Daily Devotions

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Real Adoption

I have a happy grandson on his last day of kindergarten! Real Adoption  Genesis 48  Joseph, lesson 36  Here’s the true picture of our devotional study this morning...I just read Genesis 48 and I really have no idea of the main point of the passage. This is a little embarrassing. This is a like having a bad dream that I’m standing up to preach and I realize I’m only wearing my underwear.  There are so many smarter Bible teachers than me. I trust you know that. My goal of writing this blog is to share with you my journey of going through the Bible chapter by chapter and NOT giving into the temptation to skip over chapters that aren’t initially motivating, interesting or devotional.  My process is to follow the pattern of the three R’s. Read, Reflect and wRite. Part of reflecting is praying for enlightenment, reviewing the notes of my study Bible and maybe a few other Bible Study sources. Then I just start writing and prayerfully ask for clarity. Sometimes I write for a while and look back and realize, ‘I got nothing.’ It’s just not good at all. So I’ll scrape it and start again. It sounds frustrating and it kind of is. But I remind myself that the experience of wrestling with the Word is actually the source of my greatest spiritual growth. It is the great adventure of discovering the richness of God’s Word and therefore, the depth and breadth of God Himself. I encourage all of you to do the same.  Okay, I have been avoiding this chapter, so, let’s get to it: 

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One-Sided 

This mug shot is of my grandson Ryker. It was about 10 months ago. Moving to a new home, a new country and leaving his moma for the first day of kindergarten. Come back next time to see his pic on the last day of kindergarten this week. One-Sided  Psalms 145  In our general conversations with people, whether close family and friends or casual acquaintances, the flow of the conversation is usually two-sided. Otherwise, we get irritated. Sometimes we talk or meet someone and we walk away saying, ‘I couldn’t get a word in edgewise’. That’s a one-sided conversation in which a person only speaks about themselves or their experiences. But in most cases, our conversations are mutual in that we speak of our perspective and listen to the other’s perspective.  David writes Psalms that are two-sided. He will begin by telling God how he feels (usually distressed and hurting) and then He writes from God’s perspective to bring him back to the right place. I think of it as; ‘David takes himself low writing about himself and then brings himself back up by writing about God.’  Psalm 145 is different. It is completely one-sided. It is all about God!!! Praise and worship is not a conversation of mutual sharing. It is all about God. David writes 21 glorious verses about God: Who He is and what He has done! When I reflect, I have to admit, it is not natural for us to speak or write this way. 

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The Fairness Doctrine 

This is Leigh's brother Jim and his beautiful family. The Fairness Doctrine  Genesis 47  Joseph, lesson 35  Pharaoh said to Jacob, ‘How many years have you lived?’ So, Jacob said to Pharaoh, ‘The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life.’ 47.8  In my older age, I have found myself to be more and more reflective. Jacob, in his old age becomes reflective in front of Pharaoh and says, ‘few (compared to Abraham and Isaac) and unpleasant have been the years of my life.’  The Bible is filled with stories of victory and joy. But this morning I’m reminded that many of the Bible characters lived difficult and painful lives. These weren’t the villains of the stories; they were servants of God and part of His plan and work. In Jacob’s case, part of what contributed toward his unpleasant life was his own sowing and reaping. But at the same time, God allowed Jacob to suffer, mostly emotionally and relationally, in order to accomplish His purposes. 

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Glorious Reunion

My dear friend from Malawi, Pastor Charles Tsukuluza, with his wife Ella, graduated with a doctorate in Theology. Glorious Reunion  Genesis 46  Joseph, lesson 34  Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time. Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.  Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, ‘I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ 46:29-31.  Allow me to mention a boring detail for a moment. I haven’t fully researched this yet, (I guess because it’s kind of boring), but for some reason, the Egyptians did not mingle with keepers of livestock. When Pharaoh set up Jacob and his clan in the land of Goshen, they were isolated from the rest of Egypt. Providentially, it seems God had all this planned out so that the Israelites would flourish and grow without Egyptian intermingling.  As to the devotional part of the text and in an effort to be transparent with you in my journey through this section of Genesis, all I can say is ‘I got nothing.’ You recall that Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord and he would not let go until he received a blessing. Well, I feel like I’ve been wrestling with Genesis 46 and 47 the last couple of days and I don’t have any rich and inspiring insights of devotional application. 

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