Christian Devotional – November 25, 2018

After all that has been discussed regarding Joseph, God gives us a quick glimpse into Joseph’s personal life. Reading through Genesis 41:50-52, we see Joseph as a happily married man becoming a father.

Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” He named the second Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
Genesis 41:51‭-‬52 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.51-52.NASB

The naming of children had incredibly important significance in that day and time. The names of children would often reflect the circumstances around their birth or any other special event that was going on at that time. We can see now through these names, exactly where Joseph’s thoughts are at regarding his entire situation. He had obviously struggled with being inslaved and imprisoned. When Joseph had his first son, his response was to name the child in such a way as to show that God had helped him move past his frustration and irritation with his circumstances.  By the time Joseph had his second son, he was considering himself fruitful and blessed in all his circumstances.

No matter what we are going through, whether it’s something in our past, or something we are experiencing now, God can bring us through. The question becomes whether we will allow him to do so and if we will move past when he brings those circumstances about.

Christian Devotional – November 20, 2018

Have a plan. Work the plan.  As Joseph was telling Pharaoh all about the plan that he had for helping the people get through the upcoming years of famine, then Pharaoh put him in charge. So what does Joseph do? Joseph executes the plan the he had been given by God.

Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
Genesis 41:49 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.49.NASB

These certainly were years of great abundance. Joseph stored grain in every city and the grain is described as being so great an abundance that they stopped measuring it because it was like the sand of the sea.

I love that comparison, for the other thing in the Bible that is indicated as being like the sand of the sea is the children of Abraham. Right now, several years have passed since God made this promise to Abraham. There are certainly more children of Abraham now then there were, but they are still very much measurable.

God made the grain abundant to be able to meet the needs of the people and it is a beautiful reminder of how God has taken the sons of Abraham and is making them without number. Those people who believe in God and to have professed faith in Jesus Christ truly cannot be measured and numbered in this day and time. And these are the people that have the hope of salvation that the rest of the world needs if they will only come and ask. Just like Joseph with the grain in Egypt.

Are we sharing the news of salvation with everyone around this so that they too may be saved? Are we part of the legacy of Abraham that is as plentiful as the sands of the sea?

Christian Devotional – November 16, 2018

Joseph gets a promotion. After years and years of moving backwards down the ladder of success, all of a sudden Joseph is catapulted to the second from the top rung. Read Genesis 41:40-46

You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.”
Genesis 41:40 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.40.NASB

New job, new name, new status, new wife. All of a sudden all the things that God had promised him came into being. God doesn’t have to move through traditional channels to get things done. He just gets done what he wants to get done and puts people in the positions he wants them to be in them at whatever time he chooses.

We don’t see a reaction from Joseph in scripture. I would love to have known what he thought about all this, but the fact that there isn’t a recorded reaction means he probably took it in stride just like all the other changes in his life. We don’t see a reaction when his brothers sell him, or Potiphar believes his lying wife instead of him, or the cupbearer forgets him. Joseph just continues to respond to every step in God’s plan the same way, knowing that it is part of God’s plan.

Christian Devotional – November 15, 2018

Give credit. We saw, a few days ago, how Joseph made sure to explain to Pharaoh exactly who was the one who would be interpreting the dreams that Pharaoh had. Now it’s Pharaoh’s turn to acknowledge God’s hand in this. Read Genesis 41:38-40

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are.
Genesis 41:39 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.39.NASB

Because Joseph acknowledged God’s power to interpret dreams, Pharaoh gave the credit to God as well. However, he went a step further and recognized the wisdom that Joseph had because he listens to God. Pharaoh had probably seen several people who acknowledge God, but then don’t follow through on what God says. But because Joseph does, God is able to use Joseph.

When God is using us, others see it. Would others recognize that God is the reason and the power behind what you do and say today? If not, have you really given him credit for what is done in your life?

Christian Devotional – November 14, 2018

Go above and beyond. Joseph was brought to Pharaoh’s presence because God interprets dreams through Joseph. But Joseph didn’t stop there. Read Genesis 41:17-36

Now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:33 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.33.NASB

Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams, and then Joseph interpreted them. But he didn’t stop there. Joseph had some advice and he dared to go agead and share that too. It’s crazy, if you think about it. The prisoner/ slave daring to tell the Pharaoh advice on what to do. Joseph was bold. He had thoughts and a plan and he shared them.

Do we take bold moves and steps when we know that God is leading us to do so? Are we willing to step out in faith when we know what God wants to have happen and are we willing to do it when faced with the choice? If we have not been prepared and focused on what God has for us, then we will not act in that moment when we need to and He brings about the opportunity.

Christian Devotional – November 13, 2018

The pressure is on, so how will you answer the difficult questions? Joseph has been hurried from the prison, told to get presentable and led before Pharaoh himself. Pharaoh tells Joseph why he has been sent for and Joseph has that moment to decide how to respond. Read Genesis 41:14-16

Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
Genesis 41:16 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.16.NASB

Even with all the glory and splendor of Pharaoh’s court and the excitement of being out of prison, Joseph continues to give glory to God for being the true one who gives answers. Just like he has done throughout his life.

Some people think that if they just had their big break or some other grand opportunity, then they would give some amazing testimony for God. The truth is that in that moment, you will give the same answer you have given in all the small opportunities leading up to that one.

How you answer questions about God and His involvement and influence in your life today will ultimately show how you answer the question later when the pressure is really on. Do you give God credit for the things that God does in your life today? If you can’t do it today, don’t kid yourself into thinking you would do it when the stage is bigger. Start by praising and acknowledging Him where you are today.

Christian Devotional – November 12, 2018

God works behind the scenes. Sometimes we tend to think that we should know everything that God is doing, but his plan is so far reaching and vast that we can’t see exactly what God is doing. It all comes together for Joseph in Genesis 41:1-13 and Joseph doesn’t even know it.

Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would make mention today of my own offenses.
Genesis 41:9 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.9.NASB

Pharaoh had a dream. He called all his magicians and wise men to help tell him what the dream meant, but nothing worked. Then, the very last person that Pharaoh would have expected ended up having words of advice for Pharaoh: the cup bearer. Pharaoh’s faithful cup bearer finally speaks up and tells Pharaoh about his experience in jail 2 years ago meeting this amazing man who interpreted his dream.

But remember, the cup bearer would have never met Joseph if Joseph had not been thrown into jail. Joseph would have never been thrown into jail in Egypt if he had not first been sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph would have never been sold into slavery if he had not interpreted and told his brother the dreams that God had given him. Everything that had happened in Joseph’s life had led him to be exactly where he needed to be at exactly the right moment to impact exactly the right lives so that they could share when they needed to and God could get his message to Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

What an incredible master plan! God knew exactly what he was doing and there was purpose through it all. Joseph continued to trust in God and to be faithful to him even though he didn’t understand why God had him where he had him. Even now, in these scriptures, Joseph has no idea what has just happened, but God uses it to change not only joseph’s life, but the entire nation of Egypt and the people of Israel.

Are we willing to wait on God and trust that he has exactly the right plan for us and he is moving situations around even when we don’t know anything about it to bring us to exactly the right place at exactly the right time so that we can fulfill the purpose that he has for us? It’s never easy. But, we can trust that God has exactly the right plan in place to move at exactly the right time.

Christian Devotional – November 11, 2018

How long do you expect to wait on God? A day, a week? We have such short timelines and expectations of when we think God should act. What was a timeframe for Joseph? See Genesis 41:1

Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile.
Genesis 41:1 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.41.1.NASB

Joseph had gotten his hopes up that the cupbearer would plead his case to Pharaoh. He was probably thinking every morning, “Today might be the day that the cupbearer’s story will result in me getting out of here.” Nothing. A week, a month, several months go by and nothing. Talk about disappointment!

Two years. Two years go by before we see something else happen that will impact Joseph’s life. All the while he’s in prison waiting and wondering what happened.

The waiting place is a difficult place to be in. Are you waiting for God to move in a specific area and situation? Are you desperately wanting to see Him move, knowing that He can move, but not understanding the timing. Joseph has been there, and survived it. He knows that God is still as faithful whether you’ve been waiting 2 minutes or two years.

Are we focused on God’s faithfulness, even in the midst of the waiting? God has not forgotten us.

Christian Devotional – November 10, 2018

Have you ever felt forgotten?  With everything that goes on in life and in the world, it’s easy to get caught up with all the daily stuff and wonder if people remember us. Joseph knew what it felt like to be forgotten. Read Genesis 40:20-23.

Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Genesis 40:23 NASB
https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.40.23.NASB

Joseph had done something amazing. These two prisoners had told him their dreams and Joseph, through the power of God, had interpreted those dreams. And then everything came about exactly as Joseph had told them it would. That wouldn’t be something you would forget right away, right? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what scripture says happened. The cup bearer was restored to his position at Pharaoh’s right hand and at Pharaoh’s table, and he completely forgot about mentioning Joseph.

As one of over 7 billion people on the planet, it can be very easy sometimes to feel like God has forgotten us, too. When we pray and don’t see responses to our prayers right away, we question and wonder does God hear us? When we see bad things happen to good people it can cause us to question where God is in everything.

God is exactly where he’s always been, which is right in the middle of control of everything that happens. God does not forget us, even when other people do. God sees our need. God sees our circumstances. And most importantly, God knows exactly what we need in the midst of everything we go through. God is constantly working to bring about his glory in and through our lives. We just may not understand how he’s doing that or why he’s allowing circumstances he is. But rest assured, even though other people may forget us come God has never forgotten us and never will. God had not forgotten Joseph and he hasn’t forgotten us. We can always trust in him.

Christian Devotional – November 9, 2018

It’s hard to deliver bad news. No one just really loves telling people difficult things, but sometimes we make the mistake of not giving feedback when we should simply because it’s not what the person wants to hear. Read Genesis 40:16-19.

within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”
Genesis 40:19 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/gen.40.19.NASB

Pharaoh’s chief Baker had a dream too. He shared his dream with Joseph, especially after having been encouraged by hearing such a favorable interpretation of the chief cupbearer’s dream. However, Joseph did not have nearly as good of a message for the Baker. The Baker was going to be killed in 3 days. Yet, even with that difficult news, Joseph didn’t shy away from telling the truth of what God had revealed to him and what God wanted to reveal to the Baker.

We will never know why this was God’s plan for this man. However, God wanted him to know that he had 3 day to make right whatever he could in his life. I wonder what follow up conversations the Baker had with Joseph. Did he ask Joseph about his God who is able to interpret dreams? Did Joseph have an opportunity to witness to this man?  At the end of the day we don’t know. But, we know that even though it was a hard message, Joseph still shared the truth with this man.

Do we have courage and boldness to speak the truth when necessary? The message God gives us may not always be popular, but we are to speak the truth in love just like it discusses in 1 Corinthians 13. We are not responsible for how people react to the message we share. We are responsible for sharing it in the most loving and concerned way we possibly can. What do we need to share today?