never be like the message from an ordinary book. 
It should be as real to you as though the Master stood in the room and spoke to you personally. This word was designed by the Father to take Jesus’ place in His absence. When He says, “The Father Himself loves you”, It is a personal message to your heart.
When the Master said again, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word; and the Father and I will love him and make our home with him”, that should be as personal as though you were the only on in the world.
It is as though you were sitting at the feet of Jesus, and He looked down into you face and said, “The Father and I will come and make our home with you”. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I am going to be your strength; I am going to lend to you my own ability. When weakness come, remember that I am the strength of your life. When you need finances, remember that He said “My father knoweth that you have need of all these things.” You can whisper in your own heart, “My Father will supply every need of mine. He knows my needs and loves me. He and I are one.”
Man’s word is usually dead before spoken. Few words of man live after a generation, but God’s Word is different. It is impregnated with the very life of God. It is eternal.
Remember, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Words was with God, and the Word was God”. Life is in the Word of God. Jesus said, “The Words I speak unto you, they are Spirit and Life. People Matter.
Much Love,
Because He Is – I am
Presider – Servant Leader
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Faith Makes Things Happen

 

Matthew 21:21-22. “Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what we done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, be taken up and cast into the sea, It shall happen. And everything you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive”.
What is faith? Faith is both a force and a feeling. As a force, it moves Christians to action.  As a feeling it gives a deep sense of assurance. When force and assurance moves one to act in the direction of God’s leading, mountains of difficulty will move out of the way.
It is faith that gives substance or reality to that we hope to get from God. We may not immediately witness the manifestation of that for which we pray, but until the manifestation comes, FAITH gives our request substance. If we could immediately witness the manifestation there would be no further need for faith. When we ask according to God’s will our faith becomes the evidence that we have what we ask for. The following scripture assures us that this is how faith operates in moving the hand of God:
Now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
The new Christian must ever keep in mind that faith operates within the framework of God’s timetable. Faith is not a push button operation. Too many new Christians lose the battle in the exercise of their faith, because they lack endurance. The bible presents a picture gallery of those who endured, and because they endured their faith was rewarded. The following scripture gives emphasis to the need for patient endurance:
Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. Hebrews 10:35-36
Patient endurance is also seen in that great hero of faith, Abraham, who became the head of a faith race of people, and whose example of faith makes every believer a spiritual seed of Abraham. Remember, faith makes things happen!
Much Love
Because He Is – I am
Presider-Servant Leader
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