Devotional: ‘Reconciliation’ pt 4

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“As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them.” (Genesis 42:7)  

Joseph did not immediately reveal his identity to his brothers. Instead he pretended to be a harsh Egyptian ruler. Why did Joseph do this? He did so in order to make them face the seriousness of their sins. Twenty years earlier, they had heartlessly ripped him away from his father and sold him into slavery. Now, twenty years later, they were forced to experience some of the same pain he and his father had experienced earlier.

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Sunday Sermon: ‘David’s Thanksgiving Song’

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As many of you know, David was not only a warrior and a king, he was also a musician. Along with his ability to play the harp, he also wrote many songs which we normally call ‘psalms.’ The Hebrew word for ‘psalm’ means to sing or make melody.

We’re not sure how many songs David wrote. Not all the psalms were written by him. But today we have what many believe was his last song. If you had to write a song that told the story of your life, what kind of song would you sing? Would it be a happy song or a sad song? What part of your life would you immortalize and leave for the generations after you? Would be the chorus to your song? David’s last song was a song of gratitude for how good the Lord had been to him and I believe the chorus of his song would be –  ‘God is My Rock!’ Don’t tell anyone I said this, but David’s last song was a rock song.

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Devotional: ‘Reconciliation’ pt 3

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“If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive.”  (Luke 17:3)

What did Jesus mean by telling us to rebuke those who sin against us? First of all, let’s note what He did not mean. Jesus is not telling us to scold them or to severely put them in their place. The root meaning of the biblical word for ‘rebuke’ is to place honor or value upon something. How does honor and value have a part in reconciliation?

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Devotional: ‘Reconciliation’ pt 2

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Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.” “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!”  (Genesis 42:21-22)

Twenty years had passed since the day Joseph’s brothers seized him and threw him into the pit. Twenty years is a long time; yet sometimes it’s not long enough for the past to be forgotten. Even after twenty years, Joseph and his brothers remembered that terrible day.

Twenty years is not long enough for the past to be forgotten, neither is it too long for the past to be forgiven. As we see in the story of Joseph, even after twenty years, there can still be reconciliation.

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Devotional: Reconciliation’ pt 1

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When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another? I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there, and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise we’ll die.” So Joseph’s ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain.   (Genesis 42:1-2)

‘Egypt!’  Every time Joseph’s brothers heard that word, guilt must have stabbed them like a knife. No doubt they could remember the day they sold Joseph into slavery. Perhaps they could still hear his cries for mercy. ‘What ever happened to Joseph?’ they might have thought. ‘Was he still alive? Was he dead?’ ‘Egypt!’ ‘Why did their father have to bring up the subject of Egypt?’

How do I know that they were experiencing guilt? Consider what these verses have to say:

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Devotional: ‘Letting God Heal Us’ pt 2

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During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Joseph named his older son Manasseh, for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”  (Genesis 41:50-52)

The Lord helped Joseph forgive his enemies, forget his past, and become fruitful in the land of his affliction. Consider some of the ways the Lord worked in Joseph’s life.

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Sunday Sermon: ‘David’s Success and Complacency’

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One of the greatest verses of scripture in all the Bible is Romans 5:20 “…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”  Literally this verse says that where sin was in abundance, God’s grace was in super-abundance. Christ’s death was sufficient to cover every sin you or I will ever commit.

We praise God for His grace, yet we must not take His grace for granted. As we read on in Romans, we come to the next chapter. Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” When some heard that God’s grace super-abounded they thought, “Why worry about trying to live a holy life? Grace covers it all!” Yet Paul tells us that may it never be that we think this way. The Bible teaches us that it is wrong to misuse or abuse the grace of God. We must never forget that although grace comes to us freely, it cost God the sacrificial death of His own Son.

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