February 23, Friday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Living By Faith”

Genesis 48:1-4

After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And it was told to Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed. And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ 

Often, when people of faith come to confront death, they see life with a greater clarity.  Poet Edmund Waller writes:

“The soul’s dark cottage, battered and decayed

Lets in new light through chinks that time has made…”

We see this in an old barn whose roof and siding have begun to bow and sag, so that shafts of light beam come through like searchlights.  This was certainly true in the life of Jacob.  His believing eyes afforded him a clear vision of the future for both himself and his sons.  As death approached, Jacob was able to exercise faith so extraordinary that the New Testament’s “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11 selected this singular event that characterized him as a man of faith: the blessing of Joseph’s son Ephraim and Manasseh. “By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff (Heb. 11:21).”

I remember a preacher asking this question in a sermon: “Is there anything in your life right now that requires faith?”  If we are honest, maybe we have everything so controlled and planned out that our lives require very little faith.  As believers, we should always be challenged in areas of our life where apart from God’s mighty hand, it would be impossible to accomplish—that’s what faith is.

Take some time to examine your life this morning.  Are you living by faith and not by sight?  Where does God need to challenge you in the area of faith?  It could be your money, time, future, provision, etc.  Let’s surrender to Him as we pray that He would increase our faith.

Prayer:  Lord, help us to live by faith and not by sight.  By Your strength give us the courage to take steps of faith in our everyday life.  Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 7


Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 7:24-27: Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are the characteristics of a wise person? How about a foolish person?
  2. What will ultimately determine where your foundation is according to this passage?
  3. Which person do you resemble? Why?  How can you be more like the wise person?

Notes

  1. He builds his life on the foundation of Jesus by obeying His Word. Jesus wants to us to see that total surrender to Him is living wisely.  A foolish person builds his life on things other than Jesus and His word.
  2. Everyone will face storms and hardships; and when they come, it will determine which foundation you are building your life on.
  3. Reflect and pray that your life would be built on the foundation of Christ.

Evening Reflection

Take some time in personal worship through prayer, song or the Word.  Meditate on the promises and truths of God.  As you do, ask Him to give you courageous faith.

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