August 17, 2009
This week's theme is forgiveness . No, not the Don Henley song. God's forgiveness. We'll see it in the reading of Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 67; Matthew 15:10-28; and Romans 11.
Monday: Old Testament reading: Genesis 45:1-15 →I find it interesting here that there are still 5 years left in the famine. It's obvious that the famine caught most people off guard, as Jacob and family are already on their second trip to buy food in Egypt. It's also an evidence of the grace of God. God is using these 7 years of famine to bring Jacob and family back into wholeness, bringing them back to Joseph. Why wait until the 6 th year? God works that for them now.
Also, not part of the reading, but at the end of the chapter: Genesis 45:28 →Joseph and Pharaoh have sent to Jacob wealthy gifts showing the prowess of Egypt. They have sent chariots and donkeys and carts. Jacob, apparently, is under-impressed. He simply wants to see his son before he dies. The more we grow, the more we realize what matters. It is not stuff that should draw our focus, but people. I have nice stuff, but there are some people I'd trade much of it just to be around. Treasure your relationships.
Proverbs 17:1 →do you destroy your family life for good meals?
Proverbs 17:2 →Parents, don't pass on the family wealth to a biological relative just because of the bloodline. Pass it to those who can use it well. Think about the businesses that ran well under the founder, and maybe under the founder's children. What happens when the 3 rd or 4 th generation takes over? Sometimes good things. Sometimes bad things. Don't allow your children to assume that they'll get life handed to them just for being your child.
Proverbs 17:3 →So don't take your heart out and put it in a ceramic jar capable of withstanding extreme heat. Let God judge it instead.
Proverbs 17:4 →Ever get in trouble at school just because “you were listening to him!”? Well, here's the verse on that. If you hear someone talking evil things, especially in church, walk away. Or tell them they are wrong. Don't sin by being the ears to hear when “just needs to vent.” Vent is for justifiable aggravation, not for sinful babbling.
Proverbs 17:5 →It doesn't matter what disaster or whose disaster. Justifiable disaster or not, do not rejoice over it.
Proverbs 17:9 →Conceals an offense, not a sin. This isn't saying not to confront sin. It's saying that when you see Judy going to the movies with her new boyfriend, and you know that she blew off “girl's night” with Pam and Grace to do it, you don't go telling Pam and Grace. Leave it alone. If the person is a believer and is sinning in what you saw, you have the responsibility to confront that person about it. Not tell anyone else.
Proverbs 17:12 →And you don't want to meet that bear, do you?
Proverbs 17:22 →And yet we skip church when sick? Shouldn't we find a way? Maybe set up rooms at church with video screens/audio feeds so that people can still be involved? After all, where else should God's people be the most joyful?
Proverbs 17:26 →Is it good to beat a noble for dishonesty? And who can we label as nobles in America today? ( Other than Jeff Noble and family?)
Proverbs 17:27 →Maybe I quit arguing with you because there's no reason to do it? Perhaps I'm restraining my words? Don't assume that, because the other person dropped the discussion, that you were right.
1 Peter 4:6 →We were spiritually dead before we heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Apart from hearing that Gospel, we'd still be dead. So, the Gospel is preached to those who are dead, that they may live! Do you live according to the will of God?