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Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Genesis 43:11-14

Joseph’s brothers have made one trip into Egypt to buy food. While they were there, they came face to face with their brother Joseph. He recognized them, but they did not recognize him.

In an effort to awaken their dead consciences and to get them to acknowledge their sins, Joseph accuses them of being spies and imprisons Simeon. They are told to return home and bring their youngest brother Benjamin to Joseph to prove to him they are telling the truth about having a family back in Canaan. He already knew the truth; he was merely trying to get them to face the truth.

In this text, Judah had convinced Jacob to allow him to take Benjamin with them to Egypt to buy more food. Joseph had told them not to return unless they brought their brother with them.

After a long speech by Judah Jacob gives in and allows Benjamin to accompany his brothers to Egypt. Before he sends his sons away, Jacob commands them to carry with them some gifts. He is hoping to soften Joseph up and cause him to treat the sons of Jacob in a more pleasant manner than he did the last time they were in his presence.

We will talk about the things Jacob sent to Joseph, but I would like to ask you a question. What do you give to a man who owns everything? As Prime Minister of Egypt, he did not need gold or silver. The offer of power meant nothing to Joseph; he was sovereign over all the land of Egypt. Jacob could not have offered him knowledge, for he had access to all the knowledge and advanced learning of Egypt. They could not offer him service, for had many servants to do all he demanded. What could they give a powerful, wise and wealthy man like Joseph? Jacob had the answer, and we will examine the gifts he sent to Joseph.

As I read this text and think about its message, my thoughts are drawn far higher than a mere man sitting on an ancient throne. As I consider this text, I am forced to think of a far greater King. When I do, I wonder what poor, miserable creatures like us could possibly give to a God like Him.

God doesn’t need our wealth. He owns all things! “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof,”( Psalm 50:10-12).

God doesn’t need our knowledge or our wisdom. He knows all things. “I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee,” (Job 42:2; Heb. 4:13).

God doesn’t need our power. He upholds the universe and all that is in it. He possesses all power. “Is any thing too hard for the LORD…”, (Gen. 18:14; Eph. 3:20; Matt. 28:18). God doesn’t need our service. He commands myriads of angels who exist to do His perfect will. “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?”( Matt. 26:53; Matt. 4:11). But, praise His name, He allows us to serve Him!

God does not need us or anything we possess. So, what could we possibly give to Him? These verses teach us something about that matter. In fact, these verses talk about the only gifts that are worthy of our Savior. I want to take this episode from the life of Joseph’s family and focus on the thought “Gifts Fit For A King“. Let me point out the gifts mentioned here. As I do, you and I need to examine our giving in the light of His will. Notice with me these “Gifts Fit For A King“.


Jacob tells his sons to gather the “best fruits” of the land to Joseph. He wants to send Joseph a “present”. That word carries the idea of “a gift expressing loyalty to a superior”. Jacob is simply saying, “We are going to send the man the very best we have.” When you look at the list of what they sent Joseph, balm, honey, spices, myrrh, nuts and almonds; it doesn’t seem like a lot. In truth, it was a lot. You see, even a little is a lot in a time of famine.

These things were commonplace to Jacob and his sons, but they represented the best they possessed. Imagine how Joseph must have felt when he received this gift. He hadn’t tasted the fruits of Canaan in many years. How the little things from his home must have gladdened his heart and brought back fond memories of his early years.

The gift Jacob sent to Joseph was a simple gift, but it was a gift fit for a king because it was the best they had. They reached into their dwindling supplies and they sent the best they possessed to Joseph.

Let’s consider our King. He deserves our best! After all that He does for us, anything less is an insult to the Lord. Sadly, most people are content to take the best for themselves and are willing to give the Lord the leftovers.

He deserves the best of our time. He should have the first part, the best part, and not just the leftovers, if there are any. Our time is a great gift from the Lord. He deserves the very best. I should not wear myself out doing the things I want to do, but I should devote the best of my time to Him and His will.

He deserves the best of our service. Our lives should be spent in the service of His perfect will. For too often, we only do the things we want to do. We serve ourselves and ignore His will for our lives. Be the best you can be where He has placed you, (1 Cor. 12:7-26).

He deserves the best of our resources. Many people buy what they want and enjoy the fruits of their labors and give God the leftovers. He deserves and demands the first part of our income. The Bible says, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD,” (Lev. 27:30).

God is not looking for elaborate, expensive gifts. He expects us to give Him a very simple gift. He expects us to give Him the very best we have. That is all He expects, and it is a gift that everyone can give to Him! Just give Him a gift worthy of our King. Israel came to a place where they were giving less than their best. They received a stern rebuke from the Lord,( Mal. 1:8; 13). He deserves our best!

Once, after a pastor had made an appeal in church for a great and worthy cause, that a certain woman, a member of the church, came to him and handed him a check for $50, asking at the same time if her gift was satisfactory. The pastor immediately replied, “If it represents you.” There was a moment of soul-searching thought and she asked to have the check returned to her. She left with it and a day of two later she returned handing the pastor a check for $5,000 and again asked the same question, “Is my gift satisfactory?”
The pastor gave the same answer as before, “If it represents you.” As before, a truth seemed to be driving deeply. After a few moments of hesitation she took back the check and left. Later in the week she came again with a check. This time it was for $50,000. As she placed it in the pastor's hand, she said, “After earnest, prayerful thought, I have come to the conclusion that this gift does represent me and I am happy to give it.”

Are you giving our King the absolute best you have? Or, does He have to settle for second best, third best or worse? Does your gift represent who you are in Him?

“I Gave My Life For Thee” By F. R. Havagal (1858)

1. I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed, That thou might'st ransomed be
And quickened from the dead. I gave My life for thee; What hast thou given for Me?

2. My Father's home of light, My rainbow-circled throne, I left for earthly night, For wanderings sad and lone. I left it all for thee; Hast thou left aught for Me?

3. I suffered much for thee, More than My tongue may tell, Of bitterest agony, To rescue thee from hell. I suffered much for thee; What canst thou bear for Me?

4. And I have brought to thee Down from My home above Salvation full and free,
My pardon and My love. Great gifts I brought to thee; What hast thou brought to Me?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 5/5/2012 10:23AM

    Thanks Vic for the message. It reminds me that i need to ask him every day what he wants me to do with my life. I can give no less than what he has given me.

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    I think this is my favorite blog yet Vic! Thank you for the reminder that God deserves the very best I have to give. Sometimes as a work-at-home mom of four beautiful homeschooling girls I tend to put God on a backburner and I really don't have anything left at the end of the day to give him. Just reading your blog each morning has brought God to the forefront of my mind early in the day and my prayer life has been better because of it. I need to find ways to be in His service more readily.


p.s. I LOVE this hymn! You made my heart sing this morning. Thank you!

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GROEDER 5/1/2012 7:35AM

    This lesson reminds me of a saying I often repeat to myself: All He wants is our very best. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Monday, April 30, 2012


Genesis 43:15-34


When Joseph comes back, he has gotten his emotions under control again,( v. 31). He commands the servants to serve the meal, (v. 31). He is seated by himself because he is the ruler. The Egyptians are seated at another table, because their religion forbad them from eating with shepherds, (Gen. 46:34). When the brothers of Joseph were seated for their meal, they noticed that they were seated in their birth order, from the oldest to the youngest. This amazed them, (v. 33).

This should have been a clue to Joseph’s identity. No one else would have known the order of their births. In fact, a mathematician has concluded that there are 39,917,000 different orders in which eleven individuals could have been seated. So, there they sit with Joseph and the meal is served. Joseph even sent them food from his table and when he did, he sent five times as much to his full brother Benjamin. This should have been another clue, (v. 34). So, this chapter ends with all the brothers, Jacob’s twelve sons eating a meal together and being “merry”. They are all experiencing the emotion of Joy.

I suppose that joy is the favorite emotion we humans share. We all like to be happy. We all love that feeling of contentment and joy we get when everything in life is just like it ought to be. That is a good feeling! In fact, God teaches us that happiness and joy are actually very healthy emotions, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones,” (Pro. 17:22). Laughter is good for the soul! Laughter is good for the face as well, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken,” (Pro. 15:13).

In fact, the Bible tells us that people who have a merry heart live in a continual party atmosphere. Life to them is blessed time of joy and happiness. “All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast,”( Pro. 15:15). Remember Paul and Silas in that prison? What did they do? They praised the Lord and they sang in that dungeon, (Acts 16:25). Paul was just living out what he preached, (Rom. 12:12).

There’s nothing wrong with being a happy person! If you aren’t happy and enjoying the joy of the Lord as you walk through this life, you ought to get before the Lord and ask Him to help you have His joy.

You see, there is a school of thought in the church that says to be happy you have to be miserable. If you are smiling, laughing and having a good time, well you just aren’t serious about the things of God. There is Greek word for that attitude that I want to share with you today. It is the word “Hogwash!”

You do not have to act like you were baptized in vinegar to be spiritual. In fact, the truly spiritual person is a person who is happy and rejoicing in what he has in the Lord! Now, let’s not miss this! Here these men are with Joseph and they are sitting at his table feasting. They paint a powerful picture of the great grace of God!

You see, these men were guilty. No one would have blamed Joseph if he had thrown them all into prison or even enslaved them. But, Joseph forgives them and welcomes them into his own home. He invites them to eat with him at his table and he shares with them the very best he had.

That is a picture of what the Lord Jesus did for us! We were guilty and worthy of judgment. We deserved far worse than prison or slavery. We deserved death and Hell! But, He loved us in spite of our condition. He saved us from our sins. He brought us into His family. He feeds us with the best things from His table. He is even preparing a place for us in Heaven!

He has taken away our guilt and our past. He has healed our wrecked and ruined spiritual condition. He has replaced our guilt with His peace. He has given us His Spirit! He has filled us with the capacity for genuine joy in the Lord. Praise His name! Am I happy? Do I have joy? If I don’t, it’s my own fault! I have been given every ingredient needed to true happiness, true joy and true rejoicing. Praise the Lord!

Conc: We humans are emotional creatures. If we are not careful, our emotions will control our lives and our actions. We need to bring even our emotions under the control of the Lord God. If He has spoken to your heart, you can come to Him and get help today.

Do you need to deal with your guilt? If you are not saved, let Jesus take your guilt away. If you are saved, learn to rest in what He has done for your soul.

Do you need to bring some fear to the Lord? He knows how to speak peace to your heart.

Are you overwhelmed by the circumstances of life? Are you close to a breakdown moment? Come to the Lord and cast your burden onto Him. He cares!

Do you lack joy? The Lord can give you the peace and happiness you seek.

Do you need to praise Him for His grace in your life? You can come and do that right now.

Just listen to His voice and do what He is telling you to do!

“I Will Sing The Wondrous Story” By Francis H. Rowley (1886)

I will sing the wondrous story Of the Christ Who died for me;
How He left His home in glory For the cross of Calvary.
Yes, I’ll sing the wondrous story Of the Christ Who died for me,
Sing it with the saints in glory, Gathered by the crystal sea.

I was lost, but Jesus found me, Found the sheep that went astray,
Threw His loving arms around me, Drew me back into His way.

He will keep me till the river Rolls its waters at my feet; Then He’ll
bear me safely over, Where the loved ones I shall meet.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 5/5/2012 10:31AM

    Thanks Vic for sharing this lesson. My emotions are taking their toll on me. My circumstances are getting me down in the dumps. It seems like there is no end to trouble. At times I find it hard to pray or to believe things will change and that he hears and cares. Lately i have lost the joy in my life; and I can't get out of this pit of despair.Pray for me to have victory.

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MRSJERRYBUSH 4/30/2012 11:56AM

    Your blogs have such great messages and the hymns bring back wonderful memories for me. Thank you.

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    If a nonbeliever visits a church full of severe and solemn members they may not want to return, but if they visit a church full of joyful members who are praising and worshiping God they will probably want to return to feed their soul that life-giving food that the world cannot offer. We need to be joyful in order to shine the light of Christ in our countenance. Thanks Vic for the blog!

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KRKNOCKS 4/30/2012 7:19AM

  Thanks for sharing.

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TATTER3 4/30/2012 7:00AM

    Keep Sparkin'!!!

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Sunday, April 29, 2012


Genesis 43:15-34


Now, Joseph enters this scene. His brothers bow down before him and give him the gifts they have brought from Canaan, (v. 26). He immediately asks them about their father Jacob, (v. 27). His brothers tell Joseph that their father is doing well, (v. 28). Then, Joseph looks at Benjamin, the only full brother he has. He pronounces a blessing on his brother, (v. 29), and Joseph is immediately overcome with emotion. He leaves his brother standing there while he makes a hasty retreat to his private chamber. There, he gives way to all the emotions that are raging within his heart and might and he breaks down and he weeps.

I am not sure what to call this emotion, but there are times when a person becomes overwhelmed by the events of life. Sometimes, fear, anger, joy, and all the other emotions we humans feel can pile up in our hearts until we can hold them no more and there must be an outlet. There are times when folks just come to a place where they breakdown.

Has that ever happened to you? If it has, you are in good company! Some of the most choice of God’s servants went through times of deep emotional distress. David did when his beloved Absalom was killed ( 2 Sam. 18:33). Job did when he had lost everything from his children, to his possessions to his health ( Job 3:3, 11). Elijah did when revival did not fall after the experiences on Mt. Carmel ( 1 Kings 19). Moses did when he was overwhelmed with all that he had to do ( Num. 11:11-15).

Contrary to what you might have been taught, there is no shame in being overwhelmed by your circumstances. When a loved one is taken by death; when disease rears its ugly head; when your family is ripped apart; when you heart is broken and at a thousand other times, it is easy to be overwhelmed and overcome. I praise the Lord that He understands our times of weeping and brokenness. He had such a time of His Own, (Luke 22:44).

The people who know you might not understand, but the Lord does! People may not understand or acknowledge your pain, but God will not rebuke you! He didn’t rebuke those other great men of God I mentioned! Others may tell you to snap out of it and get over it, but the Lord will stand by you and comfort you. He will help you get through it!

The Lord can take it when we fall apart. He can handle it when all the pain and emotion in our hearts bursts for and we have a breakdown. Others might not be able to handle our breakdowns, but God can! He can handle anything you feel. He can handle anything you might need to say to Him. Be honest and open before Him and He can help you in those times of overwhelming emotions.

Take Moses for instance; when he had his little episode in Num. 11, he said some pretty hard things to God. Did God get angry with Moses? Did God zap him with a lightning bolt? No, God helped him by taking some of the pressure off Moses. Let me just remind you today, God cares about the things you and I face in this life.

1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Psalm 34:1, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”
Psalm 142:4-5, “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.”
Matthew 6:26, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”

I am certainly not suggesting that is ever OK to wallow in self-pity. But, I am saying that sometimes life hurts, and when it does, we have a God Who understands and One Who cares about His children!

“Does Jesus Care?” By Frank E. Graeff (1901)

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress, And the way grows weary and long?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the daysare weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares.

Does Jesus care when my way is dark With a nameless dread and fear? As the daylight ades into deep night shades, Does He care enough to be near?

Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief, Though my tears flow all the night long?

Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye” To the dearest on earth to me, And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks— Is it aught to Him? Does He see?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    God made us as extremely emotional creatures. He wants us to experience sorrow and anger (and give it to him) so that we can better appreciate the joy and happiness that he blesses us with. Praise God for we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God!


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NELLIEC 4/29/2012 8:06PM

    Somehow this made me think of this morning when a girl was baptized in our church. I cried from joy!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012


Genesis 43:15-34

This passage opens with ten of Joseph’s brothers leaving Canaan to make a second trip down into Egypt to buy grain. The first time they went, they came face to face with the Prime Minister of the country, but they did not know that he was none other than Joseph, the brother they had sold into slavery twenty years earlier.

They may not have recognized Joseph, but he knew exactly who they were. He used their meeting to try and get them to understand the guilt of their past. Joseph had imprisoned his brother Simeon and had sent the remaining brothers home. He sent them away with orders not to return unless they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them.

So, they headed back home. Along the way, they discovered that the money they had paid for their grain had been returned to them and was in the sacks of grain. This caused them to be even more afraid. To make a long story short, they used up all the grain and they are headed back to Egypt again.

Verse 15 tells us that they took Joseph a present; double the original money; and Benjamin. They are ushered into Joseph’s presence and when he sees that Benjamin is with them, he invites them to his house for lunch, (v. 16-17).

These verses describe a scene that is filled with emotions. Fear, relief, gratitude and joy all mingle together in this poignant reunion between Joseph and his brothers. I want you to see in this passage the subject “Swimming In A Sea Of Emotions“.

Emotions are something we deal with every day of our lives. They are powerful and they can control our lives if we allow them to. Now, emotions, or feelings, are not bad in and of themselves. But, we must always remember that our emotions arise from our minds, or our souls. Since we are fallen creatures, our emotions have been affected too. That means that not everything we feel is right or proper. We must learn to check our emotions against the Word of God to ensure that we are not led astray by our feelings. This happens far too often in people’s lives.

Young girls will give up their purity because they are lost in a sea of emotions. Men abandon their families because they get caught up in emotions. Families and churches are ripped apart because people allow emotions like anger, bitterness and resentment control them.

Of course, God works in our emotions too. He uses the natural responses we have to the events of life to teach us about Him, His will and what He is doing in our lives. That is what this passage teaches us about today. In this reunion scene between these brothers, we see 12 men who are “Swimming In A Sea Of Emotion“. I want to point the emotions that are portrayed here and the lessons they have to teach us. I want you to see The Brothers And Their Fear; Joseph and His Feelings, and The Family And Their Feast.


When these men are brought into Joseph’s house, they become “afraid”. This word means “to be filled with dread.” They are convinced that they have been lead into a trap. They are sure that Joseph is going to arrest them and put them into prison, (v. 18).

They express their fears to the steward of Joseph’s house, v. (19-22). He comforts them the best he can, even telling them that God was looking out for them in all their troubles, (v. 23). Then he brings out Simeon to them, (v. 23). Then, he gives them water to wash their feet, a sign of great respect. He also gives them food for their animals, a sign of hospitality, (v. 24). So, with their hearts pounding in fear, they prepare themselves for the arrival of Joseph for the noon meal.

There are two emotions at work in the lives of these men. They are afraid and they are being eaten alive with guilt. I want to examine both of these emotions today. First, let’s talk about fear. Fear is a terrible emotion! It is paralyzing in the effect it has on our lives. Fear renders us incapable of trusting the Lord and looking to Him for the help we need in life.

Look at this scene. Here are eleven men who have been brought up to know Jehovah, the only true and living God. Yet, they are so overcome by the emotion of fear that they are unable to see His hand at work in their lives. They have to be reminded of God’s grace, His sovereignty and His purposes by an Egyptian pagan.

Haven’t we all been there at times? Life comes at us with all its problems and it tragedies. When it does, we become filled with fear and dread. Instead of faith in God, we are gripped by worry and dread. Someone has calculated that there are over 365 statements in the Bible calling us to put aside our fears and to trust in the Lord. That’s one fear not for every day of the year and more than enough to cause us to trust in Him. Here is His command to His people, (Phil. 4:6-7; Luke 12:32).

He has promised to hear us when we pray – (Jer. 33:3; Psa. 55:17).
He has promised to sustain us – (Psa. 55:22).
He has promised to meet our every need – (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34).

With promises like that, why would anyone want to fret or fear? Don’t allow fear to dominate your life. Learn to “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” (Pro. 3:5-6). If you live in fear, you will never have peace in your life. If you can learn to trust the Lord in all of life, you will never have anything to fear.

The real reason these men are so overcome by fear is the fact that they are filled with guilt. These men know that they wronged their brother, they lied about and they are convinced that God is out to get them. In a sense they are right. The Lord is using the events of their lives to bring them face to face with their past sins. He is awakening in them a sense of guilt and this guilt is about to eat them alive. They are convinced that they being punished for all the evil they have done, (Gen. 42:21).

Guilt can be a healthy emotion. The Lord uses it to awaken us to our sinful condition and to show us our need of Jesus. He causes us to feel guilty for our sins and that guilt before God is used by Him to draw us to Jesus and to His salvation, (John 16:7-11). That is good guilt.

The negative side of guilt is when we continue to feel bad over sins that God has already forgiven. In the Old Testament, the Jews had an offering called the “burnt offering”, (Lev. 1:1-6). A man would bring his sacrifice to the Tabernacle, place his hands on the animals head and kill the animal. The animal was taking the place of the sinner. The sinner’s guilt was transferred to the animal and the sinner was cleansed of his guilt. This is what Jesus did for us when He went to the cross to die for us. He literally took our sins and our guilt upon Himself and became our sins, (2 Cor. 5:21). He was judged in our place and we are forgiven when we trust Him by faith.

When the Lord saves us, He takes our sins away,( Psa. 103:12, John 1:29) and they are gone forever! We should never allow the flesh, the world or the devil beat us up over sins the Lord has forgiven. If you are saved, your past is not an issue any longer. Let you faith in Jesus spell the end of your guilt over your past.

“He Gave me A Song” By A. H. Howard (1977)

He took my burdens all away, up to a brighter day
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
A wonderful song I now can sing, in my heart joybells ring
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)

He gave me a song (He gave me a song), to sing about (to sing about)
He lifted me (He lifted me) from sin and doubt (from sin and doubt)
O, praise His name (O praise His name), He is my King (He is my King)
A wonderful song (a wonderful song) He is to me (He is to me)

I am redeemed no more to die, never to say goodbye
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
And some of these days in that fair land, sing with the chorus grand
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)

Repeat Chorus (x2)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 4/28/2012 8:04PM

    Thank you Vic!
Emotions is part of the human make up. Always look at it positively
For example, guilt - good emotion that awaken us from the wrong doing; healthy reminder not to repeat what we had done; but dont let it linger and make us feel bad about what we had done. once we asked God for forgiveness, moved on
Nothing we have done is too much for the mercy of God. Receive His forgiveness

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NELLIEC 4/28/2012 4:23PM

    A lot of people don't really like emotions since we feel very vulnerable. Yet, they can be used for good, if we follow God.

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    Guilt can be so crippling if we hold on to it. Thank you for the reminder that once we have repented we need to release the guilt as well as the sin. This is so life-giving!


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Friday, April 27, 2012


Genesis 43:1-10


As this passage closes, Judah begs his father to let them go to Egypt for food. He promises to trade his life for Benjamin’s should anything happen to the boy. Earlier, Reuben had pledged the lives of his two sons, (Gen. 42:37). Of course, Reuben knew that Jacob would never harm his grandsons. In this case, Judah is willing to lay down his own life for the good of the family.

This is a good sign that Judah is truly maturing. He is not longer the same self-centered man that he used to be. He is not longer the man who lives only for himself. He is emerging as a leader among his brethren.

Soon Judah will bow before and offer himself as a slave, (Gen. 44:33). Soon Judah will openly confess his sins before Joseph and make things right with him, (Gen. 44:16ff). Some, this formerly self-centered man will humble himself before Joseph. He will speak for the whole group and he will take the blame for all their actions. He will put them all ahead of himself.

Do you want to know whether or not you are making progress as a Christian? Do you want to know whether or not you are maturing in your faith? It’s real easy to tell! Just look at the place others hold in your list of priorities. When we reach a place of spiritual maturity, we will find that we will consistently begin to place others ahead of self.

A sure sign that you are still a baby in Christ is when you are still number on in your life. When we grow up, our priorities will become vastly different.
When we grow up, Jesus will come first, others will come next and self will come last. If everything in your life revolves around you, what you want and how you feel, then you just need to grow up. If, however, everything in your life revolves around Jesus first, others next and self last; you are making progress!

Here is what the Bible says about this matter (Phil. 2:4; Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 10:24). One of the greatest examples of this selfless kind of life is found in the testimony of John the Baptist. He was willing to play second fiddle as long as Jesus was glorified, (John 3:26-30). That is the attitude that the Lord wants to reproduce in your heart and mine!

We are living in a world that focuses all the attention on self. People are taught to gratify themselves, and then they will be happy. God’s formula for joy is vastly different. God’s formula comes down to a simple acrostic based on the word joy. True joy will be ours when we get our priorities in the following order:

J – Jesus
O – Others
Y – Yourself

That is the secret to joy in this life. When you arrive at the place of true joy, you will also find that you have reached the place of genuine maturity.

Conc: I fear that many are like the character in the old, but familiar Mother Goose rhyme which goes:

Like that cat, Christians sometimes settle for petty involvements, trivial pursuits--chasing mice--when we have the opportunity to spend time with royalty, with the King!
A.B Simpson said it like this:

“Once it was the blessing; now it is the Lord.
Once it was the feeling; now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted; now the Giver own.
Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying; now 'tis perfect trust.
Once a half salvation;
now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding; now He holds me fast.
Once 'twas constant drifting; now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning; now 'tis trustful prayer.
Once 'twas anxious caring; now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, now what Jesus says.
Once 'twas constant asking; now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once I tried to use Him; now He uses me.
Once it was my working; His it hence shall be.
Once the power I wanted, now the Mighty One.
Once for self I labored, now for Him alone.
Once I hoped for Jesus; now I know He's mine.
Once my lamps were dying; now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited; now His coming hail. And my hopes are anchored safe within the veil.”

That is the place we all need to come to. Years ago, some tourists visited a picturesque mountain village.
They asked some of the locals “Were any great people born in this village?”
One of the locals said, “Nope, just babies are in this village.”
The same is true in the family of God. We are all born as little spiritual babies. But, what a shame it is when we stay babies. The Lord wants us to grow up to live lives of spiritual power and honor for His glory. Judah grew up. Have you?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LARKSONGRUTH 4/27/2012 12:40PM

    This is really a beautiful blog. Thank you for the day brightener! I had never really thought about Judah in the way you described and what it said about his changing nature. How important it is that we learn to put off the natural man and become the sons and daughters of God in Jesus Christ.

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SANDYTOES17 4/27/2012 12:30PM

    Thank you! I enjoyed reading this! emoticon

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    It is sometimes hard to distinguish between taking care of myself and being selfish. I know that for the sake of my children I need to take care of my health, which means devoting that time to my wellness each day, but I also need to be a good mother/wife by putting their needs above my own. I am still struggling with feeling like it is "okay" to take care of myself and enlist the help of others to allow me to do that. But I do try to glorify God in all that I do and direct my children to do the same.


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CAM2438 4/27/2012 8:31AM

    This is always good to read. Thank-you for shaing. emoticon

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