Pastor's Meditations

God Sent (Genesis 45)

            “...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!   

            A. G.

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Good for Evil (Genesis 44) 

           “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? 

             A. G.

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The Words of my Mouth (Genesis 42)

            “ order that your words may be tested...”

            Actions, not only words, this is what the world expects of God’s children!

            This is not to say that we are not to preach the Holy Gospel.  May it never be!  We must proclaim God’s message every day, and at any time (2 Timothy 4:2).  We are God’s messengers and as such, we must speak the truth and spread the Good News to a lost and dark world.

            But we are also God’s ambassadors, we represent God’s kingdom to this earth.  If earthly diplomats follow a rigorous protocol, how much higher our standards must be.  As you can appreciate, words that are not backed by holy living, are as empty as a “noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).

            The veracity or authenticity of our words, are verified by our deeds.  Somebody has said: “Let your actions speak louder than your words.”  Thus it is safe to conclude that it is equally important to say what we do, and to do what we say.

            “By this I shall know that you are honest men...”  

            We are being watched at all times.  If you (as you should) tell someone that you are a believer, then prepare yourself to be under severe scrutiny.  From now on, every word, gesture, action, and reaction are being carefully observed by your family, friends, enemies, and even by your brothers and sisters in the Lord.

            Therefore brethren, be diligent and practice everything you preach, otherwise people will call you a hypocrite or false prophet.  Remember that God is also watching what we do; listening to what we say; and monitoring our minds and hearts. 

            A. G

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Tears for God (Genesis 43)         

            “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, especially 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.         

             A. G.

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   Cows and Grain (Genesis 41)                                                                                                            (February 10)

            “God has shown... what he is about to do.”

            How wonderful is our God!  His ways are mysterious and his purpose is sometimes (or most of the time) beyond our comprehension, but his love is never ending.  God has a plan for our lives, regardless of our race, age, education, wealth or size of our faith.  He will work out his plan in us, in whatever situation or condition we may be at this moment.

            Joseph, the man of God, was used by God in three different ways:

PAWN- For many years, Joseph was a pawn or slave in Potiphar’s house.  Joseph had been sold mercilessly by his brothers, and now was in this deplorable condition.  In spite of this reversal of “fortune”, Joseph decided to be faithful to God, even amid hard labor and sexual pressure.

PRISONER- Joseph was sent to prison for refusing to give in to the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife.  In jail, Joseph was in charge of feeding the other prisoners and God used him to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh’s officials.

PROPHET AND PRINCE- Finally the day came when Joseph was face to face with the ruler of Egypt.  He was able, through God’s power, to interpret Pharaoh’s dream about the seven cows, and the seven ears of grain, and as a result Joseph became a prince or governor of Egypt.

            In what stage of your life are presently in? 

            Do you feel like a pawn of destiny?

            Are you a prisoner or a prince? 

           God can, and will use you in any situation if you decide like Joseph did, to be faithful to the Lord.  He will do great things in us and through us.

            A. G.

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