Reading the Bible in Three Years

Genesis 47 (February 16)

                                                                      Capable Men

            “... and if you know that there are capable men among them...”

            Capable men:  This is what the church of the Lord Jesus Christ needs today.  Our churches are full of devout and faithful women.  These sisters have served the Lord for many years, sometimes in areas where God have called the men to minister.  Praise God for the women in the churches!

            The problem is, that there are not enough Christian men attending church regularly; and of those who attend, only a few, give time and effort (not to mention offerings) to the expansion of God’s kingdom on earth. Where are the men of God today? Who is going to be obedient to God’s call?

            God needs capable men, but capable of doing what?

            The men God is searching for must be capable of being incapable.  In other words, they must be men willing to submit to the supreme authority of the Lord.  These men do not trust in their strength, knowledge or riches, but they trust and depend solely upon the Rock, which is Jesus Christ.

            Are you willing to be incapable in order to be capable?

            Are you ready to humble yourself before your God?

            Tell it to the Lord.  Submit yourself and ask Him to use you for his glory.  He will turn your inability and incapability, into power, wisdom and fruitfulness.  He can make you a capable individual; capable of serving God; capable of loving your family; and capable of living a life that brings honor and glory to Christ.

            Are you a capable Christian?

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Genesis 46 (February 15)

                                                                      Prepared for Death

            “I can die now...”

            There was a barber in an old town that was known by everyone for his joviality, fast service, and great prices.  One day, this barber became a Christian and decided that he would share his newfound faith with everybody.  To that end, he prepared himself as best as he could in the art of evangelism, and for the most part, he had great results.

            One day however, while he was shaving a customer with a long barber knife, he asked that man the following question:  “Tell me my friend, are you prepared to die?”  Until this day no one knows where that customer is.  He escaped that day running for his life, because he did not understand the simple evangelistic question.

            Are you prepared to die?

            Well, you may say, I have already received Christ as my Lord and Savior.  Isn’t that enough?  Of course it is!  When you are a Christian, you have eternal life; you have passed from death to life.  Now hell is powerless against you because you are a child of the King, and he promised that he will never “drive you away” (John 6:37).

            Many people live under the false assumption that death will never reach them and they “kill” themselves with exercise.  Others think they are prepared for death because they have prepaid funeral expenses, a lot in the local cemetery, and a huge life insurance policy. 

            The best exercise to prepare for death is the sinner’s prayer, and the best life insurance policy is Jesus Christ.  We can be like the barber today.  We can help other people to find salvation in Christ, just put the knife away when you are preaching!

 

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Genesis 44 (February 13)

                                                                           Good for Evil

            “Why have you returned evil for good?”

            On one occasion I watched the most incredible scene:  It was an old western movie, and the hero came to the rescue of a damsel in distress.  She was being abused physically by a criminal, and upon hearing her desperate screams, our hero appeared in a flash, and defeated the violent brute.

            What do you think it was her reaction to such a noble deed?  Instead of thanking the valiant rescuer, she began to hit and insult him for having mistreated her precious husband, now lying unconscious on the ground.

            Joseph was accustomed to this kind of treatment.  If doing good deeds for others was his policy, it almost never brought him favorable results.  He worried about his brothers (perhaps too much), and they sold him as a slave.  He served Potiphar faithfully and God blessed that house, but Potiphar believed the false accusations of his unfaithful spouse and Joseph was sent to prison. Even in jail Joseph helped the cupbearer and he forgot (for two or more years), to fulfill his promise to liberate Joseph.

            How many times do we return evil for all the good that we receive from God?  Are we always thankful?  Do we live holy lives in honor of our Savior?  Do we try to get even with those that harm or insult us? Everything that Jesus does for, or gives to us is good, and for our good; even trials and tests!

            To return evil for good is satanic; to return good for good is human, but to return good for evil, ah, that is divine!  Joseph and Jesus paid according to the divine standard, but what about us?  How shall we respond when we are confronted with evil?  

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Genesis 45 (February 14)

                                                                       God Sent

            “...for God sent me...”

            This phrase was used by Joseph at least three times in his conversations with his brothers.  Twenty years had passed since that fateful day when Joseph was sold by them. Twenty years of slavery, hard labor and imprisonment for the most part and now they were coming to him, TO HIM! They came to him asking for help because there was a famine all over the land.

            For any other man, this was the moment that he had been waiting for.  Revenge, sweet revenge at last!  But that was not the case for Joseph.  He was a true man of God, and the Lord was using him to save his family, Egypt and the world from starvation.  God had everything figured out since the beginning!  He knew that the same Joseph that was being sold more than two decades before would be now in a position to help his betrayers.  God, not his brothers, sent Joseph to Egypt.  It was God’s plan all the time.

            Where has God sent you?

            Are you in the center of God’s will?  This is only possible if you are in the place where God has sent you.  If you are in this holy place, then there is no reason to complain because God has placed you there for a special reason.  God will use you (as he did with Joseph) in spite of adverse circumstances, to bring joy and to meet the needs of others.

            Examine your life today and reject sin.  Do not give in to revenge or murmuring, but decide to be like Joseph.  Make sure that you are in the place God wants you to be and serve the Lord.  He will be with you through these hard times and give you the power to go on.  Then one day you will realize that God sent you, and you’ll be glad He did!   

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Genesis 43 (February 12)

                                                                     Tears for God

            “So he went into a private room and wept there.”

            There are occasions in our pilgrimage through this earth, when we are overcome with grief or joy.  On those moments we cry, because crying is an outlet for intense emotions.  Crying brings healing to our wounded soul.

            I have seen little children run to their mothers to cry in their lap.  I have witnessed sad funeral services were everyone is crying uncontrollably over the loved one that has departed forever.  I have also experienced firsthand, the sadness of “goodbyes”, and the inexpressible joy of family reunions. 

            One of the most beautiful family reunions ever is found, not in the Oprah show, but in this chapter of the Bible.  Joseph cried when he was reunited with his brothers, specially with the young Benjamin.  He ran into his room and cried.  His tears were probably a mixture of  happiness and sad memories, but the fact is that Joseph found a private place to cry before the Lord.

            Do you have place where you can cry in the presence of God?

            The best place to cry is in the loving arms of God.  He knows our pain and understands our fears.  He cries with us as we pour our soul before him.  He forgives when we reach out to him in agony and guilt.  God dries our tears with his enduring compassion and eases our pain.  I know.  I’ve cried many times for the forgiveness of my sins and for the death of my father, and every time I have felt the soothing touch of the Eternal.  God has seen the tears that no one sees and through those tears I’ve seen the God that I couldn’t see before.         

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