February 29, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 41:38-57

What a journey! If you’re like me, your gut reaction to this saga is a sigh of relief coupled with a sense of gratitude. (Better Joseph than me, am I right?!) The truth is, we are not all guaranteed such a journey, but we are guaranteed to be used by God, who is capable of more than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Joseph was a shepherd and the apple of his father’s eye. If you had asked him what his dreams were at seventeen, they probably didn’t include being the second-in-command to the most powerful man in the world, to whom, by the way, Joseph became a privileged ambassador of God (38-39). Instead, he might have told you about his plans to settle down in a picturesque suburb with his future family, working his nine-to-five until safely retiring with his 401k, all to enjoy shuffleboard for the remainder of his well-planned life. How tragic that would have been!

Sure, that option seems much more comfortable, but is it worth it? How many of us have missed out on God’s plan simply because of our complacency? Absolutely, some of us need to have “ordinary” lives to reach the “ordinary” people stuck inside them, an essential journey in and of itself. However, I fear that many of us have limited God through our love of comfort, and have thus failed in His mission. If not, we still have to answer for the 9,000 unreached people groups still untouched by the gospel 2,000+ years after Christs’ ascension.

We should be like Joseph, and let God lead us into lives that are uncomfortable, faith-stretching, uncertain, and most importantly, God-glorifying.  He is worth it!

  • Have you eliminated the unimaginable from your story?
  • How can you be malleable to God’s will in your life?
  • How are you currently responding to that which God has already called you to? (i.e. Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8)

“Let me beg you, not to rest contented with the commonplace religion that is now so prevalent.”

– Adoniram Judson

By: Dylan Jones


February 27, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 40:20-41:37

Life is full of ups and downs!  It’s like Kentucky weather; if you don’t like the weather today, don’t worry it will change tomorrow.  No winter has shown that more than this one!  The story of Joseph shows us this close-up!

In yesterday’s reading, Joseph, in prison for a crime he did not commit, tells the meaning of the dreams of the baker and cup-bearer.  His predictions (from God) come true.  All he asked in exchange for his goodness was for them to let Pharaoh know he was in prison unjustly.  How did they repay his kindness? They forgot him!

Now, two years later, the cup-bearer (probably for his own gain) remembers Joseph.  He tells the king about Joseph’s God and the ability he provided him to decipher dreams.

Have you ever felt forgotten by others? Ever felt used?

Joseph, through the power of God, tells Pharaoh what his dreams mean.  He has enough boldness to even deliver the bad news about 7 years of famine that are coming and make a solid leadership recommendation.  God moves on the king’s heart to accept it and Joseph goes from the dungeon to the palace.  He goes from desperation to royalty in one day!

Things have a way of changing, just like our weather.  So, look up. Look to God and faithfully obey and trust Him.  He’s got it all under control.

  • How does trusting God in the bad times prove to be a strong witness to others?
  • How can you more fully trust Him?

By: Tim Parsons

February 26, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 39:19-40:19

Everyone knows that guy. The guy who it seems life just goes against. So far, in Joseph’s life, he is the definition of that guy. That pattern is only strengthened in our passage today.

If you recall, Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. He gets bought by an officer of Pharaoh, Potiphar. By God’s grace, he found favor in this new position. But yesterday we saw that Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to initiate a romantic relationship with her. Because of this, he is thrown in prison for something he didn’t commit.

If you were to read this account with no other information, you would think that Joseph was someone who God had completely forgotten. Think about it: he was sold into slavery, falsely accused of making a romantic gesture, thrown into prison, and (according to our passage today) was forgotten by fellow inmates after he correctly predicted what would happen to them. Does that make anyone else feel a little less sorry for themselves? But notice what our passage says:

21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love…

That’s not necessarily intuitive based on the list of things that have gone against Joseph so far in his life.

But there in lies the beauty of who God is. The lie is that it is so easy for us to believe that we are alone in the messes of life. The truth is that God is with us just as much in seasons of hardship as in seasons of ease. Be encouraged today, that in Christ, we are shown the same steadfast love that was shown to Joseph.

  • Throughout your life, how have you wrestled with difficult seasons?
  • Is your first reaction to feel sorry for yourself, or remember that God is still present even in the mess?

By: Graham Withers

February 25, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 39:1-18

Joseph was one handsome feller. He was a stud, and not just with his looks either. He was successful in just about every facet of his life. People noticed… Very important people. Potiphar’s wife was one of those people. Potiphar was a key official in Pharaoh’s cabinet, and Joseph had earned his deepest trust and utmost confidence. Potiphar is said to have even recognized that Joseph’s success was of God’s doing (v.3-6).

Unfortunately, yet another part of Joseph’s life took a downturn. But in the midst of this hardship, God was clearly still at work. Here’s how John Piper succinctly puts it:

In Egypt, Joseph is bought by Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard (Genesis 37:36). There Joseph submits to God’s strange providence and serves Potiphar faithfully. He rises with trust and influence over Potiphar’s household. And you would think that the righteous would prosper. But it seems to be otherwise. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph. He flees adultery. And the spurned woman is vicious and lies about Joseph. And in spite of his righteousness, he is put in prison.

In prison, again, totally unaware of what God is doing in all this misery, he again serves the jailer faithfully and is given trust and responsibility. Through the interpretation of two dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker, Joseph is eventually brought out of prison to interpret one of Pharoah’s dreams. His interpretation proves true and his wisdom seems compelling to Pharaoh, and Joseph is made commander in Egypt. “You shall be over my house,” Pharaoh says, “and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you” (Genesis 41:40).

Here’s what I’d like us to wrestle with today. These few questions help us link this ancient story with God’s overall plan for us:

  1. What is your integrity worth?
  2. Are you willing to give up the good life in order to follow God’s call and purpose?
  3. Will you follow God in the hard days, even when he seems silent? Again, from John Piper: “Genesis chapters 37-41 only tell the low and high points of Joseph’s Egyptian slavery and imprisonment. But he spent at least 12 years there before he suddenly became Prime Minister. And as he sought to trust and obey God during that terribly lonely, desolate time, things went from bad to worse.”
  4. What do you think of Joseph’s “Fight Temptation Plan”?
  5. What else did the Lord point out to you or teach you today? 

By: Todd Thomas