February 24, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 38

The account of Judah and Tamar we read about in today’s passage seems to be out of place with its surrounding context, the story of Joseph. Not only that, but it’s a rather scathing account with sexually oriented content, deception, judgement, and even a childbirth at the end. Sounds like a script for a modern day Netflix series as opposed to a Biblical account. Nonetheless, it is included in God’s Word for a reason and purpose and we must ask ourselves, “why?” What is God revealing to us about Himself through this passage? What is God revealing to us about mankind in this passage? How does this apply to us today?

A couple of things hit me as I studied this and I would love to hear your thoughts on it as well. First, that God despises wickedness and He never dismisses sin. We see the swift and just dealing with Judah’s first two sons very clearly in this passage for their sins (v. 7 & v. 10). We must not be fooled into believing that we can live in sin and it be ok with God. God hates the sin in our lives because it drives a deep separation between us and Him. If you have unrepentant sin in your life today, take time to confess it to The Lord and turn from it.

Most importantly, I think this passage highlights the fact that God can, and does, work in every situation (good or bad) to bring about His will and purposes in the world. In this case specifically, bringing His own Son into the world through the line of Judah. We read that one of the twins born to Tamar was a boy named Perez. If you go to Matthew chapter 1 and read the genealogy of Jesus you will find Perez in it. Be encouraged today by the sovereignty of God and realize that God can most certainly take whatever messed up situation you are in and turn it into a message of hope for the gospel if you submit your life to Him.

By: Matt Mofield


February 23, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 37:18-36

Jealousy Causes Division

I’m not the best.  I don’t have it all together.  I don’t know the right way of doing things.  I won’t always have the most ________  or the best ________.  These things are true of all of us, which also means there will always be someone else who is better, has more, or is in a better situation than we are.   

This is where jealousy comes in.  Jealousy is driven by a discontentment with whom God made us to be.  It’s driven by dissatisfaction with how God has decided to orchestrate our lives in comparison with how He has decided to orchestrate other’s lives.  

Jealousy says, “I want what you have, because what you have is better.”   But the truth about jealousy is, it is usually driven by a desire for our own glory…. not a desire for God’s.

Today’s “Walk-a-way”:

In our passage, today, Joseph’s brothers do harm to him, and to their father, because of the jealousy they have in their hearts.  They plot, they deceive, they physically harm, they lie, they seek their own gain, and they oppose God’s anointed servant, all because they were jealous.

Sometimes, as Christians, we forfeit unity, the mission of God, and God’s glory all because we are jealous or envious of another.  Instead we need to realize that God has set before all of us a race that we are to run faithfully.  All of our races will look different, and that’s ok.  Yet we are all called to finish faithfully.  We are to look to God for value, recognition, and significance.  And we should rejoice when others are faithful to the race that God has set before them.

Here are some questions to ponder today:

  • Is there someone in your life whom you’ve had a hard time cheering on?  
  • Why is that?  
  • What practical steps can you take to care more about God’s glory and the good of others, rather than your own advantage?  

By: Sam Cirrincione

February 22, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 37:1-17

Several years ago I was sitting in my church office in Ohio listening to the mom and dad of two students in my student ministry. They had one boy in middle school and one in high school and their quiet and usually reserved middle school son was starting to lash out at home and in school. He was always a kind and generous guy at church and I did notice a few months back that he seemed depressed. The one conversation I had with him was about his parents favoring their older brother because he excelled at sports and was more popular, which he said was a big deal with his former cheerleader mom and jock dad. I took this middle school boy’s words with a grain of salt at the time but sadly his own parents echoed his words with no conviction or shame behind their favoritism in this meeting. They openly admitted that they loved the older son and enjoyed him at home more, often comparing their middle school son  to him. However, they were still shocked that their younger son acted the way he did after being treated in this way. This didn’t justify the son’s actions but it did show the consequences of this dangerous sin that we also find in today’s Scripture: favoritism.

Many of us are familiar with the story of Joseph being sold as a slave by his own brothers and we’re heartbroken over this messy family situation. However, we should be just as heartbroken at what Jacob did in favoring his son to help feed that fire of jealousy in his other sons’ hearts.

Our God does not play favorites with his children (Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25).

“For God shows no partiality.” -Romans 2:11

Therefore, we shouldn’t show partiality in life and ministry (James 2:1).

“8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” –James 2:8-9

However, for many of us we know that this can be easier said than done. Whether it’s because of a clashing of personalities or bitterness/jealousy because of a past experience, it’s easy to like and treat some better than others. It’s also the opposite of the Gospel community that God calls us to which is different than the world. Most people hang and work with others they like or are similar to. This is what makes God’s family different. We are all created equal in God’s image and when saved we are loved just the same as each other as adopted sons and daughters. What Jesus was given in His inheritance is given to us. This can be used powerfully in a dog eat dog, selfish world but we need to intentionally treat others as God would. We see the consequences in today and tomorrow’s scripture when we don’t.

  1. Are you showing partiality toward anyone that God has placed in your life right now? This could be at work, school, church, or even in your family and friendships?
  2. How does the Gospel message speak in to this and what do you need to do to right these wrongs in God’s eyes?

By: Erik Koliser

February 20, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 36

And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”

Genesis 25:23

Genealogies are the broccoli of scripture. They are important and good for us but only weirdos enjoy them. I am one of those weirdos because I love to see what ends up happening with the people in the Bible. Our chapter today shows us that as far as earthly terms go, Esau did very well for himself. He became the nation of Edom and dwelt in the country of Seir. Although it is nice for Esau to have a chapter dedicated to him and his descendants, he still falls short compared to his brother Jacob. Esau’s information precedes the much fuller and more important account of Jacob’s descendants.

It is easy for me to look at Esau and have compassion for him. Poor guy didn’t have a chance from the start. However, the importance of Jacob has nothing to do with Jacob just as Esau’s family being less important has nothing to do with Esau. Jacob’s family is special because God chose for his family to be in the line of Christ. The picture of Jacob and Esau points us to the sovereignty of God and reminds us that the only thing that makes us special is Jesus.

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 3:26-29

By: Chad Wiles