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Category Archives: forgiveness

Blessed Burial!

Thursday night was a great time of rejoicing as we saw Kanalis baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins. Even though I have seen many people baptized over the years, it is something that never ceases to thrill me. I know God has great things in store for this good brother and his 2 beautiful children. God is good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Baptized In Jesus’ Name

Repentant sinner

willing and obedient

surrendered and submitted

wholeheartedly following

Scriptures holy

sins are remitted

past buried

transgression all erased

cleansed, renewed

washed, sanctified, justified

Jesus’ name called

baptized

I am

baptized

called name, Jesus

justified, sanctified, washed

renewed, cleansed

erased, all transgressions

buried past

remitted are sins

Holy Scriptures

following wholeheartedly

submitted and surrendered

obedient and willing

sinner repentant.

1Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.   Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Romans 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  Colossians 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

 

The Application Made The Difference

 

Many years ago when I was a kid, I went through a stage that most children go through where I was constantly falling down and skinning or scraping my knees. I remember one day in particular, my mom had this new medicine that she said she was going to try out on my wound. She assured me that this new stuff, which was called Bactine, would not sting like the peroxide that she usually used. I said, “Okay mom. I believe that the Bactine really works, and it will help my owie get better.” Then my mom and I sat there and just stared in wonder at the bottle of Bactine as we believed in our minds that this new medicine helps heal wounds.

NOT! That’s not what we did! My mom followed the directions on the package, took the cap off the container and sprayed some of the liquid onto my wounded knee. Did my scrape get better? Yes, it did. My mom believed, and I believed that the Bactine would be effective in healing my wound, but Bactine actually had no effect until it came out of the bottle and was applied.

From a child, I had heard the story of Jesus Christ. I believed that He was born into this world, died on the cross and was buried and rose again on the third day. This is the gospel message, and I believed it.(or at least I thought I believed it)Was it relevant to my every day life? Did it change me and give me power to overcome sinful habits and live a victorious life? No, the gospel had absolutely no effect on my life, until I came to the place(by God’s grace and leading)where I understood that I needed to apply the gospel. Jesus died on the cross, so death was the place where I needed to begin. I had to die to my sinful nature and lifestyle through repentance. I asked God to forgive me of every sin I had ever committed and to help me not to continue doing those things that did not please Him. Next came the burial. The Bible likens baptism in several places to a burial. I saw that in the Scriptures. I also saw that everyone in the Bible that was baptized was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so I followed that pattern. What was it that caused Jesus to be able to rise from the dead? It was the Spirit of God that dwelt in Him. I needed God’s Spirit to come and dwell in me so I could be raised up to walk in newness of life. This is what happened to me when I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, just like they did in the book of Acts. ( Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6) It was a miracle! I felt the Spirit of God in such an incredible way as I spoke in other tongues for the very first time. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power after they received the Holy Ghost. I found that to be true in my life. God began to empower me through the Holy Ghost to lay down the things that were contrary to the way a Christian should live.

So why am I writing this? Maybe there are others out there like me who have heard of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Mentally, you believe it, but it hasn’t really impacted your life in the way you had hoped. Perhaps you have repented and asked God for forgiveness, but this is as far as you have gone. You want to live for God, but you find yourself continually falling back into temptation or just not having joy in your relationship with God. Could it be that you have not fully applied the gospel to your life? If you’ve never been baptized in Jesus’ name, I challenge you to read and study the book of Acts, and then I dare you to obey God and do it! If you’ve never received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, don’t sell yourself short. This experience is for you, and it will not only give you joy and power to live an overcoming life, but it will help you to be a witness for Jesus.

We came into this world with a terrible disease called sin, but God in His love and grace provided the remedy – the gospel. It is effective – when applied. The application made the difference for me. It can make the difference for you too!

 

Concerning Baptism In Jesus’ Name

If you don’t like long readings, do not read this post. It’s going to be lengthy. Someone recently asked a question on a blog concerning baptism, and this is designed to share the things concerning baptism that I have come to understand through studying the Scripture. I’m by no means a theologian, but I would like to share my thoughts on the subject. Here is the question that was asked.

 

How do you reconcile the words of Jesus Himself in Matthew 28:19 with baptizing a person in Jesus name?  Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

 

This is a great question and one that deserves an answer. Before we look at any other Scriptures, let’s take a closer look at this verse and the verses surrounding it to clarify who Jesus is talking to here.

 

The Great Commission

 

Matthew 28:16  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

28:17  And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

Jesus was speaking to his 11 disciples at this time. Judas, who was one of the original twelve had already betrayed the Lord and took his life, reducing the number of apostles from 12 to ll. Jesus tells them in verse 18 that all power is given unto him in heaven and in earth, and using His authority, He gives them a command in verse 19. These were some of the last words spoken by Jesus to His disciples before he ascended to heaven, and many refer to this as The Great Commission.  Jesus mentions in verse 19 that he wants them to teach all nations and baptize them in the “name” which is singular. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are not names but rather titles or ways in which the One true God manifested Himself.  We as humans have different roles or positions that we fill. I am a wife, mother and daughter, but that does not mean I am three persons. I am one person fulfilling different roles or relationships, and I only have one name.  I believe the apostles understood that the “name” that the Lord was referring to was Jesus, and they fulfilled this command of the Lord by baptizing in Jesus’ name.

 

I’d Rather Take The Words of Jesus

 

An argument I have heard brought up over the years by some is that they would rather take the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 than the words of Peter in Acts 2:38 when he told the group to whom he was preaching to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

The Bible states in II Timothy 3:16 ,“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: “

 

According to this verse, the words of Jesus would not carry any more weight than the words of Peter. Both were equally inspired by God as they spoke.  Jesus gave His apostles a command to teach, and he also gave them authority. Before He went to the cross, He even prayed for those in the future that would come to believe in Him through the teachings of the apostles.

 

 

In John 17 as we read about Jesus praying, we can see that he began praying for his disciples. (verse 6-20) In verse 20, Jesus mentions that He is not just praying for the disciples alone but for them which would come to believe on Him through their words.(the apostles words) John 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

 

 

For this reason, I believe it’s important to look closely at what the apostles preached and taught, but before we do this, let’s take a look at what some of the other apostles wrote about Jesus’ last words before he ascended.

 

Mark and Luke’s Accounts

 

Mark 16:14  Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

 

Here, we see again that Jesus is talking to the eleven disciples. In verse 15, he gives them the commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In the next verse he tells them that he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Believeth what? The gospel according to verse 15. In the light of verse 16, I find it hard to understand how some can say that baptism is not a part of the plan of salvation.

 

We can also read Luke’s account of Jesus’ last words to his disciples before his ascension.

 

Luk 24:33  And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, (The “they” in this verse is referring to the 2 that were on the road to Emmaus with Jesus. They had just returned and began to share with the disciples the things that had just happened to them.) While these two were speaking with the disciples, Jesus suddenly appears in the midst of them.

 

Luk 24:36  And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

 

Jesus begins to speak to them and give them some instruction.

 

 

 

Luk 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Luk 24:45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Luk 24:46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

Luk 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Luk 24:48  And ye are witnesses of these things.

Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Luk 24:50  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Luk 24:51  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

Luk 24:52  And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

Luk 24:53  And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

 

Here in these verses, we can read about Jesus opening the understanding of His disciples. We do not see Jesus mentioning anything here about baptism, but take note of verse 47. Jesus tells his disciples that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name and that this should start in Jerusalem. This will be important later on in this post.

 

Before we go to the book of Acts to see what the apostles preached and to look at actual baptisms, I would like to share some Scriptures that talk about the importance of the name of Jesus.

 

That Wonderful Name

 

 

Act 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Act 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

If baptism is a part of the plan of salvation, and there is salvation in the name of Jesus, then doesn’t it make sense that one would be baptized in the saving name?

 

Colossians 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

We pray for our food in Jesus’ name. We pray for the sick in Jesus’ name. Why would we not want to baptize in His name?

 

Philippians 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

2:9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

 

There is no greater name than the name of Jesus. Jesus said in Matthew that all power in heaven and in earth is given unto him. There is power in the name of Jesus! Why not be baptized in His powerful, saving name?

 

The First Sermon On The Birthday Of The Church

 

We looked at the verse in Luke already where Jesus told His disciples that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. This is exactly what happened in Acts the 2nd chapter.

 

As the spirit of God began to be poured out on the day of Pentecost(verses 1-4), a curious crowd began to gather around that wanted to know what was happening. Verses 14-36 record the words that Peter began to preach to them. At the conclusion of his message there were those that were “pricked in their hearts.” They were convicted of their sin. They knew that what Peter was saying was true. They wanted to know what they should do. We can read what Peter tells them in verse 38.

 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

Let’s take a look again at Luke 24:47.

 

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

 

What were the first words out of Peter’s mouth? Repent! Then he told them to be baptized, and guess whose name they were supposed to use? Jesus! And why were they supposed to be baptized? Peter said it was for the remission of sins. Guess where this message was preached? Jerusalem! It’s all right there, and it’s what Jesus had told them to do in the book of Luke!

 

Remission of Sins

 

Hebrews 9:22  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

 

In reading this chapter of the book of Hebrews, we can understand that Jesus through shedding His blood became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Without the shedding of His blood, we could have no remission or forgiveness for our sins. We must have His blood applied to us in order to have remission of sins. Just how do we get His blood applied to us? I believe it happens when we are water baptized in Jesus’ name.

 

In Acts 22, Paul recounts his conversion experience, and in verse 16 tells of the words that Ananias spoke to him concerning baptism.

 

Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Using the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary on e-sword(our computer Bible) I see that “wash away” in the Greek means to wash fully or have remitted.

 

Other Baptisms In The Bible

 

Believers in Samaria

 

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Act 8:15  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

Act 8:16  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

 

First Gentile Believers

 

Act 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

Act 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

Act 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

Act 10:48  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Jesus is the name of the Lord? –see Acts 2:36, 9:4-5)

 

Believers At Ephesus Rebaptized

 

Act 19:1  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

Act 19:2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Act 19:3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

Act 19:4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Act 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Act 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Act 19:7  And all the men were about twelve.

 

These 12 men here were disciples of John the Baptist. They had already been baptized by John. If as some say, it does not matter how we are baptized, then why did these men allow Paul to rebaptize them in the name of Jesus?

 

 

Without exception, everyone that was baptized in the Bible was baptized in Jesus’ name.  

 

I apologize for such a long post, but I really felt I had to share it. The reason why this is so important to me is that the Bible gives an exhortation in Jude 3 to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” I believe baptism is part of that faith and that it is effective when it is done the way Christ and the apostle’s taught. I am in no way trying to slam anybody or be judgmental, but I just wanted to share what the Bible has to say on this subject. Aren’t you glad I didn’t delve into historical references on baptism? :-)

 

 

 

Restoration

Sin it crouches

Sin it pounces

Pounces on me

Pounces on you

You try to run

You try to hide

Hide the shame

Hide the truth

Truth that hurts

Truth that wounds

Wounds that fester in the heart

Wounds that tear a life apart

Apart from God

Apart from mercy

Mercy can refuse

Mercy also beckons

Beckons softly

Beckons tenderly

Tenderly His voice

Tenderly it calls

Calls for repentance

Calls me to an altar

Altar of humility

Altar of confession

Confession brings release

Confession brings peace

Peace floods my soul

Peace like a river

River that flows

River of life

Life that’s worth living

Life meant for giving

Giving of self

Giving in service

Service to others

Service to God

God of love

God of hope

Hope for tomorrow

Hope in my sorrow

Sorrow that comes

Sorrow that goes

Goes in God’s time

Goes in God’s season

Season of revival

Season of renewal

Renewal

Revival

 

Written 7/19/09

This type of poem is called The Blitz. You can click here to see how to write it.

 

Buried In Baptism

At the close of a wonderful church service, we were privileged to witness the baptism of a sweet 14 year old girl who has been coming faithfully to children’s church.  This was a special time for several reasons.

#1 – This was our first baptism in our new building.

#2-The girl who was baptized came to church through outreach that was done to promote our children’s church.  It’s so nice to see God bless efforts that are made in reaching out to people by allowing you to witness His working in some of their lives.

#3-It’s always wonderful to see someone get baptized in the only name under heaven, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12) Always, I am taken back to the time of my own baptism at 16 years of age and am reminded of the amazing grace and mercy of God in my life.

Here are a few pictures of the baptism and also a reprint of a poem on Jesus’ name baptism from a couple of years ago. I am looking forward to seeing more souls baptized in His wonderful name soon.  Thank you Jesus!

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Water Baptized In Jesus’ Name

 

Repentant sinner

willing and obedient

surrendered and submitted

wholeheartedly following

Scriptures holy

sins are remitted

past buried

transgression all erased

cleansed, renewed

washed, sanctified, justified

Jesus’ name called

baptized

I am

baptized

called name, Jesus

justified, sanctified, washed

renewed, cleansed

erased, all transgressions

buried past

remitted are sins

Holy Scriptures

following wholeheartedly

submitted and surrendered

obedient and willing

sinner repentant.

 

1Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  

1Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem.
  Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Romans 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  Colossians 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.  

 

Cross Roads

As the young man struts

down the street in his tight

muscle shirt and baggy low riders,

it hangs from his neck, golden

and shiny, a symbol of his

sensuality.

 

A middle aged woman

prepares for dinner with

a business client. For a final

touch to her classy ensemble,

the diamond studded ones are

inserted into her ear lobes,

displaying her obvious

wealth.

 

Although I wasn’t present, I

can see it in my mind’s eye.

How do I describe the most

important moment in history?

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t stylin’.

It wasn’t cool. It wasn’t sophisticated.

It was ugly. It was horrific.

It was gruesome, and most of all it was

bloody.

 

The Son of God was a bloody mess as

He labored up the hill with that heavy, heavy cross.

But when I saw the look of love

in His eyes and realized the awful part

I played in His execution, I fell on

my face and cried out for mercy.

Millions have done the same as they

experienced the power of God through

the preaching of the

Cross.

 

A 14 karat gold, glamorized, sanitized

cross is of no

effect.

Give me the life changing one from

Calvary.

 

1-19-09

1Corinthians 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

 

Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

1Peter 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

 

A Prosperous Man

 

 Genesis 39:2

And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

Joseph is my favorite character in the Old Testament, and I have many pleasant memories that resurface every time I read about him in the Bible.  I attended a Christian college in Minnesota, and in my last year of college our class was privileged to put on a drama about the life of Joseph. The scene that stands out the most in my mind is when Jacob is reunited with Joseph his son in Egypt after not seeing him for many years and believing him to be dead.(Genesis 46:29) The first time we did this in a drama practice with Robby F. playing Jacob and John J. playing Joseph, the power of God fell in our classroom, and many were weeping and worshipping God. It was incredible.

These are the things I admire about Joseph.

 

He Did The Right Thing We Nobody Was Looking

In Genesis 39, we can read about Joseph’s temptation at the hand of Mrs. Potiphar. It seems in our day we hear of many encountering the sin of adultery and unfortunately, falling prey to it. What was it in Joseph that gave him the strength to resist this temptation? I believe first of all, that he had a relationship with God and that directly affected the way in which he conducted himself.  It was evident to others who did not share his faith that there was something different about him. Mr. Potiphar felt comfortable enough with him to basically have him in charge of his household. I think Joseph had more than just a daily devotion time with God. I think He had a God consciousness. This is evidenced by his reply to Mrs. Potiphar’s sensual suggestions.

 

Gen 39:9
There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
Joseph had an acute understanding that Someone was always watching him, and partaking in this kind of relationship would be a sin against God. He was able to do the right thing when it appeared that nobody was watching.
 
He Never Became Bitter When Treated In A Manner That Seemed Unfair

I see several instances in the life of Joseph where he received treatment that seemed unkind and unfair. 

 

 

 

 

Gen 37:18
And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
 
 

 

Gen 37:19
And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
 
 

 

Gen 37:20
Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
 
 

 

Gen 37:21
And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
 
 

 

Gen 37:22
And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
 
 

 

Gen 37:23
And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him;
 
 

 

Gen 37:24
And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
 
 

 

Joseph’s brothers were jealous and talked about killing him, but Reuben convinces them to cast Joseph into a pit.  His brothers then decide that they are going to sell him, but before they can go back to the pit and pull him out, a group of merchantmen come and sell him into slavery.

Gen 37:25
And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
 
 

 

Gen 37:26
And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
 
 

 

Gen 37:27
Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
 
 

 

Gen 37:28
Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Gen 37:29
 
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
 

 

 

When Joseph arrives in Egypt and becomes the servant of Potiphar, it seems as though things are going well for him. Joseph is well liked, and the house of Potiphar is prospering under his management.  He is approached by Mrs. Potiphar, he resists her temptation, and then he is thrown in prison because Mrs. Potiphar tells a lie and claims that Joseph tried to seduce her.

 

 

Gen 39:10
And it came to pass, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
 
 

 

Gen 39:11
And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
 
 

 

Gen 39:12
And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
 
 

 

Gen 39:13
And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
 
 

 

Gen 39:14
That she called unto the men of her house, and spoke unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in a Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:
 
 

 

Gen 39:15
And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.
 
 

 

Gen 39:16
And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.
 
 

 

Gen 39:17
And she spoke unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:
 
 

 

Gen 39:18
And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.
 
 

 

Gen 39:19
And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
 
 

 

Gen 39:20
And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
I wonder if Joseph was ever tempted to say, “Well thanks a lot God. Here I try and honor You by doing the right thing and all I get is cast into this miserable prison!” However, we read in the very next verse..
 

 

Gen 39:21
But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
 
 

 

Gen 39:22
And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
 
 

 

Gen 39:23
 
The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
 

Joseph also had opportunity to become bitter after interpreting the dreams of the chief butler and baker while in prison. What he told the butler and the baker came to pass, and Joseph asked the butler when he was restored to his former position to speak a word for him to Pharoah. The chief butler completly forgot about Joseph for 2 years.

Gen 40:9
And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;
 
 

 

Gen 40:10
And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
 
 

 

Gen 40:11
And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.
 
 

 

Gen 40:12
And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:
 
 

 

Gen 40:13
Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
 
 

 

Gen 40:14
But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and show kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
 
 

 

Gen 40:23
Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgot him.
In continuing to read the rest of Joseph’s story in Genesis, we know that God blesses him and really turns his circumstances around and that eventually, he is reunited with his family.(and even forgives his brothers for their sin against him.) Joseph had no idea how things were going to turn out when he was in the midst of his sufferings. How did he manage to keep a good attitude? I believe he understood a principle we see mentioned in the New Testament.
 

 

Romans 8:28
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.
 
 

 

 

 Not everything that happened to Joseph was what we would consider “good” but God used it all to bring about good, not only for Joseph but his family, the nations suffering famine at that time and all since who have read the accounts of Joseph in God’s Word.

I’m thankful that Joseph’s life still speaks today.

 

I’d Give My Life For Them

My brother-in-law Mike was getting ready to go to his own place after spending the evening with our family, his mom and brother Dean. As he was leaving out the back door, he turned to my husband and I and said something I wasn’t expecting to hear. “Your kids are really special. I’d give my life for them.” I don’t know if our faces registered shock or total surprise, but he reemphasized what he just said. “No, really, I would give my life for them.” We couldn’t seem to think of anything to say except thank you. It’s not everyday that someone makes this kind of comment to you.

I’ve thought a lot about what Mike said that day. I believe if there came a situation where my children’s lives were in danger for some reason, that he would do just what he said. I recalled a portion of Scripture that I later looked up.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

I believe my brother-in-law said what he said because of his estimation of his niece and nephew. He would deem them worthy of such a sacrifice. For a person to choose to lay down their life for someone that is considered good or noble would be an extraordinary and rare thing. I know my heart has been touched in the past reading stories of firefighters or policemen that gave their lives to rescue someone. We would consider people that do such things to be heroes, and they are. However, while the giving of a person’s life would serve to prolong someone else’s life on earth, it could do nothing to secure their eternal salvation. The next verse in Romans, I believe, sheds light on how heroic Jesus was in offering up His life on the cross.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was for sinners, which includes every single one of us. This includes people whose actions that we might consider disgusting and despicable – the murderer, the pedophile, the rapist, the thief, etc. etc. If I asked you to name the most evil person you could think of, who would you pick? My mind goes to Adolph Hitler. To me, this man was just unspeakably evil and vile, and what he did to the Jewish people is beyond sickening. Yet, Jesus Christ gave His life for this man, that he might have a chance to receive salvation. How thankful I am for the love of God that sees past our sinfulness to the deep need of our souls! He gave His life for me, so that I could have the privilege of coming to know him through repentance, being baptized in the wonderful name of Jesus and being filled with His Spirit. His love is still reaching out, even today.

The Love Of God
by O.S. Davis

v. 1 – The love of Jesus to me is greater
than anything else I’ve ever known;
It reaches deeper than any sin stain,

v. 2 – It brought the Saviour from Heaven’s glory,
to give His life for a world of sin
though God of Heaven, He condescended
to prove to you that He is your friend.

v. 3 – It giveth comfort to those in sorrow,
it bringeth peace to a troubled soul;
the love of Jesus goes in the byways,
to seek the sin sick and make them whole.

Chorus

The love of God is more to me
than all this world coud ever be.
It reaches down from the throne of glory
and sets the vilest sinner free.
It reaches higher than Heaven’s throne.

 

Love Them Anyway

I was struggling with some unkind words that were spoken about our family.  Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, sometimes people will say hurtful things.  While I was thinking about this the words, “love them anyway” came to my mind.  I remember there was a poem that mentioned something about that, so I did a search and found it, and I thought about Jesus.  If anybody was ever wronged, it was Him, yet He showed love in the midst of being falsely accused, spit upon, mocked and crucified.  Oh to be like Him!!

ANYWAY

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway!
If you do good, people will accuse you
of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway!
If you are successful, you will win
false friends and enemies.
Succeed anyway!
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway!
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway!
What you spend years building may be
destroyed overnight.
Build anyway!
People really need help
but may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway!
Give the world the best you have
and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway!

Written by: Mother Teresa
 

Flopping

Wednesday was one of those days where I found myself battling a crummy attitude.  I got mad a couple of times at my husband over trivial, stupid things and was a little short tempered with the kids.  I felt ashamed for the way I acted and realized I had two choices.  I could either let the devil slap me around and tell me what a fine example of a Christian I had been or I could ask forgiveness of God and those I had offended.  I’m thankful to have chosen the latter.  Thinking about it all later, I wrote this little poem.  What a gift we have in the ability to repent!

Oh,

those days

when I flop

my attitude

not what it should be

and I feel the sharp sting

of knowing I have done wrong

satan tries hard to keep me down

but then, I know that my best option

is to come to God in true repentance.

 

 

Written 10-31-07

    I John 1:9(AMP)  If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

 
 
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