February 22, Thursday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Finishing Well”

Genesis 47:29-31

And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.” 31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed.

Yesterday was a sad day as we mourned the death of evangelist Billy Graham.   He preached to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history, which was nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories, with “hundreds of millions more” viewing him on television, video, film and webcasts.  He continued to do crusades even into his 80’s, and when asked what his purpose in life was, Billy responded, “My one purpose in life, is to help people find a personal relationship with God, which, I believe, comes through knowing Christ.”  Billy will be remembered for his impact he had proclaiming the gospel in the world.  He lived a life well-lived and finished well.

In today’s passage, Jacob is also nearing the end of his life.  He requested to be buried in Canaan instead of Egypt, which was a declaration of his faith in the promise of the land to Abraham and his seed forever (15:17).  This episode at the end of Jacob’s life confirmed the future-oriented character of his trust in God. Faith looks to the future, knowing that the Lord will surely do all that He has pledged to do.  By faith he looked to the day when Yahweh would keep His promise, and he knew blessing would come upon his people if they would trust in God’s abundant grace and obey His commands in the Promised Land.   Burial there manifested Jacob’s trust in God for such blessing—even in death.

How do you want to be remembered at the end of your life?  What would others say about you, especially when it comes to your faith and trust in the Lord.  Let’s continue to be faithful and steadfast until the very end!

Prayer:  Lord, we pray that we would finish well.  The journey of faith is not easy at times, but give us the power and strength until the Day we see You face to face.  Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 7


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8: For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Paul describe the Christian life?
  2. What does he want to let his readers know about his own walk with Jesus?
  3. How did Paul view the end of his life? How do you view yours?

Notes

  1. He describes it as a spiritual battle. The idea Paul was conveying was a potential fight to the death. This reminds us that the Christian life is a conflict. Once you enter into this new relationship with God, you discover that your adversary, the devil, will try to undermine you.
  2. He remained faithful till the end. In the original language, this statement carries the meaning of having guarded the faith as an armed soldier would guard his post against enemy attack. Paul was saying that he had not strayed from the truth of God’s Word, but that he lived it out.
  3. He knew that the Lord would reward him for his faithfulness—and that was his joy and what he looked forward to.

Evening Reflection

“The beautiful thing about this adventure called faith is that we can count on Him never to lead us astray. “– Charles (Chuck) Swindoll

As we finish the day with our evening reflection, think about the quote above by Charles Swindoll. Our God will never lead us astray because He is faithful.  It means that we can trust Him with our life, time, money, career, future, family, etc.  Are you trusting God in all the areas of your life?

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