February 20, Tuesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Genesis 47:10-12

And Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. 11 Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their dependents.

It’s a hard concept to grasp that God uses the failures and shortcomings of His people and redeems it for His glory.  I recently heard a testimony of a Christian leader who fell into the addiction of pornography.  It had almost destroyed his marriage, family, and his ministry; but through the love and support of people around him, he received treatment for his addiction and now helps others with similar struggles.  What a story of redemption!

When we look at the life of Jacob, his is a story of redemption as well.    Jacob was known as “the deceiver,” when he stole his twin brother Esau’s blessing, and tricked him into selling his birthright.  Despite having sinned greatly, Jacob and his sons were favored by the Lord in their latter years. Nothing thwarted His intent to preserve and multiply Abraham’s sons (12:1–3).  It is amazing to see that God keeps His promises, despite the failure of His people.

In today’s passage, we see how Jacob was the blessed bearer of the promised blessing.  Pharaoh had first blessed God’s people with his generosity, and here, Jacob blesses Pharaoh.  This is significant since it fulfilled the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  God fulfilled His promise by even using someone like Jacob!

This is good news, indeed, for the church. Like the patriarchs, none of us can be a perfectly faithful disciple. But even when we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Tim. 2:13). Though we do not take Him for granted, we can be confident that our sins, enemies, and even setbacks will not stop Him from using us to bless the earth.  Are you discouraged this day because you believe your failures make it impossible for the Lord to use you? We can rejoice and have hope that our Father loves to use human failings to advance His plan. Press on and depend upon Him!

Prayer:  Lord, thank You that You use people like us—people who fail and are unfaithful at times.  We thank You for Your grace that is always working in us.  Help us to continue to fix our eyes upon You, and give us hope so that even in our failures, You are working it for Your good. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 5 


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Paul view grace in perspective to his weakness and hardship?
  2. Paul says that “he boasts in his weakness so that Christ power may rest upon him.” How should this verse encourage us in our weakness?
  3. Do you see God’s abundant grace in hardship and weakness? Ask the Lord that His grace would be sufficient for you today.

Notes

  1. Paul gives us a correct view of grace, which is that God’s grace in our lives enables us to go through difficulty and hardship. We can experience his love, mercy and power in our weakness.
  2. These verses should encourage us, because it is Christ who gives us strength when we are at our weakest. We don’t need to come up with our own ways or strength when we face opposition, but rather we can look to the power of Jesus.
  3. Personal application.

Evening Reflection

What are you thankful for?    Spend some time as you close your day with prayers of gratitude to the Lord.

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