"We all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." 2 Cor. 3:18

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I noticed something interesting regarding worship for the first time in the One Year Bible reading the other day.  Genesis 4:26 (NLV) says,

"When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh.  It was during his lifetime that people first began to worship the Lord."

Then, Genesis 5:3 informs us that Adam was 130 years old when he had Seth.  And, Genesis 5:6 records for us that Seth was 105 years old when his son Enosh was born.  So, do the math!  That's 235 years that people apparently weren't worshiping God!

Now we know that Cain & Abel offered sacrifices.  But, that form of worship seems to be differentiated from that mentioned in Genesis 4:26 above.  Interesting!  Definitely worth pondering!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Journey From Self To Selflessness

The story of Joseph and his brothers never ceases to move me!  It is definitely my favorite Old Testament passage.  Joseph's trickery with his brothers seems cruel and a bit vengeful, but he ultimately uses it to bless them and obtain helpful personal information.  It's additionally troubling that Jacob has to endure the anxiety and stress of this trickery, but he was responsible for his fair share in his day!

The whole drama reaches a climax when Joseph's silver cup is found in Benjamin's feed bag.  Judah has promised his father Jacob that he will return home safely with his brother Benjamin.  In fact, he guarantees it with his own life.  But, Joseph has demanded that Benjamin stay in Egypt and be his slave  for the alleged theft.  Judah knows that his dad will die without Benjamin, his only remaining son born of Rachel.  So, Judah offers himself to Joseph in Benjamin's place.

At this point in the narrative, Joseph breaks down.  He can no longer compose himself.  He orders his servants to leave so that he can be alone with his brothers.  And then, the truth gushes out, "I am Joseph!"  The hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I read that!

In the exchange that follows, I would argue that there is no more powerful collision of God's sovereignty and the triumph of man to forgive in all of Scripture!  "You are not responsible for my destiny.  God allowed it, that he might use me for good, and to save many!"  Wow!

In Judah, we see a picture of Christ offering himself in our place.  And, this is the face of God in his brother that convinces Joseph that a healing transformation has taken place.  His brothers have gone from heartlessly selling him into slavery, to being willing to offer their own lives in exchange for the freedom of another.

Joseph saves his brothers from starvation.  But, God uses their circumstances to save them from the fate of an evil unrepentant heart.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

He Is Our Hope!

When my oldest daughter, Amanda, was only 2 years old, her favorite response to everything was, "Could be!"

"It's cold outside.  Could be that's why that man is wearing a coat."

"Look at that dog in the park all by himself.  Could be he's looking for his owner!"

"Why is dad always falling asleep?  Could be he's tired!"

Well, two things hit me in the One Year Bible reading recently.  First, Matthew's quote from Isaiah in Matthew 12:21,

"And His name will be the hope of all the world!"

Jesus is our message, our hope, our strength, our joy, and our peace!  That's why I need to continually fix my eyes upon Him - the Author and Perfecter of my faith, the One who has already run the race and won, securing my victory, and has sat down at the right hand of God (Power!)

Secondly, I found the next two verses (the following day's reading) in Matthew 12:22-23 very humorous in light of the context,

"Then a demon-possessed man, who was both blind and unable to talk, was brought to Jesus.  Jesus healed the man so that he could both speak and see.  The crowd was amazed. 'Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?'  They wondered out loud."

As I read about the crowds' reaction to Jesus' miraculous healing power, I heard Amanda's sweet little voice say, "Could be!"  Which in adult-terms translates, "Ya think?!"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Self-Interest, or An Appropriate Priority?

Genesis 30:30 stood out to me today,

"You had little indeed before I came, and your wealth has increased enormously.  The Lord has blessed you from everything I do!  But now, what about me?  When should I provide for my own family?"

There is a time and a place for everything, and caring for one's family is an appropriate priority!  There are times when we need to "unhitch our wagon" from others, because God desires to do something unique and special in us individually.  And, we can't experience that divinely appointed work until we disassociate from whomever we're attached to.  Attachment has its time and place.  But, knowing when to move on requires discernment and wisdom.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Father's Blessing

Many a son can relate to Esau's anguished cry in Genesis 27,

"O my father, bless me too!  Oh, haven't you saved even one blessing for me?"

A father's blessing is a powerful force.  Children need their father's approval and affirmation.  Those who lack it spend their lifetime searching for it in vain.  No one can replace a father.  There's nothing quite like a father's unconditional love.  To have it is to have the greatest of gifts!

For those who have not received their father's approval and love - thank God for His promise in Psalm 68:5,

"A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation."

Our Heavenly Father loves us.  And, that love is a firm, secure, unchanging foundation to build our life upon!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The God Who Sees Us!

I love Hagar's words in Genesis 16:13.  She referred to the Lord as "the God who sees me!"  And she exclaims,

"I have seen the One who sees Me!"

Oh to see the One who sees us!  Daily, moment-by-moment!

Believing God

Genesis 15:6 says,

"And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord declared him righteous because of his faith."

Funny how Abram allowed Sarai to convince him that God's promise of descendants involved her maid Hagar!  I'm glad that God understands the imperfections of our faith when He declares us righteous!