Monday, January 13, 2014

Genesis 41-44

Things just haven't gone Joseph's way for many years at this point in our Bible reading.  The poor man faces two more long years in prison after the cupbearer forgets about him.  But in Genesis 41-44, the tide changes for Joseph.  When the cupbearer finally remembers him, Joseph's God-given interpreting gift earns his favor with the Pharaoh and changes his life.  He goes from prison to being the Pharaoh's right hand man, in charge of all of Egypt.  Once again, he is adorned with a special robe, a new Egyptian name, his own house, a wife, and kids.  He saves all of Egypt from a terrible famine.  

I started thinking about God's gifts.  As believers, we are all blessed with our own personal, specially designed, gifts from God.  They go hand-in-hand with His purpose for our lives.  God-given gifts are powerful, and I am pretty sure our Heavenly Father needs us to handle them with tender, loving, care.

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

God speaks to Joseph through dreams and gives him a picture of the future.  At first, this gift leads to a lot of pain and suffering.  It rubs people the wrong way. Joseph doesn't handle his gift the right way.  He seems a bit careless with it, and it hurts his brothers' feelings (I would imagine).

What do you think God really wants us to do with His gifts?  

We need to keep reminding ourselves of the source of our gifts in this distracting world in order to realize God's real purpose for them.  Since God is love, it has to be that every gift is meant for sharing His love with others.  No matter what the gift, I think God must be giving us a hint and some direction for how He wants us to serve others. 

I can't help but wonder how things might have gone differently for Joseph if he had taken the time to consult God about His gift from the beginning.  

Yes, God had plans to make Joseph a leader of a great nation; but before he got there, Joseph had to learn to serve others first.  So when we finally see Joseph with his brothers again, his heart is more patient and careful.  He is obviously more giving and thoughtful.  He doesn't brag or scream "I told you so."

Joseph's turn of events give us hope for our own mess-ups and mis-uses.

What gift has God given you that could use some tender, loving care?

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank you for all the blessings You bring to my life.  You are the source of all my gifts.  I especially thank You today for giving me ___________________.  Guide me in using this gift for Your purpose in Your perfect, big eternal picture.  Help me, Lord, to always have a humble heart, ready to serve others.  

In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

May Christ's love fill you today and always,

 *This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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