Trust in God’s Plan

I was asking God for some guidance while fasting and praying and I opened my Bible up to Genesis 45 and this is the message God wanted me to read:

First let’s start with Joseph’s back story:

Genesis 37:1“Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.

This is the account of Jacob’s family line.

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”

His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.

Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”

“Very well,” he replied.

14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.

When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”

17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.

19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.

26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.

28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels[b] of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”

31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”

34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.

36 Meanwhile, the Midianites[c] sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.” (Bible Gateway NIV 2022)

And now to the reading that God led me to:

Genesis 45:1 “Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.” (Bible Gateway NIV 2022)

Can you imagine getting sold as a slave by your own brothers?  Or having them plotting your death?  I know I can’t.  Joseph’s brothers first wanted to kill him but changed their minds.  However, they did dip his robe in blood and told his father he was dead.  What a deceitful thing to do.  But God had a plan!  

Has plan was for Joseph to go be an advisor to King Pharaoh and to protect his family from the famine.  Trust God’s plan even if it looks dire and hopeless.  God has a plan for each of us, we have to have faith and trust him.    

IS God Real?

I struggled with the title of this devotion.  I went back and forth between three titles, God Is Real, Is God Real and another one, but every fiber of my being KNOWS that God IS Real!

The reason God laid this devotion on my heart is I saw a post on Facebook.  I can’t remember the group I was in.  I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me back to that post, but someone wrote God is not real in the comments, and it broke my heart to think that there are people out there that don’t believe in God, that deny his existence, that deny him.

And there may be someone in this room that hasn’t accepted Jesus into their lives.  I pray that if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you would ask Jesus into your heart before it’s too late.  There is a lot going on in this world right now.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow.  You could die in a tornado, there could be a Hurricane, or flood.  We are having wildfires.  You could die in your sleep.  You could have a heart attack, or a stroke.  You may not make it home from this event.  I may not finish this devotion.  If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus.  I implore you to ask Jesus into your heart and accept him as your personal savior before it is everlasting too late.    

I am not bragging.  I give all the glory to God.  But I have heard God (the Holy Spirit) talk to me and I have felt the Holy Spirit’s presence.  Have I seen God, no I haven’t, but that’s where faith comes in.   

Now I don’t always do what the Holy Spirit wants me to do, but I have heard the Holy Spirit talk to me and you guys may have too.  I was coming back from (you guys can fill in the blank) fishing on Highway 88E and there was a truck broken down on the side of the road and I passed the vehicle, and something told me to turn around and go back, turn around and go back.  And I had to ask for forgiveness for not doing what I was told.  The Holy Spirit told me to stop drinking and I stopped drinking alcohol about three years ago.

And I’ve felt the Holy Spirit.  You may have felt the Holy Spirit in church or when you are praying, or during singing church hymns.  The last time I encountered the spirit I was praying.  It seems like Manuela’s whole family had COVID and her sister’s father-in-law is in (was) ICU with COVID pneumonia and not doing very good at all and Manuela was talking to her sister and her sister didn’t know what to do so she told her to pray.  So, Simone said she prayed, and we are not sure of Simone really believes in God, so she prayed that if you’re real God show me a sign, and the next day Berndt’s health improved.  So I was praying for God to heal Berndt and not only would you be performing a miracle and saving Berndt’s live but you would be possibly saving other lives by proving that you are real and you do perform miracles and the Holy Spirit started at the top of my body in my arms and went down my back and in my spine and stayed there for a little bit and ran down my legs and I was just thanking God for the gift of the Holy Spirit and it felt like goosebumps but they were inside my body and it lasted for a two or three minutes. So don’t tell me God’s not real.         

1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have [received as a gift] from God, and that you are not your own [property]?” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one [the only God]!” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Do not quench [subdue or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit.”  Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

Acts 20:28 “Take care and be on guard for yourselves and for the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd (tend, feed, guide) the church of God which He bought with His own blood.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ [the ever-living Lord who has] risen from the dead, [as the prophesied King] descended from David [king of Israel], according to my gospel [the good news that I preach], for that [gospel] I am suffering even to [the point of] wearing chains like a criminal; but the word of God is not chained or imprisoned! 10 For this reason I [am ready to] patiently endure all things for the sake of those who are the elect (God’s chosen ones), so that they too may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it the reward of eternal glory. 11 This is a faithful and trustworthy saying:12 If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we deny Him, He will also deny us;13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], for He cannot deny Himself.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

John 3:16“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because [b]he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him]. 19 This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the [c]darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. 21 But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him].” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022) 

Men, and women we are here to praise and worship God, thank God, and spread the good news of Jesus Christ so that they would not perish but have everlasting life.

We are the apostles, Hebrews 3:1 says “Therefore, [a]holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, [thoughtfully and attentively] consider the Apostle and High Priest whom we confessed [as ours when we accepted Him as Savior], namely, [b]Jesus;” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022) 

Matthew 28:16“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022)

Is God real?  I know I am not supposed to use explicit language especially at church, but you darn right God is Real!  I’ve experienced things that you cannot explain happen to me.  I’ve had friends and family members experience miracles.  I’ve heard of miracles.  Neil Taylor is a walking example of a miracle.  Just look at our prayer chain.  There have been many examples of answered prayers and miracles on our very own prayer chain.  We see it over and over again and I would submit that if God doesn’t heal someone, then it was his will.     

God heals people.  He saves people.  He moves mountains. 

There is a song by Jon Reddick called God Turn it Around and the Bridge goes like this: 

He is Healing Someone, He is Saving Someone, God is Doing Something Right Now, Right Now, He is Moving Mountains, making a way for someone God is doing something Right Now, Right Now.

There’s another song called Too Good to Not Believe by Brandon Lake, listen to that song when you have a chance.

It pains my heart to know that people deny the good news of Jesus Christ!

I’ll leave you with this quote: “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and un-prayed for.” Charles Spurgeon

Go talk to someone about Jesus, plant a seed and let God do the rest.  Romans 10:13 states “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.” (Bible Gateway Amplified 2022) God Bless you! Just Believe Please!  Before it is too late!    

What if You Knew Your Destiny?

What if you knew your destiny?  What if we knew when we were going to die and how?  Would you want to know, when and how?  I don’t think I would want to know.  Then we could possibly change the outcome?  I don’t want to know the date I’m going to pass away.  I would be more focused on that date than living my life.  Would it change the way you’re living if you knew your destiny?    

We should live our lives to the best of our abilities like today is the last because tomorrow is not guaranteed to us.  I believe each day is a gift from God and if you’re not living the way you should, we may not live a long and fruitful life.  On the flip side of that, is it so bad to die?  I mean the ultimate goal is to live a life pleasing to God and to go to Heaven, through our belief in Jesus Christ and God’s grace.  However, I will feel sad for the people that I leave behind that love me, my wife, my children and loved ones.   

I believe we should shine our lights and try to sow seeds with unbelievers, so they can have what we have, everlasting life.  I think that if you are not trying to expand God’s Kingdom, we may not live a long and fruitful life.  If you have everlasting life and you’re not worried about dying, or what happens when you die, then you can focus on living your best life and spreading the good news about Jesus and telling people that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins so we don’t have to worry about dying and going to a Devil’s Hell, which wasn’t even created for us, therefore we do know our destiny.  If you’re a believer, you’re going to Heaven and you’ll have everlasting life.   

         

The Holy Spirit

I’m taking a class with BMA Seminary; Introduction to Christian Teaching.  I believe it will help me learn more about the Bible and I hope it will compliment my writing.  One of the required books I need for the course is the Baptist Expositor, Leader.  I was reading the first lesson of Leader/Spring 2020 book and the first lesson is on Acts 1:1-11. 

I’ll summarize what’s taken place: “The apostles, were told to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Spirit Who would empower them to witness for Jesus.  Jesus told them that their witnessing would be far-reaching beginning at home and going to the uttermost part of the earth.  What a gigantic task that lay before them!  How can such a task be accomplished?  They key to their success would be the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Baptist Expositor Leader/Spring 2020)

“Today believers do not have to wait for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  He came 2,000 years ago to empower the church and has faithfully dome so ever since.  We can tap into that power right now and be witnesses for Jesus.  Are you utilizing the power of the Holy Spirit now to be an effective witness for Jesus?  We should work hard at our witness for Jesus knowing that one day He will return to this earth just as He ascended into Heaven.”  (Baptist Expositor Leader/Spring 2020)

We were just talking about this at Church, well we had Brotherhood breakfast at Church; we’re Baptists so we eat a lot, and the devotion was about asking God to use us to witness to others.  If we have faith and pray to be used as a witness, the Holy Spirit will make give us the words and confidence to be an effective witness.  I know it’s hard to step out and have faith to talk to others about Christ, but that’s what were supposed to do, we are supposed to build the Kingdom.  I read a statistic that shocked me; only 32 percent   of the World’s population believe in Jesus.  This is going to sound BOLD, but I wish it was 100%!  Hell wasn’t intended for us; it was intended for the Devil and his demonic angels.  Matthew 25:41 says “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (King James Version of the Holy Bible Holman KJV Study Bible 2012).  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be on the left-hand side, bound for everlasting fire!

The sad thing is that you just have to BELIEVE in Jesus, that he died on the cross for your sins and accept him into your heart, and your life and repent from your sins.  We’re all sinners, but believers are saved by God’s grace because we are sinners, we’re not perfect.

So, ask to be used by God to witness to others and let the Holy Spirit work in you.