Read: Catch up day
Thought and Reflection: Today is the scheduled “catch up” day for the fourth week of January (22-28), so no reading is scheduled. But here are some thoughts to consider.
- As Jacob traveled to the family of his mother where he was to find a wife, God appeared to him in the amazing dream of the ladder reaching from heaven to earth with angels ascending and descending (Gen. 28:10-22). Jesus uses this same imagery to speak of God’s work in His ministry. He told Nathanael, “you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (John 1:51). What assurances can we take from the knowledge of God’s continued work in the affairs of men?
- Joseph did right by Potiphar and his promiscuous wife and he still ended up in prison (Gen. 39). Instead of wallowing in self-pity for the injustice of it all, he rather saw the favor that God showed him (vv. 21, 23). We must remember that God’s goodness to us does not always mean our circumstances will be to our liking. Serve God anyway. Can you think of any instances when doing the right thing didn’t seem to “work out”?
- Joseph was able to see the greater good of God’s work in bringing his family to Egypt instead of focusing on his brother’s malicious treatment of him from years previous. The past is just that—past, and that’s where it should remain. Don’t allow it to become a debilitating weight of anger and resentment in the present. What if Joseph had responded differently? How might our response to personal slights impact the larger working of God?
Like It, Or Not
Life is exhilarating. Life is dull. Life is fearful. Life is rewarding. Life is hard. Life is joyful. Life is disappointing. Life is surprising. Life is predictable. Life is tragic. Life is…
That’s just how life is, isn’t it? It’s an ever-changing conglomeration of emotions, circumstances, events, people, places, and experiences.
A glance back over the life of Jacob verifies that assessment:
- mother’s favorite,
- taking Esau’s birthright and blessing,
- escaping Esau’s hatred,
- love at first sight,
- marrying the “wrong” girl…then the right one,
- birth of a son, and another, and another, and…
- a conniving father-in-law,
- God’s blessing,
- afraid to return home,
- wrestling with an angel,
- reconciled with a brother,
- his daughter’s rape,
- joyful birth of a final son,
- wrenching death of the favorite wife,
- death (?) of Joseph,
- Joseph alive and quite well,
- move to Egypt.
Here’s the point. My life is not for my entertainment. It’s not really even for my pleasure.
You see my life doesn’t even belong to me. My life is no longer mine to live (Gal. 2:20). I have “lost” my life (Matt. 16:25). It has been purchased and is no longer my possession (1 Cor. 6:20). So whether I live or I die I am the Lord’s (Rom. 14:8).
Whether or not all of the various components of my life combined together are to my liking is really immaterial. What matters is the will of God being accomplished in and through my life.